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sallyterpsichore

Any Backpackers?

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Hi everyone,

I'm sure this has been addressed on a situation by situation basis on the forum, but I'm looking for general feedback from backpackers. I've traveled a bit in my life so far, but have never backpacked because it never seemed that "safe" when I was in my teens. I'm interested in both travel backpacking (and staying in hostels, dorms, etc.) and backpacking into the wilderness and camping.

Have any of you done either of these since being gluten free? The food obviously wouldn't be an issue with wilderness packing as you'd bring it all yourself, but is anyone else worried about getting sick out there and then being, well, screwed? :huh:

As for the travel backpacking, I don't know the kind of strength it requires and am curious about this as I'm building up my muscles again and getting back to working out.

I'd appreciate any advice/tips or discussions you all have about the topic!

Thanks,

Sally

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I do quite a bit of adventure travel and did a lot of serious backpacking when I lived in Arizona. The best advice I can offer is to start out with day hikes and when you're comfortable move on to an overnight car camping trip. Also, invest in some good lightweight gear. backpacking.net has some good information on backpacking and has a list for an 18 pound - 3 day pack that is quite handy.

I never really had any interest in hotel type travel so I can't help you much there but there is a site called couch surfing that is interesting. You might be able to hook up with some gluten-free folks there.

Like you mentioned you should be less concerned about getting sick in the wilderness because you are in charge of all of your food. I understand that a few of the pre-packaged backpacking foods (like Mountain House, etc.) have a few gluten-free selections that you might want to explore.


---------------------------------

MP - celiac for 10 years

 

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I do quite a bit of adventure travel and did a lot of serious backpacking when I lived in Arizona. The best advice I can offer is to start out with day hikes and when you're comfortable move on to an overnight car camping trip.

I did join a local meetup group of hikers so that I can "train" with some people who know what they're doing. I don't have a car and live in Boston, so I'm really limited as to parks and wilderness area, but there are a few. And the hiking group does quite a bit of carpooling, so that should work.

I'm still interested in traveling through South America, Canada, and maybe Europe (if I suddenly get a promotion ($$$$) at work! Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks for the response!

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I'm in WA, and do a lot of hiking and backpacking. (I'm going backpacking tomorrow - just an overnight for a summit attempt on Mt. St. Helens. I was sick with bronchitis and just started getting better last weekend, so we'll see if I'm up for a summit attempt.)

The food can be a bit of a pain, since you have to make your own backpacking food, and can't buy as much ahead of time. But a dehydrator can go a long way with that. Training just takes time and effort. Finding a group helps, but nothing makes a difference like getting out and doing the work.

Where are you located?


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I did join a local meetup group of hikers so that I can "train" with some people who know what they're doing. I don't have a car and live in Boston, so I'm really limited as to parks and wilderness area, but there are a few. And the hiking group does quite a bit of carpooling, so that should work.

Thanks for the response!

There are tons of backpacking opportunities within a few hours of Boston in Vermont and New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is awesome. Also, the Applachian Trail runs through western MA. The AT is good for beginners because it's well mapped, has shelters, and a lot of times you can find shuttles to/from.

Some rental car agencies offer special weekend rates and you might look into renting a car if you want to go out on your own.

Have fun!


---------------------------------

MP - celiac for 10 years

 

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Thanks for the responses! If I do get really into the hiking, I may have to look into a dehydrator. Also, does walking 4 miles to work a day count as "hiking"? :P It's uphill. Both ways. Really.

As for getting out to the trails, I think I will, indeed, have to rent a car. The whole car rental thing becomes a bit of an issue because I'm only 24, so it's generally expensive because insurance is expensive for rental companies for anyone under 25.

There are zipcars, though, that may be perfect for a day trip.

Thanks again for the advice! Also, Tarnalberry, good luck on the summit attempt. I'm in awe of people who can do these things!

~Sally

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I've done a bit of the traveling backpacking, and hostels w/ kitchens were definitely my friends (you should check, because not all of them have). Also some countries are better than others (Finland and Taiwan were AMAZING, Germany stunk, and I heard Italy and Argentina are good) (tho Taiwan may only have been so good because I speak the language). Usually I google either the country's celiac support group and ask for help (they are usually kind enough to send me a list of gluten-free restaurants or places to go) (and they tend to speak a bit of english, tho you may have to Google translate the list to make sense of it) or just ask around for advice. There's a B&B website, if you want to go upscale (http://www.innseekers.com/) where you can search only for B&Bs that will accomodate gluten-free diets.

For both traveling backpacking and the wilderness kind, I found that the Tastybites were really good. I just pulled them out of the box and stuffed them in my pack, along with some gluten-free pasta (the ziti kind tend to stay together) and I was good to go!

Have fun!

-Char

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I've done travel backpacking and I'm just getting started wilderness backpacking. (Conditioning to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro next year!) For travel, I found that bringing my own hot cereal was about the best thing for me. Even the saddest breakfast buffet at a motel will have some hot water and the cereal can be so comforting. Hostels with kitchens are awesome for the food freedom they provide. And I packed a lot of the same snacks I bring hiking, too. Dried fruit and nuts. Lara bars. Instant hot cereal.

The UK, Edinburgh especially, is awesome for gluten-free eaters. There's even a gluten-free pizza place there. And there's a website where you can print out little cards in different languages that explain the gluten-free thing to waiters. They really saved me in Poland and Austria. I think it's celiactravel.com

A note on hostels: If you don't want to be dragging your huge backpack around all day, try to find one with locking doors or lockers. Then you can drop off your big pack and use a smaller one while you're out for the day.


StephanieSD

Gluten-free since 2003

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I've done travel backpacking and I'm just getting started wilderness backpacking. (Conditioning to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro next year!) For travel, I found that bringing my own hot cereal was about the best thing for me. Even the saddest breakfast buffet at a motel will have some hot water and the cereal can be so comforting. Hostels with kitchens are awesome for the food freedom they provide. And I packed a lot of the same snacks I bring hiking, too. Dried fruit and nuts. Lara bars. Instant hot cereal.

The UK, Edinburgh especially, is awesome for gluten-free eaters. There's even a gluten-free pizza place there. And there's a website where you can print out little cards in different languages that explain the gluten-free thing to waiters. They really saved me in Poland and Austria. I think it's celiactravel.com

A note on hostels: If you don't want to be dragging your huge backpack around all day, try to find one with locking doors or lockers. Then you can drop off your big pack and use a smaller one while you're out for the day.

You read my mind! I have a couple of friends currently living in Edinburgh and it's at the top of my list (cheap places to stay: i.e. free couches/futons). I was a bit worried about food, but no more! I heard that Ireland is easy for travel, too, from my local bartenders from Galway area.

What hot cereal can we eat? Is it the Bob's Red Mill stuff that I see in the stores all the time. Mighty Tasty or something?

What I'm gathering from all your responses is that I need to stop worrying about it, plan ahead and bring food in case I can't find anything, and just get my butt moving! :P

Thanks again, everyone, for your informative responses and perhaps I'll see you on the trails!

~Sally

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