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Brewmeister

Yet another patrol kitchen thread

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Much has been written here about the merits of big-box patrol kitchens versus lightweight camping and cooking.

 

That's not what this thread is about.

 

Faced with a troop currently outfitted with regular/larger-sized cooking gear (i.e., regular sized pots and pans, etc.), the problem is how to effectively split that gear up into boxes of stuff that can be used by patrols, as we inch our way toward a patrol structure.

 

I have seen many people advocating the use of giant platic tubs. We have those. However, the problem is that the stove goes on the bottom and everything else gets stacked on top. So, if said patrol needs an item from the bottom of the box, calamity ensues in trying to dig it out and replace it, and so on.

 

This is in contrast to the relatively ordered fashion of the patrol box, with handy shelves for everything and available legs to keep it off the ground when other table space is limited. But, wooden boxes have their drawbacks as well.

 

So, I'm looking at various patrol box plans, of which there are plenty to be found on the interweb...

 

The questions for the assembled:

 

-Plastic tubs or wooden boxes?

-If plastic tubs, how to effectively organize? How to best keep off the ground independently?

-If wooden boxes, best plans? Other thoughts?

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My family used rubbermaid plastic tubs for years for camping. The stove and lantern go into a separate tub, as does any food items. The pots and pans go into the tub on their side if possible, so the boys can pull out a pot by it's handle, silverware and spatulas standing up in a coffee can.

 

ideally you have your 3 wash pans stacked and they fit in the top of the rubbermaid--mine fit in and stop before they go all the way down as the rubbermaid container gets smaller as it goes down. in the tub is things like matches, clothespins, soap, papertowels, alumninum foil, little clothes line, stuff like that in a smaller mesh tub that fits right inside the wash pans.

 

If you give them less stuff rather than everything possible it may work but will require some effort to maintain. mine just stay on the ground under the table that we put the stove on. Food goes into another rubbermaid, and.or an ice chest. you can actually bungee cord a coleman camp stove to the top and might be able to fit a lantern inside your biggest pot, but that will depend on a lot of variables for what you have for pots and pans.

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we use plastic tubs.....the wooden patrol boxes we have are too heavy for our young troop and patrols.

 

We use inexpensive coleman 2 burner propane stoves with a folding lid.....They fold to maybe 4 inches thick.....the are stood on edge in side the tub.....The pots and pans and lantern are put in next and hold the stove verticle.... we stuff pot holders between them to limit wear.....The utensils go in an old tent bag and we have custom cardboard sheaths for our knives....

 

The other tote is dry and can goods....and a standard cooler....

 

 

the biggest down side to no patrol box is no work surface....but I picked up a couple folding tables from Home depot.....Plastic light weight...plenty of room....

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our patrol boxes only hold plates, cups, silverware, mixing bowl, cutting board, and the like.

 

stoves are kept out of any storage container and have own place on trailer shelving.

 

lanterns have own box that is padded and safely holds all our lanters. we do have 1 lantern that is kept in single carry case for when we are not plopping and just need 1 lantern

 

we have seperate totes that each hold: utensils, pots/pans, food items, etc...

 

when we are not plop camping with trailer then patrols and their cook have list of what is needed and they go in and pull out what is needed from the totes and splits up for transporting. upon return from outing they put those items back where they belong. all totes are labled as well as the shelve as to which tote goes where.

 

works very well for us

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Take a plastic tub deep enough to hold the stove on-edge, then expoxy in some vertical dividers (plywood, most likely).

 

Or, do boxes-inside-boxes. Buy smaller tubs to hold smaller gear that go inside the bigger tubs.

 

OTOH, it might be cheaper than you think to switch over to backpacking stoves. If you're still doing mostly dump camping, you can use cheap pots, you don't need titanium ultra-light stuff. A pair of 1.6 L steel pots (e.g. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___90196 - $25 each) and $40 pocket rockets will do for a Patrol. $150 per patrol isn't chump change, but when you subtract out the cost of tubs, or materials to make the wooden boxes, it might not be so bad.

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We use boxes for camp within 200 yards of the trailer. They are stand alone with nooks for legs, a fold-up two-burner stove, a patrol mess kit, utensils, a small propane lantern, wash bins, towels, and soap/spices.

 

They open on the two largest faces, so you get substantial work space. What I don't like is the screw-less leg system requires extra space/weight on the sides of the box for tight holes into which the legs slide. They slide in at an angle so the box stands low. (Fine for younger scouts. For older scouts not so much.)

 

We have a hodge-podge of gear to outfit backpacking. We also have round plastic tubs. Not used as much.

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TWOMORROWS=Please if you are going the plastic tub route buy Sterelite products as they are made in USA!

 

and that goes for the rest of the world scouts buy american

 

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Some of our patrols use these:

http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=ZAG+ROLLING+WORK&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=020800R&SDesc=FatMax%26%23174%3B+4%2Din%2D1+Mobile+Work+Station

 

They have smaller bins for utensils, etc., bigger bins for pots & pans.

 

The handles telescope for storage; the big wheels handle rough terrain. They stand up to abuse and can be cleaned with a hose.

 

We have a mix of stoves - the younger patrols use big Camp Chef stoves, which come with their own carrying bag. They are much to big to fit in a patrol box

http://www.campchef.com/explorer-deluxe.html

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Priced out the supplies for a wooden model...over $70 per box, $35 in plywood sheeting alone.

 

Almost halfway to brand a pair of brand new backpacking cook kits for the patrol! The stoves will probably fit inside the pots for storage...

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JM,

 

The problem with the pocket rockets is recurring costs. Roughly speaking, fuel canisters for it cost $4-$5 apiece. I don't have experience with how long they last, but I can't imagine that you could do a campout with less than one per person. That's appropriate for backpacking, but for camporee and car camping, it's exorbitant. I've been with my troop for 2 1/2 yrs. We have about 6 20 lb propane canisters. and generally camp with three "patrols" (two Scout patrols, and the adults). We use the propane for cooking and for lanterns. We've just had to refill them once in my tenure, and that was recently.

 

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We are having the same problems as Brewmeister. We're trying to decide what to do in terms of patrol kitchens. Currently we use a hodgepodge of rolling tool boxes (about 60 qt cooler sized) and plastic storage containers (theoretically for food/paper towels, i.e. temporary stuff). We've just gotten the boys big stoves like the Camp Chef. We have work surfaces (camp kitchens), and plastic tables. We are debating patrol boxes, or just using what we have. The problem with what we have is that it's hard to put the pots/pans back into the tool boxes consistently, and the boys end up spreading the pots/pans around all available containers, especially the storage containers. Then the next campout nobody can find anything without looking through all of the boxes.

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We did a week on Ross lake last month and two adults (cooking 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners, and 6 mornings worth of coffee) used about 12 oz of isopro total (and we weren't being particularly frugal with the fuel either - it was a kayaking trip and we had plenty of extra fuel). About $1 per person per day fuel costs.

 

Besides, if you are going to do any backpacking, you can't take the big green Coleman stoves, so you need backpacking stoves anyway. You can buy a lot of fuel for the cost of having two sets of gear, one for dump camping and one for backpacking.

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The way I look at it is that we already have all the dump camping gear. Now we need a way to use the dump camping gear effectively with patrol boxes. We currently have jumbo Sterilite containers that we use when we go canoeing but they have drawbacks.

 

I built one box since I started this thread just because I like to fiddle with stuff. So we can try it out on the next campout.

 

We've already been discussing what to do for backpacking. Since we already have plop gear it would be a matter of having an additional set of lightweight gear and perhaps swapping stuff between the types depending on the outing.

 

Actually that's one of the things I like about this troop. No unit is perfect and Ive had some concerns that I have aired here, but we do a wide mix of types of camping, from winter cabin (I know, that's not camping), car camping, large and small group sites, backcountry canoe, and hopefully backpacking by this time next year.

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