5 Ways to Lose Weight While Camping

5 Ways to Lose Weight While Camping

Kiel Welk in Outdoors -

Camping has long been the site of fire-cooked, calorie-heavy culinary creations. (We're looking at you, Campfire Pies and S'Mores. ) This type of eating tends to be the destroyer of diets, or make for a barn-burner of a "cheat day". In the interest of full disclosure, though this study is based on personal experience, this weight loss plan is specifically geared around canoeing in the boundary waters of Northern Minnesota with between 4 and 6 co-workers, for a duration of 3 to 5 days.

Here's how the weight will come right off:

1. Endless Paddling

"Calories don't count when you're on water" is a common cheat day excuse. Although, that may be more of a justification for hitting the buffet again on a cruise ship. In a canoe, however, it's pretty hard to stuff your face when both hands are holding a paddle.

2. Mile Long Portages

There is a tendency to reward yourself at the beginning or the end of each portage. For some, it was a granola bar. For others, it was a quick gulp of a bottle of water or perhaps something stronger. With all the snacking outside of mealtime, the calories begin to add up. Devil's Advocate says that the amount of calories burned on each portage, or the ensuing paddling would nullify the small reward. But this isn't a story about breaking even, now is it? If you can resist the urge to reward yourself on every portage, it quickly adds up to an afternoon of punishment and accomplishment.

3. Exhaustion Sleeping

When finally making camp for the night, we attempted to make some food over a wind-swept fire pit. After eating a few bites of beef and sweet potatoes, I craved sleep more than filling my belly. Thankfully, my camping manners were intact enough to remove my shoes before entering the tent and collapsing onto my sleeping bag. There have been a few times in my life that my level of needs (See chart) has been this baseline, but there's always a byproduct of a feeling of accomplishment. 

4. Bad Luck Fishing

The plan was simple: carry food for the first 4 days, then catch fish for a campfire fish fry. As it turns out, the walleye were also on vacation that weekend, so we had to make due with our meager catch of the day.

5. Campfire Pancakes Sans Syrup

 At the outset, the canoeing crew was anticipating a proper pancake breakfast on morning number two. What happens next was a series of unfortunate events that led to us having simply a brick of pancakes and butter.

One team member, (let's call him Alan), decided it would be funny to toss the bottle of syrup to another team member, (let's call him Calvin), instead of the water that he requested. Because of the oblong nature of the bottle, it flew through the air unevenly and busted the cap on a rock. Consequently, we had lake water infused pancake syrup. (Thanks Alan!)

We also lost the spatula somewhere along the way, so doing a genuine pancake flip was nearly impossible. Thus, we had a giant cluster of a pancake and zero syrup. Anyway to cut calories is a step toward weight-loss, I guess.


As of this publication, no one here at Proozy.com is a board-certified physician, so please take this diet plan as fun idea rather than legitimate medical advice. At the end of the trip, the entire canoeing crew agreed that for all the strife and struggle, it was worth it. If you are lucky enough to be in striking distance of the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota, please enjoy them and #LIVEPROOZY. But do plan accordingly and remember the spatula and syrup.


  • Andrew

    Unbelievably, my “Chocolate, Cheese, and Ice Cream” diet on a Summer backpack-hiking-kayaking expedition led to a 12 lb weight loss! A heavy pack, lots of miles, and, yes, endless paddling help in the accomplishment of that loss. Alas, No Pain? You WILL Gain…

  • Eric Lopez

    If you send me a contact I’ll send you an epic “pancake” turner pic from the Alagnak River in Western AK 2008.

Leave a comment