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Gluten-Free Camping

Celiac.com 08/06/2013 - I recently went camping with a good friend of mine and her boyfriend. This was a last minute trip that I knew I was kind of going solo. I have never been camping without a partner or at least a tent mate. So this was the first time I only had to think of me. How cool is that?!

Photo: CC--RossI start every out of town adventures the same way—I make a trip calendar to plan out my clothes, meals and supplies (If I could only show you guys all the lists I make!).  I find that when I'm camping there is a level of community in the supplies and food department. I forgot forks, no worries buddy I brought extra. Try this, I made it myself or I brought too many hot dogs, eat them. This can be dangerous for a celiac. No one wants to be the guy that has to read everything in sight before they touch it. Or maybe you do, that's cool too—be yourself. I have always subscribed to the theory that if I don't know what it is or what's in it, I simply say "no thank you," even if it kills me to say no, and makes me think about how yummy that thing could have been.

The day before I went camping I took my list and headed to the grocery store. When I got home and packed I was pretty happy with my haul. I know that I have a lot—more than enough to feed myself for the trip, including snacks. I am self-sufficient…as long as they have some sanitizer and some biodegradable soap for dishes. But I had everything else I needed...I hoped.

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To my delight and surprise my lovely friend and her lovely boyfriend had over-packed in the food department with stuff that happened to be gluten-free. I know that some things she would have packed with me in mind (thank you Lindsay!), but other things were as much a surprise to her as they were to me. Between the both of us we all ate like kings that weekend!

It is a bit difficult to write about gluten-free trials and tribulations when everything works out. Where there is no worry about cross-contamination or drunken mix-ups. I was the only person to bring out "bread." I found some hotdog buns that looked promising. They got toasted over the fire in a wire basket thing and were so good!

There are, of course, some things to look out for when you are camping. Be aware of a stove top or grill if you have things like that at the site. You never know what someone else cooked on that, even if it's just meat it may have been seasoned with things that contain gluten. Also, don't mix up your hotdog stick with someone else, unless everyone also has gluten-free dogs. Don't borrow shampoo or face wash. There are so many things that can have gluten in them!

I definitely learned some stuff about myself on this trip. I learned that I am lucky enough to have surrounded myself with good caring, thoughtful people.  I love camping and I never knew how easy celiac disease would eventually become for me. Did I mention that I am also terrified of spiders!

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6 Responses:

 
Lee Jenkins

said this on
12 Aug 2013 5:17:38 PM PDT
Thank you for sharing your experience, we share coeliac disease and a horror of spiders. I also am intolerant to salicylates, amines and glutamates, but haven't yet been able to contact anyone else who has the same food issues. Good to know your food intolerance isn't limiting your lifestyle. Many thanks, Lee

 
Debbie Sadel
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
13 Aug 2013 5:56:52 PM PDT
I just came back from a camping during which I had the misfortune of having a celiac attack--or being celi-whacked as I call it. The culprit was probably the Kielbasa (Wolf's Head). It was labeled gluten-free but there must have been something in it. My husband was unaffected.

Let me tell you, having an attack in a developed campground, in a tent, far from a bathroom--we'd chosen a site for privacy not convenience to restroom facilities--in the rain no less was not pleasant. We are talking about a mad rush for the woods here.

Not that this is going to keep me from camping--many foods--even those that do not need refrigeration are fine and several of the freeze dried backpacking food manufacturers are now putting out gluten-free foods and labeling them as such. Natural High and Alpine two which I've used with great success. Mountain House has some meals which are fine but are not labeled gluten-free.

It's just real important to be careful.

 
Vanessa Oakley
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
14 Aug 2013 2:21:41 PM PDT
I say I was 'glutened'.
I'm so glad that your attack will not hamper your future camping excursions.
I think it is so important to keep a social life, get outside, do things and to not let food or the worry of bad food stop us from having fun.

 
Carol
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said this on
19 Aug 2013 8:22:20 AM PDT
You make me want to go camping too. I can't think of a better excursion for those who are gluten-free than one that requires you to bring all of your own food anyway.

 
Vanessa Oakley
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said this on
20 Aug 2013 9:55:21 AM PDT
I know right!? Just because we have to be so careful with our food, this doesn't mean we shouldn't be outside having too much fun. If/when you do go camping, let me know how it went.

 
Tori
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said this on
19 May 2014 1:25:55 PM PDT
Hello!

This article is very happy, but I was wondering what you actually brought to eat. My boyfriend is gluten intolerant and I don't want to take things he cannot eat on our camping trip this summer. What sort of foods to you suggest?




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