Camp Kitchen Essentials | She Explores

Now it’s officially Spring and the wonderful She Explores book by Gale Straub is out in the world, we thought we’d share an extract of some of the helpful tips interlaced throughout the book. This one centres on one of our number one priorities, FOOD.

Beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating, She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms.

Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stories of 40 diverse women on unforgettable journeys in nature

The following extract is from She Explores by Gale Straub, Chronicle Books.



It’s easy to slip into the habit of eating out when you’re on the move, but the ability to cook simple, fresh meals in a well-equipped camp kitchen will increase your quality of life on the road. And eating healthy, nourishing foods can lower overall stress levels while traveling and camping (and help you save money).

Often, life on the road works best when it reflects the life you’d want to be living at home. Keep that in mind as you read through this list of basics to stock in your roadtrip camp kitchen:

TO KEEP YOUR FOOD FRESH You’ll either want to buy a refrigerator or a cooler. Both have their pros and cons. A 12-volt, energy efficient fridge and freezer keeps your food from spoiling and means you won’t have to buy bags of ice. But it’s a more expensive investment up front.

A heavy duty cooler is a cheaper option, but is more likely to result in food spoilage and contamination. And you’ll have to keep it stocked with ice, which can be inconvenient and costly over time.

TO COOK ON The best camp stoves simulate the experience of cooking at home. Research a classic affordable two burner that’s lightweight enough to use in and out of your vehicle (if you are using inside a vehicle, make sure to crack the door and windows before igniting and keep all flammable materials at a safe distance). In a pinch, a single burner or backpacking stove can be a great alternative, especially for a solo traveler. Some include attachments for fry-pans.

TO COOK WITH There are a lot of options for camp kitchen cookware. It’s best to keep in mind what cookware you use at home when replicating and downsizing for the road. Consider what meals you like to cook, which vessels can be used to make a variety of meals, and how much storage space you will have in your vehicle. Using cookware that has multiple utilities and vessels that nest within one another can be a great way to save space.

If you’re cooking over a campfire, a Dutch Oven is a great way to simulate a real oven. A cast-iron skillet can be used to prepare a range of dishes, and can be placed directly on the grate over a fire. Make sure to keep any vessels used over fire well-seasoned to prevent rusting.

TO EAT AND DRINK WITH Look for durable, lightweight, and compact dining supplies that can be used in a variety of ways (for example, most meals can be eaten out of a bowl so consider leaving your plates behind. And maybe you can drink your coffee and wine out of the same trusty mug). Or, if you have a good deal of storage space, take items from your own kitchen. Above all, take only what your party will need. Odds are you won’t be serving dinner for eight on the road.

KITCHEN ACCESSORIES These are items you use at home and while camping: a wooden spoon, cooking knife (bring the knife from home that you’re going to miss the most), sponge, pot holder, spatula, cutting board, can opener, cheese grater, kitchen scissors, corkscrew, bottle-opener, and French press, to name a few. Multi-tools—compact devices that include a knife, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, and other handy tools—are a great option.

PANTRY ESSENTIALS Just because you’re cooking on the road doesn’t mean your food can’t be interesting. Don’t forget to pack pantry essentials like spices, vanilla, sugar, olive oil, hot sauce, and go-to dry goods like oatmeal, flour, and beans (look for instant or quick-cook options to save on cooking gas and time

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