Make a Pack Basket for Camping

Camping basket

Handy Storage for Your Camping Supplies

Pack Baskets have been used for carrying gear and food for centuries. In America they are associated with trapping, portaging canoes, and snow shoes. Probably the most famous baskets are the Adirondack Baskets frequently mentioned by folks like Dan Beard, Nessmuk and Kephart. Some liked them….some didn’t say nice things about them.

pack basket for camping


  • Sturdy
  • Self Standing
  • Easy to Pack
  • Versatile 


  • Not form fitting
  • Not water proof
  • High Maintenance

What I really like about a Pack Basket is the versatility. I can throw separate kits into it and be ready to head out. What I put in just depends on what I’m doing that day. A Day of bushcrafting will find some cutting tools, a mess kit, maybe a tarp or space blanket, and some food.

If I plan on an overnight camping trip I might add a blanket or poncho liner, hammock, and extra food and clothing as the season dictates. Replace the tarp, poncho liner and camp axe with a spinning rod and various tackle and the basket is ready for a day of fishing.

SPECIAL: This Watch Would Make MacGyver Jealous!

The most critical thing for comfort when using a basket is good shoulder straps. I replaced the web straps provided with the basket with ALICE Ruck Straps. I also added a piece of closed cell sleep mat for added comfort along my spine.


Packing a basket is a lot like packing a grocery bag. Don’t put anything on the bottom you don’t want crushed. Other than that, keep the most needed things near the top. If wet weather is a problem, make sure everything is packed in water proof bags. The beauty of the Pack Basket is air can blow through it and water will drain from it. I like to roll a sleeping mat on the inside.


I will pack all my gear down inside the foam pad and cover with my tarp for added protection from the weather. If I think things are really going to get wet I will place dry good in plastic bags.

Top View

Additional straps can be added to the outside and act like a MOLLE system for attaching various items and pouches.

Below I have included a list of gear that I put together for a day outing that I could easily extend into an overnight trip (food dependent).



  1. Sleeping Pad
  2. Husqvarna Hatchet
  3. Poncho Liner
  4. Zebra Pot Cook Kit
  5. Parachute Style Hammock
  6. Mora HD with Kydex Sheath
  7. Corona 10 inch Folding Saw
  8. Haversack (Polish Bread Bag)
  9. Steel Cup
  10. Canteen
  11. Water Filter
  12. USMC Field Tarp (pap. 7 x 7)

A pack basket is not for everyone, nor would I recommend it for a BOB. However, it does make an excellent item to quickly toss gear and food into for a hurried trip. The Pack Basket is an American Classic and fits well into a multitude of outdoor fun.

Be Safe and Enjoy your Outdoor Time!

5 Responses to :
Make a Pack Basket for Camping

  1. Damien says:

    Well, I guess we know the title off the follow up article “take a pack basket camping” which will contain detailed DIY method for building your own, to use how you like… They are good bits of kit, the Romans used a similar idea (longer, tapered) for their legionnaire campaigns that contained everything to build a secure camp (with walls and ditches + nasty bits) and wage war in the surrounding landscape. Good ideas hang around for a long time

  2. David E. Gaffney says:

    I ride a atv in the mountains of NC. All of my camping supplies needs to go on the atv.I have got a lot of survival stuff but need more. I got most of my supplies from Joe at survival life. I have a lot small flash lights, fire starting tools est est. l do not need water supplies all of the water come from the top of the mountains. Just some information. I’m 65 years old. Been in the army. Spent a year in RVN in the mountains as a LRRP. I did a lot. Walking with a 65 pound back pack.

    D.E. Gaffney

  3. Anonymous says:

    “This article will teach you how…” NO – it did not.

  4. nu says:

    This article does not teach how to make a pack basket.

    It barely even addresses ow to PACK a basket.

    teach me the basketmaking or rename the article dude

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