The kitchen set up in The Lost Wanderer is pretty minimal. Cooking in the van is difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. There’s no sink for dish washing and only a small amount of room to move about. Luckily, we figured some of this out before we moved out of our house, which gave us some trial and error before we started van dwelling. Here is our kitchen set-up:
- Single Burner Stove with its own carrying case – We got this for pretty cheap at Wal-Mart and it runs on Butane. The cans are pretty cheap and last a full hour of cooking. Most things I cook do not take an hour and I do not cook every night. We are still on our first can. We can safely stick the burner on its own case while cooking and not worry about it melting due to the heat the burner puts off.
- Tote of Supplies – I have a clear, flat tote I keep all my kitchen supplies in. Everything not food or our stove fits in this tote.
- Dishes and Silverware – We use paper plates and bowls for everything since we do not have a sink to clean stuff in. We bought cheap plastic plates and bowls to hold the paper products on in case of leakage. It makes the flimsy paper plates a bit sturdier. For silverware we go to the Dollar Tree nearby an pick up plastic silverware. A pack of 48 is a dollar. You get spoons, forks, and knives. Not a bad deal considering the same box at Wal-mart is $4.
- Pot and Pan – We have a tiny pot and a skillet for cooking. I have only used the small pot so far. We bring our dirty dishes to my Mother’s house to give them a quick wash. The Minion (our dog) helps with the pre-rinse until we can get to Mom’s. He is very good at his job. I plan on getting a cast iron skillet since you do not need to clean those, only wipe them down when you are done.
- Misc Utensils – We have a hand-powered can opener, tongs, a spatula, a slotted spoon, and a strainer in the Kitchen Supply Tote as well. I have only had a need to use the can opener so far.
- The Cooler – We have a Styrofoam cooler we keep all our food in. None of the food we buy needs refrigeration, so only dry goods go in there. We tried using bags of ice to keep everything cool, but it melted too fast and the cooler just got musty. One big issue we had was Captain Little Dude’s milk. He has an allergy to Cow Protein and can’t have beef or milk, so we have to buy him soy milk or almond milk. Both require refrigeration and only last 14 days after opening. Luckily, we found single serving containers of his Almond Milk that do not need to be refrigerated until after they are opened. So score us!