If you have never been on a road trip I highly suggest you start planning one ASAP. If you have been, then just reach around and give yourself a pat on the back. With the current cost of gas, the value of the Canadian dollar and summer on the horizon, there is no better time than now to hit the road in Canada.
To do that, the first thing you need is a trusty automobile, some friends, lots of music and a destination. To help you pick a destination, check out some of these reads:
Know where you are going now? Perfect. Check out the lists below to find out what to pack for a road trip this summer…
Road Trips To & Through Major Cities
If you are going through a major city or to a few populated areas most likely you will want to try the local cuisine. So splurge on dinner but know that eating out can get spendy night after night. So, to stay on a budget but still splurge on a meal a day, pack the essentials for lunch and breakfast. Doing this will allow you to still brag about the amazing lobster you had on the east coast or the amazing Quebecois cuisine in Quebec City without breaking the bank. To do this simply follow the 5-day packing list and take out the dinners items marked with an *.
5 Day Food Shopping List For Remote Road Trips. (Remote Canadian National Parks, Music Festivals & Across Country)
Here is where it gets fun. What you bring will be your main source of food for the next couple days. It is important to bring a variety because take it from me eating solely granola bars for a couple days can really make you go a little crazy.
- Cooler – Look for a cooler with a flat top that way you can use as a prep station for food or as a seat while eating.
- Reusable containers – Keeps your leftovers fresh.
- Plates, Bowls, Cups & Sporks –You can get an enamel set at somewhere like MEC or any Army Surplus store. If you don’t have access to many retailers look for hard plastic ones at a dollar store. Either way, get something reusable and make sure everyone has their own plate, bowl, mug and a spork as they are a hot commodity once you get on the road.
- Lighters – One is never enough.
- A Good Knife & Headlamp – Try cooking with a dull knife and a flashlight in one hand and tell me I am wrong.
- Jetboil or similar portable camping stove. (Don’t forget the gas)
- Aero Press & Ground CoffeeNut Milk – Choose Almond, Cashew or Coconut (Nut Milk doesn’t need to be refrigerated before opening and keeps longer than cow milk on the road)
- Big Box of Grainy Cereal
- Box of Granola Bars & Fruit Sticks
- Couple bags of Tortilla Chips or similar salty-crunchy snacks
- Couple Bags of local fruit & veggies – If you are in an area of Canada where you can buy fruit and veggies on the side of the road do it! There is nothing like fresh from the farm Okanogan cherries or Niagara-on-the-lake Peaches.
- Peanut Butter – Great quick protein that can be used on anything. (If you are allergic to nuts… I am sorry. Try hummus instead.)
- Organic Sausages – Very easy to cook over the fire or on the portable stove. I usually grab some chorizo sausages and then use them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you don’t eat meat grab one of the many veggie options.*
- Couple cans of black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, olives and tomatoes.
- Couple cans of soup – Mix any soup with quinoa for a filling meal.
- Cooking Oil – I bring Coconut Oil as you can use it for cooking, sunburns, toast and dry hair.
- Can of Coconut Milk & Curry Paste- for Thai night *
- Some Potatoes – for Canadian night * (If you are cooking over a campfire bring tin foil)
- Tomato Sauce & Noodles – for Italian night*
- Salsa, Avocados, Fajita Seasoning and Shredded Cheese – for Mexican night *
- Lettuce or Cabbage – Cabbage lasts longer than lettuce. Your call.
- Tortilla Wraps – Anything as a wrap tastes better.
- Fresh Eggs – Most countries in the world don’t refrigerate eggs… just sayin’.
- Bag of Quinoa – Easier to cook than rice (1 cup water to 1 cup quinoa) and keeps longer. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cook a large portion and store it in your reusable containers for later.
- Marshmallows, Chocolate & Graham Crackers – For that iconic campfire night. If you can’t have fires try roasting them over your portable stove.
- Spices & Sauces – This can make or break your road trip cook game. Bring salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, honey, hot sauce, mustard and soy sauce. You can pretty much make anything taste better with these ingredients.
- Biodegradable Soap & A Sponge – Biodegradable soap allows you to wash your plates anywhere (like in the lake) and not hurt the environment. I use Peppermint Pure-Castile Liquid Soap from Dr Bronner’s but any type does the trick.
These are the essentials that will get you through and in no way are they glorious. I usually rotate through the menu nightly: Canadian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and Thai, as they can all be made with the same base ingredients and different spices. Meat is hard to bring on the road due to varying temperatures, that is why precooked sausages or jerky are your best bet. If you are going to a lake that allows fishing, try and catch your dinner. The hunt makes you appreciate where your food comes from. If you are vegetarian or vegan, life on the road is pretty easy as you can eat a raw based diet and be a happy-veggie-loving-camper.
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