What’s in Her Bag: Our Camp/Van Food Box
The ‘What’s in Her Bag’ section is one of my favorite things to do each week. Each week, I’m featuring the everyday/gym/race day/sport-specific/food bag of an athlete that I love, or sharing what’s in my own bag. We started with my everyday bag, pro cyclist and RD Lori Nedescu of Hungry for Results shared her favorite stuff, as did badass triathlete Nicole Loher. This week, I’m looking at our food box that comes with us in the van and on our camping trips—I just overhauled it, so it’s brimming with useful things!
What’s in my food kit?
Small Cutting Board + Good Knife
When I wrote Fuel Your Ride, MTBer and pro chef Georgia Gould told me the best investment you could make was in a good knife. She was SO right, so we carry a decent one in our food box and have one at home. It makes chopping up veg for salads on the fly (our grocery store parking lot meal of choice) super easy, and it’s super easy to keep food reasonably healthy while camping when you have the right equipment to prepare things with!
Primus Camp Stove
We just got the Primus Essentials set, with two sauce pans, a frying pan, and a stove that has a built in windscreen. It’s a little bulky, but for novice campers/people who prefer to set and forget, this is a much easier to work with setup. Peter tested it out roadside for coffee and was done in under 8 minutes from start to finish, counting grinding and boiling and pouring over, and it was perfect for making beefy meals at our campsite.
Wine glasses + corkscrew
I’ve tried drinking out of our mugs and it’s fine but if you’re camping or on the road for a while, it’s nice to have camping wine glasses. It’s a little extra, but it is nice. And, of course, never forget a corkscrew! Bonus points: an airtight wine bottle-sealer.
I love Yeti insulated mugs for the ability to keep things hot or cold, and having ours has been awesome for summer and winter excursions.
We used to grab plastic stuff and use it once or twice, but we’ve started carrying just regular everyday cutlery in the van’s glove box and in our food box to cut down on how much plastic we’re grabbing all the time.
Can Opener + Spatula
For obvious cooking reasons.
Plates and Silicone Collapsible Bowls
I love these silicone bowls with lids because before this last camping trip, I made overnight oats in them, then was able to microwave them in the morning. Plus since the bowls collapse, they don’t take up as much space!
I’m actually campaigning to shift our cheap bulky travel kettle to this collapsible lightweight one for easier stowing, but regardless, a kettle is super helpful for whenever you do have electricity and need to make coffee on the fly. We bring it more to be used when we get to places where we’re going to be in an Airbnb or host housing for extended amounts of time. (We skipped it last winter and I was so annoyed not having it that I ended up buying one for the house we were in and just leaving it there at the end of the trip.)
This is actually a spot I’m working on. We have a silicone pourover that I really like, and I’m thinking about getting this mesh reusable filter for it. But we also have a French Press that’s leaking a bit and we’re considering replacing with this stealthy looking one. We also bring a hand-grinder.
Dish/Clothing Washing Stuff
I forgot to restock this before our last trip, but never again. I use a gel flask to hold dish soap to prevent spillage, plus bring a sponge and towel. I also always have wipes in there, for quick cleanups, camp bathroom situations, cleaning hands while on the road, a quick night face wash if needed, etc. Shockingly useful in a million situations. We also always have a bit of detergent and a clothesline for laundry anywhere / to dry towels while camping.
I’m slowly swapping baggies for more reusable silicone ones, but right now I’m using the ones I do have to keep things organized. It takes up less space than fabric pouches, plus if we need to use one for food storage, it’s no big deal to empty out the cutlery that’s in it to do so.
We obviously bring bags of food, but this is what’s always in the food box.
We keep bags of black tea for times when coffee just isn’t going to happen, plus some herbal favorites. I love a ginger tea when I’m camping because it’s warm at night, settles your stomach, aids digestion, and can just be a really refreshing change from coffee (and if you’ve been on the go for a lot of hours, trust me, it’s much more clean testing than yet another cup of coffee or black tea. It’s not quite brushing your teeth level but it is close!).
Sauce Packets, PB Pouches and Spices
We’ll sometimes carry a full hot sauce, but generally, we just keep a few packets of hot sauce, ketchup and mustard on hand for quick use. Amazing what just a little bit of flavor can do! I also have some single serve peanut butter pouches that are great for hiking or quick snacks, and a small refillable spice container that can stash a few different spice options. (I love this camping one)
Olive oil FTW. Just always good to have stocked.
For camping situations where the water source isn’t super tasty, for post-long hikes, for sweaty days, or for a refreshing change when you kind of are craving a soda but know you should stay healthier, I love nuun electrolyte tabs—especially strawberry lemonade. (You can also use old nuun canisters for your spice kit!)
Again, for when you’re filtering water or just unsure of water quality, never a bad idea to have iodine tabs on hand.
Let me know if you’re into these, and if you have an athlete you’d like to see featured. We just featured Lori Nedescu of Hungry For Results and badass triathlete Nicole Loher and I am STOKED!