If this were the olden days, eating ketogenic and camping would simply be called “living.” Today, however, when we’ve been brought up on processed foods, drive-thrus, and sugary sodas, real food is harder to find. This article aims to bring you back to your roots and give you a definitive playbook for buying and preparing the best ketogenic camping food.
In order to find some travel-friendly keto meals that won’t spoil in your bag, it takes some planning and prep-work. Don’t wait until the last minute, or you’ll be forced to live off gas station peanuts and beef jerky.
To make sure you’re staying in ketosis, but also ready for adventure, make sure you spend some time preparing for your campsite snacks.
For something like small, single-serving butter packs, look for those specialized egg carriers or something solid to protect the butter from leaking onto other things in your bag. An empty can of Altoids might also work as a carrier.
If you absolutely can’t live without a little food on your stomach in the morning or you’re simply planning to burn some extra calories on the trails, consider bringing some powdered eggs.
They sound pretty strange, but like most things keto, it’s something you can get used to if the real thing isn’t available. Eat scrambled, as an omelet, or as a frittata and grab some jerky if you can’t make room in the cooler for bacon.
Beef Jerky, Dried Meats
The next obvious choice would be beef jerky or other types of dried meats. Generally speaking, there shouldn’t be any carbs here, but make sure to check the label in case they’ve added some type of sauce to the mix.
Beef jerky should last several weeks, or more, when bought fresh and it doesn’t take up too much space in your pack. As mentioned in the eggs section, it can also be a substitute for bacon if there’s no room in the cooler for other meats.
When on the road or hiking in the woods, peanut butter is a great way to get in some extra fats while adding a few calories to your snack. However, the carbs can sometimes equal the grams of protein so be careful not to have too much.
According to Eat This, Not That, JIF has 7g protein, 16g fat, and 7g carbs while Skippy has 16g fat, 6g carb, and 7g protein. The other options listed seem to be pretty close in terms of fats, carbs, and proteins, but always read your labels. Personally, I prefer Justin’s Peanut Butter, which weights in at 3g net carb per 2 tbsp, and tastes delicious (and is also available in individual packs, which is great for backpacking!).
Canned Tuna, Sardines
When PhD and keto expert Dominic D’Agostino revealed that he carries Wild Planet canned sardines with him everywhere he goes on The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Whole Foods Markets around the country literally sold out of these keto treats. Tuna also works, but sardines include olive oil for extra fats.
*If you’re traveling with a pet, dogs also love a little bit of the sardine oil dribbled over their food.
Hard Cheese, Boiled Eggs
For two other quick treats that won’t last quite as long, consider some boiled eggs or hard cheese. If in wax, a hard cheese will last a while, but make sure to eat the boiled eggs in the first day or following morning. Whatever you do, don’t risk eating something that might be bad, especially if you’re alone in the woods.
Homemade Keto Trail Mix
Avoid those trail mix bags at that store that include raisins and chocolate chips—as if they were made for a toddler—and make your own keto-friendly trail mix. Toss in some pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and unsweetened, shaved coconut pieces.
Pecans have the best net carb ratio, so keep a low ratio of pistachios as they can raise your carb count. If you’re going to be hiking a bit, feel free to have a few extra calories, but don’t go crazy.
Ketogenic Protein Bars
If you can find a quality ketogenic protein bar, pack several for the trip. Most protein bars at the star are either going to be heavy carb or low-carb as it is nearly impossible to find a no-carb protein bar.
One option may be to look in the diet, meal replacement section of your local grocery store. Sometimes, there are bars high in protein and low in carbs. Another option would be to simply pack some extra protein powder and mix it with your drinking water or bring a shaker.
If you’re not having any luck finding a high-protein, low-carb option, consider making your own keto bar. Check out this suggestion from Dr. Jockers:
Homemade Keto Protein Bar
- 1 cup nut butter (almond or cashew)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 2 scoops vanilla protein
- 10-15 drops vanilla Stevia
- ½ tsp pink salt
- 4 tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
In order to make 8-12 protein bars for your trip, simply mix all of these ingredients into a loaf pan or baking dish and freeze until firm. Cut these bars into bars and enjoy as you need them.
For camping, store in individual baggies frozen but they’ll last at room temperature for quick hikes.
For more protein bar and snack resources checkout our article “Delicious Pre-Made & Homemade Ketogenic Gym Snacks For Before And After Your Workout”.
Ketogenic Camping Food: Getting Back To Your Roots
If you stick to your principles and stay in ketosis while hiking or camping, you’ll be as close to your original ancestors as anyone in the last hundred years or so. Once you get that processed junk out of your system, there’s no reason to ever return to the drive-thrus and sodas, despite the social engagement.
Take your time to read these labels and plan ahead when going away for a trip or traveling anywhere. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the store, don’t hesitate to jump on Amazon for all of your keto-friendly ingredients, snacks, unusual finds, and more.