It's always in the ammo can...
I've always been a slow learner. Fool me once, twice, three times, etc... it took me eight years of dating to finally decide that I liked Cheri enough to pop the question. I take my time, because once committed to something/someone, I turn into a loyal, unstoppable force.
In my early days, I couldn't have anything nice, because I would leave it, loose it, break it, pop it, or just misuse it. Maybe this is what I was afraid of my marriage proposal. It took a crew of four to keep me from leaving my tent behind while camping, or finding my keys laying in the dirt after a long night. The biggest problem with this behavior is that I've always liked nice things, so the replacement costs are always severe.
Gladly, after 40 years of practice, I finally find myself a well organized person. I haven't lost or broken my sunglasses in five years, I've had the same pocket knife for more than that, and I'm on year three of the same pair of flip-flops.
It was sometime around ten years ago -- likely when my son was born -- when I started taking pride in my things, and started to appreciate organization. Today, the organization of the things makes me happier than the things themselves, including my critical "go everywhere" kit.
My ammo can is the first addition to every pack list; It has the crucial gear to keep me happy and healthy at camp; It's the first grab when packing, and it's the one thing I don't leave for any adventure without. The ammo can is a crucial piece of every adventure. My friends and family have taken to calling it the "banana stand", in a tribute to the TV show "Arrested Development." When my son Wyatt asks,"Dad, where are the pocket bellows?" it just takes a raised eyebrow for him to remember, "Oh, right. In the banana stand."
If you're about to build out your own ammo can, check out the video below. All the gear I include is listed and linked below, along with some other favorite items that I bring along depending on the adventure.
Tribe Pilot has a mission to protect the planet, so we reuse and repurposed gear wherever possible. (We're actually a Benefit Corporation with a focus on carbon sequestration.) If we can get away with not buying something new we will, however we will recommend what we would buy given the chance. Additionally we always suggest products that move us away from plastics. If you have your own favorite products that achieve this mission please post in comments.
1) Satellite communicator - Garmin InReach GPS Device
2) Reflective Para cord - Orange Screw Reflective Para Cord
3) Singin’ round the campfire book - Bob and Betty Lindner
4) Bluetooth speaker - UE Boom 3
5) Camp fork, spoon and knife - Outdoor Edge Chow Pal
6) Para cord/line tensioner - Nite Ize figure 9 Carabiner rope tensioner
8) Bug-repellent wipes - Natrapel
9) Solar charger - GoalZero Nomad 7
10) Pocket bellows - Epiphany Outdoors Pocket Bellows
11) Sharp knife - Pick your favorite, but I like benchmade
12) Portable toothbrush - bamboo toothbrush
13) Spare lighter - Pick your favorite (find me a no-plastic lighter)
14) Toothpaste - Chewtab refillable toothpaste tablets
15) Bottle of Ibuprofen or your favorite painkiller
16) FPS15+ LipBalm - Reef Repair (no plastic container)
17) Bottle of SPF 45 sunscreen - Zelios
18) Deodorant - Mood Deodorant (no plastic container)
19) Rubber band - Easy to grab at your local grocery store
20) Headlamp - Black Diamond Storm
21) Heavy duty twist ties - Nite Ize Twist Ties
22) Locking carabiners - Black Diamond Locking Carabiners