I love nothing more than camping with friends (and dogs!). The feeling of being in nature, hanging around the campfire, and all the vegan camping food options are always something to be looked forward to.
Newer vegans (and non-vegan friends) often wonder what vegans can eat on a camping trip….since it seems that so many classic camping meals are centered around animal products. This post will answer your question, “what do vegans eat when camping?”, and hopefully give you some delicious ideas – and a few helpful tips – for your next camping trip.
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Vegan Camping Food Ideas
A few tips before your camping trip
- Plan your meals in advance. You want to have enough food to last the length of the trip and keep you satisfied, but not SO much food that you get overwhelmed (or the food gets wasted – mind you, this is coming from the “Queen of Bringing Too Much Food”!). You want to bring enough, but not too much. So you really need to plan your meals in advance. Figure out exactly what you want to eat each day, and buy – and bring! – only what you’ll need.
- Use a camping essentials checklist of EVERYTHING you will need to make your camping trip easier. It’s not fun to go camping and realize you forgot something important – like matches to start the campfire with. (There is a Vegan Camping Essentials List below to get you started!)
- Prepare portable snacks beforehand (I like using recyclable paper bags like these).
- Figure out exactly what you need for eating AND for cooking (plates, bowls, utensils) – and bring just enough. These items tend to take up extra space and are heavy.
- Bring along a simple camp dishwashing kit. This can be super simple, like a couple of small storage bins or pails (for washing and rinsing dishes and cookware) and some dish soap (I am a HUGE fan of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap because it has so many uses – dishes, body, hair! – and it’s vegan and environmentally safe!). And don’t forget a dish rag or sponge, and a towel. Check out the helpful video below for some ideas on how to do this.
Vegan Camping Food List Essentials
These are vegan staples you might want to bring with you. What and how much you bring will really depend on how many days you will be camping and a pretty good idea of what your will be cooking and eating!)
- Coffee &/or tea – along with something to make these items with!
- Plant-based milk (most grocery stores sell shelf-stable plant-based milk in individual or 16 oz containers)
- Fresh fruit (bananas, grapes, and citrus fruits travel well)
- Chopped veggies (carrots, grape tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower florets all travel well)
- Lettuce, tomatoes, onion – for burgers, sandwiches, or for salads
- Trail mix (pre-made or make your own)
- Granola bars (pre-made or make your own)
- Dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, apricots)
- Bread, wraps &/or tortillas, hot dog &/or hamburger buns
- Peanut (or any other nut butter) plus jelly or jam
- Vegan hot dogs &/or hamburgers (freeze beforehand if possible!)
- Condiments: catsup, mustard, jarred salsa, hot sauce
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, nooch (nutritional yeast) – any other seasoning you think you might like/need
- Vegan butter, oil, &/or cooking spray
- Maple syrup – if you plan to make pancakes
- Canned beans – baked beans, chili beans, black beans, any beans!
- Canned chili or soup (for easy, lazy meals)
- Packets of ramen or boxed vegan macaroni and cheese (more easy, lazy meal options!)
AND don’t forget these vitals (so you have something to cook with AND eat with!):
- Matches / lighter and firestarters
- Firewood (check campground rules – many parks in the U.S. require you to buy local firewood from the campground)
- Camping stove – this will depend on what you will be cooking! You may be able to get away with just cooking on a campfire, it’s not easy to control the flames or temperature. You can get a single burner – or up to 4 burners). I really like Coleman Camping stoves – like this one. These stoves use either propane or butane for fuel (which is easy to find at stores like Target and Walmart), they are lightweight, relatively compact (this one is great for backpacking!), easy to transport, and they last forever (I’ve had mine since college).
- Can opener (how many times has this been forgotten?!)
- Stirring spoon(s), spatula, tongs (for hot dogs)
- Plates and utensils
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper – something to wrap or carry food-to-go in (i.e. sandwiches when you go hiking)
- Cloth or paper napkins
- Table cloth (because campground picnic tables can be pretty gross and hard to clean!)
No-Cook Vegan Camping Food Ideas
If you don’t want to cook or heat anything up while camping, this is totally doable. Having a good plan of what your meals will consist of is important. Here are some vegan no-cook meal ideas to get you started.
NO-COOK VEGAN CAMPING BREAKFASTS
- Bagels – enjoyed with either jam, peanut butter, or vegan cream cheese
- Overnight oats – check out this easy and delicious recipe!
- Granola, muesli, or cereal
- Fresh fruit
Remember for oats and granola, you’ll also need plant-based milk.
NO-COOK VEGAN CAMPING LUNCHES
These lunches can be made in advance – or bring the ingredients with you. These are also portable enough to carry along on a hike or kayak,
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Hummus and veggies
- Vegan luncheon meat, lettuce, and tomato
For lunches, have some options for sides, such as tortilla chips, crackers, pretzels, fresh fruit, or diced veggies.
NO-COOK VEGAN CAMPING DINNERS
No-cook dinners get a little bit trickier and require a bit more prep. You can always enjoy dinner meals similar to the no-cook lunch meals – sandwiches and wraps. Or you can make ahead heart salads or cold noodle recipes to bring along with you – no heating required. Here are a few favorites:
Cold Noodle Bowl – recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Easy Vegan Pasta Salad – recipe from Tasty
VEGAN CAMPING BREAKFAST IDEAS
French Toast is easy and fun to make on a camping trip! And I LOVE this recipe from Fresh Off The Grid (and non-vegans will love it too!)
Nothing is better than enjoying a warming cup of oatmeal on a chilly morning outdoors.
The great thing about a tofu scramble (besides how delicious it is) is how versatile it is. You can eat it on its own for breakfast (with or without a tortilla), and then any leftovers can be rolled into a tortilla and enjoyed later in the day for lunch on the go, or a hearty snack. And this recipe from Off The Grid is easy and delicious!!
Keep it really simple and bring along a bottle of Just Egg from the grocery store. (Find out where to buy Just Egg in this link!) You can make an easy and delicious scramble without tofu. Check out this recipe video from Rock Star Vegan Recipes on Youtube for inspiration:
VEGAN CAMPING LUNCH IDEAS
When you’re camping, most lunches are usually on the go….either while on a hike, or kayak or canoe. Here are a few options!
Sandwiches or wraps
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Hummus and veggies
- Vegan cold cuts.
The easiest option is to bring pre-made burgers and hot dogs from the grocery store. But you can also make from scratch, freeze, and then pack in a cooler to be cooked at the campsite. Check out this Grillable Veggie Burger recipe from The Minimalist Baker.
Vegan Hot Dogs
My favorite vegan hot dogs are actually vegan sausages, and they’re made by Field Roast, but there are SO many vegan hot dogs and sausages available for you to pick from. Serve on a bun with a couple of sides – canned baked beans are delicious and easy too!
Black Bean Salad
Filling, nourishing, and packed with protein you can easily make this recipe (from A Couple Cooks) at home or at the campsite.
VEGAN CAMPING DINNER IDEAS
Of course, sometimes the BEST camping meals are the basics….vegan hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixin’. But sometimes you want something heartier….or healthier. These dinner recipes won’t disappoint, are not overly complicated., and they have pretty basic ingredients. Just delicious vegan food, perfect for camping.
This recipe from The Vegan 8 is warm, comforting, nourishing, and delicious….everything you want in a camping meal! It uses easy-to-find ingredients and cooks quickly in one pot.
Vegan Burrito (or Taco) Bar
Bring a couple of cans of beans (refried, black beans, pinto beans) and your favorite seasonings (pre-made taco seasoning works great to season the beans), crunchy taco shells, or flour or corn tortillas, and toppings (lettuce, tomato, vegan cheese, and sour cream). This meal won’t disappoint….and everyone can put together their food to their own personal liking!
Pasta is another easy vegan option for a campsite dinner. Boil water, throw in some pasta, drain, stir in your favorite jarred marinara sauce…..and….voila! Or you can step it up a bit, with this yummy recipe (from From My Bowl) that’s still easy to make, but adds in a few more ingredients!
There is nothing better than baking potatoes in the campfire. These are delicious as a side dish….or as a meal on their own. Top them with chili (canned chili is an easy option!), vegan butter, vegan sour cream, or some vegan cheddar cheese. (DON’T FORGET oven mitts so that you can carefully place and remove the potatoes from the fire pit.)
Bread? On a stick? At a campfire?? Yes please!!
Vegan Camping Food FAQs