I recently went camping for a weekend and the way I ate was atrocious! I legit felt gross when I got home. Chips, candy, pop, beer- yeesh! But that always seems to be the case when we go camping. We purchase healthy meal options (wraps, steak & veggies, eggs) but then we stock up on super unhealthy snacks and snack all weekend long. I decided to offer advice to folks based on what I did wrong this last trip to have a healthier experience camping.
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time
We always make the mistake of buying our food the day of or before we head out. This makes things rushed and not well planned. Take the time earlier in the week to write out each meal and each snack and create a well thought out grocery list.
Pack LOTS of water and leave the pop behind
I don’t know what it is about a pop but it tastes soooooo good when you’re outside and thirsty. But it’s so bad for you and in the end just makes you even thirstier! Leave pop on the shelves and pack tons and tons of water. Also, pack separate water for your dogs so that you aren’t using expensive bottled water to, say, wash poop off them.
Healthy snacks are essential
Don’t grab the chips and candy! It’s so tempting because they’re cheap and easy and fill you up but do you really want to fill up on garbage? Pack fruit, cut up veggies, pack tortilla chips and salsa, bring along hummus and crackers. These will all satisfy your hunger and won’t spike your sugar or sodium levels.
Get in your workouts
I missed my long run while camping due to poor planning. Don’t let sleeping in the woods derail you from your planned workouts.
- Do your workout first thing in the morning (bet your companions will all be sleeping in anyway)
- Pack your gear and then lay it out next to your bed for the next morning so you can get up and go
- If you have to get left behind or meet up with everyone later, do it to make sure you get your workout
Work in something to keep your digestion healthy
I don’t usually talk poop on this blog, but let’s face it, when we’re camping our bowels like to say “Nah! I’ll wait until we get home.” This just makes you feel BLEH! If you’re drinking enough water and eating high fiber snacks you should be okay but maybe give yourself a boost by snacking on some flaxseeds or probiotic yogurt, or bringing along pre-made chia seed pudding, or eat a ton of cherries. You’ll feel better if you keep things on schedule.
Forego beer for a glass of wine
A campfire and beer go hand in hand but beer tends to go down faster and before you know it the six pack is gone! Try bringing along wine instead because you’ll tend to sip it versus gulping it down. You’ll still get a little camping buzz but it won’t take as much out of you. Less alcohol= less dehydration.
I’m headed to a ball tournament this weekend where I’ll be camping and playing softball. Let’s see if I can follow my own advice!
Do you have any other tips?
7 thoughts on “How to Stay Healthy While Camping”
These are some great tips! I definitely don’t do the digestion thing well when camping. Hope you’re enjoying some fun camping spots!
It’s something that takes a lot of planning but worth it to not feel so gross when you get home!
It’s amazing how icky you can feel after just a few days! We just got back from seven days of camping and I found that planning to have veggies with every meal kept me from adding chips or other snacks to my lunches and dinners. Baby tomatoes, mini-cucumbers and baby carrots keep really well and are pretty easy to add to almost any meal.
Hope your next weekend of camping goes well!
Thanks for the tips on camping-friendly veggies! I was able to stick to my healthy food this last weekend and it was great to come home and not feel sick!
I need tips on healthy camp food for kids. We always resort to hotdogs, but there must be a better way!
Hi Lynn! Getting kids to eat healthy is hard enough at home never mind camping. Our kids love chicken wraps and we let them choose their own toppings and put it together themselves. We also bring each ones favourite fruits and it’s ‘just for them”. Somehow that possession motivates them to eat all of their fruit.