My Upgrade to Glamping – A Camp Kitchen !
Here is the dream – I have a couple of free days, the air is warm, the sky clear and the open road calls to me. What if I could grab a couple things, throw them in the car, and off I go to an adventure? How fun and easy would be that? I think I can do it and to make the dream a reality I need a Camp Kitchen, in a box. Also known as a Camp Box, it is a place to store, transport and keep organized all of the things I need to cook a meal on the road, minus the food. I started with an online search to find, what I think, is the best compromise of price, strength, organization, design and esthetics. I have found, what is for me, the best box, at Camping-boxes.com. I ordered their Classic Chuck Box, and in around a week, it appeared at my door.
Obviously, some assembly is required, as in comes in a relatively compact package !
When I opened it up all the items were neatly packed and damage free. The box is made out of birch plywood, finished with a clearcoat and will weigh 32 pounds empty. It has removable legs and I opted for the black, Formica top, on the upper surface of the door.
Two pages of instructions come with the package. I found then to be helpful for the most part, but with a word of caution. Make sure you truly understand how it all goes together before you make it official and put it together! Since I decided to strengthen it by using white glue in the joints, I took extra time to make sure to dry fit all the pieces. And believed me, as a veteran of many an IKEA furniture assembly, I still almost made a mistake !
The pieces come together using a tenon in a dado (basically a tongue into a grove) to align the pieces and then metal screws are used to hold these tight. I also put the wood glue, only in the dado area, to make the bond permanent. My almost error was to install the Back board the wrong way around (180 degrees), which would have ended up making the predrilled screw holes miss the wood. The big clue to my error was that the whole back of the box should be flush and mine was not.
To help you locate each correct piece, the manufacturer has placed labels on each with the name of the piece (Left End, Back, Top, etc.).
Once assembled, the box can either sit on it’s bottom or stand on the included legs. The legs are attached by wing bolts and washers, and appear to be strong and up to the task.
When you open the front door, two cables are attached to the latch mechanism to hold it level and you are then able to place your camp stove upon the open surface.
My one concern for this arrangement is the hook at the end of the cable. I am afraid it could release when my stove sits upon it, so, I think I will replace it with a carabiner which I’ll get at the hardware store. My concern is that I want this to remain robust and to last the wear and tear of camping.
Now that the box is built, it is time to outfit it with my equipment and some standard stock. To help me I am using the advice of an excellent book called Campfire Cuisine, by Robin Donovan.
So far I am storing my Coleman stove, Coleman dishes set, cooking utensils, matches, Coleman silverware set, pan set, tablecloth and dish towels. I’ll store the lanterns and candles and that does it for now. I can’t wait to try it all out for a shakedown camp !