Staying on a diet while camping may sound like a daunting task, but a few precautions can actually make healthy eating very simple. The idea is to get away from the trials and tribulations of civilization, so ‘roughing it’ often affords very few opportunities to cheat. To make sure that temptation is completely minimized, the following things are advised:
- Truly ‘Get away from It All’- Choosing a remote campground as opposed to one in a more popular location places the camper further from restaurants, gift shops, and other places where even the most diligent dieter may be tempted to stray. National Parks, like the Grand Canyon, offers many accommodations for tourists, which also translates into many opportunities to cheat. Instead of camping near the hotels or larger campgrounds, it may be much more intelligent (and interesting!) to pursue a more remote location.
- Nature-Proof the Food- This is critically important. If local critters like birds, bears, or raccoons get into the provisions, campers may be left with nothing to eat. All food and beverages should be stored in lockable, waterproof coolers. If possible, it is also advisable to secure all unused provisions in a vehicle. This will also help to keep bugs away from the campground, meaning a lower chance of being bitten by insects.
- Stay Active – Enjoying a swim in a lake or a hike on a nature trail not only burns calories, but it also occupies the mind and boosts the metabolism. Exercise also seems to assist in the dietary process by reducing one’s appetite.
- Camp with Friends Who Are Dieting, or Even on the Same Diet- A supportive environment is a key to getting or staying in shape. Sometimes friends from different dietary support groups even plan excursions together.
- Have an Ongoing Project while Camping- Having a specific project in mind, like photographing any interesting plants or animals encountered, can help to keep one’s mind off food.
- Do Not Leave Home Hungry- Enjoying a healthy, filling breakfast before leaving home is common practice to serious campers and hikers. Apart from setting the pace for the rest of the day, it decreases the chance that a person will pull off the road and into some greasy spoon restaurant.
- Know-How to Get There, and How to Get Back- If possible, do or have someone else do a test-drive to and from the location to make sure that someone knows how to get there. Getting lost in transit to or from a location is another common cause of people eating things they didn’t plan to eat.
- Carry Extra, Non-Tempting Provisions- For the same reason as Tip #7, it is also wise for a camper to carry a bit more food than it is expected he or she will need during the camping session. If there’s no good reason to eat it during the camp, it can always be saved for the trip home or later.
These ’emergency rations’ should be something that is on the person’s diet but not found particularly tempting. As a matter of fact, that is a good general rule when packing for the trip as a whole. Sometimes little treats are fine, but the key is to know what the dieting camper will or will not be able to resist.