A major consideration for vegan hikers and campers is finding suitable food and ethical equipment and clothing. Though vegan food and clothing options are easier to locate than they were, sourcing quality gear that lends itself to a vegan lifestyle can be a challenge. In this post we cover both food items for camping and some of the more challenging hiking/camping gear.
Please note: we are not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned below, and we have not used affiliate links — all advice is impartial.
Camping Food For A Vegan Diet
The trick, when sourcing food for your hike, is to collect items that will last the duration of the trip. Below are some ideas to get you started:
1. Fresh Fruits
If your outing is planned for a day or two, don’t forget to pack fresh fruits. Give preference to fruits that can last easily without refrigeration, and perhaps take some beating. Apples are the best in that fashion. Pears are fairly good as well, but be careful of weight and pressure on them. Oranges and bananas are good to pack, but place them above heavy items.
In case you choose to carry soft fruits, be sure to put them in a hard container. This is not the most alluring option for those who want to camp light, but you can make it work.
2. Potatoes And Corn
Potatoes are excellent. They’ll last days, even weeks. There’s an endless amount of recipes that go from being very simple to however complex you want it to be. Potatoes are an efficient filling food item — a 'must have' when camping.
Corn on the cob is often recommended as well. It is a good choice and tastes wonderful right off the grill. It’s a reasonable choice for those going for car camping. For hikers, it is better to skip corn simply because of the ratio of edible parts to non-edible parts — it’s a lot of extra weight.
Rice, oats, and pasta are easy to carry and simple to cook. Oats can be used for breakfast while rice and pasta can be lunch or dinner.
4. Sauces, Spices, Condiments, And Herbs
Food should taste good and this is where the magic happens. Rice can be cooked with plain water, but that's too bland. Add some herbs, spices, and sauce, and you have a tasty meal. Packing these items is easy to miss: do not forget them!
5. Dry Fruits And Nuts
Dry fruits, seeds and nuts last a long time and are easy to bring along on camping trips. They’re light weight and effective for maintaining energy levels.
You can eat them separately, or better yet, mix them to create something of a ‘trail mix’. Consider placing them into ziplock bags. They’re light, easy to manoeuvre and resealable.
6. Vegan Burgers And Sausages
These items are best used if you’re car camping and can bring along a grill and a cool box or cooler. The burgers and sausages will have to stay in the cooler until the grill is fired up. It’s extra work to cook them, but they are a luxury in a camping environment!
7. Baked Goods
Cookies and biscuits are excellent camping companions. Whether you choose store-bought or bake at home, be sure to pick something that can last days.
Selecting Vegan-Friendly Hiking/Camping Gear
Some hiking/camping equipment and clothing are easier to find than others...
Below we discuss some of the more challenging items and offer some inspiration on where to source them:
1. Synthetic Material Sleeping Bags
Many warm sleeping bags use down or wool. It is better to use sleeping bags made from entirely synthetic materials. Look for sleeping bags with polyester fill, lining, and shell. Of course, different types of material will be utilized for each purpose.
Having a synthetic sleeping bag is the best choice. It’s also one of the relatively easier things to find and can be purchased online or in a shop. For those who are looking for specific directions, Blacks and Cotswold Outdoor have excellent collections that include clothes, gear, and yes, sleeping bags.
2. Hiking And Camping Boots
Finding suitable hiking and camping boots is a tougher decision. It is difficult to break away from the classic materials without sacrificing durability.
3. Vegan Camping Backpacks
Most of the camping/hiking backpacks utilize synthetic materials, so it isn't too difficult to find something of high quality without sacrificing your ethics. The North Face Surge Rucksack or Osprey Farpoint 40 are high-quality backpacks that will last for years.
4. Ask A Friend
This is perhaps the simplest solution. If you have a friend who goes camping regularly and is a vegan, ask if you can borrow their gear. Remember that camping gear can be expensive: if they choose to lend it to you, be responsible and careful with the items.
We hope you found our vegan guide to hiking and camping useful. If you have any additional tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.