Camping and the Keto Diet

I love camping!

I went camping for four glorious days in Northern California. I had a wonderful, relaxing time and I also managed to stay true to the Ketogenic Diet. I went out to eat two times and I also went wine tasting! Here I will share how I did it.

Breakfast foods:
A great breakfast, minus the bread there. I forgot to take a photo of mine.

Sausage-
I grilled up some sausage in advance so I was not carrying raw pork around in a cooler in the dead of summer. I like the Johnsonville hot Italian usually but to make sure I was not giving  my stomach any reasons to be a jerk to me while living in the woods for the better half of a week, I went with some double IPA sausages. I just opened the liner, pressed them into large patties and cooked them. I kept them in the cooler in a ziplock bag.

Eggs-
Eggs are a fantastic thing to bring camping. You can boil them for a snack or fry and scramble them for breakfast. I chose to bring raw, unbroken eggs because it was easy but if you want to scramble them for breakfast, you can crack a few into a container of your choice in advance. That way you have nothing to break in your cooler and you can just dole out the amount of pre-scrambled egg mixture you desire.
Nothing better than coffee and bacon in the morning while camping.

Bacon-
I don't eat much bacon irl but for camping it is a must for me and my family. It is a tradition. You can cook your bacon on the camp stove then crack your eggs or egg mixture right into the remaining oil leaving only one pan to clean. You can make a bunch then snack on a strip or two all day or add to your lunch as well.

Creamy, buttery coffee-
I brought loads of salt-free butter. I added a tablespoon or two of butter to my camp coffee. When the butter is melted, I add as much whipping cream as I like to my desired color. This is a very filling morning drink but it has only minimal nutrients so don't forget to eat something along with it to fuel you through to lunch.

Lunch foods:

Chicken salad-
I used some chunked and shredded chicken and tossed it with mayonnaise, black olives, chopped pickles and mustard. Add salt and pepper and if you want you can add full fat Greek yogurt. This can be stored in tupperware in the cooler and takes up very little space. I just pulled it out and ate with a fork right out of the container. I didn't have any dishes to deal with and could eat it safely in awkward, often sandy or dirty areas like at the beach.
Chicken Salad, photo and recipe are here from Lisa at Low Carb Yum. I love pickles in mine! She has very good advice on how to make it with the best Keto friendly ingredients.

Snacks and drinks:

Ice tea-
I filled a plastic milk jug with water and 4 bags of my favorite tea. There is no need to boil the water first. It seeps just fine in room temperature tap water and in cold water. I placed the mostly filled jug in the freezer over night. Once frozen, I added a bit more water and put the cap on. This is a clean way to keep your food and drinks cold in the cooler as well. As the frozen tea melts I would have a very cold drink. If you do not have the room to put a whole jug, you can do the same in smaller water bottles. Just drink the first inch or so, cram a tea bag inside and stand up in the freezer. Once frozen you can fill the rest of the way with water and place in strategic places in your cooler
We always have a great selection of fine cheeses when camping. Everything here (save for the bread) is totally Keto.

Cheese-
I chose 6 different gourmet cheeses. I ate them on little rounds of sliced salami or just with my hands. I had mostly soft brie like cheese but varied it with goat, cow, sheep and bison milks. I ate a couple harder cheeses too like my all time fave, Nicasio Square cheese. Mmm I want some to eat right now!

Cold cuts/charcuteries-
I brought along some sliceable salami as well as pre-sliced salami. I brought some coppa and prosciutto as well. I ate these as snacks or as the "chips" for my cheese.
More snacks, I loved those marinated mozzy balls.

Pork rinds-
These are the best for mindless snacking. They are super satisfying but have no carbs at all in them. Be careful of your protein intake though!

Macadamia nuts-
These are so yummy that they taste almost sweet to me. Another great snack to have while others might be eating chips.
A small taste of the many types of olives that are out there. I like to choose many varieties from the deli.

Olives-
I went to the market and selected several varieties of olives. They are filling, salty and good for you!

Dinner, eating out:

First night, Mexican-
I was so very disappointed to find out that my favorite Mexican restaurant had closed. The owners retired but sold the recipes to the new owners who opened a new place with a slightly changed name. The food was not quite as good and the menu was about one quarter as big so I was thrown for a loop when I arrived. I had planned on having fajitas without the tortillas but had to make new decisions. I chose the Al Pastor pork plate but instead of rice and beans as a side, I had a big ol' pile of guacamole. It turned out super delicious. There is a little orange and orange juice in it but not enough to throw me out of Ketosis. The cool, tangy guac went well with the pile of meat I had on the other side of  my plate. It balanced out the heavier flavors on the pork. I had enough to eat as leftovers the last night of the trip. I ordered an ice tea to go with dinner. I considered having a beer but I wanted to spend my daily dose of carbs on wine back at the campsite. I never get tired of tea. I have a pretty hefty selection at home and drink it every day so it was a good choice for this night.
You can have this at camp. Make the meat ahead of time and heat, make the quac in camp.

Second night, American brewhouse-
Another blow hit us when we learned that our second favorite restaurant in the Anderson Valley had changed owners. We heard that the original owners of the Buckhorn decided to up and leave but the bartender's girlfriend's parents promptly bought it. The menu needs a lot of sorting out still but I think they will be back to their old quality by next year. I could have gotten the burger with no bun but I was craving a grilled chicken breast so I got the wedge salad with chicken. The salad came with THE BIGGEST wedge of iceberg lettuce I have ever seen. It was a half a head of lettuce. That was smothered in bleu cheese, bacon and walnuts. The walnuts were candied but there were so few that it didn't throw me out of ketosis. They still added a great deal of flavor. I also opted for a diet coke because I was wanting some sort of sugar fix. It was gross (I'm not the sort who likes diet anything) but satisfying nonetheless.
I admit, it wasn't the prettiest looking meal but it was satisfying and tasty.
In camp dinners:

The best in-camp dinners are the ones you can do the most prep or even all the cooking at home. Pre-season and form hamburger patties, make meatballs, have hot dogs with sauerkraut, bring marinated steaks.
A hot dog while camping from previous years, just remove the ketchup and bun and you are set.

Night time desserts and boozy drinks:

Wine-
I went wine tasting at a couple of the wineries in order to pick some up for my brother as well as bring some chilled bottles back to camp for the evening. A little wine here and there is not too terrible for you in terms of keeping in ketosis. I tasted about 10 wines (and of course I did not spit!). I brought a nice Sauvignon Blanc back and had two small glasses of that. The other night I had only a half a glass because it was relatively sweet. Other wines that would be ok to drink are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, dry Rose, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The wines you want to avoid are the sweet ones like Muscat or Icewine.
We camp in the beautiful Anderson Valley which has beautiful wines.

Vodka-
This is the best choice if you are wanting to drink alcohol. It has low carbs and is clear which means it has less in it to make you feel crappy later. Vodka is just a nice and clean alcoholic option. I did not want to sit around the campfire taking shots of warm vodka so I created a cocktail that I quite like. I will put the recipe below. If you do not like vodka, you can drink almost any unsweetened hard alcohol like rum, tequila and gin. Stay away from anything sweet and you are good to go.
Lindt is easily the best tasting and best textured 90% dark chocolate out there. One square is 3 grams of Carbs.

Chocolate-
I did not want to just sit and watch the others make smores so I brought along some Lindt 90% chocolate. It is a little bitter if you are not used to dark chocolate but I found that the Lindt brand is a particularly good brand to try out the 90%. It is creamy and satisfying while at the same time, low on carbs. I ate two squares per night and stayed in ketosis.
Normally, I have s'mores paired with port or a late harvest wine. This year it was chocolate and vodka.

Cookies-
I did not bring cookies but I did intend to make some at home to bring. I got lazy. There are plenty of great recipes to find on the trusty interwebs for cookies you like.
So refreshing and tasty too! Photo is from Polar Seltzer, I drank mine out of a camp mug with a fish on it.cherry 

Keto Happiness Drink

2 oz Vanilla Absolut
Flavored soda water like Orange or Cherry
Garnish, orange slice if using orange soda water, cherry (natural, not sweetened like maraschino) if using cherry soda water

Fill highball glass with ice.
Pour vodka over ice.
Top with soda water
Garnish with orange slice on side or cherry inside as desired.

I'm telling you, this is so yummy, it's like a 50-50 bar or cherries and cream. If you are daring you can add a little whipping cream to the top!
Many flavors, many options.