Eating Well While Camping

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I just returned from a three-day personal retreat. I spent it camping on the southern most tip of the Washington State coast. I went alone and have many insights to share with you in future posts. Some of you read my last post about doing those activities that fill me up. Time in nature is at the top of the list.

I love going on solo trips and I am so inspired by Leonie Dawson and her vision for her life, that I actually set an intention of renewal for this trip. She went on a sacred solo retreat about a month ago and wrote about it here. I took her lead and turned off my phone and didn’t take my laptop. This might be obvious to some of you, but for me it was a big deal.

This post is focused on the meals I prepared. I tend to eat simple, whole foods while camping. My friend Krista says when her family goes camping, that’s when they bring out all the “junk” food, like smores, hot chocolate, etc. For me, it’s the opposite. I use it as an opportunity to ditch the sugar, chocolate and baked flour. I mostly car camp, especially when I go alone, so it affords me the opportunity to take a big cooler and things like cast iron skillets and microplane zesters. ūüôā

Pre-Trip Preparations:

Food I Brought:

  • pre-cooked brown rice¬†(pre-cooked hulled barley is nice, too)
  • pre-cooked beans¬†(I brought both aduki beans and lentils) (or throw in a can of Eden beans and a can opener)
  • homemade bean spread or store-bought hummus (try to find one with a lower salt content)
  • pressed salad is also a great addition
  • quick grains for cooking at the camp site are polenta, steel-cut oats and millet
  • udon noodles or other pasta
  • vegetables: ¬†greens like collard or kale, romaine lettuce, snap peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, cucumber, green onion
  • fruit: ¬†strawberries, cherries, green grapes, plums
  • wakame and nori
  • sea salt
  • shoyu
  • miso
  • brown rice vinegar
  • olive or sesame oil
  • vinaigrette for salads (mine had mustard, balsamic vinegar, shoyu and water)
  • lemon for squeezing on cooked vegetables or in water
  • twig tea
  • 2 jugs of water

Cooking Supplies:

  • propane stove
  • medium size stainless steel saucepan with lid and steaming basket
  • small cast iron skillet
  • matches
  • cutting board
  • decent knife
  • scrubby and dr. bronner’s (I mostly just rinsed my pots out without soap)
  • medium size bowl (for both mixing and eating) and a plate
  • spoon, fork, chopsticks


I may be forgetting something, but this is just to give you the idea and a place to start. I made this list for those of you who have never cooked outdoors. I have the type of pot where the steamer sits on top instead of inside, so it works well for doing pasta and vegetables at the same time.

Some meals I ate while camping or on the road:


  • rice porridge with added diced carrot and steamed green beans
  • miso soup with rice, kale, grated carrot and daikon, wakame and green onionIMG_20130629_074518


  • collard burritos with rice and bean spread¬†
  • noodles leftover from dinner, romaine salad, snap peas
  • leftover polenta, romaine and hummus wrapsIMG_20130630_073120


  • saut√©ed kale with cooked noodles and lentils added at the end with a splash of the vinaigrette, steamed green beans
  • polenta with aduki beans, blanched vegetable salad with a splash of brown rice vinegar


  • fruit
  • nori
  • vegetables with bean spread

I didn’t bring nuts, dried fruit, nut/seed butters, bread/crackers/chips or oats because I am focusing on what my body needs right now for health. Feel free to bring those foods if you desire. Good quality bread is nice, too. However, you can also use camping to give your body a rest from dry and baked flour products. I also ate more fruit than usual, mainly because it’s so convenient and I was expecting the weather to be hot.

I hope this inspires you to spend more time in nature this summer and shows you how easy it can be to prepare healthy and delicious meals outside. I feel amazing and centered from my trip/retreat and have plans to take similar trips on a regular basis. I hope you make the time to have similar adventures this summer.