Vegan and Vegetarian Foods for Hiking and Camping

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Campers and hikers need foods which are healthy, lightweight, do not easily spoil, and hopefully, do not cost too much. The foods should also provide plenty of energy and electrolytes to make up for a long day of hiking. Choices typically include dried foods, nuts, and canned foods. Obviously eating fresh fruits and vegetables when you get a chance is also good, but not practical for longer trips. The list below gives some suggestions of healthy and cheap hiking and camping foods for vegans and vegetarians.

Dry Roasted Soybeans

1. Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame)

Edamame is one of the most balanced and nutritionally dense foods around. High in protein, fats, carbs, and a range of electrolytes. Edamame is a great choice to take with you on a hike. It is lightweight and cheap too, and makes for a great quick snack.
Complete nutrition facts.


2. Lentils (Dry)

Pink shelled lentils are actually a pretty fast cooking food. Just add water and boil for 10-15 minutes. Lentils are high in protein, carbs, fats, and fiber.
Complete nutrition facts.

A spoon of white rice

3. Rice

Rice really is a great healthy staple. It feeds over the half the world. Get par-boiled or precooked rice to save on cooking time. Adding vegetable based soup boullion cubes can be a great way to add flavor and electrolytes. Just be sure to get lower sodium boullion, without partially hydrogenated oils.
Complete nutrition facts.

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Photo of pasta on a table

4. Pasta

Pasta is actually lighter than rice, and also cooks quickly. Like rice, adding soup boullion cubes can be a great way to add flavor and electrolytes.
Complete nutrition facts.

A spoon of oatmeal

5. Oatmeal

Traditionally eaten for breakfast, oatmeal is a great high fiber, high energy food to start the day. Add nuts and dried fruits for an extra boost of energy to last you longer into the day.
Complete nutrition facts.

A spoon of dried basil

6. Dried Herbs or Vegetables

Freeze dried herbs or vegetables make a great addition to the rice, pasta, and lentils mentioned above. Not only do they add flavor, they also add vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
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Several different kinds of dried fruits

7. Dried Fruits

While high in sugar, dried fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Be sure to brush your teeth or chew some dental gum after eating them to prevent dental problems down the road.
Complete nutrition facts.

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A cereal bar

8. Cereal/Energy Bars

Whatever cereal bars lack in healthiness, they make up for in convenience and nutrition. For healthier choices in cereal/energy bars choose those low in sugar or refined oils. Better yet, try make your own with superfoods like flax seeds, quinoa, and chia seeds.
Complete nutrition facts.


9. Nuts

Nuts are a great source of fat, protein, carbs, minerals, and fiber. That said, nuts need to be stored properly to last a long time. They are also not the lightest or cheapest.
Complete nutrition facts.

A bunch of green beans

10. Canned Beans and Vegetables

Canned foods are typically not the healthiest, but will suffice for a short term camping trip. Canned foods are quite heavy in weight, so this assumes you are driving somewhere to camp for a while, and want to reduce the cooking time of beans. Canned food are not light, but have the added bonus of being cheap. Check labels for low sodium varieties.
Complete nutrition facts.

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