It’s fall in Oklahoma, which means it is prime camping time!
I am not a heat-tolerant person…if it’s over 75 degrees, I likely don’t want to be outside. This weekend, the weather was a perfect range of 60-75, and it was just a camping dream.
In Oklahoma, camping means a lot of things…most revolving around food. S’mores, burgers, hot dogs, bacon, and beer…they’re all staples of a classic American camping trip.
Most people’s reaction to a vegan camping trip is probably…”how?” but as vegans, we actually have just as many options as animal-eaters, and a lot of the same options, but even more healthy (not to mention cruelty free!). There’s no need to stress out about a camping trip if you’re vegan.
Vegans eat burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, pizza, and everything else that animal-eaters eat!
Like any camping trip or vacation, it just requires planning ahead.
In order to plan ahead, I checked in with my parents to see what they were planning to eat, since they were bringing the grill and the cooking equipment! One thing that vegans tend to miss is the social aspect of eating a meal together, so I like to participate in meals with non-vegans by just asking what they’re going to prepare, and then bringing the vegan version of it!
I also brought a bunch of random snack foods, fruit, and protein bars to keep us satisfied in between meals.
Without further delay…here’s what we brought with us and what I wish we had brought with us!
One of my favorite breakfasts is a good potato skillet hash! We have a couple cast iron skillets, so we took one with us to fry up some potatoes and veggie sausage.
This meal is perfect for camping because it’s savory, warm, and filling. It kept me full for hours!
Other breakfast options for camping:
- Fruit with nut butter
- Protein bars (make sure they’re vegan!)
- Toasted bread or bagel w/ avocado or vegan cream cheese (if you have a cooler with you)
- VeganEgg (all you need is cold water) or tofu scramble (I think VeganEgg would be a lot easier since it only requires bringing one ingredient instead of multiple, plus keeping tofu cold)
- Vegan bacon or sausage
When it comes to lunch, I like quick and easy. It’s not that I don’t love cooking…because ya know ya girl likes to cook, but it’s more of an evening activity for me. By the time lunch rolls around, I’m usually just hungry and ready to eat!
On our first day, we had some simple sandwiches for lunch. While my parents used sandwich meat and sliced cheese, I made a classic pb & banana sandwich! So filling, tasty, and just perfectly sweet.
The next day, we were just ready to get some carbs in, and made some canned maple country beans and some ramen. Weird combo, I know, but don’t knock it ’til you try it. The ramen was salty and soupy while the beans helped us stay full and had just enough sweetness, plus they were typical BBQ beans that just fit the whole camping vibe.
To cook the ramen, we used our GSI camper pot. This was a gift from our wedding registry that I am now completely obsessed with. In this little pot, there are two bowls, two mugs with lids, and a collapsible fork and knife. It’s perfect because it’s so compact and easy to bring with you anywhere. This would be perfect for a backpacking trip!
Other options for vegan lunches:
- Vegan sandwich meat and sliced cheese
- Potato salad (just sub vegan mayo for normal mayo!)
- Hot dogs (Lightlife is my favorite brand)
- Veggie Burgers (there are so many veggie burgers out there, but Beyond Meat has the best, most realistic, “beefy” burger)
- Peanut butter & jelly
- Canned beans & vegetables
- Canned vegan chili
- Grilled “cheese” & canned tomato soup
Now for the fun stuff. DINNER! Maybe this is just me, but I feel like campfire dinners are crucial for a good camping trip. It’s starting to get dark, you’ve done all the hiking, kayaking, and exploring for the day, you’re back to your campsite and ready for some drinks, food, and good company. Then again, that’s just dinner every day, but something about eating around a campfire hits my soul in some kind of way.
My parents brought hot dogs, so I decided to do the same, but vegan style. Even if you aren’t vegan (yet…), you should really look into vegan hot dogs as an alternative. “Regular” hot dogs are filled with all the byproducts or “trimmings,” as they like to vaguely call them, of the meat industry. That’s all the body parts of an animal that aren’t typically sold as their own “product.” The typical hot dog consists of bone, skin, cartilage, and sometimes things like rectum and feet. Yes, rectum. Learn more about what’s in your hot dog.
Along with our veggie dogs, I also made some more fried potatoes for my entire family.
Other dinner options:
- Veggie burgers or the Beyond Burger
- Skillet potatoes and veggies
- Rice and beans
- Vegan frito chili pie (use canned vegan chili & vegan cheddar shreds)
- Spaghetti & red sauce (optional: vegan meatballs or “beef” crumbles)
- Penne with lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic (optional: peas, broccoli, carrots, or any vegetable
- Corn on the cob (optional: vegan butter or olive oil)
- Boxed vegan mac’n’cheese
- Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” sandwiches
Now, the sweet stuff! Of course, we all know the classic campfire dessert is a classic s’more. If I had to choose my favorite desserts, I’m not even sure s’mores would be in the top 10 or 20…but…when I’m camping, I just feel like I must have them. It’s just tradition, and I love that they’re so easy to make and take less than a minute! The best part is that there s’mores can easily be made vegan! That’s right, you don’t have to miss out on campfire s’mores!
The hardest part is finding vegan marshmallows, which is actually not hard at all! Most marshmallows are not vegan because they contain gelatin, so you just need to be sure to find a brand that has no gelatin.
If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, then you’re in luck, because their marshmallows are accidentally vegan! So no worries, just grab a bag and you’re good to go. If you don’t have Trader Joe’s, then Dandie’s is the vegan marshmallow standard. You can see where to find Dandies on their website.
Instead of milk chocolate, grab a vegan milk chocolate or any dark chocolate (just check the ingredients for milk).
Be careful when buying graham crackers, because a lot actually have honey in them. I know that some vegans consider honey to be fair game, so it’s really up to you. If you’re curious about honey and the impact it has on bees (and, therefore, a lot of our agriculture), here’s an interesting article. If you’re a honey-less vegan, then Keebler’s is a good brand to stick with, as they don’t use honey in their graham crackers. Just check your ingredients!
Other dessert options:
- Apple crisp (sub butter for vegan butter or coconut oil)
- Baked stuffed apples (sub butter for vegan butter or coconut oil)
- Campfire Dump Cake (make sure cake mix is vegan)
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Melt dark chocolate (make sure its vegan) in a double boiler and dip strawberries, let cool. Simple!
- Campfire peach crisp (sub butter for vegan butter or coconut oil)
- Dutch oven 3-ingredient blackberry cobbler (make sure cake mix is vegan)
- Fried cinnamon bananas (sub butter for coconut oil or vegan butter; sub honey for maple syrup or agave)
Ahhhhh, snack food! There’s something about just constantly munching on food while on a camping trip. You’re usually being active all day with hiking, kayaking, swimming, and other activities, so it’s important to stay fueled. Even if you’re not staying super active………snacking is just fun, am I right?
Of course, fruit is the best snack option! It’s healthy, sweet, and self-packaged.
We also brought a trail mix with dark vegan chocolate, tons of Clif Bars (all are vegan!), and pita chips.
Also………..the biggest jar of pickled okra you’ve ever seen in your life. For some reason, Houston really loves pickled okra. I had never even had okra before, so I tried it, and…nope. They are just mushy pickles. Give me regular ol’ pickles please.
Other snack options:
- Veggies and hummus
- Fruit and peanut butter or vegan yogurt
- Rice cakes
- Vegan jerky
- Campfire popcorn (use olive oil instead of butter)
- Most potato chips (check ingredients!)
- Tortilla chips, salsa, & guacamole
- Larabars or other nut & fruit bars