Camping Without Processed Food

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When hitting the backcountry for camping or backpacking trips, it can be tempting to throw in a handful of protein bars and call it a meal. Unfortunately, processed snacks pack in a large amount of unnecessary sugar and calories, and they are full of ingredients you’ve never heard of. Camping with just raw food is easier than you might think, and we’ll show you just how to do it without going hungry.

The key to successfully eat raw while camping is to set aside enough time to properly prepare. If you do more work chopping and preserving ahead of time, you’ll have less to do in the woods. Some simple snacks won’t require hardly any preparation because you can eat them as is. These include apples, oranges, clementines, bananas, grapes, berries, dried figs, raisins, edamame, raw nuts, goji berries and carrots. Prepare bags of chopped peppers, celery, and carrots to eat raw for snacking. Mix together a variety of raw nuts to create a trail mix that adds some variety to your camping diet.

There is also plenty of produce you can pack along without worrying about refrigeration. Tomatoes, bell peppers, and avocados can be chopped at the campsite and thrown together for a delicious guacamole salad. Pack some lemons and seasoning to make it something you’d even make in your kitchen at home. For a heartier meal in the evening, bring along some potatoes to chop and roast over the fire. You can also make a stir fry or even grill corn on the cob.

For dessert, a chocolate fix, or a much-need dose of protein, check out Veg Kitchen’s 6 Easy and Healthy Raw or Unbaked Desserts for treats like fig bars, cocoa maca-roons, and crispy rice and seed bars.

If you are able to pack more food in a cooler, be sure to bring extra greens and veggies that would normally have to be kept in the fridge. This will allow you to throw together bountiful salads. Make a simple Greek salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, olives, and a light olive oil and red wine vinegar mixture for dressing. Top with salt, pepper, and oregano.

An added bonus of sticking to these raw foods while camping is that you are consuming even more water than you normally would, especially if you would’ve been replacing these meals with processed cereal bars. Fruits and veggies contain water percentages as high as ninety-five percent. Cucumbers, radishes, and most raw greens have the highest water content. You should already be gulping down bottles of water, but just rest assured that you are consuming more water than you may realize.

Camping on a raw diet will make you feel closer to nature as you eat the earth’s delicious produce among the tall trees. Eating this way is easier than you think—just remember that time and preparation are key.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of, and the lifestyle editor at When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke

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