Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mini Backpacking Pochade Kit

Well summer is in full swing and it is beautiful hiking weather in Colorado.  My two sons and I have been on several hiking and backpacking trips into Rocky Mountain National Park this year already.  We combine our love of fly fishing, camping and of course painting!

Last weekend we hiked in 7 miles to camp at Thunder Lake.  This area of RMNP is very picturesque and our hike took us from dense forest to windswept tundra with rivers, streams, and lakes along the way.

With packs already full of gear, food and water, I had to scale down my painting kit.  So, I left my tripod, pochade box and panel support behind and assembled this mini kit from stuff I had laying around.

For the box, I used an inexpensive plastic bin with clasp locks for the lid.  It is just large enough to fit the four 37ml tubes of paint, a small cup for OMS, a pair of gloves, two small spring clips, plastic bag for hauling out trash, a couple of 5"x7" panels, a pencil, and small Moleskine pad for sketching.  I packed my brushes and paper towels separately.

As for paints, I limited my palette to Quick Dry White, Cad Red Light, Ultramarine Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium...all from Gamblin.  I also incorporated Gamblin's Galkyd medium to speed drying.

Once I found a spot to paint I simply removed the contents from the box, secured the panel to the box with the spring clips and squirted out some paint.  The clips worked surprisingly well to hold the panel and mixing the paint in the bottom of the box kept everything tidy.  When I was done, I simply wiped box clean with paper towels and put all the supplies back in.

As a side note, I sprung for the "Mighty Mite Jr. Brush Washer" small turps jar made by Guerrilla Painter.  It's a 1.25" high, plastic wide mouth jar with a welded metal insert for brush cleaning.  It doesn't look like much for 15 bucks but it was exactly what I needed for my mini kit and it worked great with no leaks...even at 11,000 feet above sea level.


Here's the link to the video showing my original Pochade box:

Here's the link to another post on building your own Pochade box:

Hope you are having a great summer!


  1. Love this mini kit! We used to spend lots of time in RMNP and enjoyed the long hiking and fishing at Lake Epsalon.

    1. Pam, I haven't been to Lake Epsalon yet. Perhaps we can fit it in before the end of summer. We've hiked to Loch Vale and I have some sketches for a studio painting of that when the time comes. That's a great hike too if you haven't done it.
      Thanks for the comment!


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