Planning out your gluten-free meals can be rough, but eating while camping is a whole other ball game in the eat to survive lifestyle. So you have everything ready: Your sleeping bag, tent, beanie, etc. But now all you need to figure out is food. Instead of packing only freeze-dried meals that you will want to spit out on Day 2, plan out your meals and make some healthy gluten-free options on your next trip.
I have been eating gluten-free for over 10 years, and know the struggle of finding safe food outside your home. It took me years to find staples that I trusted and enjoyed eating. Whether it’s your first-time car camping, or you are going all out for a 10-day backpacking adventure, here are the best gluten-free camping meals by meal:
Breakfast Can Be Simple
Even if you don’t normally eat breakfast as a meal, sometimes you wake up starving after a day in the boonies. I always pack coffee, a gluten-free oatmeal packet, and fruit. Pack your favorite fruit so you will actually eat it. I also recommend fruit that doesn’t have as much waste (grapes vs bananas because of the peel). If you eat eggs, I recommend freeze-dried eggs. They’re easy to make (hot water) and taste great in a warmed corn tortilla.
Lunch Usually Fits in Your Pack
Now, lunch will really depend on what activities you have planned for the day. If I’m out hiking, my gluten-free meal will be something packable like an almond butter sandwich. These sandwiches saved me as a ski instructor because I could hide them in my pocket during the day and eat them on the chairlift. I kept my bread frozen and it always thawed out by lunch. So easy!
In addition, if you are at camp for lunch and have a good cooler, I really like salads. Yes, I said salads. The trick here is to chop everything beforehand (at home!) so you don’t have to wash/prepare them at camp. My favorite toppings include carrots, cucumbers, and seeds like pumpkin or sesame. I stick with olive and vinegar for trips as it’s typically nonperishable. Pack whatever you like to eat on your salad! If you have that sweet bear proof cooler, you can also pack jelly, hummus, or even fancy dressings. But life will be much easier if you stick with items that don’t have to keep cold.
Dinner Is Where the Campfire Magic Happens
Finally, dinner is when everyone gets around the campfire and smiles (sugar rushes from marshmallows and chocolate help). This is also my favorite time to put together true camping meals. My favorites include burrito bowls, grilled polenta, and veggies (full camping menu here).
Obviously, you don’t have to go all out with your meals, but you also don’t have to stay with sandwiches (unless you want to of course). Remember, you can always chop ahead of time and put your meals in a container inside that cooler you spent all your money on. Prepping food will make your evenings and cleanup a breeze.
As I have said, remember to plan ahead and look for items that are easy to make, like single-serve gluten-free oatmeal, boil-in-a-bag rice, or even some freeze-dried foods. You can always bring canned food or chop your veggies ahead of time so you have fewer things to clean on-site. Have you tried eating gluten-free while camping? Let me know what your gluten-free camping hacks are or if these tips worked for you. Enjoy your time amongst the stars!
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