It’s a common question I always get, is backpacking on a Gluten Free diet hard?
Well, do you want the easier answer or the explained answer?
To be honest, no, it’s not hard. Backpacking gluten free is not hard at all. Yea sure at times it can be frustrating, just like any diet even if you are at home or abroad. What I find common though, is that most people get freaked out by not being able to find gluten free food when they travel.
Which is just a mind set thing where they believe they will starve to death because there is nothing for them to eat. And it hurts for me to see people like that, because it stops them from going and doing something truly amazing like travelling.
However, all that is far from the truth. There is always something gluten free within walking distance (unless you are in the dessert) to eat. Don’t be mistaken, you can find gluten friendly food everywhere you need to go, take my word for it. I have been to every continent (except Antarctica) and never gone hungry without being able to find something gluten free.
So, if you are like me, a Coeliac or even if you just prefer to be on the gluten free diet for health reasons, which I highly suggest to everyone! Never rule out travelling!!
All you need to do is use your common sense and go for food that you know is gluten free. Like most meats, all fruits and vegetables, rice, corn based crackers or GF bread. In a lot of English speaking countries you will find marked gluten free products in the supermarkets.
Sure it might be tougher in undeveloped countries, but you can’t rule them out either. They always have rice dishes, vegetables, meat and fruit, nuts and seeds you can eat. And on the upside they are all healthy foods you are putting in your body.
If you are really struggling for meal ideas, check out these easy Gluten Free Backpacking Meals you can try out if you get stuck for suggestions.
So to conclude, the answer to your main question is, no. Backpacking gluten free is not hard, even in the slightest. If you know what you can and can’t eat then you know what is safe and what is not. Just do what you normally do and stick to the foods you know you can eat
Then, when you get more comfortable in a foreign country, you can start asking what ingredients are in the food/meals. One common question I always ask is, “does this have flour/wheat in it?” and generally you will find the answer.
So take it from me, backpacking gluten free is not hard. Never rule out travelling just because you are on a special diet. Sure take it as a challenge at the start, but very quickly you will learn and not even have to think about where your next meal is coming from or what it will be. Once you start you will probably find you love travelling Gluten Free, with all the new meal ideas and new foods you can try. Just have fun with it!