Jan 10, 2022
These are the main types of storage and freight containers I use, in the order I most often use them.  
  • Zarges Aluminum Cases – The original alu box for expeditions, military, medical, photography, etc.
  • Frontrunner Wolf Packs and Cub Packs
  • Pelican Cases
  • Plano Totes
  • Sterilite
Zarges Aluminum Cases and Frontrunner Wolf Packs
I use a variety of containers to store my gear, both on the road and in storage, with a boatload of different sizes and types.  What I take out of an adventure depends on what type of wandering I'm doing, and where.  Some equipment is stored in containers for a long time, ready for use.
Zarges Aluminum Cases and Frontrunner Wolf Pack in Base Camp
I chose two of the Bear-Resistant K470 sizes, 1 #40678 and 2 #40810

What I use most on the road and camping are three certified bear-resistant Zarges K470 aluminum boxes, one custom Zarges K420 for kitchen/food storage, and three different Pelican boxes for my camera gear.  

Of the four Zarges cases I own, three are certified "bear resistant" by the International Grizzly Bear Council and are the longest-lived pieces of equipment I own.  The extra pesos spent on them means they will outlive me, and my daughter and her daughter will probably use them, too.  I like to know that, and that the slowly accumulating stickers and badges may mean something to them at some point after I'm gone.  

Two Zarges #40678 on top of a Zarges #40810. They stack so nicely.


I chose Zarges over Alu-Boxes because they are original aluminum boxes and, importantly, silicone gaskets are in the lid, not on the edges of the lower boxes.  I knew from experience that I would end up soiling the gasket and tearing out small cuts and chunks.  I ordered my product directly from Zarges in Charlotte, NORTH Carolina, and they showed up within two days (free shipping).  Great company, great customer service.  

My most common adventure gear is half a dozen Plano #1619 56Qt Sportsman's Trunks and several Sterilite containers of varying sizes.  These are used to store all kinds of gear, clothes and non-perishables to pick from on your next long adventure.  

I really liked the smaller Plano 1619 (56QT) and found Plano 1819 (108QT) to be too big for my use, especially on the road.  The exterior of the 1619 is just 24 inches long, a comfortable sitting height that fits well with my different bed arrangements when I take them on the road.  

Adding some EPDM 1/2 round rubber to the inner lip of the lid, as shown by the other threads here, does help in making them tighter for the weather, although they do really well without it.  I used trim-lok and time will tell how it holds up.  I like that it's hollow and flattens out when the buttons are pressed.  

Pelican.  Heavy construction, extremely protective, pressure valve, and an all-purpose sturdy beast.  I've had one for 14 years, a 1510 on wheels with expandable handles, and it's been with me all over the continent.  I have three 1510s right now.  

Recently, I found a huge Pelican 1620 on Craigslist for a great deal, and I used it to go with my 1600's because they were stacked so well, but ended up selling it because it was too big for me.  The 1620 can wash a dog, really, and the 1600 height is half that.  

I have a bunch of black/red industrial boxes, also cheap, like $9 /60qt and $12/108Qt, which I use for carpentry, garden and home use.  They stand up well to all kinds of abuse, dragging dismantled debris, dragging power tools in and out of my van every day, loading loess and compost, etc.  They have a nice lip on the lid, a place to lock if you like, and stack up really, really, really well.  Great for storage, though I'm not sure I'd use a larger size for camping, as the side walls would swell up if overloaded.  They do have some nice little sizes that I just bought from Walmart that stack well, small sizes are much sturdier and I plan to use a variety of things in the van and trailer.  Bathroom supplies, first aid supplies, etc.  

I also love my Magpul Daka Pouches and use them for everything from electronics and wires to maps, passports and legal documents.  

I'm a container geek and need to make an appropriate comment and video post at some point about the other containers I use a lot.



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