If you’re a fan of Epic Family Road Trip (EFRT), then you know all about the amazing camp cooking that goes on in the van Stralen family.
Today, we sit down with Carol van Stralen, mother to Peter, Dan, and Caroline and wife of Pete Sr., to discuss philosophy, mindset, and best practices for delicious overland camp cooking!
Carol shares her own origin story as a camp chef, her original sources of inspiration, and how she came to understand the joy of cooking in all areas of life–especially while overlanding!
Recipe creation, what cooking items to have in your overland galley, clean-up and sanitation methods, and how to assign roles to others so you can get your family, partner, or team involved are all discussed in detail.
Join the conversation and let’s get cooking!
Detailed Episode Summary
Part 1 (1:30-7:34) Intro and Welcome Carol van Stralen of Epic Family Road Trip (EFRT)! Carol and Jimmy discuss the joy of cooking and how this applies to cooking while overlanding. Carol shares her original inspiration for learning how to cook well and how that translated into her overland cooking.
Part 2 (7:35-11:45) Finding Ingredients and Ideas for Great Cooking While Overlanding: Carol explains how much of her inspiration for meals while overlanding comes from the places where she’s at. She shares how she goes about finding ingredients and using basic principles of cooking to create delicious meals. Carol shares the difference between baking and cooking.
Part 3 (11:48-23:09) Meal Planning for Overlanding and Camp Cooking: Carol and Jimmy discuss best practices for meal planning when it comes to extended, multi-day–or even multi-week overland trips. Carol provides action steps for buying and packing groceries for overlanding and ideas for stocking an overland kitchen (galley).
Part 4 (23:12-28:45) What to Include in Your Overland Galley / Kitchen? Carol shares essential items for setting up a reliable, capable, and efficient overland kitchen. Cook Partner Stove, dutch oven, pellet stoves, and other items are discussed along with her preferred method of storing the kit in an Alubox.
Part 5 (28:48-39:12) What’s the Best Way to Manage Your Camp Kitchen While Overlanding? Carol explains her philosophy, mindset, and approach to managing her galley while overlanding. She provides action steps for food waste, recycling, water conservation, clean-up, and sanitation. Jimmy and Carol discuss the importance of Tread Lightly! principles when it comes to cooking.
Links to products mentioned here: Sea-to-Summit Soap ; Camp Suds
Part 6 (39:13-45:20) Carol van Stralen’s Step-by-Step Method for Washing Camp Dishes: Carol explains the systems that the van Stralen family uses for overlanding, including setting up camp and the camp kitchen along with detailed instructions of how she and her family–even Lando the Adventure Dog–go about cleaning up after meals. She also addresses how to develop an effective mindset for tackling all camp chores while overlanding.
Part 7 (45:21- 51:20) The Advantages of Having Multiple Approaches to Cooking While Overlanding: Carol shares some fun camp stories based on the van Stralen’s overlanding experiences and explains the advantages of having multiple approaches to camp cooking while overlanding, including the benefits of open fire cooking and having freeze-dried meals packed along.
Useful Links: EFRT episode mentioned here (Jeep stuck in an avalanche!!) ; Pop Up Fire Pit
Part 8 (51:21-53:35) Items to Pack in Your Overland Camp Kitchen that Boost Morale: Carol and Jimmy discuss the benefits of keeping morale high in camp and how this can be done by packing special items in your camp kitchen. Carol shares what she likes to pack to keep spirits up for her own family and what you can do for yourself, your partner, or family members to keep morale high.
Part 9 (53:36-59:51) What Kind of Cutlery Do You Need to Have in Your Overland Camp Kitchen? Carol explains the importance of having a dedicated set of quality cutlery/knives in your overlanding galley kit. She shares her favorite pieces of cutlery and the benefits of aesthetics and feel in these items. Carol further shares her preferences for certain galley items and why they matter to her.
Part 10 (59:52-1:03:35) How Your Choice of Overland Vehicle Affects What You Have in Your Overland Kitchen: Carol explains how her camp galley items have changed as the van Stralens transitioned over the years from touring in an RV to overlanding in Jeeps. Carol and Jimmy discuss the benefits of having a powered source of refrigeration when overlanding.
Part 11 (1:03:35-End) How to Manage Food Allergies While Overlanding: Jimmy and Carol discuss common food allergies and how to manage them through approaches to overland cooking. Carol shares actionable tips for how to do this and how to keep a sanitary camp kitchen.
More Useful Links:
Overlanding Cookbook by Adventure Motorcyclist (Carol’s original source of cooking inspiration!)
Dan van Stralen Fire Building Techniques
Alubox (Exceptional, certified bear-resistant means of storing camp kitchen gear and food)
Tread Lightly! (Learn about all the best recommended practices and legal requirements related to keeping a clean camp and cooking on the trail!)