When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I really thought I would never tent-camp again. I couldn’t picture it and thought we would have to get a tent trailer or an RV to make it work. And even then, I didn’t think we would go very often. But, I just went on my first camping trip since we switched to organic foods and since I was diagnosed with Fibro and survived! It was a lot of fun and we will definitely be going again. At least one more time during this summer. I was nervous about it but I made a plan and gave myself enough time in advance to prepare, even though it was kind-of a spur-of-the-moment thing. We usually have an air mattress to sleep on when we go camping but it wasn’t holding air, so we had to go without it. I was worried about that but we had access to my husband’s uncle’s house so I could always go in there if it was really bad. But I wanted to give this my full effort! I wanted to be prepared for anything, so I probably packed too much but you just never know. See the list of items I recommend bringing below, to help with Fibro or for anyone.
So, how can we go camping and still eat organic? Well, there are a lot of good options out there now for replacements of our favorite camping foods! They aren’t all perfect but are definitely better than the alternative. It is a little more work to prepare but so worth it. My husband and I worked together to make sure we got everything prepared and cooked, and were still able to relax and enjoy ourselves. We make a great team! It works best to plan out all your meals ahead of time so you can make sure you bring everything you need including seasonings, utensils, pots, pans, etc. Scroll down for a list of organic camping foods.
Items to Bring When Camping with Fibromyalgia (or for anyone):
- Your Warmest Socks – it usually gets cold at night when camping and I don’t know about you but my feet get ice cold sometimes!
- Air Mattress – yes, we went without one and I survived, but I recommend bringing one and we will try to get another one for next time because we were both uncomfortable.
- Homemade Bug Spray – we were still using up our old bug spray with all the chemicals in it but here is a homemade one that sounds easy to make (and hopefully works like they say!). I will try it out eventually and report back. Wellness Mama’s Homemade Bug Spray.
- Layers of Clothing – With my Fibro, I can get really hot or really cold easily. Bring warm clothes and cool clothes.
- Coconut Oil – this can be used as a moisturizer, sunblock, and for cooking. For sunblock, it has an SPF of about 10 but I don’t recommend using only coconut oil on really hot days where you are going to be out in the sun all day. You would have to keep reapplying like every hour or something.
- Natural Sunscreen – There are some natural sunscreen options in the stores but here’s Food Babe’s post on sunscreen and the safe brands available: Food Babe’s Sunscreen Post.
- Chapstick – Burt’s Bees is a good natural one.
- Many Warm Blankets/Sleeping Bags and a Comfy Pillow – My rule is you could never have too many blankets. We thought we had a ton and I was still cold in the morning. Body heat helps too.
- Comfortable Camping Chair – uh, duh right? haha
- Ear Plugs – I got woken up many times by crows, coyotes, roosters, dogs, cars, you name it!
Organic Camping Foods (not all of these items are certified organic, but they are natural better options):
- Hotdogs – Applegate or Simple Truth brands are good. Simple Truth is found at Fred Meyer or Kroger (depending on where you live). They are nitrate-free.
- Hamburgers – I found Simple Truth natural hamburger patties (see the picture below). They come in a resealable bag and were nice thick patties that tasted great! Convenient for camping but you could make your own patties (see link below for my grass-fed burger patties).
- Buns – It is hard to find good buns out there, so I make my own! Most of the time anyway… Here’s my post that contains a link to the homemade buns I make: Grass-Fed Burgers & Homemade Buns.
- Annie’s Deluxe Mac ‘n Cheese (pictured below) – I like this one for camping because you don’t need to add anything. It’s all included in the box. So you don’t need to measure out some butter or milk. Just cook the noodles and add the cheese sauce.
- Pasta Salad/Potato Salad to Bring – see my post on Summer Salads for recipes on pasta salads and a potato salad.
- Veggie Packs with Potatoes & Veggies (pictured below, although the picture doesn’t have potatoes in it) – I lay out the squares of foil, start cutting the potatoes, veggies, & onion, then distribute everything evenly on the foil. I start with a few squares of foil and then may need to add more. We had a couple extra veggie packs last time. Then add a TB of butter, some garlic (about 1 tsp of powder or minced), salt & pepper (sprinkle desired amount). Add to the grill and they really don’t take long to cook. You will know they’re done when the potatoes aren’t hard. You could also add your favorite herbs! (It may be easier to make the veggie packs without potatoes ahead of time and then maybe have baked potatoes with it. Whatever is easiest when camping!)
- Corn on the Cob – you definitely want organic, non-GMO corn. Conventional corn on the cob is very high in pesticides. I spend like .89 to .99 for each ear of organic corn and some people thought that was crazy. Yes, it may be more than regular corn on the cob but come on, $1/ear? That’s not much at all. I think our health is worth every penny.
- Sandwiches – I make my own bread once/week and also buy Dave’s Killer Bread sometimes. We make sandwiches with ham or turkey lunch meat without nitrates, or peanut butter & jelly (or honey). They are great to have when we are going out on the boat or just an easy lunch for camping, picnics, etc.
- Homemade Lunchables – This is also an easy lunch idea. You don’t have to put them together in individual packs. Just bring all the items and spread them out like a picnic. See my post on the homemade lunchable I make my daughter for school.
- Bacon & Eggs – Use uncured bacon, nitrate-free. And Cage-Free organic eggs preferred.
- Hash Browns – There are a couple organic options out there that I have found for frozen hash browns (see a picture below). It is a lot more convenient to bring these than to peel and chop (or shred) your hash browns at the campsite.
- Boiled Eggs – You could make these up ahead of time to bring camping. This post has directions on how to make the perfect boiled egg every time.
- Chips – We like the Late July brand or Kettle Chips (pictured below with ingredient label). They are both Non-GMO project verified.
- Annie’s Snacks – Bunny crackers, bunny grahams, pizza snacks, snack mix, etc.
- Popcorn – Simple Truth has different kinds of popcorn, or just make your own and bring it. You could add it to your trail mix too.
- Homemade Trail Mix (pictured below) – I just make my own using a variety of nuts (we keep all kinds of nuts on hand at home), raisins, pumpkin seeds, maybe add some granola or whatever else you want. Chocolate chips would probably be a very tasty addition but I was worried about them melting.
- Organic Instant Coffee (pictured below) – This was actually pretty good. My husband couldn’t find the creamer so he drank it black and said it was really good. Just heat up some water over a fire or cook-stove, pour into a mug and add a spoonful of the coffee. For creamer we use Organic Valley‘s french vanilla or hazelnut half & half.
- Marshmallows (pictured below) – I found Dandies marshmallows at our local food co-op. I wouldn’t say they are the best ingredients, but better. They are Vegan, gluten free, gelatin free, GMO free. Ingredients: Tapioca Syrup, Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Filtered Water, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavor. I’m not happy about the carrageenan but the other ingredients are better than regular marshmallows which contain corn syrup, refined sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor, and blue #1. Why do they have blue dye when they are white?? Ugh…
- Graham Crackers – I like Annies, and they even have a yummy cinnamon graham cracker option. They aren’t cheap though, I will say. If you want to make your own, Real Fit, Real Food Mom has a good recipe.
- Chocolate – there are natural/organic chocolate bars available in most grocery stores. I always like dark chocolate better and it’s better for you but some like milk chocolate better and hey, we are camping and having s’mores. We don’t get to do that very often.
- Hot Cocoa - All I did for hot cocoa for the kids is heat up some milk (enough for however many cups you want), and add 1 chocolate square per cup (from the chocolate you use for the s’mores). Stir until fully dissolved. They loved it! And it was easy to make.
For charcoal, we found an all natural 100% lump mesquite charcoal at Fred Meyer, but I only see it there sometimes. See the picture below. You can see that it looks very different than normal charcoal. My husband really likes it. It has a good flavor, starts quickly and stays hot longer. There are other natural types out there, like the one at Trader Joe’s.
This is not a complete list of items to bring camping, but just some recommended items that I think help with Fibro-related problems (or that could benefit anyone really), and my recommended organic camping foods. Also, I think it would have been a lot worse to camp back when I wasn’t doing as good. I am about 80% better than I was so it was a lot more manageable. Here’s what I do to feel good and keep myself going: Daily Tips for Surviving Fibromyalgia.
You can also find these on Amazon:
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