Camping Checklist - Food Allergy Style


Summer time in our family means camping, and lots of it!  My husband and I used to go tent camping, before we had children, almost every weekend that the weather would allow.  There’s just something about spending all of your time outside in the fresh air that really appeals to us.  Once we had children, we put aside the tent and got a camper.  Camping in a camper is just so much easier, especially when caring for a child with food allergies. 

Whether you’re camping in a tent or a camper the following tips will be helpful when dealing with diet restrictions and food allergies.

  • Allergy-Friendly food packed in designated plastic (weather resistant) storage bins.
  • Allergy-Friendly cold food packed in designated Styrofoam coolers.
    • Believe it or not the Styrofoam coolers keep items cold longer than plastic coolers.
  • Tons of plastic plates, silverware, and paper napkins.
  • Tablecloth for the picnic table to prevent cross contamination from previous campers.
  • Bleach wipes for easy cleaning.
  • Pack two epinephrine auto-injectors, antihistamines, fever reducer, anti-itch bug bite cream, and a first aid kit!!
  • Medical id bracelets.
  • Insulated lunch box for bringing food on-the-go.
  • Large bin with sponges and dish soap to easily wash cooking utensils.
  • Map of the area with local hospitals and grocery stores notated. (You never know if you’ll have cell phone service in the area so it’s best to have a hard copy of important addresses and maps.)
  • Choose a campground that has a land-line phone in the office, for emergencies.
  • Plan ahead menu items for easy cooking:
    • Breakfast - oatmeal, cereal, pre-made muffins, granola, fruit, yogurt, pre-made bacon
    • Lunch - sandwiches, fruit, chips, salad, pasta salad
    • Dinner – grilled meat/poultry (if bringing a grill), hotdogs, ham, sausages for easy roasting on a long fork over an open fire, pre-cooked meats that can be wrapped in foil and heated close to the coals, baked or sweet potatoes wrapped in foil and thrown in the coals of the fire (this also works with butternut squash), minute rice, pasta, and steamed veggies which only require boiling water, salad, pasta salad, and plenty of fresh fruit. 

Now remember, this list only contains items that will make camping with food allergies easier.  You’ll still be responsible for packing everything else (don’t forget the glow sticks), but it’ll be worth it.  The memories that you’ll make will last a life time.

Elizabeth DiBurro, EBL Food Allergies