A few years back I built a sailors ditty box from plans found in Hervey Garrett Smith’s The Marlinspike Sailor. I finished it with milk paint and even went to the trouble of copying the beckets (handles) from the book’s description.
I haul this ditty box along on our car camping trips and to summer camp. It measures about 8″x 11″x 20″ and weighs about ten or twelve pounds when it’s loaded. I unpacked it before I left for camp this year and here’s what it contains:
(1) The tray holds 5 recycled Altoids tins holding matches, lighters, thumbtacks, a sewing kit and one labled ‘tools’ (2) the tool tin holds an eight foot measuring tape, an old six inch carpenter’s folding rule, a P38 can opener, nail clippers, tweezers and a small thermometer. (3) There’s two pairs of scissors (sewing and EMT shears). (4) Old BSA round axe sharpening stone in it’s leather sheath. (5) Stopwatch for timing competitions, etc. (6) Swiss army knife, (7) a buckeye (thought to bring good luck), (8) a bottle opener, (9) two whetstones (one carborundum, one Arkansas) (10) Opinel No8 Carbon Pocket Knife (11) LED flashlight (from a bargain pack of 4 or 5 that I bought years back) (12) pencil box with Sharpie markers and a pair of tweezers, (13) Gerber Multitool
(1) Cheap old Micronta (Radio Shack) illuminated microscope with case, (2) Barska 10×25 waterproof binoculars, (3) digital wristwatch (I only wear a watch at camp when I need to, otherwise I never wear a watch), (4) Clarke Penny whistle, (5) sheath knife I made years ago from an old crosscut saw blade, (6) Surveyor’s marking tape, (7) Bicycle Clear Playing Cards, (8) Spare AA and AAA batteries, (9) Old match tins full of strike anywhere matches, (10) axe sharpening stone in a wooden hand turned box, (11) Repair kit with rip-stop tape, duct tape, wire, blanket pins, sewing sundries, cable ties, threads and twines of various sizes. I also carry a strong green astronomy laser pointer (not in photo)
This is what was in the box at the time. Things get added or subtracted according to the season and the activity.
Here’s everything packed in the box with plenty of room for more. I put a bunch of Scout pins and accumulated memorabilia on the inside of the lid. It’s not useful but it’s entertaining.