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Gluten Free Camping 101
It can be challenging to live gluten free. Some people may think gluten free camping to be an even bigger challenge.
Gluten free food is easy to take camping. As a teenager living gluten free, I have some experience finding gluten free foods that can be taken on any camping trip. I have been camping with my family several times. I have been camping with my local Boy Scout Troop even more than with my family.
Before you leave for your gluten free camping experience, you might want to plan a menu. I know how much a menu has helped my patrol in the troop. My mother also plans a detailed menu before we go camping. It helps her know what to buy before we leave and what she can buy locally when we get there.
Your menu should have what you want to eat for all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, plus snacks. (Snacks can be super easy to take camping like string cheese and apples!) Consider when planning your menu what meals you will be cooking at camp, any potlucks you may be attending, as well as if you plan to eat out for a meal or two. If it is summer time, does the area your camping near have a farmer’s market open during your stay? If so, you might be able to find local produce there for your meals thereby reducing the amount of food you need to purchase and pack before leaving home.
Say the food you plan to cook costs too much money or is not going to be tasty, you will not enjoy the food. Why buy it and make it if you will not be happy with the outcome? You will probably not look back fondly on the camping trip as a whole either.
What food do you want to eat while camping? If you really want S’mores and you eat gluten free, you CAN have Gluten Free Smores! I have had them.
Now that you are thinking about those yummy marshmallows getting golden brown over the fire…
How will you be cooking your meals? Using a rack over the fire pit? A propane camping stove? A Dutch oven with charcoal coals?
When we have gone camping as a family, we have used our Coleman™ brand double-burner stove. It serves as a heating source while set up, taken down it is a preparation table. We also have a Camp-Chef™ brand double burner stove and oven, which we use to bake cornbread, brownies, and even cake!
When camping with my Boy Scout Troop, eating gluten free is harder, as not everyone understands exactly what I can and cannot eat. The main problem with this lack of understanding is cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination is when something gluten free comes into contact with something which contains or has touched gluten. Yes, touched gluten.
As an example, my father was at a restaurant and ordered a salad. It came with croutons (most commonly made of dried wheat bread), so he politely asked for a new salad without croutons. They took the croutons off the salad instead of having the kitchen make him a new one. He began reacting just as if he had eaten a slice of wheat pizza.
To avoid cross-contamination follow these three steps:
- Use separate areas for cooking gluten free food.
This one is simple. If the food without gluten does not come near the food with gluten, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if this doesn’t work…
- Prep and cook the gluten free food first. Wash dishes being used for the gluten free food and eaters first.
This keeps the cooking surface free of crumbs that would have stuck to your gluten free food. Washing your dishes first ensures that no crumbs end up on your clean dishes.
- Serve the gluten free food with separate serving utensils and plates.
This one follows the same principle as the first, if the food with gluten doesn’t touch the food without gluten, then there is no problem.
I would love to hear about your gluten free camping experiences, recipe ideas, and other gluten free related stories. I do hope that this post has helped you in some way.
-The Gluten Free Eagle
Youth Preparedness is Important
Why is Youth Preparedness important? What does being prepared have to do with kids? Why should I be prepared? These are all great questions that I hope to answer in this post.
I am a teenager living in Washington State. As an Amateur Radio Operator and an Eagle Scout, it’s my duty to be prepared. In fact, the Boy Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’, so why not be? I have also completed the Safe Sitter course sponsored by the local fire department to become a better babysitter.
Yes, Youth Can Learn How to “Be Prepared” for Emergencies!
Being prepared can be hard and takes some effort. I believe it is always worth it in the end. Many organizations offer a variety of courses in preparedness topics such as First Aid and CPR, C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team), and food storage. Some of the courses and workshops are available for youth, not just the adults! C.E.R.T. training is available for youth and adults. C.E.R.T. teams are formed with adults and there are youth teams, too.
Youth Preparedness Helps Me in My Family
My family recently bought a duel-fuel generator which can be used to power certain appliances and other items in our home in the likely (especially in the Puget Sound area) and sadly unfortunate event there is a power outage. We have bug out bags for all members of our family. We have even purchased a bath liner for each of the bath tubs. In an emergency event, like a volcanic eruption, we would put the bath liner into the tub and fill it up with water as soon as we could from the faucet. This would give us <insert> number of gallons of water to use (after purifying for eating or bathing purposes) before our water supply becomes contaminated.
A big concern for us is ash fall contaminating our water supply from any one of the five volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. This area is also prone to earthquakes and floods, the latter being more common.
Natural Disasters Affect Youth Worldwide
In many places of the world, however, there are other things that can happen besides or in addition to a power outage, i.e. droughts, famine, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. Clean water and food storage are the most important items to already have stored and ready to use when needed.
As a youth, I help with organizing my family’s food and water storage. I let my parents know what we need to stock up on and what is at goal level for our pantry. Knowing what we have (and where it is stored) helps me be a part of my family’s emergency response plan.
Thousands of children suffer from disasters every year. So preparing for them – and with them – is extremely important. Admittedly it is sometimes tough to enlist the teenagers and toddlers in helping count food, stack cans, or prep food for canning.
Little Children Can Help the Family Become Better Prepared
Sure you may need to stock up on diapers often or buy new clothes every three months (for babies and those teenage boys), but it helps to have an extra set of hands (if they are old enough to help) to assist you in the aftermath of a disaster. Have your child (assuming he or she is old enough) help with storage, buying food, and extra clothes. Have a bug out bag for each child and adult in your home (as age and ability allows). Remember to store a bigger one for all of you in each vehicle.
Dare to Prepare Now!
I feel that youth everywhere have a need for Youth Preparedness so they are ready for themselves and their families for what may come in the future. So they are better prepared when bad things happen. When the world around them (as they know it) collapses they will wish they had been better prepared.
Dare to prepare now! Be rewarded when disaster strikes by knowing that you were prepared for it before it even happened.
-The Gluten Free Eagle