Quick and Healthy Paleo Hiking and Camping Foods –
This week I am sharing with you a post from my little sister about staying Paleo while camping and hiking. She got married about a year ago and is now expecting a baby. Her and her husband actually met while hiking so it is a favorite shared pastime to enjoy the outdoors. This post will be helpful for anyone looking for shelf stable snacks on the go. She and her husband both follow a Paleo template lifestyle and she is very aware of food quality and sustainability just the way I am so I trust her perspective and advice. We all know how hard it is to stay Paleo while on the road so this post should make it a little easier. Here my sister shares quick and healthy Paleo hiking and camping foods ideas.
From my sister Me Gusta Mantequilla:
As I am working on my eBook for Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly Backpacking and Camping Foods due out at the beginning of December 2014. As an introduction and preview of sorts of the book, I have also come up with a list of foods that are easy grab and go items for those last minute trips. You don’t always have time to dehydrate some veggies, prepare your own granola bars, and prep your own jerky before you hit the road and/or trail. Here are some great items you can easily find at the last minute at your local store or, if you have more time to prep, online.
This is just a sampling of the many easy, quick, grab and go options for backpacking, camping, and even traveling. Please let me know what your favorites are in the comments, I love hearing about what other people throw in their packs to nosh on. I hope you stay tuned for more homemade grain-free camping foods that I will be working on over the next few months.
Quick and Healthy Paleo Hiking and Camping Foods
Beef Jerky: Grass-fed jerky can be found at a lot of farmers markets, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and some higher end grocery stores. Conventional jerky can be bought anyway, from target to a gas station. Great last minute, emergency protein. When you can order ahead, I love buying these Tanka Bites in bulk to have on hand for camping or just any food emergency. They have some non-grass fed jerky at Costco for a good deal, that is also gluten free. If you can’t find grass-fed jerky, I would just look for a gluten-free, crap-free version at your local store or a brand like this one.
Summer Sausage: This item can be picked up at any grocery store year-round. It is shelf stable for a few days after opening, unless you are going to be in very hot and humid conditions, then you might want to shoot for something else. Also great skewered and toasted over the fire. When I can buy ahead of time, I love buying these from Tropical Traditions.
Pepperoni Slices: Easy to find at any grocery store or here. Very shelf stable, but unfortunately lots of sodium and preservatives. One of my friends and I survived on this stuff (bought at a gas station) when we both realized that we had thought the other was packing the protein. Great campfire snack though, as you roast a few pieces of skewered pepperoni over the fire, yum!
Olive Oil packed Tuna Packets: These are my favorite, easy protein for backpacking trips, and a dose of healthy fat. I scavenge a few packets of spicy mustard from restaurants around town (Panera and other deli/sandwich shops are a great resource for condiment packets) and I take this to have for lunches or dinners. You can find them at most grocery stores or online here. If you aren’t into fish, you can also find Chicken Breast Packets very easily at the store or here.
Parmesan Cheese or other Hard Cheese: Parmesan is traditionally made with raw milk, and aged over two years. All hard cheeses are shelf stable as long as they are kept dry, if for some reason your cheese grows mold or starts to smell funky on your trip, you may want to toss it out or just cut off the affected part. This is a great protein and great accompaniment to summer sausage and pepperoni. You can buy Parmesan and other hard cheeses are just about any grocery store, or you can get this nice hunk of Parmesan from here. My husband love toasting slices of Parmesan skewered over the fire with pepperoni or salami.
Assorted Nuts: I would dare to say I think of nuts as more of a fat than a protein, even though I know they are a good source. I tend to overeat nuts, so portioning these would probably be a good idea if you also have a hard time judging that a “quarter-cup serving” is not an entire handful (or two) of cashews. Obviously, you can find nuts at just about any store, but I would shoot for dry-roasted or soaked and dried nuts. If you can’t find soaked and dried nuts, here is a great option online.
Hard Boiled Eggs: Great source of protein, shelf stable in the egg for about two days. Enough said.
Just Veggies Dried Veggies: A great way snack on the trail or a mix-in with soup or potatoes on the trail. You can find these are most health food stores or larger grocery store chains and online here.
Harmony House Soup Mix: Another great mix in with your rice (if you eat rice) or potatoes. I have seen this brand at my regular grocery store, but there are similar types of soup mixes of different brands that would be great as well. If you have time to buy ahead of time, you can find it here.
Roasted Seaweed Packs: These are great to just add a nice, very lightweight snack to your pack. You can find these are just about any store nowadays from Target to Trader Joe’s. My favorite brand is Sea Snax because of the flavor and they are roasted in olive oil (which most other brands are not), and they have four awesome flavors now, my favorite are the Wasabi Flavor or the Onion flavor.
Cut up Raw Veggies: Most raw veggies will keep perfectly in your pack for a 2-3 days as long as your keep them dry. Dry them well after chopping or take them whole and cut or chomp as you travel. If any of your veggies start to get slimy or smell bad, I would toss them.
Organic Mashed Potatoes: I have bought this brand at Whole Foods before and they are tasty, but you can buy online easily. Potatoes are one of the most highly prevalent GMO foods in the USA, so I like to stay with organic, but you can find regular mashed potato packets at the grocery store in a pinch. It’s important if you are backpacking long distances that you do allow yourself some carbohydrates, you don’t have to pack a ton. But make sure you are eating some veggies, fruits, or other starches along the way. Listen to your body.
Kale Chips: A great crunchy addition to you pack, plus a nice dose of nutrients. These are super easy and cheap to make if you have time, check out Everyday Maven‘s recipe for Nacho Cheese Kale Chips here. If you aren’t interested in making them, these are also easily found at most stores (I have often found them cheap at TJ Maxx and Trader Joe’s), or online here.
Fruits and Treats:
Lara Bars: I like the boxes of mini-bars like this click here because they are easy to pack and provide a quick boost of energy when you are on the trail or on the go. A whole Lara Bar is usually too much of a sugar bomb for me, so that’s also a plus for the mini-version. They can be bought online here or you can grab the mini-bars at Target. They may have the larger bars and sometimes the mini-bar packs at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, natural food stores, and most large grocery stores around the country.
Bare Fruit: I LOVE the organic Cinnamon Apple Chips, they taste like home. These are bake dried, 100% fruit. The ingredients on the cinnamon apple chips are: apples and cinnamon. I love these because they are one of the only sweetener-free dried fruits that I can find and they are super light to pack. These are harder to find at the store near me, but surprisingly, I usually can always find a bag at TJ Maxx in the food section. You can also order the variety packs online like this one, or check their website for retail locations here.
Freeze Dried Fruit: I love freeze-dried fruit because it’s crunchy and it’s very light. Great to add to Paleo “oatmeal” in the morning or just snack on. My favorite are these blueberries and these strawberries.
Hot Chocolate: I especially love winter camping. And nothing melts away a cold day of hiking like a hot cup of chocolate. My favorite brand is found here. I love it because you can eat more, you actually burn more energy in the cold than in the heat, weirdly enough. Plus, I love hot chocolate at the end of the day.
All of these foods have been tested by me, and I approve them for taste and portability. As always, be smart about your perishable foods while backpacking or traveling, and don’t eat something that you think may have gone bad or smells funny.
I hope these suggestions help you on your next trip. Tell me where you are going! We are trying to plan a pre-baby backpacking trip this fall, any suggestions?