31 Jul 2018
camping with celiac disease

It’s hard to avoid fun in the sun when the weather is warm and nature is at its finest. When camping is calling to your family, you can hardly resist. But when you have someone in your family with Celiac disease, everything is more complicated. Even getting away from everyday life and trying to uncomplicate things for a few days.

Camping with Celiac Disease

Everyone should have the opportunity to relax and have fun camping. Not only is getting away on a camping trip a nice break for the whole family, it can be invigorating for your body to reconnect with nature. In fact, there are numerious benefits to camping proven to be beneficial for your mind, soul, and body. However, living with celiac disease could prove challenging when cooking foods outside your normal routine. That’s why we’ve pulled together these tips to help you along the way.

Here are some ideas to help you prepare for the camping trip so everyone will enjoy it.

Pack the Regulars

Camping trips are usually made up of foods that are easy to prepare. You might throw in sandwiches, canned soups, cereal, trail mix, and, of course, s’mores. The good news is that all of those regular camping items can be prepared in a gluten-free manner. You’re probably used to doing things gluten-free as it is so it’s not that much harder to go camping than it is to take any other trip. Anything you can prepare at home that you might take on a picnic, you can find in a gluten-free version.

Don’t forget to also pack your favorite gluten-free snacks! Between the road trip to the campground and the in-between snacking, as well as fuel for hiking, biking and enjoying the outdoors, you’ll definitely want to be prepared with the snacks.

Here are some ideas:

  • Snackers
  • Gluten-free granola bars
  • Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and veggies
  • Energy bars, chews or gels
  • Ready-made tuna salad pouches
  • Poultry, salmon or meat jerky
  • Hard boiled eggs


Be Prepared with Perishables

Camping off-grid with perishables can be tricky, but it’s completely doable with a bit of preparation.

Here are our tips:

  • Bring three coolers; one for quick-access with snacks and drinks, one to act as a refrigerator and one to act as a freezer. Stock the “freezer” with a bit of dry ice.
  • Prep and freeze as many main dish meats as possible, then add to the “freezer” cooler. For example, you may consider marinating chicken breasts, preparing turkey meatballs, or flavored sausages. Layer your frozen meat-packs by day you plan to cook them – the first meal on top and the last meal on the bottom.
  • Cut and bag up vegetables for your side dishes and add to the “refrigerator” cooler.
  • Pack dry goods such as rice, potatoes, spice mixes, coffee, cocoa into a dry goods bin.

If you take perishable foods with you, make sure you eat them first so they don’t go bad. Plan on eating the heartier vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, kale, and cauliflower last, and the softer vegetables like lettuce, avocados, and tomatoes first.

Pack Your Own Grill

Cross-contamination is real! While eating gluten is a no-no for someone with celiac disease, eating something gluten-free that has been cooked on a grill that has been used to cook foods containing gluten is just as bad. This cross-contamination is very important to avoid and it can seem impossible when camping. All you have to do to be extra careful is to pack your own grill. You can get a small camping grill that runs on propane or coals and take it with you to keep food away from gluten contamination during your trip. Just be sure you’re camp-mates understand that this is a specific grill and only to be used for foods that do not contain gluten.

RELATED: Glutened! What do I do now?

Don’t Veer Off The Edge

It’s important for someone with celiac disease to remain consistent. Treat the food while you are camping like food is treated at home. There might be special treats along the way, but on a regular basis, it’s best to take the things you are used to eating and keep things as normal and consistent as possible. You will enjoy the camping trip more and have more energy if you have the foods you know you can tolerate.

Camping is a way to get away from it all and sometimes, someone with celiac disease wants to do that more than anyone else. Plan ahead and pack food smart and anyone, even those with gluten allergies and sensitivities, can have a good time camping.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.

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