Thursday, December 31, 2009

How's this for a heavy-duty wanigan?

Always on the lookout for anything that will make car and boat camping comfortable for my wife and convenient for me, I bought this at an online surplus store for $80 (but then had to pay $50 shipping). According to the UPS document, it weighs 65 pounds. Hate to think what the government originally paid for it. And then they never used it, it was brand-spanking-new-still-in-the-box.

I'm always haunting surplus stores. Buying cheap surplus is like getting a tax refund. It's like making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Our governing elite steals our money with the threat of violence, pays exorbitant prices for stuff they'll never use to the contractors who make the most campaign contributions, then allows us to buy it for pennies on the dollar.

This is supposedly a "medical storage container". Very heavy-duty double-walled aluminum with three dividers/shelves welded inside. Two of the sides come off and unfold into tables. Rubber gaskets make it airtight. It'd float if it wasn't overloaded. Even has a pressure-relief valve in case I set up a base camp on Annapurna.

These would have been perfect furniture when I was a starving college student and a single military guy, moving every few months and putting my stuff into storage for deployments. The M.A.S.H. motif suits my taste in home decor. Anything that helps organize and store all my crap suits my taste in home decor. Might have to do something about the sickly pale green color, though.

I'll keep this packed with non-perishables and utensils, ready to put in the back of the pick-up truck and go. A tent with a woodstove, cot, and one of these will be more comfortable than my college dorm ever was.

I had plans to build a wood wannigan, but I suspect that the materials would have cost about what this did. Not to mention construction time, slopping paint everywhere and hitting my thumb with a hammer. Wood is warm and traditional, but you gotta like storage containers that are proof against everything from ants to floods to fire to Cub Scouts. Besides, mice would chew through wood the first night at deer camp. They even eat our soap if it's not in a metal container. I might start sleeping in a metal container if another one runs across my face at night.


Anonymous said...

I'm tempted by those containers everytime I see them in the surplus catolog, but shipping always shys me away. Would it be to heavy for one person to move if it was say a fully stocked "camp kitchen" setup?


ps: Missed your posts on ar15 SF for a while and I was excited to find your blog.

Oblio13 said...

Thanks for the sentiments.

I miss the equipment exchange on AR15, but I'm saving a lot of money by missing it.

These things are pretty heavy even empty. Okay for two people to lift out of a pick-up and move a few yards for a semi-permanent camp, but not much more than that.