June 20, 2014
With summer officially one day away, it's about that time to bust out the tent and sleeping bags for some camping!
I have a HUGE section in my new book, The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living (also available in Audible format -- and read by me!) dedicated to camping and what foods to bring, but here's a quick rundown on how to survive as a Herbie in the great outdoors!
To start off-- it really depends on what type of "camping" you are doing. If you have access to a grill/fire pit (and most campsites have this either at your individual site or a group communal area), then you can make pretty much anything you would at home on a stove. All you need is a pot and a skillet plus foods/ingredients that are shelf stable (like canned beans and pantry items) and fresh items that don't need refrigeration, or last in a cooler. The good news is, most plant-based foods fit this bill so the possibilities are endless. The only thing you can't do is bake, though some people I know bake pizza and other breads on grills all the time.
However, even if you can't bake, you can always bake some muffins ahead -- they're great for any kind of traveling!
If you're camping in an RV, it's even easier.
If you don't want to cook a lot, you can make things like canned soups, oatmeal (just add hot water!), vegetarian baked beans, canned beans, canned vegetables, fresh fruits. You can make PB&J sandwiches for hikes, buy the hummus powder you only have to mix with water (they even have powdered soy milk online), dried fruits, trail mix, crackers and other non-perishable foods.
A friend of mine makes my 6-ingredient burgers and has "burgers" with condiments and buns. All the ingredients to make the burgers are non-perishable and they're easy to make at a campsite.
I also came across these great suggestions from camping Herbies:
"I made pancakes for breakfast. I pre-mixed the dry ingredients and put it in a container so I just had to add the almond milk."
"Anything you can cook at home can be done while camping. We love to camp and stay plant-based. Foil packets (aka silver turtles) can be customized and are easy to cook on coals or a grill. Grilled corn and pineapple are wonderful. Watermelon blueberry salad is nice and refreshing. Grilled pizza is an option as well."
"I make a few different bean burgers (and freeze them)."
"I would make some muffins ahead of time and freeze them, then thaw out when you want to eat. Since they don't have to be kept frozen they double as ice in a cooler (that way you aren't wasting cooler space on ice/ice packs)."
"Fajitas were our favorite, cut up onions peppers mushrooms etc and cook in a foil pan over the fire, open a can of refried beans and heat the can on the fire, wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the fire. Serve with salsa and smashed avocado."
"Make up instant oatmeal packets before going and add hot water. You can also make salad in a jar."
"Burritos! I've made some great black bean sweet potato burritos. They travel well and are delicious. Also, HH black bean burgers. They are so easy and quick."
"I'd pack instant brown rice (cook 5 min in boiling water & sit 5 more) or Success brown rice (drop the bag of rice in boiling water for 10 min)."
You can also check out this post on Plant-Based (Vegan) Camping Trips: Tips from an Experienced Herbie Camper.
What plant-based foods do you bring while camping?