8 Tips for a Healthier Camping Trip

We just got back from an amazing camping trip in Big Sur. Days were split between relaxing on the beach, hiking in the redwoods, checking out waterfalls and, of course, eating. There is nothing quite like grubbin’ on delicious food in the wilderness with good company and the camp fire roaring. If it’s well thought out, you can dine with ease and enjoy some killer eats while camping - all while fueling your body for adventure and preventing disastrous GI bummers. Below are a few of my personal tips for a healthier camping trip. I hope you get out there and enjoy some great food in the great outdoors this summer!

  1. Bring the Right Cooking Gear: This is dependent upon your choice of meals, but you don’t want to ruin the day with a bunch of food you can’t eat! Run through the steps for each meal and make a checklist of the tools you’ll need, from can opener to towels for clean up.

  2. Think OUTSIDE the Box: We tend to lean on easy pre-packaged food when we camp, but what if we took a fresher approach? There are tons of easy from-scratch items to make ahead or throw together at your site that will make your belly smile. Get googling and you’ll find more ideas than you ever imagined.

  3. Slide & Dice / Make Ahead: I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do than chop veggies when I’m camping. Slide and dice before you go. Think of other items you can make in advance to make life easier when your roughin’ it. For this trip, I chopped up zucchini, summer squash and fresh garlic in advance so I could just toss it in the pan with some olive oil. I also pre-boiled pasta for a healthier version of chili-mac that we could just throw together on the stove. Comfort food to the max.

  4. SNACKS: Keep it easy and simple. Think trail mix, clementines, carrots and hummus, hard boiled eggs, whatever will fuel your body and satisfy you too! Nobody likes a hangry camper.

  5. Stay Mindful AND Creative: Eating is one of the best parts of camping!! Enjoy it even more by staying mindful and getting creative with your choices. Consider choosing foods that you can use in more than one meal to simplify your shopping list and recipes (I used my squash and garlic mix in breakfasts and dinners).

  6. Fiber and Fluids: Let’s be real here, traveling brings upon some GI irregularity for most of us. Remembering to pack fiber-rich foods and wash things down with plenty of water will help with this. I promise.

  7. Get Movin’: Make a point of getting some active time every day! This will also help with regularity and make you feel good!

  8. Turn Off Your Phone: WHY ARE YOU EVEN CAMPING IF YOU CAN’T TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. (I realize there are some exceptions to this, but not very many.)

This information is not intended to be medical advice. If you have questions about medical nutrition therapy, or would like nutrition coaching, please connect with me directly. If you have questions about clinical care, contact your doctor.