Field Gear

Arne G Carlsten (agc@PINE.CSE.NAU.EDU)
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 12:27:08 -0700

I haven't seen anyone mention military surplus ammo cans yet. They're hard
to beat for secure water-tight and bug-tight storage. They're cheap (the
.50 caliber size [about 6"x8"x12"?] runs about $4-6 locally), nearly
indestructible, and can be easily modified to be lockable if that's
important (about 2 minutes work with a drill, eyebolt, couple of nuts and
some silicon caulk). There're a number of sizes; some of the big ones
(20mm cannon ammo or 40mm grenades) are large enough to hold computers,
books, notes and such. Add some silica gel and stuff will stay dry, some
foam padding and your gear will survive just about anything.

Check that the seals are not torn up and the latches are sound. Also consider
taking the time to splash some colorful paint on them. Makes the cans a lot
easier to find if you set them down someplace, and doesn't give your site
that military look (some friends of mine have had trouble with customs in
Central America because they were using military surplus packs: anything
Army-issue OD green is likely to attract attention in some areas). Paint wil
also provide some additional rust protection for the cans; about their only
weak spot (and a minor one in most places/uses).

Arne Carlsten
Northern Arizona University