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Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:55 pm
by Tortuga
Can't believe I found a topic that hasn't been covered!

I'm planning my first backpacking trip since switching to a plant-based diet last year. I'm a fan of all the traditional backpacking foods, including everything from Mountain House to Pakit Gourmet to Knorr rice/pasta sides. But almost all of it has meat and/or dairy.

Does anyone else here follow a plant-based diet? What kind of things do you bring? I'll be on the island for 11 days in May. Some of my thoughts so far:

Oatmeal packs for breakfast every day
Trail mix: nuts, raisins, "little secrets" dark chocolate candies
Stove-top stuffing
Idahoan potato flakes
Refried bean flakes
Tortillas

There are a couple Backpacker Pantry vegan options. Has anyone tried them?

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:21 pm
by Midwest Ed
Emergency Essentials offers a few vegetable varieties in dehydrated and freeze dried, some of them in smaller server pouches than the typical #10 can. You'd have to repackage your own meals. I'm not a vegan but I can imagine adding a variety of lighter weight things together with dried soup or pasta mixes for later reconstitution.

Also, here's a set of Vegan Trail Recipes.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:34 pm
by jrwiesz

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:41 am
by thesneakymonkey
Try this:https://www.packitgourmet.com/Special-Needs-Diets.html. There are not a ton of options but they do offer vegan, low sodium, gluten free, dairy free, and veg options. Might offer a little variety to what you already have. I really like their food!

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
by Tom
While you can't sort/search by it, some of the items from Cache Lake (http://cachelake.com/) would qualify as Vegan, I'm guessing. They list all their ingredients. They have a bean dip you spread on a tortilla that is solid; potatoes; soups; and an awesome wild rice salad...

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:58 pm
by torpified
A close reading of the 2018 trip log suggests that Tortuga's lost 40 pounds since last visiting IR. You're going to be flying up the trail no matter what you eat!

Good-to-go (a lot of which is available at, ahem, REI) has vegan options: https://goodto-go.com/collections/food/vegan . I've tried only their pescatarian meals (pad thai and thai curry, whose sins against veganism are shrimp paste and fish sauce respectively), and they're hands-down the best commercial backpacking food I've ever had.

Also -- nut butters! I'm sure somewhere there's an ultralighter whose entire meal plan is a gallon-sized ziploc of Jif. It's calorie dense and supremely packable!

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:49 am
by DonNewcomb
Most backpackers I know are willing to go vegetarian or even vegan, as long as the herbivore agrees to be the cook and understands that if the rest are hungry, he/she gets put on the menu. :) I suggest a trip to an Asian grocery as much of their food is dried and does not involve dairy products.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:05 am
by Tortuga
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! Something I just considered this morning is dehydrating my own meals as well. Off to search the forum for info on that!
DonNewcomb wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:49 am
Most backpackers I know are willing to go vegetarian or even vegan, as long as the herbivore agrees to be the cook and understands that if the rest are hungry, he/she gets put on the menu. :) I suggest a trip to an Asian grocery as much of their food is dried and does not involve dairy products.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

The moose would be a hell of a lot more nutritious.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:13 pm
by hooky
I can't speak to the vegan options, but Pack-it gourmet is good food. Hawk vittles is another tasty option that I've had before, however I think their only option is vegetarian, not vegan. Camp Chow is another one that I hear good things about, but not sure if it's vegan or just vegetarian.

My advice would be to roll your own. Pick up a dehydrator and start the journey.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:26 pm
by LunaHiker
Backpackers Pantry is another brand that offers vegan. We had a Thai noodle meal that was pretty tasty.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:18 pm
by Nick
My daughter is vegetarian and informed me on our first trip to IR in 2008 that freeze dried dinners were off the table because of meats and additives. So, I started dehydrating everything and meal planning with her input. Even when she does not come along, I still use most of the vegetarian meals as they are so good. I came across this web page https://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/ and ordered their "meat" sampler. Great meat substitute: ham, beef, chicken, taco meat. Loved them and they taste really good.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:28 am
by DonNewcomb
Nick wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:18 pm
...... I came across this web page https://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/ and ordered their "meat" sampler. Great meat substitute: ham, beef, chicken, taco meat. Loved them and they taste really good.
Real meat is actually a bit of a PITA on the trail. The preparation of dried ground beef is tedious and the results are like Grape Nuts. Hard salami, ham and summer sausage get grease on everything and make your clothing and pack far too "interesting" to various critters. Canned meats require you pack the can out. I suppose the freeze dried stuff is OK but the packaging requirements for freeze dried food also implies a lot of trash management.

Re: Vegan Backpacking Food

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:47 am
by Nick
I've made Chow Mien at home and dehydrated it and it's been great. I made a big pot of lentil soup and did the same. Most recently, I've done some Jimmy Dean sausage for hot sausage soup and found that a bit greasy if you don't rinse it really well. The Harmony House "meats" are soy based and not meats. I keep the 'greasy' stuff in dry bags. I've gone pretty light with the dehydrated stuff (not freeze dried) and everything is packaged in reusable baggies. I'm kayaking now and base camping and I have the luxury of being able to carry more food and fuel than I would hiking. That makes much of the food prep I do easier. That said, my daughter and I did McCargo to Windigo along the Greenstone a few years back and the home made meals we put together worked quite well and were light.