A nourishing vegan diet is perfectly possible when you are wild camping.
After experiencing a massive burnout, I headed into the Scottish wilderness. Making camp on empty beaches and uninhabited islands, I got a lot of practice at cooking plant based camping food.
It was a little challenging at first because plant based foods are less packed with calories than meaty alternatives. It took time to find a balance between keeping the weight in my pack low, whilst still carrying enough energy to get me through the long rainy days and freezing nights.
Sometimes carrying dehydrated food seems like the best solution, but that means you need to use more of your water to cook it with. Then again, you only need to heat some water for most expedition style food, so you haven’t got to waste any more water on cleaning up pots and pans.
It can get confusing, but I’m here to help!
In this article I will give you some vegan recipe ideas and reccomend some vegan dehydrated food that is perfect for a wildcamping trip.
Vegan Expedition Food
Firepot is a UK based company, making a range of delicious dehydrated meals from their barn in Dorset.
They have a great range of vegan options, and their food doesn’t contain any artificial flavourings or palm oil.
Some of their vegan options include:
- Vegan Orzo Bolognese
- Posh Baked Beans
- Porcini Mushroom Risotto
- Chilli Non Carne
- Dal and Rice with Spinach
Thanks to big chunks of mushroom, the Porcini Mushroom Risotto is my favourite. The Dal was also delicious, but it was too spicy for my partner.
FYI – It really isn’t very spicy, but French cuisine is seriously mild, so anything with a touch of warmth blows poor Florian’s head off.
Firepot also does a porridge with cinnamon and dried apple which is suitable for Vegans. Personally, I would prefer to save money and put together my own porridge to my taste. You can decide which nuts, seeds, spices and dried fruits that you like best.
You can buy a 5 pack of their healthy vegan expedition meals here!
The best thing about Firepot is that they offer the option to buy food in compostable packaging. Not dodgy green washed plastic packaging that calls itself degradable, but genuinely compostable.
If you go for the classic plastic packaging, then you can pour the hot water straight into the packet and leave it for 15 minutes to cook.
As convenient as this is, the reason I eat predominately plant based food is because I want to reduce my carbon footprint and preserve wild places. With that in mind, I would always choose the compostable option, even if you have to cook that in a pan.
FYI – You must take the compostable packaging away with you and put it in home compost, industrial compost or household waste bin, because it needs the right amount of heat and moisture to degrade.
By going with expedition meals, you can easily keep track of your calorie intake, and you don’t have to worry about food spoiling. It’s super light weight, and it takes a surprsingly small of water to prepare.
Depending on the meal size, the pouches cost between £6.95 and £8.95 each.
For a short trip they are definately worth it. However if you are going for a longer expedition, you may need to do your own camping meals for the sake of your wallet.
Do Your Own Vegan Camping Meals
When I was wild camping, I ate more rice and porrige than any one person should have to see in a lifetime. I am still traumatised by porrige and strawberry jam, which I ate every day for nearly 100 days.
The thing is, rice and oats are such a good thing to eat on the trail. They are filling, keep well and they are easy to pack without taking up to much space.
Here are a few meal ideas that you can cook for yourself.
Breakfast – 3 ingredient Pancakes
If you’re feeling fancy, you can throw together some 3 ingredient vegan pancakes in a few minutes.
They are so quick and easy but taste decadent and fill you up. I particularly like using rice milk, but you can choose whichever plant based milk you prefer.
- 1 pan for frying
- 1 pan for mixing
- a fork
- a spatula
- plant based milk
- vegetable oil
- topping of your choice
Whisk together flour with plant based milk. There’s no need for scales so I’m not going to make up any numbers for you. We are camping after all!
Just keep adding milk until you’re happy with the consistency of batter and then add a few tablespoons of oil. You can decant some vegetable oil into a small used plastic drinks bottle so it’s less heavy.
Put a few more drops of oil into a frying pan the batter once its nice and hot.
Again, there’s no science to it. You will work it out as you go, but it’s a good idea to have a practice run at home before hand.
Once the pancakes are almost cooked, flip them with a spatula to finish them off.
You choose the topping.
Some suggestions include: jam, sugar, plant based chocolate spread. Obviously you don’t need to bring the whole packet of sugar, just dispense some into a small jar.
If you are camping in a really hot country, the milk might not be easy to transport. However, plant based milk takes more time to go sour than dairy milk and so long as you don’t open it until you’re at camp, you should be fine.
You can use any left overs for a bed time hot chocolate!
It makes you feel like absolutely royalty tucking into a hot plate of pancakes on top of a mountain. If you can’t be bothered, just make a bowl of porridge and be done with it.
Lunch – Vegan Sausage Sandwiches
- n/a prepare at home
- Your favourite grainy bread
- Vegan sausages
- A dollop of ketchup or BBQ sauce
If you are only heading out for a couple of days, you can cook some vegan sausages at home and bring them in a tupperware box to go in your sandwiches.
Vegan sausages are normally made from soya or tofu, and are packed with protein. Put them in a fake French baguette and don’t forget a generous squirt of ketchup.
I say fake French baguette because Florian is up in arms that the English dare describe their bread as a baguette just because it’s in the shape of a stick. The French are very serious about their food, and by French law you can only describe bread as a baguette if it follows a certain recipe and technique!
Some vegan sausage brands available in UK:
- Quorn Cumberland Sausages (you have to specifically chose the vegan range or they will just be vegetarian)
- Cauldron veggie sausages
- Beyond Meat plant based sausages
- Richmond meat free sausages
Most supermarkets have their own brand veggie and vegan food now, so that is by now means an exhausative list!
Bring double what you’d normally eat at lunch, because the last thing you want is to get hungry when you’re miles from the nearest shop.
Dinner – Curry and Rice (Pauper’s edition)
There’s nothing like a hot curry to lift your spirits after a long day on the hills.
The cheapest and easiest way I found to do this, was to bring a jar of premade curry sauce, a packet of basmati rice and a tin of vegetables. Tins of vegetables only need to be quickly heated up, and they save you a lot of gas.
- 1 medium sized pan
- 1 spoon or fork for stirring
- Water (twice more than the rice)
- Curry Sauce
- Tins of Vegetables
It’s easy to cook rice in a small camping pan, then chuck over a can of peas and kidney beans and stir in your favourite jar of vegan curry sauce.
You can also consider tins of lentils and chickpeas because they are great sauces of protein!
Here are a list of vegan curry sauces easily available in UK. (There are loads more, these are just some suggestions to save you time searching)
- Pataks Jalfreezi
- Patak’s Rogan Josh
- Patak’s Korma
- Patak’s Madras
- Patal’s Tikka Masala
- Tesco Rogan Josh Cooking Sauce
- Tesco Madras Cooking Sauce
- Tesco Balti Sauce
- Loyd Grossman Balti Sauce
- Loyd Grossman Sweet Tomato Bhuna Curry Sauce
Bonus tip: Most poppadoms are also vegan! Pair your Pauper’s curry with some crispy poppadoms and a bottle of beer, and you will feel like royalty.
I hope you found this article helpful and that you enjoy many happy camping adventures.
Remember to take all your waste away with you, including food waste like banana skins and orange peel. If the food isn’t native to the area, then it could make local animals sick, and causes an unsightly mess on walking paths.
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to check out the Highly Sensitive Nomad book.
More articles that you might like:
- A complete beginner’s guide to wild camping
- How to Travel Without Any Money
- To travel off the beaten track. (But really though.)
If you’d like to be notified when I publish my next blog, you can sign up below.