Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Nourishment

I want to eat and stay healthy while traveling.  I decided to fore go any refrigeration in the Prius to save space (even though we have several 5-day coolers and a 12v refrigerator).

I carry enough food for a least a week, sometimes as much as I'd need for a month.  Most of it is dehydrated.  I avoid canned foods due to the weight they add (the Prius has a 780 lb maximum payload).

Pantry box on front passenger seat.
My "pantry box" usually contains -- dry milk, quick oats, minute rice, dehydrated black beans, chicken bullion, black pepper, peanut butter, dried cranberries, walnuts, raw cashews, freeze dried veggies, tea bags, and a homemade latte/protein mix*.   (Note: I now use a duffle bag instead of a hard plastic box because it doesn't take up as much room when it's not full.)  Sometimes I have whole-grain bread or crackers, ramen noodles, cans of V8 juice, apple sauce cups, fresh bananas and apples.  Once I decide what I'm going to eat for the day, I put it all in a small lunch bag for easy access.

Small lunch bag pre-filled with the day's meals.
Those items that come packaged in a box, get repackaged into storage bags to save room.  The same goes for the vitamin supplements.  That is, I pour each out of its bottle into a labeled storage bag.  This is a big space saver, especially when bottles have only a few pills left.

Also, I find it easier if I pre-package meals.  For example, I put a single serving of oatmeal in a small storage bag, adding dried milk, cranberries, and walnuts for a complete breakfast.  Or, mix a single serving of minute rice, dehydrated black beans and freeze dried veggies with chicken bullion for a dinner meal.  To "cook" these pre-mixed meals, I put them in a bowl and add hot water.  Or, usually, I put them in a 12v mug with water and drive until fully heated.  I saved these "used" storage bag for making more pre-packaged meals.

A typical day's meals might include:  a protein latte*; oatmeal, banana; peanut butter sandwich, apple; rice and beans with veggies, and cashews. 

If driving through town, I'll sometimes stop for a fast food salad, chicken sandwich, or chili.  My weak spot are Starbucks soy lattes.  Also, when I go to the grocery store, I'll often purchase something that needs refrigeration to eat right away, for example, yogurt, cheese, sandwich spread, etc.

So that I drink enough water, I pre-fill 5 water bottles each day, filtering if necessary.   I also carry 2 additional 1-gallon water containers.

I carry a 1-burner butane stove, mostly to heat water.  (Note: I no longer carry a Kelly Kettle as I found I didn't use it.)

To clean utensils and dishes, I scrape off any remaining food immediately, spray with a vinegar-water solution (disinfects), and then wipe clean.   I typically use a 12v mug, a small tea kettle, 1 plastic bowl, paper bowls, knife, fork, spoon and the small pans that came with the Kelly Kettle.  I use a pocket knife for chopping and slicing.  I also use paper towels (instead of plates) for sandwiches and fruit.

Although I enjoy cooking when at my sticks-and-bricks home, I don't seem to miss it while on the road.


*Latte Protein Drink
     - good warm or cold
     - ingredients:
            - Optimum 100% Whey Protein (vanilla ice cream flavor),
            - dry milk powder (to make 1 cup milk per serving), and
            - Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee (extra strong).
     - mixed in bulk
     - 1-gallon storage bag = 2 weeks of servings


posted 2/2011, edited 5/2013

27 comments:

  1. Where do you get a 1 burner propane stove?

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    1. Amazon. Not pricey.

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    2. Amazon.
      Not pricey.

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  2. I would love a demo of your cooking techniques with the kelly kettle and stove.
    Hugs,
    Bri

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  3. I went to Amazon... Holy moley there are so many one burner thingy's. Got any advice on one. Since you have one and it has been put to the test... What do you advise? I also looked at the 12 volt mugs. Jeesh. Soooo many.
    I think the one burner stove is a much better idea for me. It would take up less space and I am only cooking for me.
    Thank you for all your posts. SOOOOOOO helpful.
    kidiekat

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  4. I see I said a one-burner propane stove. I actually use a one-burner butane stove. I'll go back and edit the post to read correctly. As you've correctly noted there's lots of choices out there. I think I paid $20 for mine many years ago. This one looks like the one I use -- http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Butane-Gas-Range-Stove/dp/B00170F0J8/ref=sr_1_15?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1369500218&sr=1-15&keywords=butane+stove

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  5. Bless your heart. I'm gonna check it out. I love your posts. They have been so helpful. I was starting to think I might not be able to do this but reading your travels through New Orleans were inspiring.
    Just finished my first yard sale. ICK. How am I gona get rid of all this stuffffffffff! Holy cow what a job.
    Thanks again
    kidiekat
    PS I found you from Mr Bob's forum.

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    1. I hear ya Kidiekat...I am 67 (woman) and have spent five years downsizing. You wouldn't believe all the yard sales I've had, auctions, people and Goodwills I've donated to. And STILL have a garage full :( I need a fire! Just kidding. I've come to the conclusion that I just need to put the last of it in storage and pay the price if I am ever going to get out of here and do this. It could be a security blanket in case it turns out a bad experience. Not all my ideas are good ones. I can't wait to meet some of these awesome people, including you and Suanne. Send me a note sometime and we'll check up on our progress : ) butterflyacres2@yahoo.com

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  6. The latte drink sounds delish. How much of each item do I add to the gallon bag. Then when I mix the drink how much do I put in each cup for coffee in the morning.
    Thank you for so many great ideas.
    kidiekat

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  7. For the latte drink mentioned in this post I made 100 servings which, in turn, makes about 6 gallon bags of the mixture. The serving size is 3/4 cup dry mixture into 16oz warm water. (Don't put in hot water or the protein power will curdle). The recipe is 2940g Optimum 100% Whey Protein (vanilla ice cream flavor), 34 cups dry milk powder, and 3 3.53oz jars of Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee (extra strong coffee flavor). Mix well and store in gallon-size storage bags.

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  8. Currently, my recipe is a bit different. For 100 servings it's 1000g Optimum 100% Whey Protein (vanilla ice cream flavor), 34 cups dry milk powder. To 10oz of warm water, I add 1/2 cup of the dry mixture and 1 packet of Starbucks VIA instant coffee.

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  9. I'd suggest that you experiment with a variety of ingredients to see what flavors you enjoy in a morning protein drink.

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  10. Thank you. I have found the whey on amazon. I am anxious to try this. It will be an easy morning drink for me. I have ordered the milk chocolate whey too.
    Thank you for your patience
    kidiekat

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  11. Hi Suanne,

    Where do you get your freeze dried beans and veggies? Thanks.

    Scottie

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  12. Hi Scottie,
    The freeze dried beans were purchased from Amazon.com (freeze dried organic refried). I purchased a small amount of freeze dried veggies from Whole Foods, but they were very expensive. So, I got a dehydrator and dry my own veggies now. It's been a long while since I shopped around; so, you may be able to find some good deals now. Hope that helps.

    Happy Trails, Suanne

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  13. I just Love reading about you & all your travels. ... Your so awesome!!!! Keep up the great work !!!!

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  14. Self pre-packaged meals using dehydrated foods in storage bags is a brilliant idea, saving space, weight and not needing refrigeration. Ideal for extended boondocking trips! Why didn't I think of this? I have been interested in vandwelling since 2007 but yet to make the plunge. Suanne, you are and inspiration and a wealth of useful information. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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    1. I'm so glad you found this information useful. Thanks and safe travels. Suanne

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  15. You are an inspiration, and today I realized that I am on a similar path for sure, I am no longer on the sideline. I'm in no hurry I have two houses, and lots of stuff to sell and give away, but I will get there in time. I really appreciate your sharing of your life on the road. Peace my friend and I hope to see you somewhere out there. peace -s

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    1. Thanks for checking out my blog Shad. The best to you on your own journey.

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  16. Hey Suanne, we just caught your Youtube interview. We've often thought of camping in our Previa passenger van but never in our Prius. Well done! Regarding food: when we hiked the Chilkoot, we dried all our food and single-serving packaged it so all we had to do was add boiling water and wait 10 minutes. We dried spaghetti sauce (the no-meat kind) and after it was dried into a sheet, blended it into a powder. We fried up hamburger and then added hot water to lift the fat (it can turn rancid) then sieved and dried the result. We cooked macaroni (so the starches get cooked) and dried that. Once you put that all together with some dried mushrooms or peppers, you've got amazing pasta and sauce. We also made coleslaw with dried carrots and cabbage, add a few raisins and carry a small oil and vinegar dressing bottle. Are you interested in recipes?

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    1. Thanks Richard. You are much more sophisticated in your food preparation than I have been. I'm impressed. If I ever find myself more than a week from a market, I may feel motivated to be more elaborate than I have been. Congrats on hiking the Chilkoot ... sounds wonderful!

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    2. Hi Richard I'm interested in recipes ;-)... Do you have a site/blog or can you email me (southern.nomad@yahoo.com)

      Hi Suanne! Love your blog and your videos, hate I had to miss RTR this year, cant wait to meet you out on the road!!!

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  17. Could I run a 12 volt dometic fridge on the prius' battery?

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    1. Yes, BUT your car will need to stay in Ready Mode when parked so as not to run down your battery. The other option is to get a house battery and have your fridge run off of that. My friend Brent has recently installed Lithium house batteries. He's made several blog posts explaining what he did. If you start at the link below and read several more posts after that, it'll give you an overview -- http://macaloney.blogspot.com/2016/10/prius-house-battery-migration-from-gel.html

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