Food

18 Delicious Vegan Camping Food & Drink Ideas

by Emily Pennington
Updated January 20, 2023

best vegan camping food
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When you’re eating 100% plant-based, it can be a tricky feat to find meals and snacks with the right combo of flavor, nutrition, and protein, especially when you’re out camping or backpacking.

Sure, the camping and protein bar industries have come a long way in the last ten years, with loads of new products and flavors hitting the market to tempt outdoorsy vegans, but sifting through the noise to find healthy and delicious options that don’t taste like cardboard can be a bit of a burden.

Two years ago, I started dating a fervent vegan, and together, we’ve become something of a two-person taste-testing squad every time we venture out into the wilderness. I’ve sampled hundreds of bars, powders, meals, coffees, and snacks, and this list is a compilation of my tried and true favorites.

Whether you’ve got a gnarly sweet tooth or simply want some new dehydrated vegan meal suggestions, there’s sure to be something you’ll love.

Related read: 24 Delicious Vegetarian Camping Foods for Your Next Weekend in the Woods

Nutritious (and Delicious) Camping Dinners

Peak Refuel Butternut Dal Bhat

 

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There’s just something about Indian food in the backcountry; a warming blend of curry powder and spices pair perfectly with filling rice and protein-rich chickpeas to soothe your insides after a long day of exploring.

Peak Refuel has done an excellent job balancing dehydrated veggies (creamy, vitamin-rich butternut squash) with necessary proteins (lentils and chickpeas) and rice in this made-in-the-USA version of a Nepali classic, dal bhat.

GOOD TO-GO Kale & White Bean Stew

 

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Fulfilling your body’s need for greens while on the go in remote areas can be a constant challenge, but GOOD TO-GO’s Kale & White Bean Stew will at least add a hearty dose of cruciferous kale, savory fennel, carrots, and protein-packed white beans to the end of your day.

Creamy potatoes help to make this stew thick and satisfying, while thyme, black pepper, and bay leaf add the perfect aromatic spice blend.

Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai

I am such a fan of Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai that I shamelessly write about it every chance I get. Over the years, I’ve hiked in every U.S. national park, completed the John Muir Trail, and crossed the Greenstone Ridge Trail, and I’m convinced that this is the perfect camping feast for one or sensible shared meal for two.

Assembled like a fun, crafty, DIY kit full of spicy Sriracha powder, crunchy peanuts, and tangy crystallized lime juice, this is as close as you can get to your favorite Thai take-out on the trail.

Daiya Deluxe Mac & Cheeze

 

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One of my favorite things about car camping is that I can bring some of my favorite easy-to-prepare dinners along for the ride, provided that they don’t require too many dishes or time-consuming cleanup.

When I first met my vegan partner, we set out on a mission to find the best vegan Mac and Cheeze, and Daiya’s Deluxe Mac & Cheeze is the best on the market. We prefer the cheddar style, but it also comes in tasty flavors like alfredo and four cheeze with herbs.

Pro tip: stir in a can of your favorite vegan chili for extra flavor and protein.

Patagonia Provisions Organic Black Bean Soup

A brand that’s often overlooked in the camping meal space is Patagonia’s relatively new Provisions line, and this Organic Black Bean Soup is the perfect savory treat to warm you up when night hits and temperatures drop.

High in iron, fiber, and potassium, this Mexican-style soup is seasoned with chipotle peppers and minced garlic. Not backpacking? Patagonia recommends topping the mix off with sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.

Related read: 17 Easy Camping Side Dishes for Campfire Snacking

Hearty Camping Breakfasts

Heather’s Choice Blueberry Cinnamon Buckwheat Breakfast

Skip the boring, old Quaker’s packets for a more sustainable, filling vegan breakfast by Heather’s Choice. This Blueberry Cinnamon Buckwheat blend is a frequent star on the brand’s bestseller list, jam-packed with gluten-free hemp, chia seeds, and coconut to fill your post-snooze belly.

Not only is every packet seasoned to perfection with raw sugar and dried fruit, but it’s also a snap to prepare – just add boiling water.

Nomad Nutrition Cali Breakfast Bowl

 

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In the mood for a savory breakfast (or just sick of oatmeal)? Nomad Nutrition has got you covered. This skillet-style breakfast bowl is chock-full of tasty indulgences, like sweet yams, protein-rich tofu and quinoa, Kalamata olives, and diced tomatoes.

The dish is finished off with garlic, turmeric, and a dash of cayenne, and your egg-eating camping brethren are sure to be jealous when they see the long list of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in this epic vegan day-starter.

Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie

 

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Maybe you’re not a big breakfast person, you hate cooking, or you’d simply rather gnaw on a snack from the cozy comfort of your sleeping bag. If this sounds like you, The Complete Cookie by Lenny & Larry’s should be a great fit.

Not only do these cookie-centric meal substitutes come in a wide variety of flavors (from holiday-focused Apple Pie to traditional fare like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle), but each boasts 16 grams of plant-based protein, perfect for when you’re working hard mountain biking, skiing, or trekking in the woods. Who says you can’t have cookies for breakfast?

Related read: 20 Camping Breakfast Ideas for Easy Morning Meals

Drool-Worthy Camping Snacks and Extras

Good Catch Plant-Based Tuna

 

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If someone had walked up to me two years ago and said there was a vegan tuna fish substitute on the market that didn’t suck, I would have called the authorities, assuming they’d gone mad. And yet, Good Catch has seemingly done the impossible – fashioned a protein-packed fish-free tuna that’s as good in pasta casseroles as it is in a tuna salad sandwich.

Outside Magazine even published a feature on the budding vegan fish trend back in 2020, detailing the often unethical practices in traditional tuna fishing and touting the benefits of going plant-based. Now, Good Catch offers three different flavors: Naked, Mediterranean, and Oil & Herbs.

Taos Bakes Snack Bars

 

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Taos Bakes hails itself as a purveyor of “alternate snacks from an alternate universe,” and their scrumptious, energy-packed bars are proof.

These granola bars come in a variety of truly unique flavors, from piñon coffee + dark chocolate to almond agave + cinnamon, and they’re all gluten-free, non-GMO, and, best of all, vegan. (Side note that while the brand’s bars are vegan, some of their snack nuts and granola products are not).

OLOVES Natural Whole Pitted Olives

 

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When I lived in my van for a year and when I hiked the John Muir Trail, OLOVES’ petite packets of salty olive snacks became a staple of my daily regimen. They’re packed with the salt you need when you’re sweating it out in the great outdoors, and, unlike many foods on this list, they are refreshingly NOT dry.

I’d recommend grabbing a variety pack (Basil & Garlic, Chili & Garlic, Chili & Oregano, and Lemon & Rosemary) to tempt your tastebuds with different flavors if you’ve got a big trip on the horizon.

Athletic Greens Travel Packets

 

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Athletic Greens’ AG1 packets are total game changers when it comes to plant-based nutrition while camping, traveling, or on the trail. They are an easy, stress-free way to naturally imbibe your daily vitamins, support gut health with dairy-free pre and probiotics, and boost your immune system.

Made in New Zealand from a proprietary blend of 75 ingredients, AG1 is a tasty, on-the-go green juice powder that’s easy to use. Just stir into 8-12 ounces of cool water each morning or shake in a Blender Bottle.

Hone Mushroom Matcha Packets

 

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Yes, there are some pretty boss instant coffees out there these days (if you’re a diehard, try Alpine Start), but the portable matcha scene is heating up, too. Hone’s ceremonial-grade Mushroom Matcha packets are easy to stuff into your bear canister or food bin on a backpacking or camping trip and are a tasty way to revamp your caffeine fix.

Sweetened with all-natural monk fruit and buzzing with 120mg of caffeine per serving (about as much as a cup of coffee), these tiny packets also offer an added punch of organic cordyceps mushrooms and B vitamins to promote all-day focus and immunity.

Hu Chocolate Bars

 

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When you’ve spent thousands of hours hiking and sleeping in tents, carrying everything you need in a knapsack on your back, you tend to become a bit of a chocolate connoisseur, as it’s gram-for-gram the lightest (and tastiest) way to sneak much-needed dessert calories into the wilderness.

Hu Chocolate Bars are a thing I daydream about when I’m sweating it out on a brutal climb or bushwhacking in the Sierra Nevada. Made with organic, non-GMO, fair trade ingredients, these delectable treats come in a variety of tempting flavors, like Vanilla Crunch and Cashew Butter + Raspberry.

Related read: 40+ Camping Food Ideas That Don’t Need Refrigeration

Must Haves for Après Hike

Bulleit Crafted Cocktails

Bringing a shaker bottle, rocks glasses, and fancy ice cubes into the wild with you every time you want an Old Fashioned would be a heck of a chore, but thankfully, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey recently came out with a ready-to-go cocktail blend that’s as tasty as your favorite bartender’s concoctions.

Prefer a stiff drink with a little vermouth and bitters? The brand also has a ready-to-serve Manhattan for when you want to do your best Don Draper impression.

Mammoth Yosemite Pale Ale

 

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If you’re into craft beer and national parks, Mammoth Brewing Company, located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has something special for you.

Fronted with a graphic of Yosemite Falls, the 5th highest waterfall in the world, this mellow pale ale hits the spot perfectly after a long day of hiking. And, with only 5.5% alcohol, it’s a beer that won’t make you instantly pass out after sunset.

Ghia Apértif

 

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Ghia is a rising star in the hip, new world of craft non-alcoholic cocktails, offering adorable little cans of pre-blended options, but we love its classic apértif the most because you can mix it with just about anything, from soda water to kombucha or even your favorite spirit.

Their namesake apértif is negroni-adjacent, as far as flavor is concerned, and it comes in a bottle reminiscent of vintage perfumeries and flapper-era décor.

Athletic Brewing Non-Alcoholic Beers

Whether you’re sober-ish, totally sober, or just giving Dry January a try, Athletic Brewing Company is worth a gander. As an up-and-coming small beer company, they’ve done the seemingly impossible – create a series of just-like-the-real-thing non-alcoholic brews that are sure to quench your campfire cravings.

There are a growing number of studies linking the adverse effects of alcohol to poor athletic performance, which has many serious sporty types reaching for all the tasty zero-proof they can find, especially when training for a big race or event. Curious about Athletic’s best flavors to start off on the right foot? The Free Wave hazy IPA and Upside Dawn golden are not to be missed.

Related read: 10 Amazingly Simple Camping Recipes for Kids

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