In 2017 we packed up our life, and quit the 9-5 to head out into the world. We came with no expectations, we only wanted to experience life. Since we have left, we have packed more fun and adventure into our lives than we ever could have imagined. Being on the road now for over a year, has brought with it the freedom to explore what it is that we want to do to create an income for ourselves, the time to pay attention to the things that are truly important to us, and the adventure to truly make life fun and interesting once again. We left seeking an exciting life, and we have not been disappointed! Join us as we explore as much of this big old world that we can!
Back when we were getting rid of all of our stuff, selling our house, and closing down our previous lives, we were given an amazing piece of advice by a friend of mine. She had seen an article, somewhere on facebook, and she shared the article with me. It was a post suggesting that if you want to be a full time traveller, you should consider taking a kitchen kit along with you.
It was not something that we had considered at that point, but it made so much sense! How often do you get to an Air BnB or Hostel and the utensils are inadequate. You can’t find something to take hot items out of the oven, the knives are ridiculously dull, the carrot peeler is piece of garbage. It’s so true! It literally happens ALL OF THE TIME!
Are you a foodie?
Well, if you are a foodie like us, and you love to cook your own food, I encourage you to consider creating a small kitchen kit that you can take around with you. We use EVERY item in our kit on a regular basis, and we have even gone so far as to saying that, besides our electronics, it is our most valued possession!
Although, in the article, there were suggestions of what she would bring in her kitchen kit, we have tailored her list to our needs, PLUS we have also found unique items to add to it along the way.
I can’t say enough about how much we have enjoyed having Our Nomadic Kitchen! It has saved our bacon so many times, and it’s just nice to know that we have what we need, and can really prepare a meal anywhere and have the right tools for the job.
I know this isn’t everyones cup of tea. Many travellers like to travel with only the maximum amount to fill carryon bags, but it’s safe to say that we all travel differently, and we all have our own priorities. My partner and I travel really slow! We prefer to stay in most places that we go for long terms, 1 month minimum, if possible, and because we aren’t moving around too much, more luggage works for us. We find that Our Nomadic Kitchen is a necessary and important trade off for our comfort on the road.
Check out what is in Our Nomadic Kitchen!
Our Daily Adventure Kit:
This sub-kit travels around with us in our day pack once we reach our destination. This part of our kit gives us the tools we need to reduce waste in the world when we are eating out.
Included in this is:
3 Pieces of Bee’s Wrap – These pieces of fabric are coated in beeswax, which means you can fold them around food, and they will stick to themselves, keeping your food contained. We use these for non-liquid leftovers, to wrap breads and other snacks for picnics etc.
Cheese Bag – The brown bag you see is actually designed for cheese making, which it also has been used for, however, we use it more for getting items from the market, washing vegetables, and using it as a giant tea bag for making large batches of teas.
Metal Straws – Of course we are now all familiar with the destruction that straws cause in our world. Many places we travel already don’t serve straws with drinks, which is great, but we are also happy to tell them ‘no straw’ when we order a drink, so we can instead us our metal straws. Every little bit helps! These are easily cleanable by simply pouring water down them immediately after use.
Recycled Plastic Cutlery – This cutlery is stored with the straws in the fabric pouch that you see. Of course, these too are used in place of single use plastic forks, knives and spoons whenever we can. A cute story about the pouch; We had been hauling around our cutlery and straws in our backpack with just an elastic holding them in place. As you can imagine, we were concerned about the bacteria in our backpacks with pulling these out and using them all the time, so we decided to look for a little bag that could hold our items for us. A day later we were in a restaurant in Guatemala when I saw a sign that they were selling locally grown and roasted coffee. We decided to buy a pound, only afterwards realizing that the beautiful hand woven bag that it came in, would be PERFECT for our utensils!
In the following photos you will see a variety of items. Let me explain them to you below:
Collapsible Funnel – The blue thing in the top left corner above is a funnel that collapses almost flat. This is a very light weight item, that takes up barely any room! We use it to transfer liquids into bottles, and sometimes to filter out liquids from solids. Plus it is silicone, so it is heat resistant! There are many uses for funnels in the kitchen!
Silicone Pot Holders – How many times has your cooking been in the oven and you are scrambling around trying to find something to take your oven tray out with? The red items at the top are silicone pot holders. You simply put your thumb in one side, and your other fingers in the other (like you would a puppet), and their heat resistance means that you can grab any hot item from the oven, or use them to take hot lids off pots etc.
Leatherman Multi-Tool – This tool has many different things on it. We use it as a small knife to take with us to picnics, and it has many different little tools on it that have come in handy for numerous little projects both in the kitchen and around the house. If you were to have one item from this whole kit, the Leatherman would likely be the most bang for your buck, and should be every travellers companion. This also travels with us in our day pack when we arrive to our destinations.
Mini Mortar and Pestle – We found this beautiful little mortar and pestle at an artisan market in Palenque, Mexico. When Chris saw it, he knew that we needed to have it! In Central America the spices are sold whole in the markets. You can shop in the grocery stores for bottles of spices, but the ones in the markets are local and fresh! This little mortar and pestle allows us to crush the delicious fresh spices that we come across, which add so much delicious flavour to our food.
Silicone Tongs – These are great for so many reasons as well! Because they are silicone, they are again heat resistant, and can be used to remove hot items from the oven, mix up salads, transfer food from pan to plate and so much more!
Knife Sharpener – The red item at the bottom is a portable knife sharpener. It not only keeps our knife sharp, but we sometimes sharpen the knives where we are staying as well!
Muddler – Of course, there are so many fresh herbs and spices growing all over the world. It is wonderful to pick fresh mint and then muddle it into a lovely drink……like a Mojito! We actually bought this at the Bacardi Distillery while we were in Puerto Rico!
Small Shred Grater – This grater is fantastic and is used for so many things. It actually stands up into a pyramid, and you can use it to grate cheese, spices, vegetables and so much more! The reason it is dyed orange right now is because Chris has been grating fresh tumeric on it! It also works fabulously for fresh ginger!
Costa Rican Coffee Sock – These socks are how Costa Ricans traditionally make their coffee. They simply place the ground coffee in the sock, hold it over a mug, and pour boiling water through it. We have 3 of these and we use them for both coffee and teas. They are a fantastic item and can be used over and over and over again! Plus, we NEVER have to look for a coffee maker, or be frustrated when we don’t have one that works! All we need is boiling water, and we are golden!
Cork Screw/Bottle Opener – This item is actually excessive as we have a wine bottle opener on our Leatherman. Plus Chris can open bottle tops with his ring! So, one day this will likely be purged or passed on to a fellow traveller.
Folding Serving Spoon – The spoon at the top actually folds in half, making it marginally smaller. It’s uses are obvious and it is surprising how few places have soup ladles or large serving spoons.
Silicon Pastry Brush – Again the silicone means that we can use this in high heat situations. This is a glamorous item in our kit, but we use it a lot to mostly brush sauces onto things in the oven.
Can Opener – I will admit that this item is not used a lot, since we primarily try and cook foods from scratch, and don’t buy much in the way of canned food. However, we still do once in a while, and this makes opening them a dream. Again, can openers, like vegetable peelers are often in poor working order in most kitchens on the road.
Spatulas – It is probably redundant to have 2 spatulas, but one is great for large bowls and pots, and one is great for taking with us on a picnic to get sauces and dips out of their containers. For the size and weight of having 2, we really aren’t that worried about it.
Global Chef Knife – I can’t express enough how nice it is to have a knife that really cuts, and that we can rely on! Every traveller knows of the crap knives that are in many kitchens around the world. It’s like the managers keep them dull on purpose so nobody cuts themselves! Many people have asked how we are able to travel with it, but all of these items go in our checked bags, and we haven’t had any trouble yet! (Knocking on wood here!!!)
First Aid Scissors – Thankfully we haven’t had to use these for first aid just yet! (More knocking….) But they can cut through pennies, so they have come in handy for many different things both in the kitchen and around the house, like cutting rope, wires and who knows what else!
Stove Lighter – We found this handy lighter holder in Costa Rica, and have only seen one other one since! Check out the pic below to see how awesome this device is! You put one regular large lighter into it (remove the child safety if there is one), then you push from the bottom and it provides an easy way to light stoves (kind of like our Bar B Que lighters in North America, but reusable forever!) This has been invaluable in so many kitchens where we have been travelling. Most stoves are gas, and they are normally flanked by a tiny box of wooden matches. These are a pain in the butt to use compared to this beauty! We LOVE our lighter!
Vegetable Peeler: We have a really great vegetable peeler that we can always rely on to do the job. Again, this is an item in most kitchens that barely works and is frustrating to use at best! Knowing that we have a good one makes our cooking experience so much better!
Food Storage Bag Clips– These clips come in handy for so many things. We used to have more of the plastic ones on the left, but when we started losing them, we resorted to buying just standard binder clips from the office supply store. These keep your bags fresh and your food good, especially in damp and humid climates!
Zip Loc Bags – When we left Canada, we left with about 6 large zip loc bags. We always wash our bags and dry them out to re-use them, but over time, even they disintegrate. When we had family visiting us in January, we had them bring a few more for us. Although we don’t like using plastic, they are necessary for storing liquid food if there are no containers, plus they protect any bottles of liquid that we happen to be travelling with. They are great for storing food for picnics, and come in handy for storing things like coffee, rice, lentils and other dry goods.
Whenever possible, we try and build a small clothes line for hanging our coffee socks and ziploc bags so that they can dry properly. These small clothes pin clips are available in most stores where you travel, or you can bring a small selection of them with you, plus a small piece of string, to make one where ever you go!
All of these items fit with ample room into one of our packing cubes. The cube pictured measures 14″x10″x3″ and weighs 3-4 pounds.
There is still lots of room in it to add items as we see them, but as minimalists, we try really hard to make sure that each item we buy is necessary in our lives, before purchasing it.
What kitchen tools are we missing from our kit?
Although we are pretty happy with our kit, there are a couple items that we would love to add to it, just to make our lives that much easier. We have been on the hunt for a small cutting board that will fit right into the kit. We are looking for something small and light weight, for those times where we need to cut something while we are away from the kitchen. Cutting boards, however, are usually found in most kitchens and hostels as a bare minimum, so this would be a luxury item for sure.
We also are regretful that we didn’t keep our flat potato and veggie masher that we had in Canada. It functions as both a masher and a whisk, and when we head back to Canada this summer, it is definitely on our list to buy!
Are you ready to put together YOUR nomadic kitchen?
As stated above, I can’t say enough how important this kit is to us, and how much we use these items. We LOVE to cook and are constantly trying new foods and coming up with new ideas of what to cook. Making your life easier in the kitchen means that you will eat out less, and eat fresher, healthier and more invigorating food. So what are you waiting for? Get started on putting your Nomadic Kitchen together today!
PS. I would LOVE to hear stories about your Nomadic Kitchen! Comment below if you, or someone you know does this as well! Or tell me all about the one that you make after reading this post!
Thanks for reading! Please know that above all else, I aim to inspire others to just get out and see the world. Traveling is such an enriching experience, and I can’t even comprehend how much it has shaped me as an individual. If you have ANY questions, or need travel advice of ANY kind, PLEASE don’t hesitate to email me at the address below! I will do my very best to help you in any way I can!
Xoxoxo Happy Travels!
Current Location: Nevis Island, St. Kitts & Nevis
Travelling Plans: On August 5th we will start our long journey back to Canada to visit family and friends for a couple months.
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