Wanniigan design help needed

Show me pics of your kitchen Wannigans, kits or however you pack your kitchens.

I need to make two. One for a group of

Wanigan’s have been replaced for the most part by either food barrels or food packs. Most Wanigans weighed anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds empty. Comparatively, a 30L Barrel with harness weighs 5 pounds and a 60L barrel with harness weighs 7 pounds. A solo food pack weighs 4 pounds and a tandem food pack weighs 5 pounds. The square edges of the Wanigan tend to wear a hole in the bottom of the canoe unless you round them off or pad them. A big square box like that is a bitch on portage but it does make up a nice little table in camp. If it’s sturdy enough you could even sit on it.

Check out www.myccr.com for threads on wanigans and wannigans. You can find picutures of Dan’s at http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewtopic.php?t=13577

His is rounded on the bottom to fit his canoe.

Here’s another link to Hurley Canoe Company who builds a beautiful cedar Wanigan shaped to fit the bottom of the canoe http://www.greenval.com/hurley.html

You could build a similar wanigan using the cedar strip method like you would for building a cedar strip canoe.

You can also get some ideas by looking at the Poly Food Pack at Boundary Waters Journal http://www.boundarywatersjournal.com/packs.htm

There used to be a company called Stormy Bay Wanigan in Grand Rapids Michigan that made a polyurethan Wanigan that was waterproof and floated. As I recall it weighed 7 pounds empty. Their Wanigan came apart in two pieces and the bottom part stood verically on top of the lid so you had a little table to work on and the food compartments were easy to reach. The food compartment shelves were moveable to adapt to different size items. There was another poly wanigan called the CLG Hard Pack that weighed about 20 pounds empty but it was heavy duty, you could stand a cow on it.

LL Bean used to sell a Wanigan called the Camp Box. I have one of them I use for car camping. It has a lid that removes to use as a table and the lid can be turned upside down to make a dish pan. There’s room for a 2 burner gas stove and fuel tank in the base of the unit and plenty of room for all kinds of dishes and utensils and food items. It isn’t waterproof although it could be made so with the addition of a neoprene gasket around the seam. It weighs about 10 pounds empty.

If I ever decided to make a Wanigan I’d keep it simple by buying an inexpensive pack and lining it with a plastic box from WallyWorld. Or you could buy a heavy duty plastic box and rivet or bolt some harness straps to it, which is pretty much what Boundary Waters Journal has with their Poly Food Box. Then you can line it with minicell foam to make it into a semi-cool cooler.

If I actually ever built one from wood I’d use the cheap 1/4" plywood from Lowe’s or Home Depot and coat it inside and out with clear epoxy to waterproof it, then bolt on some shoulder straps from a worn out pack. The weight will still be more than a food barrel or food pack I think.

Good luck with your project, if you build one please send pictures.


I had dreams of a wanigan last year
but I opted for a barrel. For all teh reasons mentioned.


I followed the design from this guy.


Turned out fine, looks better than plastic.

Oh, you’ve gone and done it.
Now I want to build a wannigan again. Just for fun.