Lee and I do enough road tripping and living out of the back of the truck (an '04 Tacoma with a cap on the bed) that I figured you might get some use out of seeing how we do it.
I've included a list of what we bring, why we bring it, and how we think about food & living on the road.
First, what do we bring? A stove, 2 clear plastic tubs, and a cooler.
We'll start with the stove. Coleman 2 burner, $30 on Craigslist. This thing takes care of our "hot" cooking needs from pan searing steak to boiling water for morning coffee Easy, clean, simple, and bombproof.
Plastic tub #1 -- The cook box:
Easy to unload from the back of the truck and plant on a picnic table, our entire "kitchen" is easy to move, set up, clean, and take down.
Plastic tub #2 -- The coffee box:
This makes it really easy for me to conduct my morning coffee ritual, no matter where I am. The ritual is more important to me than the coffee
We found that any cooler works well if you pre-cool it with a "sacrificial" bag of ice. Yes, you can use your Yeti.
We've had a lot of luck using Cooler Shock ice packs. Keeps everything relatively dry and cold for 2-3 days, and we're almost never away from "civilization" for more than 2 nights.
The rest of our gear (sleeping bags, pads, flashlights, clothes) we keep in separate bags so they're easy to find, and we can focus on enjoying the trip, not sorting through which bag has the warmies at 11 pm on a frigid mountain night.
"Why" do we have a system?
Our aim when traveling is to eat really well, see a bunch of the country, stop and sleep comfortably in beautiful places, and knock out some great hikes. That means all our gear has to be "dialed in". No messing around searching for this or that, no "Dang it, who stole my..."
We're not into spending a bunch of money on fancy restaurant dinners or upscale hotels, and even after 15 years of damn near constant living within arm's reach of each other we still LOVE each other's company, so we try and maximize the time we spend together, including food prep, eating, and clean up.
At night we pile all the boxes & bags in the cab and set up 2 inflatable mattresses in the bed of the pickup. If it's a clear night in the desert, I'll usually sleep outside and get my star-gazing time in.
Ok, let's finish with the "How":
That's how we roll, hopefully seeing it all laid out helps you plan your next trip or inspires you to light out for the Territories. See you on the road!
Too much reading...
How about dessert?