Hiking and camping with IBS (and with Fody!)

The warm weather is here, and it’s time to embrace the great outdoors. But for people managing IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the thought of hiking and camping might cause a bit of apprehension. Experiencing IBS symptoms while exploring the backwoods or setting up a tent is nobody’s idea of fun, but with the right strategies, you can figure out how to go adventuring with IBS while maintaining digestive comfort. Here are Fody’s tips on hiking and camping with IBS.

Meal prep for IBS ahead of time

One of the best strategies for sticking to a low-FODMAP diet–whether you’re heading for the hills or just going about your routine–is to plan your meals thoughtfully and strategically. Meal prepping for IBS doesn’t have to be complicated! Stick to low-FODMAP foods that are gentle on the digestive system, and in this case, easy to transport. These can include lean proteins, gluten-free grains, and non-fermentable fruits and vegetables. 

To learn more about what fruits and vegetables are good for IBS, check out this article. And don’t forget to pack easy-to-digest snacks like rice cakes, carrots, or nuts in case you need a quick and bloat-free energy boost while you’re on the trail.

Staying hydrated for good digestion

Can dehydration worsen IBS symptoms? Absolutely, and even if you don’t experience many symptoms, it’s essential to stay hydrated while you’re hiking or camping.

Hiking and camping with IBS is best managed with a full water bottle at your side. Pack plenty of water on your hikes, and make sure you know where the nearest sources of potable water are at your campsite.

Remember to sip through the day, especially if you’re sweating profusely. Make sure to avoid sugary sports drinks or sugary pop, as these are a factor that triggers digestive issues for some people with IBS. Still wondering if sweet drinks can make IBS symptoms worse? Check out this breakdown on the best low-FODMAP summer drinks to learn more!

How to hike with IBS 

Hiking with IBS comes down to knowing your body, managing your symptoms, and strategizing about the trails you pick. When you’re selecting a route, it’s always a good idea to know how to choose the best hiking trails for IBS–which means a route with restrooms on the way.

Choosing a good trail for hiking and camping with IBS isn’t just about what happens if you have an actual flare-up. It’s also about giving you peace of mind as you hike on the trail. Even if you’re not experiencing any IBS symptoms, hiking under the stress and anxiety of thinking you might isn’t a very relaxing experience. So look out for those hiking trails with good washroom access when you’re planning your route, and hike accordingly! 

Mindful eating for hiking and camping with IBS

A hiking or camping trip is the perfect time to reconnect with nature and practice mindfulness–especially when you’re eating! Mindful eating is one of the habits that can help manage IBS symptoms, while allowing you to fully enjoy the low-FODMAP meals you prepare or meal prep.

Mindful eating for IBS can also help prevent overeating, and it also reduces the likelihood of triggering IBS symptoms. When you’re meal-prepping for your camping trip, it’s a good idea to pack small, frequent meals and low-FODMAP snacks to maintain steady energy levels without overwhelming your digestive system. 

Listening to your body, paying attention to your IBS symptoms…

…and respecting them! This is definitely an important practice for your camping trip (or for traveling with IBS, or doing any physical activity), but it’s also a daily practice that you can use to gauge how you’re feeling, and to learn what works for your body and what doesn’t.

If you notice that certain foods or behaviours exacerbate your IBS symptoms, make adjustments to your lifestyle, whether you’re at home or out adventuring. And if you’re sharing the prep work for your trip with someone else, don’t be shy to tell them what works best for you, and what you need! Hiking or camping with IBS will be much more enjoyable if the pace, meal plan and itinerary accommodate your needs.

Use common sense to stay healthy while camping with IBS 

Maintaining good hygiene is essential for preventing digestive issues while hiking or camping. Bring hand sanitizer or biodegradable soap to clean your hands before and after meals, especially if you're handling food directly. Dispose of waste properly and follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize environmental impact.

Pack low-FODMAP foods for your camping trip

Of course, one of the main ways to stay ahead of symptoms while you’re hiking and camping with IBS is to pack low-FODMAP foods and snacks to ensure your digestion is comfortable. When you’re planning your IBS-friendly meal prep grocery list, you don’t need to worry about how to add flavour to these meals. Fody Foods offers a variety of low-FODMAP sauces, condiments and seasonings that are easy to use, and easy to pack for outdoor adventures. 

Fody’s oils, spices and snacks are designed to pack maximum flavour, without any of the irritants that can cause inconvenient flare-ups. Check out our products here, and find the flavours that you want to pack on your next IBS-friendly camping trip!

By following these hiking and camping tips tailored for people with IBS, you can explore nature safely while prioritizing digestive comfort. With careful planning, mindful eating, and the right selection of IBS-friendly foods and snacks from Fody Foods, you can enjoy outdoor adventures without worrying about digestive flare-ups. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey in the great outdoors!

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