Wednesday, April 25, 2007


We just returned from a wonderful 3 day, 2 night, backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. This was our first camping trip gluten free. We decided to have all of our food be gluten free for the trip, including snacks for the gluten eaters in the group (e.g, no power bars), because of the extra challenges dishwashing in the wild -- it worked out surprisingly well!

We treated ourselves to a new set of lightweight camping cookware. This set will also be handy when we travel and stay in condos, because one can never predict in advance whether the cookware will be nice, clean stainless steel -- or grotty, scratched frying pans!

Lunches -- I baked a loaf of Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread at home the Sat morning before our plane left. I sliced it, stored it in a plastic zip lock, then put the bag and bread in a half-gallon plastic container (the kind used to store ice cream). I was able to transport the bread in our hand luggage and it stayed relatively uncrushed and fresh. [I also brought a batch of muffins with us, for motel breakfasts, which again held up surprisingly well.] We used it for sandwiches on the trail on both Monday and Tuesday. We also brought corn thins to use for the last lunch -- they are thinner than rice cakes, seem to crumble less, and are bigger than crackers. (Corn tortillas was another option, but we aren't a big fan of those.) We brought peanut butter and jelly (stored in light plastic containers) and cheese for the innards of the sandwhiches.

Snacks -- a huge batch of gorp (peanuts, raisins, M & Ms), Stretch Island fruit leathers, dried apricots, dried strawberries, chocolate bars, Zone perfect bars (several of their flavors do not have ingredients containing gluten), Bumble bars, some fresh fruit.

Dinners -- Individual packets of Thai kitchen rice noodle soups were an excellent replacement for the Ramen we used to bring, along with tuna from a packet and beef jerky. We also brought fresh string beans for the first night. We never use the entire flavor packet from the noodles -- we should have saved it to spice the second night's meal which was rice (actually boil in bag rice, very easy clean up for camping) along with tuna and beef jerky.

Breakfast -- Chocolate chip pancakes -- I premeasured the ingredients -- Pamela's brand mix, chocolate chips and Simply Egg Whites (instead of fresh eggs) -- and transported it in a zip lock. We also brought a small container of oil for frying. The second morning we had Bobs Red Mill hot cereal -- we brought a small amount of brown sugar, and some dried milk powder, to add to the hot cereal.

Drinks -- Capri Sun has small packets of electrolyte powder that you can add to water -- this was very refreshing on the trail. And, of course, hot chocolate.

So, as you can see, we weren't gourmets, but we ate well and we certainly weren't hungry. We brought some of the food from home, and purchased most of the rest in Las Vegas because we weren't sure how extensive the grocery store in the Grand Canyon would be. Las Vegas (especially suburban LV where we spent the first night), however, seems to have every store imaginable!

The Canyon was awesome, although I am amazed that anyone hikes there in the dead of summer. And I am certainly glad that we took a pass on the mule trip. Happy trails!


Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Great post. Very handy info to share. :)

Anonymous said...

what brand of cheese do you use

ArizonaPhil said...

Sound great, but a bit heavey if you're backpacking it in. I've been looking for gluten-free backpacking meals, but there's not a lot to pick from.

My son and I are doing 3 nights in the canyon this summer. :)

I'll probably do a combination of backpacking food and some of your suggestions above.


Jonathon said...

Thanks posting your menus! This is helping me plan out the food for a hiking trip with my girlfriend this weekend. Cheers!

A teen and her family's experiences living gluten-free.