Being Vegan on The Trail

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

April of 2019

During a moment which some in my family would term “an episode of delusional identity crisis,” I decided to go full on Vegan. I was enjoying the transition until I began planning my first hiking trip of the year. That’s when I experienced one of my “oh crap” moments.

You know how it be. You make a life decision thinking you’ve considered all the angles. You dive in full force. And then all of a sudden; WTF?

How was I going to maintain a Vegan diet out on the trail?

Okay. Perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic. Alas, my period of anxiety was brief. Google, and then of course Amazon, came to the rescue.

I’ve now been a Vegan since April of 2019, with much of that time spent out in the wilderness. Maintaining a Vegan diet these days is as simple as planning for your hiking meals without being a Vegan. It turns out that I went Vegan during a time when going Vegan is a fad. Or to be more accurate. Alternative meats are now a huge global market.

The anxiety was acquiring freeze dried Vegan meals. My main method of cooking is by boiling water (see my article “I don’t like doing dishes” for more on this). After a brief search on Amazon I was placed at ease. There are a few options out there for Vegan freeze dried meals. And better yet, some of these can be purchased at Walmart.

Backpackers Pantry is now my go-to brand for Vegan meals. They also make your regular, run-of-the-mill, non-Vegan meals. Here are the Vegan meals I’ve tried from Backpackers Pantry:

  • Spaghetti & Sauce. Awesome! My favorite.

  • Pad Thai. Equally awesome! My second favorite.

  • Kathmandu Curry. Pretty okay. I like it. Will eat it again.

  • Three Sisters Stew. Tasty. Will eat it again.

  • Chana Masala. I did not particularly like this one.

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are easy. If you are already a practicing Vegan, then you can figure it out from here.

I will add two things.

  1. Breakfast. In addition to my Vegan fig bars I purchase from Publix, I also like oatmeal in the morning. It is easy to find Vegan friendly oatmeal.

  2. Lunch. One of the things I currently enjoy for lunch is a small container of roasted red pepper hummus rolled up in small soft flour tortillas. This could change. I don’t like to eat the same thing on every trip. But I’m not concerned with finding another lunch favorite.

This was at Commissary Hill campsite just down from Mt. Mitchell. A great place to camp!

If you are a hiker considering a Vegan diet, then rest easy my friend. Bringing this diet on the trail is an easy obstacle to overcome.

I will add one note: I don't necessarily have Vegan friendly backpacking gear. I try to keep it that way, but this is a whole different challenge.

Happy Hiking!

#vegan #veganhiking #vegancamping #hikers #backcountry #hiking #campsite #camping #backpacking

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