This year I’ve got a fair amount of camping in, one trip a month on average, or close to it. Most of the trips have been multiple nights out, including a two-week trek through the Four-Corners area and then meeting up with a group of Land Cruiser owners in Ouray, CO. I’ve built a nice, fully stocked chuck box. It’s great for when you’re going to set up camp for a few nights and want to be able to cook something/anything more than just hot water. But for the shorter trips, I’ve been thinking about pairing down a bit, so I’ve put together the Mini-Kitchen. I wanted to share with you the process and how I went about it.
I started with a 5.11 Tactical hard case, specifically the 1750 model ($149.99). (In full disclosure, I’m a long-term 5.11 Tactical employee.) The case measures 20.38″ x 11.44″ x 7.5″. It’s crush proof, dust proof, and fully submersible so it was an ideal candidate for something that will get heavy use in the outdoors in a variety of elements. The first step was to sort out all of the basic items I wanted to carry with me.
The basics included: Jetboil/fuel, french press and coffee grinder (a must-have). Basic utensils, mug, bowl, plate, salt/pepper, small CR123 flashlight, glow stick, matches and a few other odds and ends. This all needed to fit inside this case. Previously I’ve kept a small coffee kit in the rig consisting of the Jetboil, grinder and french press, so all of that need to find its way into its new home.
I stopped by to see the guys at Goose Gear in Huntington Beach, CA who built the platform, cabinets and drawers for my truck. They had just received a fresh shipment of TrekPak system components. After a brief wave of sticker shock passed, I left Goose Gear with enough TrekPak to build my Mini-Kitchen out as well as a slightly larger Zarges aluminum case that is my camp pantry.
TrekPak pieces are available in a number of heights, for this 5.11 Tactical 1750 hard case, 3” height is just about perfect.
The TrekPak cutting tool makes it pretty easy, don’t scrimp on that doodad.
Once I had the case boxed in, I gathered all the contents and then began cutting the interior dividers to fit.
Then its just a matter of inserting the dividers, pushing in the “U” shaped metal pins (note the nice bright red pull-tabs), and filling out the box.
Some test-fitting and adjusting, and the Mini-Kitchen is packed and ready for a quick overnight trip.
The 5.11 Tactical 1750 hard case stows perfectly above the Goose Gear cabinet.
Southern California camping season is just now coming into its prime. I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy the cooler weather and austere views!