One of the most basic things to take for an Overlanding trip, after some camping gear, is cooking equipment! After a long day of exploring and embarking on epic journeys, your vehicle needs some fuel, and so do you. So, after fuelling up your vehicle you’re going to the campsite for the night and go and look what you’ll be eating for tonight. However, you didn’t bring any equipment. In this guide, I will show you the basic cooking equipment you’ll need to make some nice meals for you, your family, and your friends.

Outdoor cooking

What Cooking Equipment do I need?

In this guide, I’m going to show you the basic equipment you need to have a great time exploring the outdoors and having some great dinner to go with that.

The basics you’re going to need consist of a portable stove to warm up the food, a skillet or some sort of pot to cook your food, a fridge to keep the food cool for the long trip, and some cooking tools to prepare your food.

Without wasting any more of your precious time, let’s dive right in, so you go back to embarking on epic journeys and exploring the great outdoors in no time!

Portable Stove

The first thing you’ll want to take with you is a portable stove. This stove can be put in the back of your rig. It’s very compact and light, but with it, you can make some delicious meals!

portable stove

There are a few options for a portable stove, but the most popular will probably be the stove that runs on propane or butane. This kind of stove usually costs anywhere from $50 to $100. For a ranked list of the 3 best camping stoves, take a look at my blog post!

You do have to think about taking a bottle or tank of gas with you, which takes up some space in your vehicle. However, you might already take one with you for other applications.

If your campsite allows it you could also just make your own fire. This can be done with a tripod over a fire or by creating a log rocket stove. However, in most wild camping places this isn’t allowed because of wildfire hazards, but if they do, this is an excellent option.

When creating your own stove isn’t allowed, then you’re going to want to take a metal version of a rocket stove. There are products that let you make your own fire in a safe and sensible way to cook some food. This is a great option when you want to keep it small and don’t want to carry cans of gas with you.

Rocket stove

For a recommendation for a portable stove, take a look at my blog post about essential overlanding equipment.


When you’ve got your stove, the next thing you’re going to want to take with you is some sort of skillet and/or small pan. With this skillet, you’re able to fry or bake yourself and your travel companions some nice food. From a steak to a stew, you can make it with a skillet.


Now that you can cook, bake, or fry your food, you now need something to cook some water. That’s why you should take a pot of some kind. You can cook some water to make a nice cup of coffee, a nice bowl of soup, or even clean some water.



This piece of equipment is optional, however, it might be the nicest to take with you on a trip. Other than nice pieces of meat or some vegetables, you could keep your drinks cool, keep the chocolate snacks from melting, or keep stuff for breakfast from going bad.

There’s a large scale of portable fridges available, ranging from small to very large. Things you should look out for is the power the fridge needs. Small fridges can often be powered by the 12V output provided in the car. The bigger ones might need an extra battery. Depending on your rig, you might already have one.

Also, fridges can cost a lot more money than a stove. Portable fridges usually start from $100. This would be the basic, boring, simple fridge. If you go with something better it can cost you $300 and up.

With the fridge in your rig, you can make much more fresh and interesting meals. This is good for your health, but it’s also nice to mix things up and not eat the same meal for 5 nights in a row.

Cooking Tools

With cooking comes the tools to cook with. Whether you’re just taking a spatula or a complete set of kitchen supplies, take something so you don’t have to touch the food with your bare hands and probably burn yourself in the process.

A basic set will consist of a spatula, a tong, a ladle, and maybe something like a pasta server if you want to get really fancy. You should of course not forget to take some cutlery to eat the food with. You can get something convenient like a spork (spoon, knife, fork) but if you’re not about that, just take something from home.


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