Celebrating The End of Summer: Gluten-Free Camping
Summer is ending, school is starting, and time to capture the fading warmth of the sunny season is fleeting as fall’s chill comes rolling in…
We don’t know about you, but it sounds like a final summer camping trip is in order!
So as with any camping trip, planning ahead is key to ensuring you don’t arrive at your campsite and realized that two bags of chips and a can of beans won’t get you through the weekend. Or worse, that you lack the tools to execute your meal plan.
So we mined the blogosphere to find every tried and true trick we could, and put them all here just for you.
Obviously you’ll be eating about 3 meals a day, plus a couple snacks. Write out the meals you’d like to eat, keeping in mind that the more ingredients that overlap between dishes, the less complicated your shopping list will be. Also, not every meal needs to be special and different (unless that’s your thing). Eggs for breakfast every morning? Nothing wrong with that!
If you like to switch things up, there’s a great example menu (with recipes) right here!
Of course, one of the easiest meals to plan & cook is a foil packet meal. Essentially, you put all your ingredients (meat, potatoes, seasonings and the like) into a folded foil packet that you put on or near the fire. Turn it over once while cooking and ta-da! A meal that practically makes itself. Angela’s Kitchen wrote a detailed post with cooking tips and foil dinner recipes that aren’t just gluten-free but dairy-free too!
Also, don’t assume classic camping foods are off limits just because they aren’t gluten-free. S’mores, for instance, can be made just as delicious when you substitute a gooey gluten-free cookie like this one for graham crackers!
To make life a little easier, use an easy printable shopping list like this one to make sure nothing gets forgotten.
Finally, for more creative food inspiration, check out this post by What Contains Gluten!
Hot tip: don’t forget the polenta
Second: a few hacks
A lot of these ideas aren’t just clever, they’re actually useful. As you’re gathering supplies and packaging up food items, think about applying a few of these to advantage:
1) While it may seem basic, using a ready-made checklist can really keep things organized. This one from Real Simple is interactive and best for those less hardcore campers.
2) Package your spices in small, easy-to-use containers like empty Tic-Tac boxes. That way you not only aren’t lugging your entire spice cabinet around, but you pack only what you need.
3) Instead of packing up a fragile carton of eggs and risk making a mess, pre-crack your eggs and pour them into a large water bottle. They’re easy to scramble and pour, plus there’s less to throw away once you’re in the woods.
4) Forgo the elaborate coffee making set-up in favor of DIY, single-cup coffee bags you steep like tea.
5) instead of buying bags of ice, freeze gallon jugs of water and put them in your ice chest. They not only thaw faster, but once they do you can use them for drinking water.
6) Have you heard of pie irons? These truly nifty devices allow you to fill them with any manner of gluten-free breads or doughs plus fillings and make individual hand pies you cook right in the fire.
Third: last, but not least:
How cool is this?
Happy (gluten-free) trails, friends!