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A Camping Explosion and a Gluten Free Real Food Menu Plan

Stainless steel bento box with peas, instant pot bbq chicken, cheese, veggies and a jar of fruit topped homemade yogurt.

I’ll start with the explosion and make you wait for the gluten free camping food. 

Here’s what happened to the Kimballs out in the woods when I tried to make breakfast using this new gluten-free camping meal plan instead of our old standard camping meal plan with lots of whole grains. All while still trying to keep camping budget friendly!

exploding gluten free pancakes

See Katie shake the jar of soaked pancakes to mix the leavening in. (I prepped a soaked gluten-free recipe much like I do our old favorite camping pancakes, so the batter had been soaking 24 hours.)

exploding gluten free pancakes

See Katie struggle to open the lid of the quart jar, knowing she should have looked harder for a clean half gallon jar. See the little plastic box ready to capture the volcanic overflow from mixing baking soda into the batter.

exploding gluten free pancakes

See Katie work harder to open the lid, getting worried about the pressure building up…

exploding gluten free pancakes

See what happens when you put too much pancake batter in a quart jar when you needed a half gallon. Oops.

exploding gluten free pancakes

See the boy who was smart enough to wear his T-shirt backwards. Problem solved. Winking smile

Lesson: Do NOT put 3 cups of pancake batter in a 4-cup jar, then try to shake in baking soda.

The pancakes turned out fine, by the way – the ones left in the jar, that is.

Planning a trip and want S’more gluten-free ideas??

The Family Camping Handbook

Don’t miss your chance to get tips and encouragement from a mom of 4 that will give you the courage to take toddlers, even babies, into the woods camping. We’ve done it with a 2-month-old, done it pregnant…and we don’t pack hot dogs or white bread.

For the best real food recipes and little-kid-camping secrets to success, grab your copy HERE and imagine your next frugal family vacation!

Now including a bonus printable of gluten-free menu planning!!

A Gluten-Free Camping Trip with Real Food

When I published The Family Camping Handbook, our family had not even dabbled in being gluten free or grain free. Now, most of the time, we are one or the other.

Often for special occasions, we throw gluten to the wind and eat whatever, and I thought about camping being one of those times.

I just can’t help accepting a challenge, though.

My husband says everything around here seems like an experiment (see explosion, above), and camping this year was as well, to an extent.

I’d had many gluten-free bloggers and readers ask about how much gluten is in the menu plans and recipes in the camping handbook, and unfortunately, there’s kind of a lot.

But there doesn’t have to be!

Here’s a two-night gluten-free, real food camping menu plan:

Lunch 1, packed (to eat upon arrival or on the road):

Your kids can prep the potato salad! We’ll show you how.

Dinner, Day One

Gluten-free camping meal plan. Grilling breakfast, gluten-free pancakes and bacon. Gluten free chicken dinner.

Breakfast, Day Two

Lunch, Day Two

  • Bison brats on the grill and nitrate-free hot dogs on the fire
    • on a bed of grilled peppers/onions instead of a bun
  • Baked beans (Eden Organic without BPA or refined sugar)
  • Yogurt w/fruit
  • Smores (the marshmallows were not “real food,” but we used dark chocolate and…sigh…#fail – I ran out of time to make these gluten-free graham crackers. If I did it again, this would be something I made ahead and froze.)

Dinner, Day Two

Breakfast, Day Three

Homemade grain-free granola (from Healthy Snacks to Go) and milk/yogurt/fruit

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks
  • 100% Grass Fed Beef & 100% Pasture Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten free, soy free, dairy free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

Lunch, packed for the beach



I’m thrilled to share a FREE gluten-free cheat sheet mini eBook to help get you started! This is perfect if you’ve just been told you need a GF diet, if you have a friend or family member eating GF and you’d like to cook for them, or if you’re just curious what it’s all about!

This menu plan is now one of the free printable add-ons to the The Family Camping Handbook!

What do you think? Want to come camping with us?
beach at sunset

(We go deep in the woods where there’s nothing but a firepit, by the way…)

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

17 thoughts on “A Camping Explosion and a Gluten Free Real Food Menu Plan”

  1. Pingback: Camping for the Gluten Free | Gluten Free: The Celiac Site

  2. OH! Best post I’ve read in a while. I rarely laugh out loud when reading online! Thank you! And for the ideas, of course.

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  8. Cecilia Powers

    Katie, I swear your family goes camping exactly where my mine does! Near Manistee on Lake Michigan? I would totally go camping with you and rock out the real food ;).

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  10. Love this menu! My daughter and I are mostly grain/gluten free and by default, that means the rest of the family is for most meals too. We just went camping and took your grain-free pumpkin muffins with us.

    Got a question about the flatbread…I don’t have a vitamix. But I to have a nutrimill and I grind rice and millet for flour all the time. Do you think I should grind the grains first and then soak? I don’t think my blender could handle it whole.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      It’s worth a try, and maybe it would turn out the same, BUT. I’m telling you, I have a weak, $7-at-a-garage-sale nothing blender, and it managed it. You just have to blend for 3 minutes (set your timer) and it will turn out great. The soak makes a big difference. Good luck either way, it’s such a tasty bread!
      🙂 Katie

  11. Shiree Martin

    Thanks so much for the menu. I would LOVE to come camping with you! gluten free camping is something I haven’t tried yet.

  12. Thanks for this helpful post! I am gluten free and often struggle with food to take with the family camping. So I have to ask, this seems like a lot of food (obviously needed). How many coolers do you take? How do you deal with keeping everything cold? Just buy lots of ice?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Just one big cooler (regular picnic size) and a little one for drinks. We loaded up on ice packs from home plus one bag, then “reloaded” on day two with a second bag of ice. We’ll never be backpackers; we love our food too much! 😉 Katie

  13. Lacey @ KV Organics

    LOVE those pictures!!! 🙂

    Deep in the woods with nothing but a fire pit is my kinda camping!! So much fun! 🙂

  14. I love that your shirt says “Fiesty”… almost as if to be foreshadowing that you wouldn’t give up on that jar until it gave in! Thanks for letting us laugh with you : )

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