Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Camping with the Vegans

My husband and I used to camp all the time, especially after we had kids.  We loved camping.  It allowed us to see lots of interesting places on the typical young family budget.  As the kids got older, we didn't go as often.  Now that we live in the Pacific Northwest with so much to see and do, we wanted to get back into it.  This was our first camping trip in a while and my first one since becoming vegan almost four years ago.

I did some searching online for camping menus for vegans and such and didn't find a whole lot.  But I'm a list-maker and made up a menu and a packing list and went with it.  Food went GREAT for our short four-day trip!

Since we were car camping and not backpacking, it made it a little easier as weight and space were not issues.  Here are my menus:

Breakfasts:  Oatmeal, fruit, and coffee.  I brought some instant packets (I like Better Oats) that just took water.  We had bananas and apples.  I used the Starbucks Via packets and individual shelf-stable soy milk to make my soy lattes in the mornings.  Hubby added just water and those little liquid flavored creamer pods.

Lunches:  Sandwiches or wraps.  I had two tortillas in the fridge that begged to be used and also brought a loaf of bread to add with Field Roast Wild Mushroom Deli Slices, lettuce, and cucumber slices for two days, left over veggie patty and grilled onions on another day.  We also brought hummus and veggies that we never even touched because we had so much food.  And, if you have sandwiches, you need chips.  Kale chips, that is!  These were yummy!  Even the poodles wanted some!

Dinners:  #1.  Veggies and Field Roast Sausage kabobs.  Before we left, I cut up one really enormous zucchini and two bell peppers, tossed them in a Ziploc bag with a package of mushrooms I'd washed, and poured in about a cup of balsalmic vinaigrette salad dressing.  At the campsite, I skewered the veggies and the "sausage" chunks, although I had way more stuff than I had skewers, so after we did the nice and neat skewers, I tossed the rest in the grill basket and just occasionally stirred it around.  When I looked at the very full gallon bag of cut veggies plus the four links of "sausage," I thought we would have leftovers for days!  But it must be true what they say about camping and appetites.  We polished off every single bite!

#2.  Burgers and baked yams.  I brought two pre-made veggie burgers (Masala Patties from Trader Joe's) and my non-vegan hubby picked up two gourmet patties from the grocery.  We had them on flat sandwich rounds rather than risk buns being squished in transport.  We had brought vegan aioli (also used for our lunches), mustard, and ketchup and added some lettuce and cucumbers.  I also had some red onion that was sliced and bagged up and I sauteed that in a pan.  I cooked my burgers in my onion pan and the husband cooked his meat over the fire.  We wrapped two smallish yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes in layers of foil and baked them in the coals.  We put them on first, as we knew it would take at least 30-45 minutes for them to be done.  I brought along some vegan "butter" and mixed some demerara sugar and cinnamon in a tiny plastic container in case the sweet potatoes were bland.  They weren't.  Mine was super sweet and didn't need any added sugar.  

#3.  Pasta and sauce.  Nothing fancy here.  Just stuff from the store.  The plan was to toss in some leftover veggies from the kabobs, but we scarfed it all down.  I put some stinky Parmesan cheese in a little plastic container for the husband as well.  I also brought wheat rolls to wrap in foil and warm over the fire.  I bought sturdier rolls that wouldn't get squished.  

Snacks:  Raw nuts and seeds, dried fruit (I just brought some of what we had in the pantry - cherries, apricots, and ginger), fresh apples and individual packets of nut butters, some jerky and cheese wedges for the husband, loads of Larabars, and, of course, fixings for s'mores!  I found some vegan graham crackers, my favorite Theo dark chocolate bars, and Dandies marshmallows.  They toasted up so nicely and we did warm our crackers and chocolate over the fire.  Don't you just hate it when the chocolate doesn't melt in your s'more?  No worries here!  Ours were drippy and gooey and we were a grand mess!  I also brought apple cider mix for the husband, who loves it, and tea for me and we had that at night when it was a little chilly.

The Husband and The Girls

We had a wonderful time rediscovering our love for camping.  We realized it was our first camping trip without children since having children.  Definitely in a different stage of life now that our youngest is 17.  It was also our Girls first camping trip.  They did great!  Just like camping with little kids, camping with poodles AND camping when you're vegan just takes a little planning and forethought.

Sunset at Ruby Beach along the Pacific Coast of Washington.  

Our next challenge - an overnight backpacking trip!  I can't wait!


  1. LOVE this post. Thanks for the ideas. I'm going to look for Dandies now.

    1. DeEtta, I was able to find them at a local organic market here in town, but they can generally be found at a Whole Foods Market.