I’ve been getting so many lovely, thoughtful, inquisitive emails from people and I’m sorry to say it’s become impossible for me to answer all of them. Most of you want to hit the road – for a long weekend, for a few weeks or months and some of you want to go full nomad. I’d love to help each and every one of you set yourselves free, but if I spent that much time at the keyboard answering emails, I wouldn’t be living the kind of life I want to be living. Selfish, yes, but therein lies part of the secret to my free living success.
My solution to this ridiculously flattering conundrum is to start answering some of these queries on the Blonde Coyote:
What do you eat? Being a solo traveler (with your dogs of course) it’s probably a bummer to cook very often. I’m just curious, what do you like to eat? What is a favorite recipe? I ask because I hate to cook. In fact, I’m pretty interested in all of the liquid diets I’ve heard about. If I could get a healthy ‘meal replacement’ shake that satisfied me, I’d probably drink it two times a day.
I hear you, Todd. I’d love to drink a shake or take a pill twice a day and call it a meal. My favorite recipe? PB&J. Seriously. I’ve never blogged about what I eat because I am the most boring cook. I really have very little interest in food, other than what I need to eat to fuel my hiking.
Here is my grocery list: bread, pb, jam, oatmeal, granola bars, eggs, cheese, crackers, pasta/ sauce, black beans, tortillas, lots of fruits and veggies. That’s really about it. Nothing fancy and all relatively inexpensive, though I do try to buy organic, which can get pricey, especially in small towns. I love shopping at little Ma and Pa grocers, the older the better; it’s amazing how much you can learn about a place by seeing what the locals eat! on average, I spend about $50 a week on food and only eat out once or twice a week. I’m mostly vegetarian, unless somebody else cooks me a tasty meaty meal. In fact, I like to say I’m a recovering vegetarian. I was a full on strict hard core vegetarian for about 19 years from the time I was 6 (I loved animals too much to eat them) until I was 25 and I’m still not much for meat. Every now and then I’ll have a victory burger when I’ve earned it, but I never cook meat myself or keep it in my camper.
Despite all my ambivalence about food, the Teardrop is pretty well set up for cooking. The kitchen slides out the back and has a single propane burner and more counter space than I’ve had in most apartments. A couple of years ago for Christmas, my dear mother gave me a propane camping oven, which can bake a cake and has two top burners. It mostly lives under the bed inside the camper and comes out for special occasions when I make the world’s best cookie or when somebody else is joining me for a meal. I have a standing offer to several friends to copilot if they do all the cooking!
My latest food innovation is a portable fridge, which I keep in the trunk of the Rover and run off the car battery while it’s running. If I’m parked for a few days, I can plug it into the solar system in my Teardrop, but I have it stocked with cold packs and a jug of water that help keep the temperature cool. I always hated buying ice and dealing with wet and spoiled food so this is a fantastic upgrade for me. It didn’t stop me from getting food poisoning this week though. No fault of the fridge, I just think I got a bad egg. 😦
Speaking of food, this might be a good time to address what I do for water, which is a far more important question than food, if you ask me (though nobody has asked it yet!). I carry about 12 gallons with me in several containers: a 6 gallon, a 3 gallon and three 1 gallon BPA-free refillables, all of which sit on the backseat floorboards. I try to fill up at visitor centers and rest stops for free, otherwise I pay around 30 cents a gallon at grocery stores. Without a stream nearby for the dogs to drink out of, 12 gallons can last the three of us between 4 and 6 days. If the dogs have their own source I can stretch it well over a week. Those boys drink a lot of water! I pretty much drink water all the time, occasionally flavored with crystal light or more often, brewed into tea. I’ve never had a taste for soda, coffee or alcohol, which has probably saved me thousands of dollars over the years. 🙂
Got a question about life on the road? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.