Burning Flipside Daydream: Raw Camp

by Megan M. on January 5, 2009 (Blog) |

The last few days, I’ve been daydreaming about something called Raw Camp.

You see, I went on an awesome weekend trip with a bunch of neat poly people last spring. And one of the friends who was there with me happened to be embarking on a 100% raw foods diet. So I said to her, “Hey! I’d like to eat strictly fresh produce while I’m camping this weekend. Would you tell me what to bring so that I can add to your raw foods stash, and you can help me eat raw all weekend, too?”

She said, Of course! And gave me a list. Thus began my great raw adventure.

I found out that weekend that preparation and consumption of raw food is easy and tasty, and that my friend is great at it. Because we were out camping, I didn’t have a lot of spare time to think about craving non-raw food, and I discovered that eating raw left me feeling light and energetic and fantastic. It was occasionally frustrating to figure out what the next meal was going to be, but we had a huge stash (and we came prepared). So it was pretty simple, and I was shocked at how fed and happy I stayed all weekend.

By the end of the weekend, I realized that I had eaten entirely raw the whole time… and I didn’t want any cooked food. Now or ever.

It was the most amazing feeling! Of course, I didn’t take it seriously enough for long enough and I didn’t really know enough about raw eating to continue with it then, but it proved to me that there was something really important that I needed to think about further. Something to aspire to. Something that made me feel really, really good, made my body function way better than usual, and made me happy on a fundamental level. I’ve had several raw experiments since then, and every time one ends I am dissatisfied with the way my body feels on cooked food. It’s just… less, somehow.

Fast forward to last summer, when I attended my very first burn event, Burning Flipside near Austin. (The Wikipedia entry is here. It’s a smaller offshoot of Burning Man in Nevada, which you may have heard of.) At Flipside there are groups of attendees who band together in theme camps, and every camp has a different mojo. Usually a camp has a particular personality and something specific to offer the rest of the community. There’s a camp that gives coffee to passers-by, a pancake camp, a taco camp, a polyamory camp, a body-painting camp, a Lakota camp—which held an amazing sweat lodge last year—and a huge number of others. We found a hill of big black ants where someone had planted a tiny sign. It said “Ant Camp”.

You might have figured out where this is heading. I’ve been wishing for a raw foods camp. Raw Camp. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

I don’t know of one that exists already (relative newbie as I am), and I don’t think I know enough interested parties to start one (at least, this year). I did eat mostly raw when I was at Flipside last year (highly necessary, especially since I was partly polyphasic at the time), but having others doing the same thing with me would be way more fun. Sharing the experience would really be something. And since my raw foods roots are in being away in the wilderness with only raw food to sustain me, and since I remember how wonderful that is… I crave it bigger and better, with more people and resources. Flipside would sure be a great place to try it. (And who knows? Maybe it will give me some extra impetus to just… keep going!)

It would also give me a huge thrill to share raw food yummies the way they were shared with me in the spring. And I admit that it gives me no small amount of glee to think of transitioning to raw food permanently. (Something I’m thinking about a lot.)

Here’s what I’m imagining: We all bring a certain amount of fresh produce. We get together the day or two before Flipside to put together some raw recipes, using food processors and dehydrators and whathaveyou. We package it all up, with a ton of easy fruit and salad fixin’s and useful items like knives and bowls and cutting boards, and pack it into coolers with plenty of room for ice. (We’ll need a lot of that!) We’d probably want some kind of wagon and ice-getting posse so that there’s no danger of running out. It was hot last year. And it would be awesome to have a plan so that many of us can prep and eat meals together. Raw potluck, maybe. And people not from Raw Camp can come join us, and eat our food! Just because it’s fun and yummy and happy-making!

So, you see: I have it half planned out. I just don’t know the integral details of starting a theme camp (without additional willing parties, even). But that’s okay. I liked Flipside, so I ought to have plenty of opportunities. It just sounds… delicious!


Viewing 6 Comments

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    Good for you, thanks for sharing and preparing.

    I have some raw fun at parties when people question how I can stand eating all this salad without dressing. I tell them it is tasty only when the veggies are of excellent quality and fresh, and these are. (smiles) To a sceptic, I add with dressing, I would not be able to taste residues of pesticide ... (whoa!)

    Unrelated, more raw fun at
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    I like a lot! Thanks, dude. :} Same here; my tastes have changed dramatically since I started eating fresh organic food, and most of my vegetables come out of the ground the same day I eat 'em. (Awesome CSA.) It makes a big difference when you're not overwhelming your taste buds with super refined sugars and so on and so forth...
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    Last year at Flipside I thought about how little I wanted to eat anything heavy or hot and how good it was to incorporate water into my food. I've experimented with raw at home and it fulfils both these requirements quite well! Coming home last year from the Burn I remember thinking, wow, vegetarian sushi would have been the perfect make-ahead, finger food for those days when all I wanted to do was open a cooler and pop something in my mouth! Raw sushi is easy, and lots of other yummy raw nibblies would be perfect, too! I'd definitely hang out at your camp.
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    This Raw Food Life is a website just for me! Thanks for bringing it up.
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    What did you bring camping? I've also been experimenting with raw food, I absolutely love it. But I'm going on a 5 day camping trip.. and I'm not sure what to bring. Have any ideas?
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    Ooh, I have to think about that! I know I brought a bunch of boxes of sprouts, and extra dressing. We had apples, oranges, and stuff to make guacamole: avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, limes, salt. I think I brought a bunch of raw bars, too (there are several companies who make them, and though I don't like to eat them much otherwise, they're awesome to have while traveling.) I brought kombucha with me, too.

    This was a little rough with only a couple of coolers and a teetery ice situation -- guacamole was probably the most successful part. The apples and oranges survived; the kombucha survived; the sprouts survived for the first few days but by the time we headed home there was a box or two I couldn't bring myself to eat. This year I'm going to do it differently; I'll probably bring a jar of green juice and various fresh green things for the first few days, then plan to eat only the stuff that survives well after that -- apples, oranges, guacamole, cereal (buckwheat groats + dates + raisins is awesome), that sort of thing.

    I hope that helps -- I'm still figuring this out, too! With a whole camp there's the theoretical possibility of having a generator and a small fridge somewhere, but individually camping can be rough on fresh produce. I'd love to hear how you do if you figure it out! Good luck. ^_^


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