View Full Version : Packing for competitions

05-16-2007, 09:36 PM
I'm starting to prepare for my first comp. Getting everything together and holy crap - where the hell am I going to put it all? I feel like I have everything but the air conditioner and shower.

What does a newbie pack and ends up not needed?

What doesn't a newbie pack and is screwed without?

We did a practice cook at my brother's house about a month ago and we wrote down everything we had to run inside for that we didn't already have in our gear, so I think that helped with some small stuff.

I have Smokin Guns contest check list.


beam boys bbq
05-16-2007, 09:41 PM
Contest Check list
Aluminum Foil
Aprons Bleach
BBQ Grill
Cutting Board
Dish rags
Dish Soap
Duct Tape
First aid kit
lump coal
Flavor Wood
Cloth gloves
Rubber gloves
Hand Soap
Knife Sharpeners
paper plates
Paper towels
Plastic Cups
Plastic Wrap
Sleeping bag
Spray bottle
Bleach Spray bottle
Trash Bags
Ziploc bags all size
Pork butt
bbq Sauce
Jim Beam
Friday night Meal
Sat breakfast
Bleach wipes
Extension Cords
electrical cord
Dutch ovens
Fire starters
rub shaker
chicken broth
Beef Broth
Cyder vinegar
apple juice
record sheet
Fire extinguisher
Fire pit
Easy up
ash pan
shovel for fire box
fire poker
water bucket
paint brush
Hot water heater
Propane cans
Aluminum pans
Sump pump Drain Hose Bucket (sump pump)
Ex Hose
Maraniting tubs
Sheet pans

05-16-2007, 09:45 PM
All the checklists out there are pretty good, each having a few things different...

Think necessities and basics from a food prep, cleanup and utilities supply standpoint.. Next, think about how much space you have vs. what you've packed vs. what you expect to use after the fear of not having something wears off.

Here' my real life example... Prepping for my first contest, I bought one of those multi-packs of paper towels from Costco (the real heavy duty, large rolls.. probably 15 rolls in the bag) We ended up lugging this to our first contest... I probably used 1-2 rolls. Wasted a ton of space. Several contests in and I was still toting that bag around each time with 1-2 less rolls until it was manageable and not a space waster.

05-16-2007, 09:49 PM
I'm starting to prepare for my first comp. Getting everything together and holy crap - where the hell am I going to put it all? I feel like I have everything but the air conditioner and shower.

I have Smokin Guns contest check list.


Well, I would never compete without the A/C and shower!
Don't forget the A/C potty in the RV!
How gross! :lol:

Follow the checklist, make note of what you left behind and what you do not use.
The next time, leave half the excess chit at home.
The next time, cut that is half.
And, I am not being funny here!

You can always run to Wallyworld for a missing hose (Douglas Best of the Best, 2006 :oops: )or whatever.
Just part of the process.

Do not stress over packing!
Do your best, have a great time, and move on from there!

We have all been through it!


05-16-2007, 09:53 PM
Thank goodness my first comp was in my hometown. Unpacked the trucks and realized we forgot the tables. They were not on the checklist because no one imagined we would forget them. After all, the smoker wasn't on the list either but somehow we managed to remember it.

05-16-2007, 09:56 PM
I'm the last person to help in this regard. I've always been the kind of person to take averything except the kitchen sink when I go places. Well, when I got into BBQ comps, I found I actually needed the kitchen sink as well but I substituted bus tubs instead.

05-16-2007, 11:04 PM
One other question - how much garnish should I expect to need? Two or three heads of green lettuce for each turn in and a bunch or two of parsley and/or cilantro?

I know no iceburg, but I don't know what to call a unit of green lettuce ... or for that matter the parsley and cilantro. Banded together, so I'll call it a bunch.

05-16-2007, 11:59 PM
You're gonna pack too much stuff. just roll with it. You will start paring down as you learn what's essential.

Dale P
05-17-2007, 02:43 AM
Since I dont have an RV, we take 2 pick up trucks full of stuff but there are 4 of us which means more of everything. We are packing tonight for Sevierville and I am constantly looking to control the overflow of equipment we haul. Both trucks will be overflowing. Just make sure to leave room for the trophy.

As far as garnish, I buy too much on purpose. My first comp I didnt have enough and that aint gonna happen again. 3 bunches of everything I plan to use is more than plenty for us.

05-17-2007, 05:34 AM
Were planning on doing a practice pack, but I think It's going to be the peverbial "trying to fit 10lbs worth of crap into a 5lb sack.........An Rv is looking better and better, maybe next year.

05-17-2007, 06:43 AM
Here's my checklist. I tried to be thorough without overdoing it. I modified it from existing lists that I found on the net.

05-17-2007, 07:17 AM
One other question - how much garnish should I expect to need? Two or three heads of green lettuce for each turn in and a bunch or two of parsley and/or cilantro?

I know no iceburg, but I don't know what to call a unit of green lettuce ... or for that matter the parsley and cilantro. Banded together, so I'll call it a bunch.

Yes, you can use iceberg... it is considered green leaf lettuce because it is green and has leaves. That being said, I would never use it! Not attractive at all! How much garnish you take depends on a couple of things: how you want your box to look and how much good looking greenery is available to you. If you are having a difficult time finding decent greens, you might want to take extra. We do our boxes like a putting green of parsley and use chopped lettuce in the bottom to hold it in place. So we only take about 3 heads of lettuce and a large amount of parsley (to be sure we have enough good stuff... I'm kinda picky on the parsley leaves).

Captain Caveman
05-17-2007, 07:43 AM
We forgot the chicken......:icon_blush:
A couple of other things we forgot were: a way to heat water (we ended up using a coffee pot) and hand sanitizer.

05-17-2007, 08:34 AM
KC, my buddy and I are going through the same thing, figuring out what we'll need. But we still have 2 months before our first comp.

I've looked at a lot of the lists but I found one by Two Fat Pollocks (Sawdustguy) that was about as detailed and thorough as it could get. I'd highly suggest taking that one and starting from it.


I'll throw out another additional question for what to bring. If you're having to tent it vs RV it, what about natura vocat (nature calls) comforts? Do you bring a shower tent, and portable toilet w/ bag contraption? I know by the second days a lot of time porta potties can start to get...unpleasant. Plus what if they're on the opposite side of the comp area as you! What do you do for hand washing, etc?

I'm a bit of a clean/germaphobe.

[editted to add] Kirk's got a nice list too. There's a couple items there he's got that TFP doesn't list, like the presentation kit. I'd take both those lists and start working from there.

big blue bbq
05-17-2007, 10:06 AM
The one thing we took too much of was ice but it ended up being 35 degrees at the first comp.
The way I figured was the run to wally world option. We took a checklist, I believe it was from "two fat pollocks", assigned certain things to each member. As long as you have enough fuel, extension cords, and water containers you have the main things covered.
We used two heads of lettuce and two bunches of green leaf lettuce for garnish and came out just right for the 4 categories.
Extra thremometers is a good idea in case you have one crap out like we did.

Good luck!!! Have fun!!! Oh yeah, take a camera that works or you will get in trouble for not sharing pictures here. My camera died when I took the first picture.

05-17-2007, 12:05 PM
!!!! Ditch the cilantro !!! Use parsley.


What a memeber a while back did for his first comp(i think it was Militaqnt squatter) was to do a full blown mock up practice cook. Take what you have so far and put it in the yard with your cookers. Start a competition FROM THE BEGINNING.. Setting up your seperate cooking and "hangout/living" areas.

When you use something, it goes to a "used pile"(or start your list...write it down on your list).

when u run in the house for something you forgot, MUST HAVE and can not substitute, write it down on that list.

At the end, all the stuff in the pile that you have NOT USED, you dont need, all the stff on your list.. thats YOUR checklist.

Or do it the way i did, take everything you own, in 3 cars a trailer and a truck. By the sixth contest, you will be down to only twice as much stuff as you need.:tongue:

Sir Smoke A Lot
05-17-2007, 12:34 PM
All good suggestions - one thing I do when I am packing is to imagine every step of the cooking process and compare it to what I have packed - example - I will need honey for my ribs - do I have honey packed? When I make my mop, do I have all the ingredients packed? I am boxing up the entries, do I have all my garnish? I also keep a box packed with just competition kitchen equipment - that way I am not stealing from my home kitchen and I am not forgetting anything.

05-17-2007, 12:49 PM
How many tables do ya'll take to a comp? I have two 6ft tables and 2 4ft folding tables(fold down to a 2ft square)I'm planning on taking.........too much??

05-17-2007, 01:11 PM
We do fine with 3 tables.

1 for prep
1 for dish washin
1 for "stuff"

05-17-2007, 01:14 PM
we use 4.

2 eight footers make an L shaped kitchen. One is prep, the other is all the 'stuff'

A small seperate 5 foot for wash tubs, then we use that for making the boxes during turnin time.

a 6 foot for outside to dispay the trophys, keep the stereo on, teeshirts, etc..

05-17-2007, 03:04 PM
we use 4...
...a 6 foot for outside to dispay the trophys...
That's why I can get away with only 3. :oops:
For now at least. :wink:

Lakeside Smoker
05-17-2007, 03:22 PM
One thing for sure you'll always pack WAY too much stuff for your first comp. Here are some pics of my first comp. then my latest comp.

big blue bbq
05-17-2007, 06:38 PM
I got by with a 6 foot table and a 4 x 4 card table at my first comp. I will probably get one more 6 foot and that should be good for me.