Do you have a camping or hiking trip planned this Summer? You can eat healthy while camping and hiking with a little pre-planning and preparation. Follow these tips to make sure you have a healthy and safe outdoor adventure.
Make a Plan and Stay Hydrated
During physical outdoor activities, your body typically needs more food and water. Pack plenty of fluids for hot weather excursions. Make sure to stay hydrated, drink water before you start your hike or bike trip and make sure you pack extra to keep hydrated throughout your trip. Eat a well balanced meal before you start off on your adventure and make sure to pack plenty of snacks to help keep your energy levels up while on your excursions. Pack light weight foods and snacks. You can pack perishable foods, such as sandwiches and wraps, just be sure you have a small portable insulated cooler with ice packs to keep foods chilled properly Here are some snack ideas for an outdoor day trip:
- Fresh fruits – cut up melons, berries, and pineapple stored in baggies. Also you can freeze grapes, cherries and blueberries beforehand to help them stay cold.
- Cut up fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, celery, carrots, broccoli and peppers. Store in baggies to save space in your backpack or cooler.
- Pre-make sandwiches or wraps with tuna fish or grilled chicken.
- Take rice cakes or diet snack crackers for a quick easy snack.
Camping for Several Days
Packing food to last for several days at a time can be challenging. With a little pre-planning and meal prep, you can prepare healthy foods at home before you leave. Map out the meals you want to eat each day. This will also cut down on your meal prep while camping, giving you more time to relax or enjoy your time with family and friends. Here’s some quick tips for healthy eating when camping:
- Prepare and cook your meats at home, grilled chicken, shrimp, hamburger patties, a roast in the crockpot, boil eggs for hard boiled eggs and tuna packed in water.
- Wrap cooked meats in foil and store in gallon sized baggies – store in a cooler and just warm over the campfire or portable grill before each meal.
- Cut up vegetables for sautéing with protein options, making fajitas, or stir fy over the campfire or just snacking on them raw throughout the day.
- You can also cut up fresh fruits and store in stackable containers or baggies. Take apples and oranges for a quick, on the go fruit.
- Take easy starches like tortillas for wraps, rice cakes, diet snack crackers and english muffins.
- If you have a way to boil water you can take couscous, long grain rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
Cooking Safely While Camping
It is always important to follow good food safety practices. Perishable food cannot be kept out in hot weather (90°F or higher) for more than one hour, and in mild weather for more than two hours. Having the proper safety essentials are a must – make sure to bring the following items:
- Disposable wipes, moist towelettes, hand sanitizer or biodegradable soap
- Bowls and plates
- Kettle or cooking pot
- Eating and cooking utensils
- Ice packs
- Compostable trash bags
- Portable water filters or water purification tablets
- Gallons of fresh water for cooking with
- Thermometers for cooler and cooked meat
- Well insulated coolers. 2 or 3 coolers work best if you have the room. One to keep raw meats separate from cooked foods. One for the cooked foods and the other for your beverages.
Have a healthy Summer!