A few things every vehicle dweller should have…

When I first moved into the van I was going to just eat raw food. Cooking would just complicate things and take up too much space, right? Well, no. It turns out that an all-raw diet is really bad for my body, which needs lots of warming foods. It was really good for losing weight though. This is what I have for cooking now:

12-volt skillet. I was skeptical after my crock-pot experience and held out for a long time, but this thing is great! I just put my food in, drive a few miles, and it’s done. Last night while I was driving I made liver and onions and cabbage and dandelion greens and broccoli in it – just chopped it all up and stuck it in while I was at a gas station, drove a few exits up the road, and had dinner. This morning? Liver and eggs is on the menu, with more dandelion greens (they are soooo good for you). I have the RoadPro one, and can say that it works great. The RoadPro crockpot, however, is crap.

Propane camp stove. I’m really paranoid about things blowing up (comes from seeing people on fire, I guess). I used to have a butane camp stove that had a bunch of safety things on it and made me feel really safe, but they stopped making the feul canisters that fit it. Now I have a Coleman propane stove – I paid extra for the Coleman brand cause I figured it was less likely to blow up. I have a two burner stove but one of the burners makes a horrible noise and the flame stays inside the burner, which just doesn’t seem safe, so I only use one burner. In cities I take it out and set it up on park tables. In the boonies it’s great for making big pots of soup, which can be refridgerated by setting in the river, and canned when I’m tired of eating them. Then when I don’t feel like cooking I can just open a jar of soup. Canning your own soup is cheaper and much much more healthy than eating commercially canned stuff.

SmartMug. It’s a 12-volt mug with a digital temperature control thingy that you can manually set between something like 80 and 160 degrees. I know 160 degrees isn’t that hot, but you can still make hard boiled eggs, slow cooked stews, and that kind of thing. If your an herbish person, you can also set it on a low setting and make infused oils. Ginger is one of my favorites – I set it around 99 degrees, chop ginger up, pour oil over so it’s all covered up, and leave it for two to three days. The oil that results is yummy to cook things in and also great to massage into your tummy when you have cramps or your feet when they’re cold. As far as I can tell, the SmartMug may have been discontinued, but there’s still plenty on eBay.

Easily accessable eating kit. It took me ages to figure this out, and then I learned it by camping with a friend who had very accessible and organized eating gear. I have a little black zipper bag of silverware tucked up in my sun visor. It’s always there, it’s always clean, I can always eat. It’s the little details that are so important, yanno?

That’s the food situation.

Here are links to some of these items on Amazon:


  1. Hey 🙂 sk here 🙂

    Wow, great tips. I have questions of course…

    How do you manage the washing up?

    Also, the canning? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to manage without my freezer once I get on the road. Are you canning small amounts at a time? (which would be great to replace freezing leftovers).

    I’ve been thermos cooking. You have to start with boiling water, but boiled eggs are easy, and oatmeal. The thermos is easy to clean too, easier than a pot that has had high temperatures.

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