Camping and Hiking on Keto

Camping and Hiking on Keto

Updated May 2020

Summary of Hiking on Keto:

  • Plan for some hot food and a way to cook it if you can’t have a campfire! 
  • Pack light but remember plenty of water
  • Take all of your rubbish with you
  • Take extra food and snacks you can grab and eat quickly while walking
  • Pre-prepare as much as possible
  • Suggested recipes and planning ahead

Spring is here, and that means some warmer weather in Australia and time to get back out into the great outdoors. My question was camping and hiking on keto – is it possible?

A few friends have decided to take a camping trip to the beautiful Wilsons Promontory, a national park here in Victoria with some great day walks and overnight hikes.

hiking on keto wilson promontory - can you hike on keto? What do you eat when camping on Keto?

The beautiful Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Australia. If you haven’t been, please do!

 

We are going to be there for 2 nights and are walking about 20km for the two days with all of our food and camping gear, so we need to pack LIGHT.

So, how do you eat a Keto diet when camping and hiking?

 

I haven’t been camping since I was a kid with my parents or on school camps, and even then it was to a caravan park with showers, toilets, running water etc… this is going to be an entirely different experience.

 

Obviously hiking on keto means I will need more food than my usual intake.  To work with this extra caloric need, I am being a bit more liberal with carbs as well in case I have a total energy crash and actually need a bit of glucose to get me out of bed or push through those final few kilometers before we set up camp for the night. 

 

Not too much of course, I want to remain in ketosis the entire trip and not give in to my camp-mates who will be living off canned stews, bread and sweets – not exactly a keto diet! 

We can only take so much as we have to carry everything (including our bedding and other gear), and also have to take all rubbish with out of the park with us.

Here’s what I am planning to take with me so far in terms of food to get me through hiking on keto;

 

Keto Hiking Meal Plan

Friday

Breakfast:       At home/ in the car: scrambled eggs and bacon

Lunch:             Egg Slice, taken out of the freezer that morning

Dinner:           Boiled eggs, Salmon pouch, mayonnaise and celery

 

Saturday

Breakfast       Peanut butter, celery and cheese

Lunch             Pemmican?? More on that later

Dinner            Boiled eggs, salmon pouch, mayonnaise and celery

Optional:        Cup of soup

 

Sunday          

Breakfast:       Remaining snacks, instant soup

Lunch              Remaining snacks,

 

Snacks throughout hiking trip on keto:

Pemmican balls

Trail mix of almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpking seeds

Pork crackling

Peanut butter and celery

Quest bar x 1

Flax seed crackers and cheese

Ham & Zucchini Muffins

Emergency food: 1 pack of mi-goreng noodles

 

I am aiming to carry a 10kg pack only, so I am not totally exhausted and can enjoy the sights around me. My sleeping gear (a lightweight 1 man tent and sleeping pad) comes to 1.6kg already.

The large backpack I’ve got is 3.5kg – too heavy! I have to find a lighter pack that is still easy to carry in the next 4 days, yikes!

 

I will report back once I have packed everything to see how I get on.

 

Post camping on Keto update

I am back from our camping adventure, dirty and exhausted but with a fantastic sense of achievement! We ended up walking about 30km over 2 days and my food did prove to be a bit of a challenge.

Apparently hiking on keto might not be as simple as I first thought…

Firstly, I had nothing hot!! And when it is a brisk 2 degrees C by the time you have set up your tent and getting ready for dinner, I was definitely dying for some hot food.

 

I will have to remember this for next time!

 

Other than that, everything worked well and was filling.

I got home and tested my keto levels with a Ketostick and was definitely still in ketosis. I had great energy levels through the whole trip which is exactly what I was trying to achieve, so my Keto diet didn’t crash my energy levels. 

 

We were able to get to some beautifully remote locations and saw fantastic views. We came across wombats, wallabies, many different species of birds and even emus!

hiking on keto wilson promontory - can you hike on keto? What do you eat when camping on Keto?

 

hiking on keto wilson promontory - can you hike on keto? What do you eat when camping on Keto?

I have the bug and am already planning the next trip. This time, I want to think about what food I can take to cook while staying strict to the keto way of eating.

Lessons from my Keto Hiking and Camping Adventure:

  • Plan for some hot food and a way to cook it if you can’t have a campfire! 
  • Pack light but remember plenty of water
  • Take all of your rubbish with you
  • Take extra food and snacks you can grab and eat quickly while walking
  • Pre-prepare as much as possible

I’ve since been camping again on Keto, but this time we were in an area where we could have a campfire, and also had eskies and ice. More of a family camp site situation than a long hike.

The options for Keto camping food are VERY different than when I was hiking and having to carry everything, and also couldn’t have a campfire or keep food cold. Here’s some examples of what I had instead:

Keto Campfire Cooking

  • Foil parcels, pre-prepared. I had things like zucchini with tomato paste and cheese, cauliflower and cheese with tinned chicken or tuna, crackers and cheese and even prepared a slow cooked beef stew that I reheated on the campfire
  • Things like 90 second keto bread actually work really well if you have a frying pan!
  • I prepared some Keto pancake mix and took this with me dry. I then just added some melted butter and water for a delicious Keto breakfast on the campfire
  • Another morning, I had bacon and eggs
  • I boiled egg lots of eggs and took them with me
  • If you drink black coffee, you are set! No need to worry about milk or sweeteners

Overall, the family campsite style of Keto cooking was much more enjoyable from a food perspective, but it really limits where you can go. 

Having a solid meal plan before you go on a Keto hiking adventure is essential to ensuring you don’t crash and burn, like you’ll see in the following post. 

More to come!

See Part 2: Glycogen Depletion and Exhaustion

hiking on keto wilson promontory - can you hike on keto? What do you eat when camping on Keto?

Here’s some recipes I would recommend preparing in advance and reheating if you are going on a Keto Camping adventure if you are able to keep things cool during the day, and then re-heat wrapped in foil or in a tin foil tray

Keto Camping Recipes

Keto Mexican Meatballs – pre-cook and store in a tinfoil tray

Keto Chorizo Frittata – Great to cook on the campfire in the morning

Cauliflower Casserole – cook before OR on the campfire

Keto Paprika Thigh Chicken Bake – of you can keep the chicken cold, this one is a winner when you’re camping on Keto!

Keto Cauliflower Cheese Bake – almost as good as mac and cheese. When you’re camping, prepare this in advance and put in a foil tray then reheat on the campfire