Does anyone have experience with Dock Outdoors Field Kitchens? (Zarges based chuck box)

fwop

zzzzzz
They are currently sold-out of both models, but are starting production in May. They are awaiting delivery of 100 new Zarges boxes.
 

emulous74

Active member
Let's look at what's available and at what price:

It appears that the Dock Outdoors Camp Kitchen has much simpler set up than most of the competition:



Trail Kitchens Camp Kitchens start at $499 for the compact, and $699 for the "standard" Camp Kitchen (which is the most comparable to the Dock)


To me those legs on the Trail Kitchens look like a PIA.

Kanz Outdoor Kitchen is no longer made, but the one without the stove was around $975 and the legs don't look like they fit in the box.



Ikamper's Aioks, includes a two burner stove, but unless your a little person or enjoy cooking sitting on the ground, it's not really the same at $499




So a hundred more than the trail kitchens which has more surface table area, but much more cumbersome setup, doesn't seem all that bad and cheaper than the Kanz, which you can still find some. So yes pricey, but not ridiculously so.
 

emulous74

Active member
I reached out to them and it appears that it's a single man operation as he said it takes about 8 to 10 hours to build one, and he does about 5 a week; and with current exchange rates, for a model 2 I would be looking at $1100 dollars shipped to the US (he did say if I give him my address he could give me an exact quote). Factor in the costs of the raw materials and my impression is this guy is doing this as a passion and not a business, which for me, makes the price very reasonable. There looks it would be a long wait as he has as he's waiting on the materials right now and shipping to the US is a slow process still do to Covid. So probably can get your hands on one until late July/August.

It's very tempting, just not sure if I would rather spend $1100 on something else.
 

fwop

zzzzzz
Thanks for researching the other products that are similar -- the Dock does seem like a better product than it's competition.
 

fwop

zzzzzz
The Dock camp kitchen was actually mentioned on Expedition Portal in 2017, when it was in the prototype phase --- looked good even back then

 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
These things look very nice but having used a "chuck box" for a few years from 2011 to about 2014, I think this is one of those things that looks a lot better in concept than it does in practical utility.

I can see using something like this in a camp where you know you'll be set up for several days or several weeks - like a hunting camp type setup. However, many of us here tend to do more "expedition-type" travel where we're constantly on the move every day or at most, every other day.

In that kind of circumstance, the weight, bulk, and time to set up/tear down makes them a lot less practical. A "chuck box" that is big enough to carry all your cooking essentials is going to be HEAVY (especially if it's made of wood.)

The other thing I find unappealing about this kind of setup is that it's sort of a "one trick pony." Yes, it's a nice kitchen, but it's not really good or practical for anything else.

Kind of reminds me of a little "camping sink" I bought at an outdoor store. I thought it was clever and cute, but after one camping trip I realized that a simple bucket or plastic tub would accomplish the same thing, be cheaper and store more easily.

I tend to favor simple solutions that require a minimum of setup/teardown and to use items that have multiple functions. For that reason, I lean towards simple folding plastic tables (you can get them at discount stores for around $35 each) that fold flat for storage, and combine them with simple plastic "totes" that can be stacked in a vehicle on top of each other without disturbing the contents.

The nice thing about plastic folding tables is that they can be used for cooking, but also for dining, playing cards, crafts, or whatever. Can't really do that with a camp kitchen or chuck box.

And clear plastic totes are nice because you can see what's in them without opening them up.

Take a look at the photos that are in this thread: Is there any function that these fancy "camp kitchens" have that you can't achieve with a simple folding table and some plastic totes or boxes that can store under the table when in use?
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Is there any function that these fancy "camp kitchens" have that you can't achieve with a simple folding table and some plastic totes or boxes that can store under the table when in use?
I have to say, I am a fan of the various plastic tables, although I’ll probably bump up to stainless for heat resistance and because the plastic ones are... plastic ... and deform quite easily when strapped in for long periods. However, the main function of a good chuck box that I’ve always failed to find in plastic totes is easy removal of stuff without having to un-stack or set aside other stuff. The front opening of the box and the ability to include drawers within makes all the difference. As one who likes to cook, carries many cooking tools, and built a chuck box, I’ll stand by it as an option, even though it is a bit heavy when loaded.
 
Ive seen these in action in ouray, and out in MOAB and the folks that own them love them. Super well built and built by hand by one dude every time. Hence the price.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
However, the main function of a good chuck box that I’ve always failed to find in plastic totes is easy removal of stuff without having to un-stack or set aside other stuff.
Yep. I did the plastic totes for a while, and it turned out the thing I needed was ALWAYS on the bottom. For me, a proper chuckbox should be about efficiency - easy to get at the stuff you need, easy to cook and clean up after a meal, easy to store without a whole re-packing operation.

I still do plastic totes for food storage, but I build dividers into them to keep things from shifting and the avalanche of items when (again), I get the thing I need from the bottom.
 
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