Tips for stress-free and gluten-free camping this spring
Ahhhh, Spring is such a beautiful time to camp!
The weather is still cool during the evenings and a is warming up during the days. The bugs are not fully awake from their winter slumber. And campsites are not booked solid with summer campers, yet.
Here's what we did:
We just finished 4 days and 3 nights of camping on the beautiful Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, TN. We chose to spend Sunday-Wednesday camping. Also, our trip was a little complicated by our recent dietary choice to reduce our gluten and dairy intake.
This made preparing for camping was the worst!
I spent hours on Pinterest trying to find tips for gluten-free camping meals and just kept seeing the same 3-5 articles recycled and on rotation. I was looking for easy and uncomplicated.
So, I'll tell you what I ended up eating and hopefully you find this added post somewhat helpful to the 3-5 others ones on Pinterest.
Stress-free tip #1-- Choose a campsite that is close to home.
We chose one that was less than 15 minutes away from the house. Why? Well, we were still able to meet our weekly commitments: soccer, school meetings, and work calls. Being close to home also meant that we could go home if Spring showers turned into Spring downpours and tornados. Lastly, planning didn't feel so dire, so final. If we forgot something or didn't have enough food, we could go home really quickly or we could order out and have take-out for dinner one night.
Stress-free tip #2 -- Collect wood at the campsite, or shop in advance for firewood.
For some reasons, stores like Home Depot put firewood away in the spring. We thought we could run to the store on the way to the campsite to pick up firewood and it would be no big deal. We went to 2 stores, spent almost an hour, and spoke to over 5 employees, and none of them knew where the firewood was. At one point, someone told me I'd have to order the firewood online.
Buy fire starter logs at Walmart, but search for firewood at the camp site, or scour your local stores much earlier than the day of your camping trip!
Gluten-free camping meals
Dinner: Portobello Fajitas
Breakfast: Gluten-free instant oatmeal
Lunch: Gluten-free cornbread hot dog minis and a fruit in season
Dinner: Baked-potatoes and your favorite gluten-free canned soup
Breakfast: Gluten-free instant oatmeal
Lunch: Boiled eggs and avocados on gluten-free crackers
Dinner: Gluten-free macaroni and cheese and turkey hot dogs
Breakfast: Gluten-free pancakes (premix before leaving and store in mason jar) and bacon
and fill your days with snacks in-between
Stress-free tip #3 -- Spray your tent with water repellant AND your seams with a waterproof sealant.
Rain is likely during this time of year. The last thing you want to do is wake up in a puddle. We applied the sealers immediately after we set up the tent on Sunday around 4pm. We didn't go to bed until 9pm, so the sealers had time to dry. You can apply your sealers a few days prior to your trip, if you'd prefer.
Stress-free tip #4 -- Invest in an electric griddle.
It's so much easier to use than a propane camp stove. Save yourself the hassle of running out of propane mid-meal and cook on an electric griddle instead. You can also easily keep food warm on the griddle. All you'll need is a campsite that provides electric hookup.
Stress-free tip #5 -- Do s'mores like this, two-ingredients only.
While this is NOT part of the gluten-free meal plan (how could we camp without s'mores?), this is definitely a time-saver. It was so nice not to mess with chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows! I think I'll do s'mores like this from now on!
Stress-free tip #6 -- Be sure you have this camping gear.
1. Give everyone a blow-up twin mattress from Walmart. It's inexpensive and very good for camping. I was nervous about purchasing a cheap air mattress for fear I'd wake up on the floor of my tent in the morning, but this one had such great reviews! After 4 days, we can concur. No more large air mattresses for us. This is way easier. I mean, the guy on the box looks happy he bought it, right?
2. Have extra tent pegs on hand. You will bend or break a few during set up and tear down. Having extras are critical.
Camping is worth all the trouble. The memories are priceless. ThoseCrazyNelsons.com