A lot of overlanders tend to go a little overboard when it comes to dining out on the trail. And why not? With your rig as a mobile kitchen there's no excuse for charred potatoes in foil and freeze dried dinner. Here's how to get started building your *chef's kiss" overland cooking set-up.
When you're cooking for a crowd or just a handful of explorers, with a little planning your overland rig can be both an efficient and productive kitchen. You won't be reduced to sweating out in the sun and just throwing some sad hot dogs on the grill, either.
We profiled some of the best portable awnings before, and having a place to chill in the shade is key both for chefs and for hungry campers. With 270 degrees of coverage, Rhino-Rack's Bat Wing is the ultimate in protection from the sun's rays and will keep everyone comfortable even in the harshest conditions.
With a robust portable battery system like Yeti's Goal Zero Portable Power Station, and a couple of solar panels you'll be able to keep your cooking station powered up for hours. The Yeti even has a built in AC inverter, so induction burners are an option even away from shore power. To keep your beverages and perishables cold in your 12V fridge, a dedicated auxiliary battery system could be the ticket. No need to mess around with heavy coolers and rapidly disappearing bags of ice.
With ARB's line of affordable and super-plush Air Locker camp chairs, everyone gets a good seat for dinner. For extra strength and added comfort, ARB builds these chairs slightly larger than others on the market, but still keeps them compact enough to be folded and packed in a convenient carry bag. And the Air Locker also features a sturdy foldable drink tray that's big enough to accommodate your plate, too.
ARB Air Locker Camp Chair
Speaking of feeding the crew, the sky's the limit for your culinary creativity when you have a comprehensive overland kitchen at your disposal. You won't be stuck with the boring tailgate standards with a range of high quality cookware and plenty of convenient prep space. The legendary Stanley company has you covered at the stove and when you're ready to serve with their Adventure series Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set. From forks and knives to large, even-cooking pots, this set is easy-clean and highly practical.
Eezi-Awn's sturdy camp tables slide conveniently out of the way in the K9 roof rack system for storage, and their dimpled stainless steel top offers the perfect surface for food prep and service. A table that works both as a work and service surface will save your back and make meal times comfortable. If you drive a pickup truck, for an innovative solution to expand your kitchen space, look no further than Mountain Hatch's tough and simple-to-install Tailgate Table.
Made of food-grade plastics, the Tailgate Table is an overlay that screws down to your tailgate to give you a much flatter surface. Now your tailgate can serve as a real table out on the trail, or if you simply want to set that hot coffee or frosty beverage down. This product is a heavy-duty FDA approved 1/2 inch plastic with UV inhibitors and it also doubles as a tailgate protector.
Mountain Hatch Tailgate Table
Keeping your kitchen space tidy is easy with the Trasharoo - it stores all your refuse out of the way and off the ground. And, don't forget Rotopax's 1-gallon water containers for hydration and easy clean up at your fingertips!
For meal inspiration, check out Marco Hernandez's The Overland Cook. It has a ton of recipes designed specifically for outdoor kitchens on the go. What do you like to cook at you tailgates? Any useful camp chef hacks? Drop those ideas down in the comments!
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