*Allifliate links are used in this post which cost you nothing to view. This site may be compensated if you choose to purchase from the link. Please see our Disclaimers for more details.
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