What goes in a Patrol Box?

If you are new to scouting, you may have never heard of a patrol box. What is it? A patrol box is generally, a box full of the things you need for cooking and cleaning at camp, plus some necessary items. While there are some very fancy boxes out there, a sturdy plastic tub will work for most groups.

What do you pack in it?

Honestly, this depends on your group in some ways. Do you cook with a camp stove or use a dutch oven over a fire? Do you tend to make simple meals like hot dogs  and s’mores or do you prepare stews and cobblers? Hopefully, even if your group makes very simple meals now, you will eventually branch out into more interesting campfire foods and need the tools to cook those.  Many groups have in their patrol boxes the list of items below or something similar.  Keep in mind, you will need soap and tubs for washing and rinsing dishes, and a drain rack or a line to hang mess kits inside mesh bags. Your patrol box is also a good place to make sure you have extra first aid supplies, though you could also find that having a first aid kit separately is ideal for your group.

Keep a list

It is ideal to keep a list of everything that your patrol box contains, so that you can check it regularly. Having older guides check the list inside the box to make sure everything is accounted for at the end of a trip is  a good idea. That way, your guides can hunt for missing items before they leave camp, or make note that they ran out of aluminum foil. Any supplies that need purchased before the next trip can be noted.

If you have guides who are dyslexic or have trouble reading long lists, consider using a visual list of pictures of what should be in your patrol box. Either way, you can laminate your list so guides can check items back in with a dry erase marker after each event.

Patrol Box Inventory

  • Stove and propane
  • Large pot with lid
  • Smaller pot (no lid)
  • Frying pan/skillet — 2
  • Whisk
  • Turner/flipper — 2
  • Tongs
  • Rubber spatulas — 2
  • Knife big (blue)
  • Knife small (green)
  • Wooden spoons — 3
  • Serving spoons – 2
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Cheese grater
  • Mixing bowl(s)
  • Collapsible water cube
  • Fire/grill tongs
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Ziplock bags — quart and gallon
  • Brown paper bags
  • Potholders
  • Dishcloths
  • Dish towels
  • Table cloth
  • Clothes pins–6

Dish-washing station

  • Bleach
  • Soap
  • Scrubbers/Scrapers
  • 3 tubs or 5 gallon buckets: soap, rinse, bleach
  • Green Waste Management–bucket, compostable bags
  • Milk crate for recycling — ***Recycle or compost everything you can***
  • Trash bags

Hand-washing station

  • Water jug
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tub/bucket to catch water 


  • pop-up canopy
  • folding table(s)
  • 5-gallon bucket(s)
  • dutch oven + lid lifter
  • cooler
  • milk crates (2)
  • mason jars/Tupperware for leftovers

ITEMS THAT NEED REGULAR REPLACING – Quartermaster should check supplies before/after each trip

  • paper towels
  • ziplock bags
  • aluminum foil
  • brown paper bags
  • propane
  • dish soap
  • hand soap
  • hand sanitizer
  • sponges/scrubbers

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