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Overlanding Tricks Of The Trade

What everyone should think about before going on an overlanding trip. We evolve as we experience. Here are a few tips on storage and food handling to help you get started.


The first part of storage is keeping your items dry and dust free. When you’re on the trail, dust is everywhere! I would grab a couple weather tight storage totes. Ziploc makes some inexpensive weather shield storage boxes in all sizes for your needs.

Next, a food vacuum sealer is a handy tool. You can vacuum seal your meats and freeze them before your trip. This will take less space in your 12v fridge/cooler, keeps it dry, and makes it last longer. While you’re at it with the vacuum sealer, you can pre-make full meals, seal them up and all you need to do is drop the pack in boiling water. Bam! Home cooked meal in an instant. Folks will think you slaved over that one burner all day.

I can’t tell you how handy Ziploc plastic storage bags are of all sizes. For example, put your Minute rice in a Ziploc instead of the box. Everything in a box can go in a bag to save a ton of space. Keep those used bags for garbage storage till you get to a place to dump your trash. Keep the bag airtight and watertight, and the garbage odor stays in the bag not in the truck.

Last item on storage is a cooler or 12v. fridge. If you’re going with a cooler, buy one with a good seal and locking lid. That way your ice will last longer and bouncing around won’t spill liquid out. There are a few different 12v. fridges on the market. I prefer them better than a cooler because I’m not dealing with the ice issue. But it’s all about the cost when starting out.

Back up foods:

Back up foods on a trip are important. If your cooler system fails or you’re having a good time and just want to stay the extra day or two. Here is a list of a few items I pack most of the time. Freeze dried meal/MRE and dry goods like rice or dry soups(ramen). Canned goods such as tuna, spam, canned chicken, and fruit work well. Potatoes and onions are nice because they don’t need to be refrigerated.

The simple things:

These items should always be in the tote to go a day or a week: spry oil, salt/pepper, mustard packs, ketchup packs, mayo and hot sauce. Use wraps instead of bread; they take up less space and have a longer shelf life. Plan your cooking to match your cooking gear. Make complete meal packs. Keep it simple, you want to enjoy the trail.

Be Eco friendly:

If you use paper plates and bowls with bamboo forks/spoons and knives you can toss em in the fire when your finished. An easy clean up!

Cooking devices:

This all depends on how much room you have. You can get a lot done on a Jet boil, but a double burner stove sure makes life easier. If you really want some fun there’s the Timbo Tusk Skottle. Your camp pots should match you stove. Remember space is important, that means one burner, one pot, and one frying pan. Don’t forget the cooking spoon, slotted spoon, spatula, and pot strainer for your noodles.

Clean up:

Use two collapsible dishpans to save storage space. One with dish soap the other with a small amount of bleach in the water to sanitize. Also, you can use a spray bottle full of water to rinse your dishes to conserve water. A dish brush vs a sponge. The dish brush is a better choice because it can be cleaned and dried after use. The sponge in a plastic bag on a hot summer weekend? Speaks for itself-Yuck!

I hope this article gives you food for thought.

Johnny Ranger

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