There’s nothing wrong with eating mac and cheese at your campsite or chomping jerky as an hors d’oeuvre. But you can do better—with a little planning and the right gear, it’s easy to create tasty meals anywhere. This is especially true when you’re overlanding. But if you want to eat well in the most remote campsites, it takes preparation and a properly provisioned rig. That means considering everything from packing the right kitchen tools for camp to using the right tires to get there. We teamed up with Toyo Tires to create a comprehensive guide to overlanding. Its tires allow you to navigate rough terrain with ease, ensuring that you—and all your ingredients for a great meal—make it to the campsite safely.
Get Tips From a Pro
The best way to cook like a pro is to learn from one. That’s why Toyo Tires partnered with Adventure Chef Adam Glick, who spent a decade sailing around the world as a private yacht chef. With extensive experience cooking professionally in challenging conditions, Glick is primed for preparing 5-star food in beautiful, remote, and off-grid locations. So outfit your rig with tires from Toyo Tires and make the best camp tacos ever with tips from Glick, in this video and recipe below.
Keep Everything Cold
To create inventive, healthy, and filling camp meals that everyone in your party will enjoy, start with an overlanding refrigerator. A fridge ensures you can carry fresh food to far-out places where you don’t have the option to buy more ice. There are many different brands to choose from, and products come in a variety of sizes that can plug into your cigarette lighter or truck bed to stay cool as you drive. At camp, you’ll want a portable battery and solar panel to keep your fridge and other electronics running as long as you’re out there.
Bring Plenty of Water
Just as essential as keeping your ingredients cold is carrying enough water for both drinking and cooking. Simple water jugs will do if you’re just out for a couple of days. But if you’ll be out for an extended period and need to refill from a nearby river or lake, bringing along a filter is a good idea. Some water storage products include a filter, and there are many gravity filter options on the market that allow you to get clean water with ease.
Dial In Your Coffee Setup
A successful day at camp or on the road always starts with good coffee, and many coffee aficionados will be excited to know that there are camp-friendly options to brew that perfect cup. There are many tools, from French presses to pour-overs to coffee grinders, to ensure your cup of joe is as good when made on your truck bed as it is on your kitchen counter.
Upgrade Your Kitchen Tools
It’s not just coffee that gets the full overlanding treatment. There are many high-quality and portable tools you’ll want to set yourself up with. Start with a knife-and-utensil set made with the outdoors in mind. Adventure Chef Adam Glick created an all-in-one set with Messermeister that even includes a cutting board, ensuring you’ll always have what you need to create amazing meals on the road. “With the right gear, you can eat just as well at camp as you do at home,” says Glick. Further raise the bar with a set of pots and pans that can pack into itself for easy storage, and a cast iron pan that you can depend on for years to come.
Sweat the Little Things
To prepare your meals, you’ll need a solid camp table. Any portable and easily storable table will work, and there are even some models that attach to the top of your tire. A packable towel or paper towels are good to have around to keep your surfaces clean as you go, and you’ll also want to bring a system to wash your dishes. Biodegradable soap, a sponge, and two tubs—one for washing and one for rinsing—make that easy.
Invest in a Quality Stove
Now it’s time to get to the actual cooking. If your rig has enough room, bring two stoves. A straightforward workhorse two-burner camp stove is great for quickly boiling water for that morning coffee or an evening pasta dish. (Use a refillable propane canister to keep your waste down.) Other cooking can then happen on a flattop set over a fire, where you’ll be able to nail everything from bacon and eggs to steaks and veggies.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
With a good cooler or refrigerator, there’s no need to worry about bringing your favorite proteins, vegetables, and other perishables on the road. “Don’t think that you can’t bring everything,” says Glick, “because you can.” As for choosing a recipe, you’re limited only by your own imagination as long as you plan appropriately. Prepping any batters, marinades, or sauces ahead will save you time and mess once you’re at your destination. Cook smart and make batches of each element once you’re there, so you can enjoy the meal alongside your friends instead of being relegated to kitchen duty all night long.
Overlanding allows you to bring the comforts and flavors of home with you into the remote wilderness, so why not take full advantage of that with a chef-level outdoor kitchen setup? At the end of the day (or first thing in the morning), enjoying delicious food in a beautiful location with your friends is an experience you won’t soon forget. Check out the recipe below for an upgraded camp classic from Adventure Chef Adam Glick and Toyo Tires.
Recipe: Adam Glick’s Off the Trail Tacos
- 1 or 2 beef steaks (your preference)
- 1 red onion
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 bunch cilantro (rolled in paper)
- 1 avocado
- 3 radishes
- Queso Fresco (jack cheese works too)
- 2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning
- 2 one gallon ziploc bags
- 1 pack flour tortillas
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil
- Thinly slice and or dice beef steaks and the red onion and add to a gallon zip-top bag. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, a big pinch of salt and pepper, and your Mexican spices. Shake it up and refrigerate until it’s time to cook.
- Thinly slice red onion, jalapeños and radishes, add to a different zip-top bag with sugar and vinegar. Shake it up to combine everything and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.
At the Campsite:
- Fire up a flat pan, or flat iron and heat until slightly smoking (medium high).
- Add a bit of oil and cook your marinated steak on medium high heat. Let the meat get a good color on all sides, mixing occasionally until fully cooked. Set aside.
- Clean your pan and reset to fry your tortilla at medium heat.
- Add a tortilla size amount of cheese directly to your pan, place your tortilla directly on top of the cheese. Fry the cheese until it releases using a spatula, giving you a crispy cheesy layer to your tortilla.
- Fill your cheesy taco shell with beef and the pickled onions you prepped at home. Top with cilantro, avocado and more cheese and ENJOY!
The Vegetarian Upgrade: Fried Avocado
- Avocados (enough for your group)
- Tempura Batter or Eggs and Flour
- Neutral Oil to fry
- Mix up your tempura batter ahead of time to avoid unnecessary dishes and waste at camp by mixing together flour and eggs into a thick batter.
At the Campsite:
- Fill a pan about halfway with neutral oil and heat to medium high.
- Cut your avocados into quarters or eighths and dip into the tempura batter to cover completely.
- Place dipped tempura into the oil a few pieces at a time and fry until golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.
- Enjoy in your cheesy tortilla shells with cilantro and pickled onions.
Toyo Tires® has delivered innovation, quality, and performance for 75 years. Well-known for the Open Country® line of light truck and SUV tires, the company offers a tire for nearly every vehicle including crossovers, sports cars, and luxury sedans. Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in Georgia. Find the right tire and an authorized dealer at toyotires.com.