• Happy Sea Serpent Day!

5 or 7-Gallon Bucket Mess Kit

Joined
Mar 22, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
I have a 7-gallon bucket with Gamma Lid and GSI Bugaboo kit. I robbed the large pot, lid, handle, two plates (me and partner) and frying pan, leaving the rest at home. It nestles down inside nicely with a flexible cutting board on the side. In addition to the food, I have the cooking tools/spices along with leather gloves, the 30L round cooler and organizing bags from Recreational Barrel Works. I haven't used this setup yet. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar setup that might be able to share some pictures. I am looking for a US source for the Tatonka 4L Kettle kit, hoping it will fit inside. It will be close, otherwise I would have to settle for the 2.5L. I have been looking for a round titanium grill to nestle as well. TYIA!
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
For lack of better bails…
 

Attachments

  • 2FA7A3F2-278F-40CE-AD57-EA2E95743C15.jpeg
    2FA7A3F2-278F-40CE-AD57-EA2E95743C15.jpeg
    176.1 KB · Views: 25
  • ABE31FEE-F332-4A3D-890C-A268DA0F5169.jpeg
    ABE31FEE-F332-4A3D-890C-A268DA0F5169.jpeg
    102.5 KB · Views: 25
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
625
Reaction score
170
Location
southwest Indiana
I have used 5 gallon poly pails with Gamma Lids for both cookware and food. I don't have a specific arrangement of cookware for them but find that one 5 gallon pail will usually carry plenty for an overnight trip where a 30 liter barrel would be overkill. I have also sometimes taken two 5 gallon pails instead of a single 30 liter barrel for longer trips. Two 5 gallon pails will fit nicely into my Granite Gear 3.5 traditional pack which makes securing the pails in the boat a bit easier. I use one pail for food and the other for stove, fuel, cookware items. That way I don't have to take all of the food items out of the top half of a 30 liter barrel to get to the stove and cookware at the bottom.

The 5 gallon pails with Gamma Lids have proven to be relatively raccoon-proof. Raccoons are a major problem in some of the areas I canoe/camp in. At least so far, no raccoon has managed to unscrew a Gamma Lid. Gamma Lids are a snap fit onto the top of most 5 gallon poly pails but the junction is not always completely water proof or air tight. I always run a bead of silicone caulk around the bottom of the Gamma Lid ring where it meets the side of the pail to ensure that it is watertight and no food odors can escape. The Gamma Lids also have a convenient cup/mug holder at the center of the top which is just about the right height when sitting in a low Helinox chair.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
1,100
Location
Preeceville, Saskatchewan Canada
I'm with you, pblanc. Kathleen and I began canoetripping in 1990, and have used poly pails from the very beginning. We didn't discover Gamma Lids until about five years later. They made it a lot easier to gain access to the pail. I broke a lot of finger nails trying to get the original lids off.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_798.jpg

The taller bucket with the red lid is just about perfect for our kitchen kit of nested pots with lid, which also contains our Coleman Peak 1 stove. The skillet with folding handle fits on top.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7a4.jpg

The pail also contains a spatula, cutlery bag, pot grabber, flint lighter for the stove, dish soap, scrubby, and oven mitt. Everything we need for cooking. If I look smug, that's because I feel smug. We have never had a problem with leaking.

The other poly pail that is you see is for snacks, gorp, and meals that we will eat iin the near future. I always double garbage bag the contents of this pail. The rest of the food for the trip is double garbage bagged in the blue barrel and our two Duluth style canvas packs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
1,139
Reaction score
139
Location
central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
For years I'd approach our campus' paint shop for their 5 gallon buckets when the paint was gone. We used them on all our trips to the Okefenokee to keep the critters out and the contents dry during rainstorms. We used them for lots of gear (stoves, fuel bottles, cook kits, etc.) as well so we greatly appreciated having them for our odds & ends. They also made great seats while sitting on the platforms.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
3,890
Reaction score
650
Location
Iowa
Like others I have used the 5-gal pails for years. I too found the Gama lids a few years back, and love them.
To transport the pails, I use a nylon GI Duffle bag. I also slip a foam pad inside to sit on in camp.

My set up includes 2, 5 gal pails, one with a Gama lid, and one 4 gal pail with a Gama lid. This all fits tightly in the Duffle.
The bottom pail is used for gear, I don't worry if it gets wet. The stainless plate you see is placed under my stoves to prevent any melting during cooking. I did have issues once !


Some pics.
IMG_3016_zpsk4cunaqi.jpg
IMG_3082_zpsafq1jhnz.jpg
IMG_3080_zpscgs20o8a.jpg
IMG_3107_zpsr8p2qbyn.jpg
IMG_3109_zpsqwisu9x1.jpg
IMG_3110_zpsx6fcnfr4_1.jpg
IMG_0524_zpsijuyrhtg.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 22, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
Oh nice! I have few of those seabags floating around from my time in. Will more than the 4 and 5-gallon fit inside or is that max.? Is the one without the lid for gathering water and etc.? It appears to be stacked around the other green one.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
417
Reaction score
143
Location
Maryland
My first river trip was with some friends from Maine, and they brought the cook kit. There were a bunch of pots and pans we carried in a falling-apart, slat-sided apple crate. I can't recall what all was in it but distinctly remember a larger-than-average, cast-iron skillet, and that the pile of pans extended past the top of the crate. We'd tie it off with string before loading it, but in the event of capsize I'm sure most of it would have gone to the bottom.

Smitten with river tripping, I soon assembled my own kit, which I packed in a 5-gallon bucket, with a snap-lid closure. Plates on the bottom, then a 4-piece, non-stick, aluminum cookset from which I removed all the handles so that the pots nested. Next in went my Coleman Peak stove. Utensils got wedged around the edges, and food for a weekend trip fit on top of it all. I was really proud of my little kit and certain that it was a big improvement over the apple crate.

I fell out of using the bucket set up for a number of reasons. Probably foremost was that for health reasons I changed what I ate, which knocked me out of group meals. Not sharing meant I didn't need the plates and the larger pots, which was half what went into the bucket. Somewhere along the line I picked up an Action Packer crate and began carrying food and cookware in that. The AP isn't water tight, but neither was the bucket. Both proved effective at keeping rain, splashes and small vermin at bay. I liked the AP because I could more readily see and access the contents, and I could slide it under a thwart. Also, recall I didn't have a gamma lid, and it was a lot easier to operate the lid on the AP than the snap-lid of the bucket.

A side benefit of the bucket is having a bucket. I used it to settle out grit when processing silty western waters for drinking, to collect clams and muscles at Assateague and to gather pine cones and sticks for kindling. A bucket is a useful thing. I guess I could use the AP crate for those things, though the lack of a handle would make it cluggie. My most recent use of 5-gallon buckets was, paired with a gamma lid and wag bags, as a vessel for human waste disposal. Bless those gamma lids!
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
625
Reaction score
170
Location
southwest Indiana
This Granite Gear No. 3.5 traditional pack easily holds two 5 gallon polyethylene pails with Gamma Lids with the flap cinched down as far as it will go.

Granite Gear.jpg

PXL_20220420_203901956.jpg

A bead of silicone caulk applied along this junction will insure that the pail is water and air tight, so long as the gasket in the screw top of the Gamma Lid is in good shape.

PXL_20220420_203928776.PORTRAIT.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
3,890
Reaction score
650
Location
Iowa
Oh nice! I have few of those seabags floating around from my time in. Will more than the 4 and 5-gallon fit inside or is that max.? Is the one without the lid for gathering water and etc.? It appears to be stacked around the other green one.
Yes ! pail without the lid, serves many purposes. Water bucket, seat, table to cook on, when under the tarp when raining. So all three pails fit in the duffle.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
3,890
Reaction score
650
Location
Iowa
Another thought on the Plastic pails.
If you hang your food in the BWCA ? I would think bears would have a harder time, snagging them, as opposed to a nylon bag ?

I bought two Bear Vaults last year, to satisfy FS regulations in the BWCA. I do like how easy it is to see what's inside them.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
417
Reaction score
143
Location
Maryland
If I’m going to be carrying, I pack far differently, and the bucket or it’s replacement in my kit, the Action Packer tub, is left behind. I’m thinking the guys who put buckets in a pack may carry them, but will let them answer.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
625
Reaction score
170
Location
southwest Indiana
Most of the canoe camping I do these days involves downriver trips in the southern Appalachians or the Ozarks. These do not require carries of any length but I can certainly carry two pails in my pack for some distance.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
28
Location
Schroon Lake, Adirondacks
Most of the canoe camping I do these days involves downriver trips in the southern Appalachians or the Ozarks. These do not require carries of any length but I can certainly carry two pails in my pack for some distance.
I like the idea...might have to give it a try. Then I can leave the backpacking chair at home, and it would be easy to hang the pail. I also have a small blue barrel I've used, but that top is too small to be easy to sit on! PXL_20200909_171042205.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
1,100
Location
Preeceville, Saskatchewan Canada
I'm curious about carrying the buckets for those who use them...do you just carry them by the handles for portaging, or do your trips generally not have any?
Kathleen and I have been using these plastic buckets since we began canoe tripping in 1990. Virtually all of our trips have included some portaging, but not as many as in the drop and pool, lake to lake, boreal forest country. We have usually paddled larger arctic and subarctic rivers. I think most people I know who travel with buckets put them in packs, specifically for portaging. Kathleen and I, or should I say, Kathleen, just carry them by the handles while portaging.

Thelon051 resize.jpg

Here's Kathleen resting on our longest portage of all time, 5 km (3 miles) around the Thelon Canyon. Portaging the buckets by the handles is cumbersome, but not all that terrible. Kathleen takes one in both hands, as a counterbalance. This was a three-load carry, that took us 11 hours, over a total distance of 25 km (15 miles). That works out to 2.2 km/hr (1.5 miles/hr.) One could describe that as a fairly easy hike, as for 10 of the km (6 of the miles), one is just jaunting back, empty handed, to pick up the next load, leapfrogging along the canyon rim. Plenty of time to enjoy the experience and views.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
28
Location
Schroon Lake, Adirondacks
Kathleen and I have been using these plastic buckets since we began canoe tripping in 1990. Virtually all of our trips have included some portaging, but not as many as in the drop and pool, lake to lake, boreal forest country. We have usually paddled larger arctic and subarctic rivers. I think most people I know who travel with buckets put them in packs, specifically for portaging. Kathleen and I, or should I say, Kathleen, just carry them by the handles while portaging.

Here's Kathleen resting on our longest portage of all time, 5 km (3 miles) around the Thelon Canyon. Portaging the buckets by the handles is cumbersome, but not all that terrible. Kathleen takes one in both hands, as a counterbalance. This was a three-load carry, that took us 11 hours, over a total distance of 25 km (15 miles). That works out to 2.2 km/hr (1.5 miles/hr.) One could describe that as a fairly easy hike, as for 10 of the km (6 of the miles), one is just jaunting back, empty handed, to pick up the next load, leapfrogging along the canyon rim. Plenty of time to enjoy the experience and views.

Wow - nice scenery, and that makes sense. Thanks.
 
Top