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vegan camping meals

Must-Have Vegan Camping Meals (Kids and Adults!)

I’ll never forget the day when I decided we just HAD to have a VW camper for our family. Thinking about it still makes me giggle a bit. I was sitting on the couch and looking through old vintage photoshoots on my phone (it’s a strange hobby of mine) when I saw a very cool family from the 70s. They were sitting out near a lake and had a stunning old school pop-top VW camper van. It was vintage perfection.

I could not stop staring at this photo.

I took it all in; the rustic van, the kids throwing rocks, the mom laying on a blanket with a book, the father sitting against the wheel of the van with satisfaction all over his face, the light hitting the water and the all-around glow. They were doing it right. I closed my eyes and daydreamed about us doing something like this….could we?

The more I sat there and imagined myself in the photo, the more my mind kept telling me, Why WOULDN’T you?!

I turned to Martin and said, “Hey babe. I think we should invest in a camper van for the family.” He looked over at me, peeped at the photo that was on my screen, smiled and said he would look into it.

10 days later we had our van.

I always talk about manifestation and how, if you believe and envision enough, the Universe will provide. Everything fell into place all at once. The sweetest family from Morroco purchased our loyal minivan (the boys just paid them a visit!), a friend of a friend just so happened to be selling his VW Multivan, Martin’s grandmother gifted Martin an extremely helpful sum of money and we ended up being able to purchase our new van with zero debt.

Sometimes when we look back, we cannot believe how it happened. The Universe seriously did a number on this one!!

must-have vegan camping meals

Alessandro waking up to nature surrounding him. He was so excited!!!

We took the van out twice in one week and slept in the Mountains.

The first time we woke up next to a beautiful lake and the second time we stayed on the side of the road near some cows. Haha! The reason for our two camping trips in one week (off-roading with zero plans) was to get a feel for what we needed, how we want to prep our food and so forth.

The first camping trip I prepped EVERYTHING. I went absolutely overboard and most of the food was wasted. The thing is, when you are so excited about sleeping in a van (or tent) and everything is new/fun, the last thing you want to do is sit down and have a proper meal.

When you camp, you want it easy. You want the snacks, the grab and go, the burgers, the chips, and the yummy stuff.

The second camping trip is when I figured it out: Meal prep very lightly, have several options with limited ingredients and go heavy on healthy snacking options.

When it comes to camping, there are basically two ways you can go about it:

Off The Grid with no overnight power source OR Camping with Power Source (this can be off the grid or a campsite)

I have decided to split the meal prep and vegan camping meals options into these two categories to help you stay organized and understand how much these two really do differ.

must-have vegan camping meals

Off The Grid Camping with NO Overnight Power Source Vegan Camping Meals

must-have vegan camping meals

This is our current camping selection; off the grid (no campsite) with no overnight power source. Sure, we can always turn the car on if we are in an emergency situation, but if not, we just keep her off. For cooking, we use a portable gas grill with a few canisters of propane, for food storage, we have a large refrigerator cooler that can be plugged in as a refrigerator inside the car if necessary and then various cans/jars of food + plenty of loose fruits and veggies.

We keep our refrigerator cooler plugged in and running the entire time we are driving to and from our chosen sleeping spot, but that’s about it.

As soon as the van is turned off, we are 100% off the grid.

One thing that we really like to do is to drive up the mountains for cooler sleeping weather so that we can store our cooler outside the car (secured and tightly sealed) so that mother nature can keep our stuff cooled. This has really been a game-changer for us and helps us sleep as well; I don’t know about you, but sleeping hot and sticky is NOT our thing!

For those who are camping in hotter climates, you need to be very careful of portable gas grills because the propane canisters are not meant for hot weather and can explode. Please plan accordingly and when in doubt, just stick to a campsite until you learn exactly what you need to do before camping off the grid. Get to know the campers in your area and chat; there’s no better way to learn then to make some friends! Martin and I have both camped well over a hundred times between the two of us so we feel very comfortable in our off-grid choice.

Off The Grid Camping with NO Overnight Power Source Must-Have Vegan Camping Meals

With no power source, we need to be very careful. Meal prep is little to none and canned/jar foods are fantastic. We do not use canned foods at home so this does not bother me one bit; we will be right back to our bulk bean prep once we get back home. For now, it’s camping time.

My Shopping List for a 3-5 Day Trip Off-Grid

(Camping shorter? Just pick and choose 3 recipes from below and create your own shopping list!)

*This will fit into one crate in the back of the van. I like to use the crate to hold the recyclables for an easy drop off to our recycling center.

  • Plenty of rolled oats
  • Non-dairy milk (It does not need to be stored in the cold until opened. Keep this in mind)
  • 2 cans/jars garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • 1 can lentils
  • 2 cans/jars black beans
  • 2 large cans/jars corn
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Box of pasta
  • 1 large jar pasta sauce
  • 2 packages of rice noodles
  • 1-kilogram (2.2 pounds) potatoes
  • 1 package of corn tortillas (or I’ll just bring my tortilla press and masa flour and make it on the road)
  • 1 small jar of whole wheat flour
  • Veggie broth powder (I like to use this for lighter packing)
  • Hamburger Buns/Bread
  • Good ol’ potato chips (check the label!)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1 knob ginger
  • Lemons and Limes
  • 1 large head of lettuce
  • 2-3 avocados
  • 10 firm tomatoes
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 2 bell peppers of choice
  • Spices: I will typically use VERY small jars to bring my top 5-7 spices which can include sea salt, cumin, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Nutritional Yeast (Just a small jar)
  • Nut/Seed Butter
  • Nuts/Seeds to Snack on
  • Jelly/Jam
  • Maple syrup or sugar of choice
  • Local & Seasonal Fruit: I highly suggest weather-resistant fruit like apples, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, etc. Nothing that bruises easily.
  • Fun options that you can make on the gas grill: Coffee (can make on the gas grill), Hot cocoa & Tea. We bring all three!

Vegan Camping Meals that can be made with the above shopping list

The only thing that I will meal prep for our camping trip is the burgers; Simply toss the ingredients into a food processor and process until a dough forms. Mold into burger patties and then you can either cook them completely now and reheat later OR store uncooked in the cooler until dinner on the first night. Cook them ALL that night and then store for the next night. I do not suggest storing them any longer than 48 hours unless you have a power source.

  1. The Five Minute Chickpea Burger
  2. Coconut Potato Curry (Just omit the broccoli) 
  3. Nut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  4. Avocado and Cucumber Wraps
  5. Loni Jane Noodle Soup (Can add any spices/veggies to this)
  6. Dahlia’s Kitchen Black Bean and Corn Tacos (Sub oil for 1/4 cup water and omit the cheese of course!)
  7. PB&J (Plus tons of other options) Overnight Oats from Kitchen Treaty (Store the oats outside in the cool weather OR dig a hole in the dirt to keep cool)
  8. Easy Pasta Dinner (I add nutritional yeast to ours!)
  9. Various fruit plates
  10. Various Nut/Seed Plates

Power Source Vegan Camping Meals (Campsites or Off the Grid with portable power source)

must have vegan camping meals

This is for the folks who are at a campsite or have a separate power source; battery-powered or solar. Look at you all fancy!

With a power source, you are able to keep all of your food chilled and properly stored. This is fantastic for meal prep and wonderful for quick grab meals that are prepped before leaving the house. Woohoo!

I recommend an hour meal prep to make your camping trip run as smooth as possible.

Campsite/Power Source Camping Vegan Camping Meals

My Shopping List for a 3-5 Day Trip Campsite/Power Source Camping

(Camping shorter? Just pick and choose 3 recipes from below and create your own shopping list!)

*This will fit into one crate in the back of the van. I like to use the crate to hold the recyclables for an easy drop off to our recycling center.

  • Plenty of rolled oats
  • Non-dairy milk (It does not need to be stored in the cold until opened. Keep this in mind)
  • 2 cans/jars garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • 2 cans/jars cannellini beans
  • Box of pasta
  • 1 large jar pasta sauce
  • 1 small jar of whole wheat flour
  • Hamburger Buns/Bread
  • Good ol’ potato chips (check the label!)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlic head
  • Lemons and Limes
  • 1 large head of lettuce (for burgers and smoothies)
  • 2-3 avocados
  • 10 firm tomatoes or canned tomatoes
  • 4 cucumbers
  • Spices: I will typically use VERY small jars to bring my top 5-7 spices which can include sea salt, cumin, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Nutritional Yeast (Just a small jar)
  • Nut/Seed Butter
  • Various Nuts/Seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Jelly/Jam
  • Maple syrup or sugar of choice
  • Local & Seasonal Fruit: I highly suggest weather-resistant fruit like apples, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, etc. Nothing that bruises easily.
  • Fun options that you can make on the grill: Coffee (can make on the gas grill), Hot cocoa & Tea. We bring all three!
  • P.s. you can also eat out at campsites. Ask for fun vegan options and you might be surprised!

Vegan Camping Meals that can be made with the above shopping list

  1. Any and all the vegan smoothies
  2. The Five Minute Chickpea Burger
  3. 5-Ingredient Banana Bread
  4. Nut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  5. Avocado and Cucumber Wraps
  6. Two-Bean Turmeric Hummus
  7. Cranberry Energy Bites
  8. Overnight Oats from Kitchen Treaty
  9. Easy Pasta Dinner (I add nutritional yeast to ours!)
  10. Various fruit plates
  11. Various Nut/Seed Plates

Meal Prep:

Before heading out, I would highly recommend meal prepping the chickpea burgers, banana bread, hummus, overnight oats, and cranberry energy bites. Store these in your camping fridge and you are SET! The rest is super simple and quick.

To start:

  1. Prep the banana bread. The baking time is 40 minutes so during this time you can knock out the following:
  2. Rinse the food processor and add all of the chickpea burger ingredients to a food processor and process until a dough forms. Form into burger patties and pan fry or bake with the banana bread. Be sure to flip half way!
  3. Rinse out the processor again and toss in the hummus ingredients. Process until smooth and store in an airtight container.
  4. Rinse that processor out again and toss in all of the cranberry energy bite ingredients inside. Process until a dough forms and roll into 1 inch balls. Store in an airtight container.
  5. Lastly, prep a few overnight oats. I like to prep 4 to start and then just prep as we go on the road.
  6. Store all in the refrigerator and move to the cooler when it’s time to go camping.

A Few Snaps to Inspire…

Camping with children

Leo Exploring the fields

Must have vegan camping meals

Just Cooking those Vegan Camping Meals on the side of the road!

little boys at the lake

My Pisces boys at the lake.

VW Camping window

Waking up and ready for an adventure!

Washing baby at the lake

Bath time in the lake.

Woman in front of lake at sunset

Enjoying every last minute in this paradise.

Sending lots of love and light to you on your adventure!

**This post may contain affiliate links to the products listed. As always, we only recommend products that we trust and use in our own home and/or van. Sending you lots of love, Mamas!**

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