Camping in Bottchers Gap, Big Sur CA

We tent camped last weekend at a smaller less-crowded campground called Bottchers Gap in Big Sur, CA. All of the other campsites were full and when we arrived around 2pm in the afternoon there were still open pull-up campsites and lots of walk-in campsites open as well. It started to fill up as the evening progressed but it seems that this place isn’t usually peoples first choice. The campsite is situated several miles down a long canyon road called; Palo Colorado Canyon Rd that leads you through some of the most beautiful and interesting houses I have ever seen. I felt like we were in some sort of secret land as we drove down the meandering road.


The road dead-ends into the campground so you can’t miss it. There is a camp host who lives on-site and has been doing so for 30 years. He really loves to chat so when you arrive don’t be alarmed when he comes out from his little airstream trailer to say hello right when you arrive. He is also very knowledgeable about the area and the rules, he will make sure to tell you about all these things too. DSCF2293Bottcher’s Gap is used by many as a trailhead for backpacking, which I didn’t know when I arrived but I snapped a picture of the map that they had posted at the campground so I could research coming back for a backpacking trip. DSCF2295 DSCF2305

The view from the back of the campsite is so beautiful!DSCF2324

Here is Duke, looking adorable in the early morning sunlight. DSCF2321


On the way back up the coast we stopped at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for Pineapple Dole Whips… SO WORTH IT.DSCF2343 DSCF2353


It was a grand weekend indeed. I think we will be coming back for a backpacking trip when it heats back up a little, maybe early spring?



Gluten Free Backpacking

The last time I went backpacking I had a hard time finding food. After visiting my local REI there were no gluten free offerings in the backpacking food section. I searched all over the internet trying to find other people in my situation and what ideas they had. I could have brought rice or quinoa to make each night with some spices to add, but that’s heavy and more time spent cooking. Adding water to a dehydrated pouch is WAY easier than having to dirty more plates to prepare and cook with.

I started looking at making my own dehydrated meals. Which require a dehydrator and I don’t have one of those.

I found a dehydrated meal in the grocery store. The reason I didn’t find them when I was searching before? They don’t market themselves as an outdoor/backpacking company. These are marketed as a normal meal for at home or work. I’m really glad that I stumbled upon them because I tried the beans and rice pouch and it was good! All I would need to do is bring some tortillas and it makes a perfect meal!

StoreHouse Foods Santa Fe Black Beans

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StoreHouse Foods makes Gluten Free meal pouches. I was surprised to find them while I was visiting my parents at their local Raley’s store. I’m super happy that I found them but since I am Dairy Free and Vegetarian there are only 2 flavors that I can eat. The Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice and Classic Vegetarian Chili there are other flavors for those who can eat meat on the website, which is great for any GF backpackers/campers out there.

From my experience these pouches are a lot smaller than most backpacking meal pouches. I would supplement the rice and beans with some tortillas, not that I was hungry after eating but I think that most people (especially males) would probably need more calories while backpacking than me.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that as this company grows there are other selections that are Dairy Free and Vegetarian. I’m still so excited that I found something that I can bring backpacking that’s easy to make and is gluten free! Sorry for dorking out on this, but ‘common! It’s hard to find backpacking food for me!