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October 31, 2020

Vegan Camping Food Ideas
Plant-Based Meals for Your Next Adventure

Rafid Nassir
Published by Rafid Nassir
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Do you know what else makes me uncomfortable?

Not being properly prepared for my camping trip and having to eat trail mix for a whole weekend. Or having to compromise my plant-based diet because I didn’t think about the camping food I’d be able to cook at a site I’d never been before.

Vegan camping certainly has its challenges, but if you use your head and do some research with a little prep-work, it might just turn out swell.

In this article, we’ll take a look at delicious camping food for vegans and discuss some tips for inexperienced vegan campers.

30 Vegan Camping Food Ideas

vegan camp food

Right, let’s go straight to the point of this article and have a look at some delicious, convenient vegan camp food ideas.

Vegan Camping Meal Ideas

These full vegan meals are all ideal for cooking over a fire or on a camp stove. They’re also not going to need tons of time, space, and equipment to prepare. For more details on vegan versions of traditional camping meals, simply use Google to find their plant-based substitute ingredients.

1. Scrambled Tofu Burrito

This is one of my favorite camping breakfast ideas. Scrambling isn’t a super common way of preparing tofu, but it actually works really well if you choose a very firm variety. Cook the tofu with bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Wrap these yummies inside the flour tortilla, wrap THAT in foil and heat on the grill.

2. Vegan Grits

Traditional grits contain plenty of animal products. But vegan grits are easy to cook in a pot over a fire. Skip the butter and cheese. Add some diced potatoes, peppers, and onions for extra flavor.

3. Quinoa and Stir-Fried Vegetables

This is a super easy vegan camping meal to make since all you need to make quinoa is boiling water and some salt. Stir fry your choice of veggies in vegan cooking oil and mix together.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a camping trip staple, purely because of how easy it is to buy, store, and prepare. If you’re on a hiking trip where your food options are limited, oatmeal is going to play a big role. It’s also a fantastic source of all-day energy [1].

5. Vegan Pancakes with Mixed Berries

Finding vegan pancake mix isn’t hard nowadays. Frying them in a pan over an open fire is easy. Add some honey (if you’re comfortable with insect-products) and mixed berries for extra nutrition and flavor.

6. Steamed Carrot Hot Dogs

This may take some home-prep since steaming is not gonna be easy while camping. Lightly grill your pre-steamed carrots over the fire, pop them on a bun with some salsa.

7. Potato Scramble with Onion and Peppers

Diced potatoes, onions, and sliced peppers. Friend together in some vegan cooking oil. Strained and scooped into a bowl. Load up on some yummy carbs and fiber before a long day of hiking.

8. Walnut and Chickpea Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers are vegan food for camping that needs a bit of home-prep. Make the walnut and chickpea patties at home, keep them cool in transit, fry or grill them over an open fire, slap them on a bun with your choice of vegan condiments.

9. Zucchini, Mushroom, and Brown Rice Wraps

Wraps are a fantastic vegan camping food. They’re basically edible plates. Stir fry some zucchini and mushrooms with some chili for extra flavor. Prep some nutritious brown rice. Wrap them up and voila! Pro tip: Pare the Zucchini and cut the mushrooms ahead of time so you don’t have to deal with too much prep-work.

10. Vegan French Toast, Fresh Fruit, and Honey

One of the more decadent vegan camping meals on our list, this one needs a bit of finesse. Mostly because you’ll need to recreate french toasts signature texture without dairy and eggs; this is doable though - Google is your friend!

11. Tofu and Vegetable Skewers

Skewers are a super popular camping meal because they’re cooked over an open fire. Chop the ingredients and prep the skewers ahead of time, get them on the grill, and serve when cooked.

vegan camp food

12. Quinoa Salad

There’s not much to be said about prepping this meal. Quinoa is super easy to cook, and your typical salad ingredients just need to be kept chilled in transit.

13. Deluxe Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

A staple vegan meal, especially when you’re on-the-go. There’s no need to pre-prepare anything. Spread the peanut butter and jelly, add some sliced banana, and you’re set! Pro tip: These are great to take on a hike.

14. Vegan Frito Pie

Yup, original flavor Fritos are vegan. Get them in a cast-iron skillet, add some canned, pre-made vegan chili, top with grated vegan cheese, top with salt and pepper. Yum!

15. Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

Smashed chickpeas with garbanzo beans and onion are a fantastic alternative to the usual sandwich spreads. Take some sourdough bread along, toast it lightly over the fire, and spread to your liking.

16. Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Another camping favorite since it involves open-flame cooking. Pre-prepare your black bean patties, keep them chilled, grill to taste, and get them on a bun along with some cucumber, fresh tomato, and vegan mustard.

17. Granola with Coconut Milk

You can opt for pre-made granola (depending on how you feel about honey) or whip up a batch for yourself using corn syrup. Add some coconut milk, and you’ve got a tasty vegan camping breakfast to start your day with.

18. Bagels with Nut Butter

If you’re like me, you can’t have a bagel without butter. Frankly, I don’t need any fancy spread or topping. Just the good-old bagel and creamy nut butter will do me fine as a light lunch.

19. Canned Vegan Soups

One of my favorite vegan camping meal shortcuts - especially if storage and prep options are limited. There are dozens of excellent soups on the shelves nowadays. Buy. Heat. Eat. Just make sure you remember the can opener!

20. Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Pre-bake your sweet potatoes and chili at home. Once you’re out in front of the fire, slice the sweet potatoes open, fill them with chili, wrap them in foil and get them onto the grill for heating. This is my personal favorite meal when camping.

21. Chickpea Scramble with Toast

Chickpeas are just so ridiculously versatile. Buy the pre-prepared kind, mash them a little and fry them up with diced potato, peppers, onion, and garlic. Serve on a delicious slice of toasted sourdough.

22. Grilled Tofu Steaks with Salsa

Tofu “steaks” require some home prep. Slice them according to your needs, get them into a ziplock bag with some seasoning, herbs, and soy sauce. Let them marinate for two days and fry them up. Serve with a generous helping of spicy salsa for an extra flavor kick!

8 Vegan Camping Snack Ideas

vegan trail mix

If you’re anything like me, a camping trip is partially an excuse to mostly eat outdoors. Three meals per day just ain’t gonna cut it. With that in mind, here are some plant-based snack ideas.

23. Trail Mix

Of course, trail mix was gonna make it onto this list. To add a bit of a bang to this somewhat tired camping snack, you’ll need a tiny bit of dehydrated chili. Also, why not treat yourself and get some lesser-known nuts in there. Replace almonds with walnuts. Replace peanuts with pistachio. Go on, live a little!

24. Granola Bars

There are some seriously delicious store-bought granola bars available nowadays. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a vegan-friendly grocer, grab a half-dozen of these. They’re convenient, nutritious, and taste great.

25. Foil-Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Pre-prepare your sweet potatoes by slicing them into thin wafers. Wrap these slices in foil along with some of your cooking oil and rest them next to the burning firewood or charcoal. When your main meal is done, you’ll have a delicious snack for later.

26. Tortilla Chips and Guacamole

There’s a DIY aspect to Mexican food that makes it ideal for camping. Simple tortilla chips with tangy, spicy guacamole are perfect to pass around the campfire as an after-meal snack.

27. Vegan Jerky

Yeah, you COULD make your own, but since you’re already making the effort of sleeping outdoors for several nights, keep things simple and indulge in one (or more) of the excellent vegan jerky options available at most vegan-friendly grocery stores.

Honesty, I’m continually surprised by the number of options available. It’s convenient, delicious, and perfect for camping.

28. Fresh Fruit and Raw Veggies

Nothing’s going to beat the flavor of a perfectly ripe apple or scrumptious raw carrot while you’re in the wilderness. There’s something that just feels and tastes “right” about eating something completely unprocessed while camping.

29. Grilled Pineapple

Grilled pineapple is a great way to get a vegan meal started. Before the main course is served, get some thick slices onto the grill over an open fire. Turn them often, add a tiny bit of salt, and voila!

30. Vegan S’mores

No camping trip is complete unless you’ve made America’s favorite outdoor treat. Sure, some of the decadence will be compromised since you’ll need to replace every key ingredient with a vegan alternative. Vegan crackers aren’t hard to find, but what about the marshmallows and chocolate?

Finding the former is a little tricky, but there’s a product named Dandies that is an almost perfect replication of traditional, vegan-unfriendly marshmallows. For a chocolate replacement, find a plant-based brand that uses coconut or almond milk.

Plan and Prep Your Meals Ahead of Time

meal preparation

Every time I plan a trip into the wild, I take as much time as necessary to plan what I’m going to eat for every meal. I also do all the preparations that won’t be possible (or too much of a hassle) while living under a piece of canvas that’s been to a tree.

This is essential if you plan on remaining a vegan throughout your trip. Especially if your camping buddies are going to bring along animal-product temptations. I’ve been there. Don’t put yourself in this position!

Here are the important things to bear in mind while planning your vegan camping meals.

Know the Camping Spot’s Facilities

Your first consideration has to be about the cooking methods available to you at your campsite. Most sites allow you to make a fire, but it’s important to double-check if you’re really roughing it. Some national parks don’t permit open fires.

On the other hand, your camping destination may have a well-equipped kitchen that negates most of your food-related obstacles. A quick call to the site managers or other vegan campers who’ve used their facilities could save you a ton of trouble.

Essential Cooking Equipment for Vegan Camping

If you’re going to be preparing most of your vegan camping food at the site itself, here’s a list of items that you should consider taking with you. Use your discretion when deciding which of these are practical or not.

  • A pot and a pan (duh)
  • A Sharp knife
  • A chopping board
  • Some Salt and pepper
  • Plant-based cooking oil
  • Eating utensils
  • Bowls and plates
  • A wooden stirring spoon
  • Enough firewood or charcoal
  • A grill/gridiron for cooking on
  • A reliable camp stove
  • Matches or a couple of lighters
  • A strainer
  • A cast-iron skillet

Think About The Food Storage Options

When packing and storage is an issue, the last thing you want is to be lugging around a bunch of impractical ingredients for your vegan camping food.

Think about the storage options available to you on your trip and plan your meals accordingly. If there’s refrigeration available at the site, live your vegan camping trip dreams. If you’re literally going to be living out of your backpack, apply a little more discretion.

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Final Words

Camping recipes are easy to come by. They’re delicious, nutritious, and surprisingly easy to prepare and cook.

Once you’ve done some research and become accustomed to the perennial favorites, you’ll start getting creative with your own meal ideas fit for the great outdoors. Don’t hold back!

Plan, prepare, pack, cook, enjoy. Let’s go camping!


References

1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-food-energy-boost


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Rafid Nassir is a health and fitness fanatic, with the main aim of maximising muscle mass and minimising body fat, with as little time investment as possible.
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