What were the standard supplies on a chuckwagon?

What were the standard supplies on a chuckwagon?

Hugh Howard

True West Maniac #9

Lawrenceville, Georgia

The chuckwagon had sparse provisions. “Cookie” packed flour, cornmeal, green coffee beans (until Arbuckle’s came on the market), ubiquitous pinto beans, baking powder, salt, sugar, sourdough starter, salt pork and canned goods such as peaches. There was also beef on the hoof. Along the way, the resourceful cocinero gathered up staples like onions, eggs, fruit, vegetables or items found in the wild. These supplies had to last the entire drive, which could take several weeks. Settlements, if there were any at all, were few and far between.

In the wagon, you’d find dutch ovens, pots and pans, tin cups, plates and utensils, pot hooks, fire irons and branding irons. A water barrel was slung on the side. A piece of cowhide called a possum belly or coonie (Spanish variant for cradle) was stretched under the wagon to store firewood found along the trail.

You’d also find hair clippers and medical supplies since Cookie acted as barber and doctor for the cowhands.

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