5.26.2011

Vegan Camping 101


Last year I went camping with my boyfriend’s family over Memorial Day weekend. This year, I am doing the same thing.

Last year when I went, I had been a vegan for one month and had no reasons to back it up aside from trying to lose weight. I didn’t know what kinds of food to take, so I took food that was gross cold and that wasn’t good after the initial day; needless to say, when I saw their steak, I wanted it. And their bacon and eggs. And smores. And cherry pie.

So that was when I stopped being vegan. A few months later, in November, I went back to it, and I have now been vegan ever since (about 6 months). This time, I will stay vegan, and since I know what kinds of food to bring this time, it won’t be so hard! Here is a bit of a survival guide- for other new campers like myself, going camping with people where vegan is the minority.

1.      Bring vegan versions of what they’ll be eating so you don’t feel left out.
For me, this means brining smores. But do you know how hard it is to find GOOD vegan graham crackers that aren’t hydrogenated and don’t have honey? Let me tell you; it’s super hard. Like virtually impossible. So this time, I made my own graham crackers (Isa Chandra’s recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar). I plan on buying a bag of Dandies vegan marshmallows as well and a nice big bar of dark chocolate. Yummy.
I’m also bringing a variety of other sweets, like Isa Chandra’s Coffeehouse Hermits and Fruity Oat Bars. And quite possibly buying some healthy oreos. Be prepared for your sweet tooth!
Also, frozen veggie burgers are great. You can keep them in the cooler and throw them on the grill when they make their regular burgers.
2.      Bring healthy foods that will energize you.
Take veggies you can grill over a campfire, like eggplant and baby broccoli and potato wedges and corn on the cob. Take filling fruits like bananas. Strawberries and grapes and clementines are also great for camping. Make your own trail mix with raw mixed nuts and dried fruits for a healthy snack. Pretzels are also great snacks.
3.      BRING WATER!!!! And lots of it.
Water is something you want to make sure to drink a LOT of, especially if you’re gonna be outdoors where it’s hot and sunny all day.
4.      Know your stuff. Be prepared to talk about why you’re a vegan.
If I have time before I leave, I’m going to try to re-read some of the basics about veganism and basic health facts and such. If you really wanna talk about your lifestyle, bring a book to read that relates to veganism so that you have an opportunity to talk about it when asked what you’re reading. But really, don’t go be surrounded by non-vegans knowing nothing about your lifestyle. You’ll make yourself and the rest of us look stupid.
5.      Bring rainboots.
This really pertains to anyone, not just vegans. But be prepared for the weather and the elements. You never know when you’ll need them.
6.      Bring stuff to do so you keep yourself entertained.
Cards, footballs, volleyballs, swimsuit, books, whatever. Just don’t bring absolutely nothing. Like I did last year. You’ll be bored.
7.      Get some exercise
Staying active won’t be that hard when you’re camping. Go for a hike, run, swim, play sports, chase around the little kids in your family. But get some exercise. It’s good for you!

My Food List
Alright, now I’m gonna show you guys my list of what I *hope* to take camping with me this weekend. Fingers crossed!

Corn on the cob
Eggplant
Cauliflower
Salad mix and dressing
Red bell pepper + hummus (lots of hummus!!!)
Baby carrots
Frozen veggie burgers
Smore’s supplies (graham crackers, Dandies, dark chocolate)
Can of vegan pie filling (for making mini pies over the fire using bread, earth balance, pie filling and powdered sugar)
Cookies (Coffeehouse Hermits and Fruity Oat Bars and Oreos)
Strawberries
Grapes
Bananas
Pineapple
Oranges
Pretzels
Kettle chips/plantain chips
Oogave Root Beer

And maybe some other items… not sure yet. Don’t know what to take for breakfast. Any ideas?

What do you take with you when you go camping?
Much love,

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