Friday, August 30, 2013

Scoutmaster Clarke Green's overview of 'humble' chuckbox design

Keyword searches for "chuckbox" and "chuckwagon" bring a significant number of visitors to 'Round the Chuckbox. It's natural when you consider the name of the blog. Articles that address these topics routinely pull in several thousand page views, more than any other topic.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't post many articles on chuckboxes and chuckwagons. As the owner of a beautiful wood chuckbox, I have an affinity for the outdoor kitchen cabinet, especially in view of its humble beginning on the Western range.

While I have no claim to the title "wagon cook," something about my chuckbox, stained in a reddish hue and built to impeccable detail, often draws folks to my camp. Built in 2001 by then International Dutch Oven Society president Kent Mayberry, it has become the signature item in my camp cooking reparatory. And since February 2005, the centerpiece and gathering place to this blog.

To those in the market for a chuckbox, numerous designs and styles boggle the mind. The Rubbermaid Action Packer offers a quick solution to the one who doesn't need an elaborate design. My brother-in-law packs his complete camp in a half dozen Action Packers. Manufacturers like Blue Sky Kitchen and Grub Hub USA sell ready-made mobile kitchens for campers.

Many campers prefer a design built to personal specifications. Complex boxes -- such as Boy Scout "patrol boxes"-- feature numerous cubbies and drawers. Each item has its place. There are drawers for the utensils, a cubby for the two-burner Coleman stove, rollers for paper towels, plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and a special spot for the indispensable coffee boiler. Compact for transport and storage in the garage, it opens into a practical camp kitchen.

Before you purchase or build a chuckbox, take a look at "More Camp Kitchen Permutations" by Scoutmaster Clarke Green at Scoutmastercg. "I find the different solutions folks come up with for setting up a kitchen in a campsite fascinating." Green periodically features one or more chuckbox designs under the "cooking" category.

With little commentary, Green lets you make up your own mind. Numerous photos of chuckboxes give you an idea of the options out there. Links to chuckbox drawings give the do-it-yourself camper the plans needed to build his own. (Note most chuckbox plans must be purchased.) I even saw images of trailer-mounted chuckboxes.

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