Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 4: Cooking on the Road

Cooking in a camper van sounded like it would be quite an interesting feat. We wondered if we would have all the necessary utensils and supplies, if there would be space to move around easily and if we would have enough room to store our food. Well, as we found out during our 10 days road tripping around Iceland, we didn’t have anything to worry about. In fact, I actually ended up enjoying our little picnics and cooking sessions. I mean, it doesn’t hurt when you are cooking in places with views like this, right?!

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

After picking up our Happy Campers camper van and loading into our new home, we decided our first stop would be the grocery store. We were venturing up into the Westfjords, a more remote part of the island, so we thought it would be a good idea to stock up on several days worth of groceries.

When planning out our meals, we decided that sandwiches were an easy option and meals such as pasta with sauce and meat would be simple to prepare. Our cart was quickly filled up with items such as Skyr, granola, granola bars, bread, sandwich meat, Nutella, bananas, eggs, pasta, chicken, peanut butter and jelly, chips, crackers, cookies, and juice. Oh, and cheese that was promptly returned to the shelf after I noticed that the very small package was over $15! However, most everything we purchased was a reasonable price, and we were able to load up our van with enough food to last us for several days on the road.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

When it was time to restock or replenish the gaps in our stash that kept running out (I’m talking about you, Cool American Doritos), we stopped at either gas stations or grocery stores that we came across throughout our drive. Thankfully, we were never really too far away from a convenient place to stop when we needed it most.

Our first lunch in the van was a picnic of simple sandwiches and dinner consisted of convenient “Good To-Go” dinners that were ever so kindly provided to us by the company. These prepackaged meals are basically dehydrated backpacking meals, but they are actually really delicious and easy to make. They are the perfect meal after a long day on the road and simple to cook in the back of a camper van. Just boil water, add the water to the package, wait for 15-20 minutes, and enjoy!

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Let’s face it—dehydrated meals are usually pretty sub par, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually enjoyed all of the different flavors that we tried. I would even go so far as to say that they weren’t just “good for camp food”, but they were actually really good, period. They come in six varieties: Indian Vegetable Korma, Thai Curry, Herbed Mushroom Risotto, Pad Thai, Smoked Three Bean Chili, and Classic Marinara with Penne. My favorite was a toss-up between the Thai Curry and the Herbed Mushroom Risotto.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

The nights when we were feeling a bit more ambitious we cooked up some chicken pasta. We mixed it up between red sauce and pesto, and a couple of nights we even threw in some peppers. We found out the pasta was great leftover the next day, too!

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

We kept breakfast pretty simple most of the trip and had yogurt and granola, Munk Packs, granola bars, and a couple of days we made eggs and toast.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Side note: if you are going to boil only half a carton of eggs and put them back in the carton, make sure to mark which ones are the boiled eggs! One day Micah asked for a hard-boiled egg and got quite the surprise when he cracked it on the dashboard to find out it was definitely not hard-boiled. Then to top it off, mere seconds later, after we double checked the eggs, Hilary did the exact same thing! We got quite a laugh to say the least!

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Over our 10-day road trip, we became pretty comfortable in our little kitchen. We had a decent routine and in no time developed a productive assembly line for washing, drying and putting away dishes. The counter space was roomy enough to use for food prep, and we had plenty of storage for all of our food in the numerous drawers and generator run cooler.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

Some evenings we cooked inside the van and others we set up shop outside. It mainly depended on the temperatures, weather and bugs. We snatched up every opportunity we could to be outside amongst the gorgeous landscapes, but when we were forced to cook inside, there was still plenty of room to move about comfortably.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

The kitchen came well stocked with everything we needed including a very easy to use gas grill. We had towels, soap, silverware, cooking utensils such as a spatula and large spoon, a pot and pan, plates, bowls and cups. There was also a “free” shelf back at the rental office where you could take and leave extra supplies such as unused food, tinfoil, Ziplock bags and so much more. It was great for both ends of our trip—we were able to pick up a few free extras before heading out on the road, and we were able to leave any extras we had after our trip. I always hate throwing out perfectly good supplies, but when you can’t take them with you on your onwards travels, sometimes there is no other option.

Cooking on the Road, Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip

While we did go out to eat a few times throughout the trip, cooking in the van was easy and cost effective. It was nice to pull over whenever we felt like it to cook up a tasty meal in the comfort of our own kitchen. We always had everything we needed right at our fingertips. Cooking on the road ended up being much easier than we anticipated, and I have to say I came to really enjoy our meals in the back of our Happy Campers camper van!

 

Stay tuned to learn even more about our adventures in our Happy Campers camper van:
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 1: Camper Van Tour
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 2: Our Itinerary Day 1-5
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 3: Our Itinerary Day 6-10
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 4: Cooking on the Road
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 5: What to Pack for a Camper Van Road Trip
Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 6: Logistics, Expenses and FAQ’s

Special thanks to Happy Campers for providing us with a complimentary rental. As always, all opinions are our own.

24 Comments
  • Christina
    Posted at 04:37h, 24 September Reply

    The food looks delicious…almost enticing enough to rent a campervan and go on a trip! What a cute campervan though, it looks like something families would love. Would you recommend this size for a long trip?
    Christina recently posted…Experience the Northern Lights in CanadaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:58h, 27 September Reply

      It was such an adorable camper–we loved it! We stayed in the van for 10 days and didn’t have a problem with the size at all. We went with another couple, so there were four of us, and we were surprised how roomy it felt! It fits 5 people, but I wouldn’t go with more than 4 adults–if you had 3 kids and 2 adults it might be ok though!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 4: Cooking on the RoadMy Profile

  • Anne
    Posted at 08:27h, 24 September Reply

    I love the colourful storage area. What was the bed like?

  • Hugo Cura
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:02h, 24 September Reply

    Iceland is also one of my favorite places and I’ve been there 3 times. Likely to go more!

    Cooking simple meals on the road is a money saver in Iceland which tends to be quite expensive to eat out. I need to try those read meals.

    You had some gorgeous days there! The camper seems very well equipped as well.

    Cheers!
    Hugo Cura recently posted…3 days in Luxor: the world’s greatest open air museumMy Profile

  • Nisha
    Twitter:
    Posted at 21:59h, 24 September Reply

    I guess you have cracked the food part :0 . They look awesome and delicious. The “free” shelf is a great idea for ensuring provisions are not wasted

  • Danielle - GeekGirlGoes
    Posted at 11:44h, 25 September Reply

    I would LOVE to travel around in a campervan one day! Those dehydrated meals actually sound really tasty as well! Glad you managed to figure out a good cooking system while road tripping!

  • Erika Bisbocci
    Posted at 17:11h, 25 September Reply

    This sounds like such a great way to experience Iceland, especially since accommodations on the island are so expensive. How nice to be able to cook up a warm meal in the middle of such beautiful scenery. Great for families or groups of friends!
    Erika Bisbocci recently posted…Hiking with Komodo Dragons: Komodo and RincaMy Profile

  • Rosemary
    Twitter:
    Posted at 17:42h, 25 September Reply

    This is quite impressive to see how much room you have in the campervan. It looks pretty comfortable. I’m not a fan of dehydrated food, but I have to have to admit everything you prepared looks so good. I think I need to revisit that again. What a great way to travel…though, how was the bed/sleeping situation?
    Rosemary recently posted…Paris Chocolate Tour: The Best Way To Treat YourselfMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:18h, 27 September Reply

      Yeah I know what you mean–I’ve never been a fan of dehydrated food either. These were really good though and we were surprised how much we enjoyed them! The beds were comfortable and roomy! The top one didn’t have space to sit up and the bottom one was a bit brighter with the midnight sun and all, but overall they were great!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 4: Cooking on the RoadMy Profile

  • Alina Popescu
    Posted at 02:22h, 26 September Reply

    The food looks absolutely delicious and I imagine cooking most of your meals saves quite a bit! The grill also sounds like fun, as you can have your very own bbq party pretty much anywhere.

  • Monika
    Posted at 12:10h, 26 September Reply

    Looks like home-made food 🙂
    I guess it’s good to make your own meals if you travel in expensive countries such as Iceland 🙂
    Monika recently posted…Altitude sickness or one of the worst days of my travelsMy Profile

  • Colby
    Posted at 14:32h, 26 September Reply

    Oh my gosh, I love your van!! Also, everything looks so delish for it to have been cooked out of a van. From my understanding Iceland is a bit expensive so I’m sure you save tons by cooking your own meals. Love the photos, especially the one with the waterfall in the background!

  • Anna Schlaht
    Posted at 20:03h, 26 September Reply

    What a great idea! It looks like you had the perfect setup for a kitchen in the camper and enjoyed good eats … and good views! The van is super cute, too. 🙂 Really enjoying the photos and learning about your trip!

  • Gail Werner
    Posted at 09:53h, 04 October Reply

    Hi Jenna,

    Two quick questions (b/c my hubby and I are touring Iceland in a Happy Camper van next week!) 1) Can you buy those dehydrated meals at a grocery store in Iceland like a Bonus? And does the van have a cooler in it to keep meat (like raw chicken) plenty cold? Super awesome post and series on your Iceland adventures! Can’t wait for mine!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 17:01h, 04 October Reply

      That’s so exciting! Hope you have a great time 🙂 No, you can’t buy those dehydrated meals in Iceland from what I found–we brought them with from home. You can buy them on Amazon though, and if you have Amazon Prime it looks like some are available with free shipping. You might also be able to find them in an outdoor retailer store such as REI. If you go to their website and search retailers (http://goodto-go.com/retailers/) you might be able to find a nearby store that sells them. And yes! We had a cooler that was connected to a generator so it stayed cold with no ice required! Hope you have a great trip and enjoy Iceland–it’s such an amazing country!!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…One Day Road Trip around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula from Reykjavik, IcelandMy Profile

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