My World in 20 Cubic Feet

Tool box 3

One of the problems with being me and doing the things I do is that it requires a lot of stuff. Not nice, expensive stuff; just lots of little things that I may not need for months at a time. But when I do need something, it’s usually at a time when I can’t easily stop and go get it. (Wanna know who sells turkey calls at 4:00 AM in Blountstown? Nobody, that’s who.)

There are two ways to handle this, obviously. One is by carefully planning each hunting, fishing or camping trip, and every run, swim or bike ride. This requires forethought and lists and focus and such.

So that’s out.

If you know me, you know my best planning is done in retrospect. (“I bet axle grease would have kept that wheel from coming off the trailer.”)

Plan B is to carry around with me everything I might need for any given situation. So for all of my adult life, I’ve been accumulating and consolidating what amounts to a mobile anything kit. (Don’t get smug, ladies, your handbag is just a smaller version of the same thing.)

Contents: One redneck’s worth of stuff.

It has to be mobile because I’m usually in or near my truck when I need stuff the most. Plus, between my wife and kids, I have been elbowed out of my house and garage. My truck is the only space that still belongs only to me. And in that truck, the toolbox is the one place where I can store all the useful items Mary refers to as “a whole bunch of redneck stuff.”

Twice in the past week, people have commented about the eclectic collection of treasures that rolls with me everywhere I drive. So, here’s an inventory of the items I found recently while cleaning out the toolbox on my ’98 Ford F-150. Take a look and see what I’m missing, what you’re missing or what I should just do without.

Automotive items:

  • Jack, jack handle and lug wrench.
  • Motor oil
  • Axle grease
  • Wrenches and socket set
  • 30-ft. chain (for when none of the above will work)


  • Turkey decoy (to fool a lonely turkey)
  • Dove decoy (so the turkey decoy doesn’t get lonely)
  • 12-gauge shells (birdshot, buckshot, regular and magnum)
  • 20-gauge shells (buckshot, slugs)
  • .243 cartridges
  • .22 caliber cartridges
  • Gambrel (Used for hanging game)


  • Bream Busters (collapsible fishing poles)
  • Collapsible rod/reel combo
  • Trotline cord
  • Fish basket
  • Cricket cage (the bait kind, not the Chinese good luck kind)
  • Saltwater tackle box
  • Freshwater tackle box
  • Cast net
  • Fillet knife

If you don’t know about this, you aren’t living correctly.


  • Thermacell
  • OFF!
  • Lighter
  • Sunscreen
  • Bungee cords
  • Spool of cord
  • Machete
  • Axe
  • 3-in-1 oil
  • Liquid Wrench
  • WD-40
  • Duct Tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Q-beam
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer

This list does include some of the stuff in my glove box and door compartments, by the way. (Also, I probably left some stuff off.)

Again, I welcome your suggestions on what else I might need. I’d rather hear about it now than realize it in the middle of the night in the middle of the woods.

* * *

This post is dedicated to my friend Kent Koptiuch, a geologist, volunteer fireman, ski patrol and mountain rescue specialist. Kent is also a hunter and fisherman — and his truck could be considered the gold standard for manly rides. Kent is the one person I know who could be trapped in his truck for months and actually have a pretty decent quality of life.

You can visit Kent’s Blog, Subtropical Adventures, by clicking here. Or look under the “People I Like” section on the right.

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