Eating on the Go

This weekend our family headed up to Lake Country in the Okanagan region of BC to do a little camping and a little exploration of the area (it’s one of our choices for the future homestead). It was our first real camping trip of the summer (as in, we slept in a tent and cooked on a portable grill).

When I was growing up, my father took us camping and hiking in the backcountry. No sissy car camping for us kids; we hauled in our food and water and stayed for several days. Dairy was out, as was anything else perishable. A can of condensed milk was available for tea or coffee (I hated the stuff), and dinner was often dehydrated meals from the camping supply store. The lack of fresh choices in my childhood camping experiences may explain why I have to think hard about packing anything other than convenience foods when we embark on our travels. Despite the healthy eating going on at home, when it comes to packing for a camping trip my brain seems to shut off and revert to old (bad) habits. Hot dogs and marshmallows are de rigeur, the car ride almost always involves at least one drive-thru experience, snacks are obtained from the gas station…you get the drift. 

This last trip was mostly an on-the-fly affair when it came to planning, and I was working the day previous. Since I am the one in our family who plans and packs (Husband is the driver) I was really unprepared this time. My attitude towards food has changed considerably over the last several months, and while I did make a few pit stops at fruit stands along the way (the Okanagan region is bursting with orchards) we still ate way too much junk food. The only thing local at our camp table (besides some fruit) was the beer. Oh the shame!

We’re planning another trip in a couple of weeks and I’m challenging myself to provide better fare this time. We have a big honkin’ cooler and we’re never far from a bag of ice so there really is no excuse not to provide fresh, wholesome snacks and food for my family. Even on the road. A bag packed with sandwiches, fresh fruit, and some homemade granola bars is far better than anything you can get by talking into a speaker while the car is running. Meals can be planned ahead of time, condiments and essential seasonings (like olive oil) can come along for the ride. And of course there’s all the fresh fruit and produce at the roadside stands. We have a Coleman stove and a portable grill so really, I have no excuse. I hereby pledge to ditch the junk food on our next road trip before my children decide that “travel” is synonymous with “Happy Meal”.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Yes, I’ve fallen into the In N Out trap more than once. Most of the time, we pack our own food but every now and then . . . oh well. Truth be told, my kids don’t really care about it. They spend their time, instead, begging for more ice cream which my father is perpetually offering them.

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  2. We are planning our first camping trip of the season for this weekend. We do ok with packing in our own food but it is so easy to fall back on convenience foods for these trips. Where we really struggle is the long road trips to visit family. 9 hours in the car (one way) usually results in at least one stop at a fast food establishment or gas station. Strangely, I usually have healthier snacks on hand but they aren’t allows the right snacks for the particular cravings. I need to do better and make sure I have all of the craving bases covered before we head out!

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  3. I hear you!
    And you’re right – it is totally doable but it takes a lot more planning. My kitchen always looks hilarious right before a road trip with baggies and containers everywhere. I pre-measure the dry ingredients for pancakes and take along the wet to add when we need it. We have a Coleman griddle for our stove – great item if you don’t have one, and we use it over two burners of our gas stove all year long as well. And hot or cold cereal are always easy out in the campground! Fish is great, and pre-made hamburgers. But, really, when you’re camping, you need a good hotdog over the fire! The times that we have only brought healthy food with us, we have missed those dogs! Give yourself a pat on the back for all the great food you eat on a regular basis and don’t stress if you eat less than stellar on a weekend away. You are “getting away”! That said, I get stressed, especially after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, when all we pass are McDs…where are the semi-healthy options along the BC freeways and highways?????

    And to add to Bugs and Brooms comment, I have been in the same situation, where I have packed food for the road but none of us (including me) really want to eat it when the time comes! Is it our upbringing and what we remember from our younger days on road trips that makes us crave this stuff as soon as we hit the highway???

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  4. […] here and us doing lots of camping we’ve experienced mosquitos frequently. In early summer, a trip up north subjected my poor kids to a choice between being sprayed with neurotoxins (DEET) or being eaten […]

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  5. healthy eating should be our top priority since there are many junk foods and foods with no nutritional value these days ,”

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  6. Fine post! I will be also planning to write a blog post concerning this… thank you

    Reply

  7. this was a great segment thanks a lot for the help.

    Reply

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