Monday, January 11, 2010

Vegan Backpacking

Backpacking requires a lot of fuel. If you think it would be hard for a vegan to sustain long treks, think again. Vegan backpacking (like veganism in general) is much easier than you would think. Here's what I'm packing for a 28 mile, three day hike with 6618 feet of accumulated gain.

Day 1
Breakfast at home - Tofu Scramble, orange juice, toast with Vegemite.
In the pack - Trail mix. (chocolate chips, almonds, peanuts, pumpkins seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, raisins).
Clif Bar x3 - Black Cherry Almond, Chocolate Almond Fudge, Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
Sqwincher Fast Pack x2 (My father-in-law sends these to me and they're great).
Sandwich  - Tofurky, lettuce, tomato, Vegemite (I love Vegemite)
Chocolate Chip Cookie (made by Erin)
Primal Strip  - Soy protein version, Hickory smoke flavor
Backpacker Pantry Chana Masala (because Summit Hut in Tucson doesn't carry Mary Jane's Outpost and I don't want to drive to R.E.I. in Tempe. Mary Jane's Outpost makes hands-down the best vegan backpacking food.)
Decaf tea

Day 2
instant oatmeal
yerba mate
Clif Bar x3- Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch,  Cool Mint Chocolate, Maple Nut
Sqwinchers x2
trail mix (see day 1)
second portion of chana masala
Primal Strip
Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai
chocolate chip cookie

Day 3
instant oatmeal
yerba mate
Clif Bar x2  - Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Chocolate Brownie
Sqwinchers x2
trail mix (see day 1)
second portion of pad thai
Primal Strip

When I get home - Dinner of some sort with an Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock.

I eat 2500+ calories a day, over 100% of my protein and nutrients. One comment some people might make is that I rely pretty heavily on Clif Bars. This isn't a symptom of vegan necessity - I just really like them and they're a lot of food in a little space. I will say that vegan option for dehydrating backpacking meals are limited. Mountain House, to my knowledge, doesn't make any. However, Backpacker Pantry has several options. Mary Jane's Outpost is really the best backpacking food there is, though, and they have several vegan options. If it were cheaper, I would eat their Lentils, Rice and Indian Spice at home.

Vegans get asked "where do you get your protein" so often that it's become sort of a joke, but for people who eat animals and haven't researched a vegan diet, it's a perfectly logical thing to ask. Rather than go into that here, I'll refer interested readers to these two guys -

Brandon Brazier is a vegan triathlete and writer.
Robert Cheeke is a vegan bodybuilder.

One final word here - Making Owls Cool isn't a place to promote a vegan agenda. I just thought folks might be interested in what a vegan eats on a backpacking trip.


Angelo R. said...

I never heard of Mary Jane's Outpost before. However, after perusing the menu, I am definitely ordering some meals for my next trip. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the vegan food tips. I'm just getting into backpacking and have been wondering what to take with me on my first trip in April.

Eric said...

Happy to be of service. Enjoy!

Veggiehead said...

I just bought a dehydrator and can't wait to start making my own very light backpacking meals. Dehydrate some refried beans, avocado and tomato for some great trail burritos! Have you tried anything like this? You can dehydrate anything; fruits, beans, tofu, veggies, rice, and on and on. Excited!

Eric said...

I haven't tried using a dehydrator, but I've heard they make great backpacking food. It's a great idea.