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Cooking Gear for Travel

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I cook my own food when traveling, I’ve written about the benefits of cooking your own meals many times before on this site. When in camp on bicycle trips, when in hotel rooms, when making a travel hub in an apartment I will generally cook at least one meal a day for myself.

This is the cooking gear that I always carry with me:

  • -A stainless steel plate that has a high lip so it can second as a bowl. I also will flip it upside down and use it as a cutting board.
  • -2 Pots so that I can cook a starch (rice, noodles) in one and my meat and vegetables in the other.
  • -Silverware. Nothing special here.
  • -A can opener. This is optional as cans can be opened with a spoon.
  • -A corkscrew. Also optional, as corks can be removed with a pocket knife.
  • -A pocket knife.
  • -A tuna can alcohol camp stove. If I don’t have access to a stove in a kitchen I will use my homemade tuna can stove. (Learn how to make a tuna can stove here.) If I’m staying in a hub for a month or two I will sometimes buy an electric burner and use this instead.
  • -I keep this cooking gear wrapped up tight in a dry bag. (Read about these dry bags here.)

I prefer stainless steel cooking gear to plastic, aluminum, glass, or Teflon alternatives, as this material is extremely durable, it can be placed on a live flame, and does not contaminate the food. Stainless steel pots and plates are also pretty cheap in many places in the world — though they can sometimes be difficult to find.

Cooking gear in action

My cooking gear is not extensive or in any way expensive, but it gets the job done. Carrying this gear gives me the liberty to go beyond relying on restaurants for my sustenance, allows me to eat cheaper and healthier, and, in the end, makes me a more self-sufficient traveler.

This article is part of the Vagabond Cookbook.

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Filed under: Travel Gear

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap