Camp kitchen organization?

How do people organize their car camping kitchens? So far we have a big clear plastic box. It’s messy and hard to find anything in it. We were thinking maybe a big tackle box would organize some of the smaller stuff.


A few ideas

Google, Camp Kitchen Box
and you will get all sorts of results including plans for building camp boxes and many opinions on the best way to store kitchen items for transport. this is a popular subject on some other paddling websites too.

I’ve build several of these over the years but now use a soft sided pack for transporting my kit.

We use
a set of stackable clear drawers that my wife found at Sam’s, or Wall Mart, or some such. It is made by Sterlite and has 3 drawers. The unit is about 2’ wide, 2’ high and 15" deep. I place it on a piece of plywood under the dining fly (so the bottom drawer works better). The top can serve as a work surface or stoarge. Each drawer has it’s set of componetnts. My wife has a laminated list of what goes in the thing listed by drawer and when we get home, or when we pack for the next trip she checks everything off.

It is a royal pain to find room for in the car, but it really works well in a car camping situation where you will be set up for several days in one place.


I thought about purchasing a
wannigan but truth is for less than 20 bucks I bought 2 rubbermaid plastic containers, like 30 by 20 by 12, and while not as aesthetically pleasing as wood, the function is the same. I carry my kitchen, stove, pots, pans, skillet, utensils and dry goods in those two boxes and still have room to keep my 1st aid kit in there too and it’s not too cumbersome when space and weight aren’t much of a factor. Inside those two boxes I have smaller containers to help sort out stuff so I don’t loose my mind trying to find the spoon at the bottom.

The rubbermaid containers and lids are pretty tough and I have had those two containers for a very long time.

What I Use
I did the wannigan thing for years as well as the big plastic boxes. Gave that up and purchase a Kitchen Duluth Pack:

Pretty much everything I need can fit into this, used it for a month long trip and it was perfect. The large center compartment fits my pots and pans, plate, food, stove, and I end up putting lunch and breakfast foods on top of that. The huge side pockets hold a ton of food, I use them for storing the evening meals, a bottle of spirits, first aid kit, and other assorted goodies. On the flap there is a zippered compartment that I used to store spare plastic bags, maps, and other assorted gear that I rarely get into.

The tumpline is a fantastic addition for any type of portage you do as this is my heaviest pack on any trip. I also got it with the utensil roll which comes off and can be hung by the campfire or stove for easy hands on. Not cheap compared to a plastic box but will last forever. I use it for tripping as well as car camping and it fits in the trunk of a car taking up less room than a box. Food for thought! :wink: And since I paddle my boat from the back seat it fits right behind me and doubles as a back rest on occasion.