Paleo Camping Food: What To Bring
Following a paleo diet while camping can be tricky. After all, most of the foods in a paleo diet — lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and veggies — need to be refrigerated. So what’s a paleo camper to do? Temporarily give up on your diet and resign yourself to eating chips, hot dogs and s’mores?
Actually, sticking to a paleo diet while camping is easier than you might think. Eating paleo camping foods requires minimal kitchen gear and most of your food can be prepped in advance. If you’re going to be camping a lot in the future, here’s everything you need to stay paleo while exploring the great outdoors.
Basic Equipment for Paleo Camping Food
You don’t need any special kitchen equipment for paleo camping food. However, it’s wise to invest in quality camping supplies and items, especially if you plan to camp often. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Camping Cooler
Investing in a proper camping cooler is key to staying paleo while camping — that, and knowing how to pack a cooler so that your food stays colder for longer. Choose a cooler that has a long ice life and is rugged enough to withstand the elements.
We also recommend having two coolers: one for food and one for drinks. Opening the cooler frequently will cause it to lose cool air. If your campsite is a distance away from where you parked, get a cooler with wheels so you don’t need to lug a heavy cooler around. All that paleo meat can get heavy!
Unless you plan on eating all of your paleo camping foods raw, you’re going to need some cookware. Invest in the basics: a cast-iron skillet, a stockpot with a lid (great for paleo soups), a frying pan, a grill gate, a knife and a cutting board. Don’t forget storage containers, utensils, drinkware, plates and bowls.
3. Heat Source
A heat source is essential to preparing many paleo camping meals. Will you be cooking over an open fire or using a camping stove? If you’re using an open fire, you’ll need a box of matches, kindling and wood. For a camping stove, you’ll need a box of matches, lighter fluid and a fuel container.
Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get a fire going. It’s a good idea to pack a LED headlamp in case you need to start a fire in the dark.
The Best Paleo Camping Foods
When it comes to paleo camping foods, simple is best. Whether you’re camping in a tent or an RV, it’s doubtful that you want to spend the majority of your camping experience preparing and cooking meals for everyone. With that in mind, here are some paleo foods we recommend for your next outdoor adventure:
- Eggs – Eggs are a great source of protein and are super easy to make in the skillet.
- Stable Meats – Hard /dry salami, bacon, jerky and canned tuna/salmon are great for quick lunches when you don’t want to cook an entire meal.
- Fresh and Frozen Meats – Pack fresh meats such as ham and turkey and eat those first. You can also freeze quality meats (like steak) before putting them in the cooler and eat those for your first dinner.
- Spices – Nobody likes to eat bland food. Pack spices in tiny containers to give food flavor without taking up too much space.
- Paleo Trail Mix – Not all trail mixes are paleo-friendly, so be sure to find one with dried fruits and the right nuts (i.e., no peanuts). You can also make your own paleo trail mix for a convenient, on-the-go snack.
- Aluminum Foil Meals – Campfire foil packs are a ridiculously easy (and tasty!) way to cook amazing paleo camping meals. Simply pile your favorite veggies and meats into aluminum foil, wrap it up and let your campfire do the rest.
- Calorie-Dense Snacks – You need more calories on a camping trip, especially if you plan to do a lot of hiking. Almond butter with celery is a nutritious, calorie-dense snack. LARABARS are also convenient, calorie-dense and paleo (minus the peanut-flavor varieties).
- Virgin Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a paleo diet mainstay. Bring a small jar of the stuff with you on your camping trip and use it to give your foods additional flavor and healthy fat.
Primitive Camping Made Easy
Although camping on a paleo diet may sound like a pain, it’s really not as difficult as it seems. With some advance planning, a quality cooler and a few delicious recipes, you can have an amazing paleo camping experience.