So it has reached that time of year once more and we are preparing for our annual camping trips. I can’t quite bring myself to mention the weather because I know it will jinx things!
Having a child with coeliac disease and an intolerance to dairy means that we have to plan our trips a little more carefully than most.
I would imagine that when most people camp they cook a few meals but visit local pubs and restaurants to eat most of the time; when it is hot it can be tricky to keep food cool and when it is windy and raining it is hard to cook!
However, we cannot easily do this so I have devised some tips on how to camp whilst on a free-from diet…
1) Stock up on Ilumi meals!!! This is new this year but having tried the wonderful long-life ready meals that can be stored at room temperature this is my number one tip! This year I will get a break from cooking and we will be eating healthy nutritious tasty food that doesn’t need to be kept cold and can be re-heated in minutes!
2) Do your research! Find out where the nearest supermarkets are (the chances are you will need to make a few trips, especially if the weather is good because your food won’t keep) along with any cafes or restaurants that serve free-from food. You never know you might just get lucky! It is at least good to know of somewhere you could sneak off to get a piece of cake and a cup of tea!
3) Get a big tent! This will make things much easier if you have to do cooking inside because of the weather. It is inevitable it will rain at some point, or be too windy to cook outside. If you have a big tent you will have the space to cook inside (providing you place it on a safe, non-flammable surface!).
4) Invest in a good cooker! We have a Campingaz Camping Chef Stove (that is an affiliate link which means if you bought it after following my link I would get a tiny percentage of the sale to help me carry on writing!) which is fantastic. It has two ‘rings’ and a grill so you can do most things you could do at home. At £40 it is well worth the investment!
5) Plan simple meals that won’t take too long to make and that can be made from ingredients that don’t need to be kept cool. It is much easier for everyone to eat the same thing so that no cross-contamination can occur. Think pasta with tomato sauce (made from chopped onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes and dried herbs), my simple curry, my vegetable chilli (made using tinned vegetables), pasta and pesto, spaghetti bolognese using dried soya mince (again you could used tinned vegetables), tuna and vegetable bake (again using tinned vegetables if you wanted) and of course a BBQ for the first night while things are still cool in the cool box!
6) Ideally invest in a camping fridge…but if like us you don’t camp often enough to warrant the expense then follow steps 1 and 5!
7) Make sure you have lots of staples, like gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk. You won’t find those in the campsite shop!
8) Bring lots of foil and sandwich bags. You will need them for packing up a lunch if you go out for the day!
9) Have a packet of baby wipes or anti-bacterial wipes for the inevitable food spillages and for wiping things down before preparing free-from food (if you are cooking separate things).
10) Enjoy yourself…even if it is wet and cold, you have barely slept and the kids are moaning. You are on holiday!!!! 😉
Do you have any tips you can add? I would love to hear them if you do.
Oh and in case you were wondering, since we will be camping and I will be spending some wonderful sunny (!?!) days with my kids, my blogging activity will decrease for the next 6 weeks! Normal service will resume in September! Happy summer’s everyone!