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Discussion Starter #1
What’s in your dry boxes?? I am used to putting all my gear in dry bags from canoe tripping but now it seems with rafting many people get the boxes. Pros or cons of the dry box? I am curious to hear what folks put in their dry boxes for multi day. Cheers
 

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In our dry box, we store dry food (bread, eggs, snacks, chips), our liquor, cast iron, scrap strainer and other pots, flashlights, and sometimes hats. Basically anything we don’t want smashed. Clothes, bedding and tent go into their own dry bags.
 

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I've been putting a lot of the kitchen stuff and other hard metal things in my box, which admittedly includes a lot of stuff that doesn't need to be dry. But it protects the boat and people from getting poked anyway.
 

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I store essential cooking gear; 2 burner stove, blaster, and sometimes charcoal. I also have a huge skillet that doesn't fit in kitchen box. I also have a small bag with extra clothes I might need for the day. It's easier to get into the dry box than having to dig into a dry bag. I don't have a seat and row sitting on my dry box.
 

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We use our dry box for food storage to keep rain, bugs and critters out. Even if we are van camping we throw in the dry box for food and set it outside when we get there. I have a kitchen box for big trips, but when it's just she and me, the dishes needed are much less so we put them in an action packer.
 

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It is also worth keeping in mind that dry boxes are a very efficient use of space with an oar frame. A well fitting dry box can utilize almost every cubic foot of space between the tubes whereas stuffing dry bags in the same area can lead to some unused space. Generally hard pokey things (kitchen) and very delicate things (like bread and chips) go in the drybox on my boat. That said, they are very expensive and that was the last thing I added to my rig as I slowly built it up.
I also have a dry box that fits perfectly in the middle bay of my tandem touring canoe and it has been very handy and efficient, although it adds a few pounds. Its a great way of managing weight distribution while making loading and unloading much smoother.
 

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In addition to the comments above, I also row from my drybox and store emergency items such as the first aid kit, repair kit, a headlamp, etc. Basically, anything I would want to access to immediately. I went a step further and made some dividers to help keep things organized. They are made out of 1/4 material and can be moved in one inch increments to accommodate whatever is in there for a given trip. I can't say enough about how much this has helped my sanity.

Before, when it was just a black hole, there would always be someone digging in there and not re-organizing so that I could never grab what I wanted when I wanted it without digging around. The divider system is basically some 3/4 x 4 material with slots in it. No need to glue it in or otherwise attach it permanently because the dividers and contents of the box keep everything snug.

I built the divider system in about an hour for both my drybox and kitchen box and it was less than $30 in materials. It was one of the best things I have ever done in regards to rigging, right up there with the everything bag.

Disclaimer: We are a family of 4 and boat with our dogs more often than not so my wife handles the kids and critters while I am in charge of rigging and organizing camp so I am always looking for ways to maximize space and free up more time for myself. I couldn't imagine going without my drybox anymore :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fantastic advice, thanks folks, looks like I will buy a dry box this spring. Wife wants to put hard gear in it(tents, sleep bags.) I think it would be way. Better utilized for the kitchen, dry goods and liquor. Spring is here in British Columbia and the snows melting. River trips are being planned, so pumped!
 

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Some way to organize the large drybox space is a big plus. That black hole sucks. You'll find that Day 2 onion on Day 6....


I use a little plastic bin for things that might leak. As long as the floor stays below the tubes, a leak won't soil everything else. For the other divider, I use cardboard boxes that come with 12 bottles of beer in them. I just get rid of the beer (what a terrible task; someone has to do it) and keep a few of the boxes. Just makes little spaces, and super easy. There's often some little space in front of a box that something flat/fragile will fit in.


Black hole? No thanks. Bring on the Tetris!
 

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Pieter Porcupine
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[QUOTE= I went a step further and made some dividers to help keep things organized.

Do you happen to have an image of this? I would definitely like to replicate something like this. I definitely see how the box becomes a black hole. Better organization means more time with my toes in the sand and beer in hand.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Pieter Porcupine
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Something else worth mentioning is that a dry box is much easier to rig to flip than a bunch of dry bags IMO. Also, tent stakes and poles do much better in a box or hatch than in a dry bag being crushed under the weight of my brother in law crapping his pants as we go through big drop two. =-]
 

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Depends on the trip. I almost always have the sand stake and mallet and assorted straps in my dry box. On a day trip my dry box usually has the repair kit, first aid kit, day groover, pump, etc. On multi-day trips it's usually food and alcohol, and/or kitchen supplies.
 

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I went a step further and made some dividers to help keep things organized. Do you happen to have an image of this? I would definitely like to replicate something like this. I definitely see how the box becomes a black hole. Better organization means more time with my toes in the sand and beer in hand. Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE said:


I just grabbed this one so don't hold it against me because this is not how it looks when packed for a trip. :grin:

I also realized that I misspoke earlier. I set the slots 2" on center instead of every 1". The dividers have the "notches" on the side so that you can actually get them in and out. If they were full width all of the way up then the would hit the lip on the top of the box and you couldn't move them. The holes make them a bit easier to get in and out but are not strictly necessary. I made mine very tight so that they wouldn't move around.

The dividers aren't full height either. This allows for space to lay bigger items on top like the k-pump or sand stake. I have had them in for about 4 or 5 trips so far and the only thing I would do differently is saving the effort of making a divider for every slot. I now have 2 or 3 extras that simply aren't needed because I found that I always have a couple of bigger items that take up more than one slot, like the first aid kit in the picture. Regarding the width between the spacers, I got lucky more than anything...the wider slots wedge a handle of booze in very snugly, but if they were even 1/2" narrower then it would not work so well.
 

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MontanaLaz dividers are really cool.

I made mine out of 1 / 4 inch thick plywood squares bolted to metal little book end stands.

Not as secure as MontanaLaz, but so far has worked pretty good for me as the items stored do keep the dividers more or less in place
 

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Not as fancy or versatile as the dividers shown above, but I use a couple of plastic crates in my dry box to help keep things somewhat organized.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What company drybox are ya’ll using? Looks like FrontierPlay has good deals on right now cheaper then nrs, any reviews on this company product?
 

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My kitchen box is frontier play. It came with the lid all screwed up from being mishandled in shipping but they made it right and I have zero complaints about their customer service.

I actually like that the handles and clasps are screwed in so that they can be tightened or have new gaskets applied if necessary.

I wish it came with tabs for hanging from the frame. I'll be adding those soon.

The cable used to keep the lid from opening too far "wants" to be in the gasket. I'm probably going to end up replacing it because now it has a kink in it and you have to stuff it as you close the lid.

I'd probably buy another one and wouldn't be afraid to recommend FP to a friend who was looking for an economical box.

My other box is pretty darned old and I don't think that the manufacturer is still in business, but it has held up well over many years and I don't plan on replacing it anytime soon.
 

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I use some car trunk organizers in my drybox. It had some cloth totes with zipper lids. This keeps things easy to find and accessable.
 

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Something you might keep in mind that I haven't seen mentioned here, is it dry boxes are dry in name only. If you flip never seen one yet but didn't take on water, including the super ones that I made.
 

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I use a small milk crate inside mine for breads and dry foods, along with:



2 burner stove
cast iron griddle
hoses for stove
5 lbs propane tank
utensil kit
cutting board
2 collapsible 5 gallon buckets
Magma nesting cookware set
Jetboil
plates
axe
boxed wine
dishwashing kit
strainer
staple kitchen items, i.e. spices, oil, etc.



I have a latch in box, a feature I love. All around they are pretty hard to beat for storing hard gear.
 
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