Man's Compact DIY Camping Kitchen System Means Better Off-Road Cooking (Video)

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Person cooking sunnyside up eggs on a camp stove

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As summer continues, many of us are planning camping trips to soak in some of that soothing, natural high that only being in the great outdoors can bring. But plans and preparations can get out of hand sometimes when we get tripped up by the hidden consumerism that lurks behind the barrage of camping gear and gadgets that we probably don't need.

Granted, some things do make camping and overlanding more comfortable and convenient. A portable kitchen system that can fit in the back of your vehicle is one of them, but why spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy one when you can make it yourself? That's what Cade of Overland Life did with this neat, telescoping DIY kitchen that he made for his Jeep. Watch how it works:

Cade explains the reason why he took the time to craft his own kitchen system:

I've spent many hours researching drawer systems but there wasn't anything in the market that fit my exact needs. I decided to just build one instead. This was my first time using a table saw! Luckily the drawers ended up looking decent and I still have all 10 fingers intact.

Pull-Out Galley Features

The design features a drawer system with a retractable, two-part galley kitchen. The drawers have locking paddle latches, while the pull-out galley sits on 500-pound locking sliders. To get the half-inch birch plywood cutting board and the metal stove surface out, one presses the drawer locking mechanisms to unlock it and slide them out. The cutting board has been treated with mineral oil and beeswax to make it suitable for food prep. On the other side, there's a retractable drawer refrigerator.

Hidden Advantages

Another great feature is how Cade elevated the whole system 3 inches higher to still allow access to the Jeep's existing rear in-floor cubbies, and slip in a folding table to boot. He's also added some Yak Attack geartracs with tie-down hooks on top to make sure stuff can be secured and won't shift around while driving.

One of the advantages of having a system like this means that you can pack stuff on top, without burying other gear. Cooking a quick meal becomes much more efficient and enjoyable. No word on the cost spent to make this DIY version, and Cade says that this system is a one-off and that he's not selling reproductions, but he says that he based his DIY system off his friend Al Smith's Jeep Kitchen, which others can consider purchasing. Or, of course, making their own. More over at Overland Life.