Best Gear For Eating Well In The Backcountry
When you are taking an overlanding trip into the backwoods or remote areas it's simple enough to settle for granola, oatmeal, and dehydrated meals. But why settle for simple when it is easier than ever to step up your rig's camp kitchen? All you need is the right gear.
Men's Journal recently published an article with some of their favorite gear for improving your camp meals during your off-road adventures. Their choices highlight camp cooking gear that is tough and compact - which included our Cooking Kit Bag & Utensils Bundle.
Our Cooking Kit Bag is easy to attach to a portable fridge and is great for keeping your knives, spices, and utensils organized and easily accessible. We also often get asked what camp cooking utensils will fit into our Cooking Kit Bag so we started offering what we think is some of the best compact silicone utensils that won't chip, warp, melt, or scratch your pots and pans.
Besides having a great way to organize your kitchen gear here are some more basics, according to Men's Journal, that you'll need to step up your off-road camp kitchen:
FOOD PREP SPACE
If you are going to do more than pour hot water into a cup of oatmeal you need prep space to cut, chop, and handle your camp meal ingredients. Whether it's a camp kitchen built into your rig or a compact table you pull out, you need elbow room to work your mealtime magic.
The perfect camp stove to consider for serious cooking needs to be the right size for your crew and the cookware you use. A single burner typically won't cut it. Look for a stove with more detailed controls for more nuanced flame control and if you want the option to safely raise your stove, look for one that comes with sturdy legs.
POTS AND PANS
What you carry for pots and pans can depend on how adventurous you plan to get in your culinary creations. The goal is to use cookware that is versatile and as lightweight as possible - but sometimes cast iron is worth the extra weight. Pre-plan your cookware around your meals.
Headlamps are fine if you are just sadly stirring Ramen Noodles (for the 5th day in a row!) but for a home cooked meal on the trail you may need some brighter lighting. If you have built-in lights on your rig to light up camp than you are already ahead of the game. Freestanding LED light options have come along way also and don't use up alot of power. You can even get fancy with app controlled lanterns that offer more advanced options.
48 Million of those small 1lb green propane bottles end up in landfills each year. They are not easy to recycle and they just aren't adequate to supply your beefed up camp kitchen. It's time to shift to larger refillable propane cylinders.
Some things to consider: it's important to calculate how much propane you will need for your trip. Depending on where you are going you may be able to find a place to get a fill up - but if you are really going deep into the backcountry you need to get your calculations right and plan ahead.
The other thing to consider is how to safely transport your larger propane cylinders. Keeping the cylinders upright, untouched by heat, and secure is critical. You will also want to pay attention to local rules and regulations about propane transport especially when crossing borders of states or countries.
Gone are the days of ice, coolers, and soggy food. With the advent of portable fridges (aka: powered coolers) like the ones from Dometic, you now have the ability to pack fresh ingredients (ex: steak, fresh veggies, etc.) and keep them cool no manner where you go. Heck, you can even take a little ice cream with you or keep your beers cold. A portable fridge makes it all possible.
This may seem unrelated to camp cooking out on the trail but without great seating you are not going to be able to enjoy your meals to the fullest. Make sure you have reliable and most importantly, comfortable camp chairs. Like alot of camping and overlanding gear, you get what you pay for. Pay a little extra to rest your weary bones. Having a chair break under you while you are watching the sunset is never anyone's goal.
Check out the Men's Journal article, pick up one of our Camp Cooking Kit Bundles and get out there. Happy trails and happy camp cooking!