Gluten is a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye and other cereal grains. It gives bread its doughiness and is often used as a food additive. Campers who suffer from celiacs disease cannot eat gluten and must exercise care in finding gluten free camping foods. Unfortunately, products with gluten are not always marked as such. A number of common, dehydrated camping foods, such as cocoa and potato chips, may contain gluten.
Dried fruits are gluten free according to Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. Dried apples, pineapples, raisins and other dehydrated products can be safely consumed by gluten-sensitive campers. Fruit snacks, candies and prepared fruit products may contain gluten, however, and should be avoided unless they are specifically marked as gluten free. Banana chips are also an exception, as many are processed with gluten. Do not eat them unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.
Many dehydrated grains and grain substitutes come without gluten. Dehydrated lentils, beans and other legumes are gluten free, as are most corn products such as hominy grits. Most grocery stores stock gluten free noodles, which work well for many camping classics, such as macaroni and cheese. Combine gluten free flour such as amaranth, quinoa and millet flour with margarine or shortening, evaporated milk and other gluten-free ingredients to make pancakes for breakfast.
Jerky is a camping classic. This tasty, calorie rich snack consists of salted, dried meat from deer, turkey, cows, buffalo or other animals. Unfortunately, many commercial jerky, sausage and sausage products do contain some gluten and should be avoided. Fortunately, many gluten free versions are available from health food stores and online shops (See Resources).
Many nuts contain wheat or wheat starch, so snack nut packs should be avoided. Fortunately, nuts are easy to roast at home. Cover raw nuts with honey, spices, salt and melted butter or whatever else you would like to cook them in and spread them on a foil-covered baking sheet. Cook them at 325 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the nuts cool and remove them from the foil. Mix the nuts with dehydrated fruits for a gluten free trail mix.