Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are a must for any backpacking or car camping adventure and with camping season fast approaching (hip hip hurray!), it’s the perfect time to highlight some excellent vegan camping sustenance. Thankfully there’s a wide variety of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods available that are vegan.
ˈvēɡən/ • noun• a person who does not eat or use animal products.
A few years ago I went on a solo weekend camping trip. It was my first camping trip as a vegan and my first solo commune with nature. After I answered the where and when questions I tackled the fun part. FOOD. You know we love thinking about food here at Feed Your Skull.
I started to wrap my head around the following:
- What meals/food items would be easiest to bring?
- Is refrigeration required? Am I bringing a cooler?
- Will x,y,z be easy to prepare and clean up?
- Is it lightweight?
- How much will all my food weigh?
- Will it be easy to pack-in and pack-out?
I then went to our local outdoors store to pick up a few things and see what traditional camping fare I could go with. I was pleasantly surprised at how many options were available!
Now this trip was more car camping than hike-in/backpacking, so I had some flexibility and could bring heavier items and not think about every little detail, but I’ve done those backpacking trips too and dehydrated foods are a great option for either one. Some of the details I elaborate on are with the backpacker in mind.
Mary Jane’s Farm (MJF), you might be familiar with the magazine, sells food in two types of packaging, the EcoPouch™ and Do-It-Yourself Bulk. Two cool things about the EcoPouch™ are you can cook/rehydrate the food in the pouch and you can dispose of it in the campfire. MJF also happens to be local where I live!
The EcoPouches come in instant, quick-prep, and skillet bake options depending on what you need.
All bags are clearly marked with directions, ingredients, nutrition facts, and of course dietary markers.
For dinner I had their organic ginger sesame rice. Delicious!
Other organic vegan options from Mary Jane’s Farm:
- Beans // Black Bean Flakes • Black Bean Flakes, Hot ‘n Spicy • Pinto Bean Flakes
- Breads // Black Bean Corn Bread* • Chili Batter Bread • Corn Bread* • Garlic Pesto Fry Bread
- Breakfast // Griddle Cakes • Outrageous Outback Oatmeal
- Dessert // Brownies • Scones with Walnuts and Orange Peel
- Meals // Couscous and Lentil Curry • Southwestern Couscous • Wild Forest Mushroom Couscous • Black Bean Hummus • Lebanese Peanut Bulghar • Lentil Pilav • Ginger Sesame Rice • Lentils, Rice, and Indian Spice • Kettle Chili • Lentil Soup • Velvety Black Bean Soup
- Sauces // Corn Salsa
- Sampler Packs // Bakeover Sampler • Adventure Sampler (5 out of 6 are vegan, the Red Pesto Pasta is vegetarian)
*(ingredients are vegan and can probably be prepped vegan – skip the honey packet)
ALPINEAIRE Foods offers a small variety of ready-to-go meals that are veg friendly. They also sell cans of freeze-dried/dehydrated foods that I think you could create your own meals by mixing, matching, and adding spices from your pantry. After perusing their website a bit, they do have a dietary label for vegan items, but there are some items under the vegetarian category that are not categorized as vegan even though their ingredient list is. Probably falls into the ‘may contain’ category from using shared equipment. Just double-check the ingredient list.
ALPINE AIRE’S vegan options
- Mountain Chili
- Wild Quinoa Pilaf with Hemp Crispies
- Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice
- Veggie Burrito Bowl
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Three Berry Crumble
Backpacker’s Pantry came about as a solution to provide Girl Scout’s with an economical, lightweight, and healthy food option for their outdoor adventures. They are passionate about providing gourmet on-the-trail meals that sustain, nourish, and rebuild your body after a day of forested exploits. Backpacker’s Pantry offers 12 vegan products as well as a comprehensive allergen chart to cross check your other needs.
- Vegan Ready for Anything Kit (2 Day)
- Chana Masala
- Katmandu Curry [2 servings • 16 servings]
- Organic Instant Rainbow Quinoa
- Peanut Butter & Co. All Natural Peanut Butter Pack
- Sweet Corn
- Louisiana Red Beans & Rice [2 servings • 4 servings]
- Charros Beans & Rice
- Instant Diced Carrots [46 servings]
- Organic Blueberry Walnut Oats & Quinoa
- Organic Olive Oil packets
- Organic Peanut & Raisin Oatmeal
- Organic Yakisoba Noodles
- Pad Thai
- Spaghetti & Sauce
- Build Your Own Meal Kit (cross check with vegan list)
4. Cache Lake
Offers trail-tested gourmet dehydrated foods that claim to fill you up and satisfy better than the competition. I think they originally started as a wholesale outfit and only recently began selling to the public. Due to that they state their packaging isn’t pretty nor does it contain nutrition information. I mean what?! 😱 They do offer a list and claim to answer any questions via email or phone. Seems like it would be good info to include on their site. Proceed at your own risk. [nutritional facts (not all products shown) • allergen list]
edit: I am finding if you click on a product image and zoom in, you can read the ingredient list.
Cache Lake’s vegan options (based on the allergen list)
- Beans with Salsa Spices
- Beans with Taco Flavored Bits
- Billie’s Chili
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Hashbrown Potatoes
- Hot Apple Dessert
- Peas & Carrots
- Pumpkin Pie
- Spaghetti & Sauce with Beef Flavored Bits for real
- Wild Rice Leek & Potato
- Wild Rice Vegetable Salad with Italian Dressing
- Wild Rice Vegetable Soup
Outdoor Herbivore is completely new to me as of the last few minutes. Thank you Google. It appears they specialize in 100% vegetarian camping foods with a large vegan selection. Not only is their vegan section sizable, but it’s the equivalent to eating vegan in PDX. There are unique and tasty sounding options that aren’t just peas and carrots.
Vegan options at Outdoor Herbivore
- Breakfasts // Apple Quinoa Oatmeal • Blueberry Maple Crunch • Chia Oat Crunch • Coconut Chia Peel • Cold Breakfast Combo • Ginger Chia Gooey • High Elevation Rice Cereal • Morning Day PB&J • Sunrise Tofu Scramble • Toasted Sunburst Museli
- Meals // ‘Cheddar’ Mac • Basil Walnut Penne • Blackened Quinoa • Instant Quinoa and Dried Sauces • Cheddar Garden Herb • Chickpea Sesame Penne • Chickpea Sesame Penne (GF) • Chunky Chipotle Chili • Cibola Couscous • Curried Apple Couscous • Dehydrated Pasta Sauce Collection • Hop Pea Slop • Instant Dehydrated Quinoa • Lemon Quinoa Tabbouleh • Lemongrass Thai Curry • Lickety-Split Lentils • Naked Freckle Burrito • Pea-Nutty Matchsticks • Pesto Presto Matchsticks • Quinoa ‘Cheddar’ Mac (GF) • Quinoa Vegetable Soup • Savory Lentil Simmer • Southwest Black Bean • Sunny Sunflower Salad • Waldorf Slaw
- Sides & Sauces // Instant Hummus • Instant Peanut Butter • Pesto Herbilicious Spread • Pinto Smash • Summer Tomato Sauce
- Desserts // ChocoCocoChia • CinnaMonkey Chomps • Cocoa Nutty Chomps • Snack Sampler • Chili Lime Crunchies
- Backpacking Meal Combos // 2-Day • 3-Day • 5-Day (GF) • 5-Day • 7-Day
- Backpacking Meal Sampler // No Cook (3 meals) • Chia, No Cook (4 meals) • Single Day (GF) • Hot Breakfast (3) • Hot Trio • Rice (3) • Soups (3)
Have you tried any of these? Have I missed any? Would you like to see some homemade alternatives? Let us know in the comments.
I look forward to ordering from Outdoor Herbivore! I love their selection and combo deals that make it easy to plan for a single or multi-day trip. xx