Our Guide to Vegan Camping Food Essentials
What do vegans eat when camping? Well, we can eat basically the same as when we are not camping.. With a few exceptions! Your vegan camping menu will largely depend on your style of camping. Are you the type of camper who brings all of the comforts of home along with you, or are you more of a minimalist when it comes to sleeping in the woods? Are you allowed to have a campfire or will you be cooking with a gas stove? I consider all of these things as I dive into the best vegan camping food!
Vegan Camping Essentials
Let’s start with supplies and ingredients that are a must when planning your vegan camping menu.
I tend to bring a lot of canned foods when car camping. I cook with chickpeas, refried beans, corn, tomatoes, and coconut milk all of the time! You can nearly make an entire meal with canned food. It’s ideal for camping because you don’t need to refrigerate canned food. Just don’t forget your can opener or you’ll be attempting to open your cans with a knife (dangerous) or smashing it open on a boulder (nearly impossible).
If you’re cooking something like potatoes or a foil-wrapped meal over an open fire it’s great to have some kind of tong tool to avoid being burned. They’re also handy for serving up salads and other shared dishes.
Don’t bring your nice kitchen knife that you use everyday. I suggest buying a knife specifically for camping. Look for knives that come with a cover because It can be dangerous having a loose knife in your utensil box!
Seems obvious but I’ve forgotten forks and spoons more than once *facepalm*
Cast Iron Pots and Pans
I love cooking in cast iron when camping because they are super durable and they can handle the intense heat of a campfire. Just be sure to bring your oven mitts to handle hot cast iron!
Salt and Pepper
Another essential that is easy to forget because it is so obvious!
I don’t know about you, but I put lemon juice on almost everything I eat. It can bring out hidden flavors and it just adds that extra tangy goodness to all dishes.
Another ingredient that I use all the time. Nutritional yeast is amazingly cheesy tasting and it is loaded with vitamin B12. I sprinkle it on tofu scrambles, potatoes, and most savory dishes.
No Cook Vegan Camping Food
Maybe you don’t have a stove or maybe you want to keep things super simple and skip the cooking part all together. There are plenty of no-cook vegan camping recipes out there, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Sandwiches and Tortilla Wraps
I like to make veggie and hummus sandwiches all the time in the summer months. They’re SO easy and you can put literally anything you want between two pieces of bread. You can buy vegan lunch meat and vegan cheese in most grocery stores. I prefer to omit the processed stuff and go for fresh and/or fermented veggies with a tangy vegan spread.
There are endless options for vegan camping salads I love a good rainbow thai salad with lime peanut sauce. Just chop veggies and make the sauce at home. Combine everything in a bowl and you’re off to flavortown.
Non-perishable Vegan Camping Food
No Cooler? No problem. If you want to simplify things a bit you can eat well with foods that have a long shelf life and do not need to be refrigerated.
Veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc. will last in a cool dry place for at least a few days, if not longer. One of my favorite camping meals is a foil-wrapped sweet potato with almond ricotta cheese and chives!
Think about the fruit that you typically leave out on your countertop. Bananas, apples, oranges; these will keep for days. Just be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight or in the back of a hot car!
I like bringing along dried fruits as an oatmeal topping and as part of a vegan trail mix.
Canned Vegetables and Beans
As I mentioned above, canned food is wonderful for camping. You can create so many delicious dishes by combining canned veggies and beans. Canned soup is easy and cheap too!
Vegan Dehydrated Camping Food
I typically save dehydrated meals for backpacking, but if you just want to save space and weight, they can be enjoyed whilst car camping too.
Store-bought dehydrated meals
There are a few brands out there that offer dehydrated vegan camping food. For a full list check out my post: 5 Brands Offering Up Tasty Vegan Backpacking Meals
Raw Vegan Camping Food
Raw vegan camping isn’t as tough as it sounds. If you’re a seasoned raw vegan you won’t have any trouble preparing a few delicious camping meals. You’ll want to do a lot of pre-planning and be sure to give yourself enough time to dehydrate and slice up ingredients before you leave. Chop up a bunch of sturdy veggies, make a few good dressings, and “bake” a loaf of raw vegan bread. Don’t forget to bring a lot of snacks too.
Vegan Backpacking Recipes
If you’re planning on hiking into your camping destination (aka backpacking) you’ll want to pack light! Luckily I’ve got you covered. There are a lot of vegan backpacking recipes right on my blog. You’ll find even more over on my YouTube channel!