Labor day weekend is the unofficial bookend of Summer. Most of us get a glorious, long overdue, 3 day weekend to spend outdoors; whether its out on the lake, chilling in a hammock, hoofing it up the side of a mountain, or lighting up a campfire. Somehow being outdoors just seems like the perfect way to spend Labor Day weekend. Even though summer may be unofficially “over” after Labor Day, there are still a lot of perfect camping weekends ahead before the temps drop too much and snow starts to fly. I think Spring and Fall are the best times to go camping or backpacking because the days are still warm and the nights are cool enough to get some good sleep.
Every good adventure needs good food to fuel your day. During the day as you hiked up hill, down hill, across lakes, froze your butt off and/or sweated it out in the sweltering heat the thought of a delicious meal once you hit camp probably kept your mood up as the “hanger” set in. Admittedly, you probably wished that meal would be something delicious from your favorite takeout joint or pizza more than a few times. However, its kinda tough to carry a pizza box up the mountain so to help satisfy your
hanger hunger I put together a guide reviewing 3 different brands of vegan backpacking meals last year. Backpacking food doesn’t have to suck! It can actually be pretty tasty!
This year I wanted to dive deeper into the brand that carried the most vegan options (Backpacker’s Pantry) and share another brand that I was unable to find last year called Good to Go. Both of these company’s offer a good variety of Vegan backpacking meal options. Backpacker’s Pantry carries 13 different vegan options that include breakfast, dinner, and a new dessert, mango sticky rice, which I cannot wait to try! They have more vegan options than any other backpacking food brand out there. Good to Go has 6 difference vegan options, which is still a lot more than most companies.The Backpacker’s Pantry meals are for 2 people (or you could just eat it for 2 meals) and the Good To Go meals can be bought in single or double servings.
Vegan Backpacking Meals
Backpacker’s Pantry: Chana Masala
I enjoy Chana Masala at home, but it can be pretty spicy so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was cold as heck when I made this meal so after I poured the water into the bag I stuffed it into my jacket to keep me warm while I waited the long 15 minutes for dinner. Due to elevation, I should have waited another 5-10 minutes but I was freezing and starving. My lack of patience didn’t allow the meal to fully re-hydrate so it was a little bit soupy. I kind of appreciated the soup considering the temperature. The flavor was pretty good and it hit the spot after a cold hike. It was a little spicy, and while I love spicy food, I’m glad I had this at the end of the day. If I would have eaten this for lunch and had to hike another 5 miles I probably would have had some indigestion/heart burn. Overall, I really liked it but it was an end of the day meal and probably wouldn’t sound good if the weather was really hot.
Backpacker’s Pantry: Cuban Coconut Rick and Black Beans
The next day I cooked up some Cuban Coconut Rice and Black Beans up for dinner. I had no idea what to expect with this one. Part of me was like “great another bean and rice meal” but when I took a bite and there was a slight banana flavor, I was pleasantly surprised! It sounds weird in theory, but my God it was an absolutely delicious combination. The sweetness of the bananas mixed with the heartiness of the beans and rice made a perfect combination. It was like having dinner and curbing your sweet tooth at the same time. I really liked this one and will definitely be getting this one again!
In the past, this recipe was not vegan. Older bags of the Cuban Coconut Rick and Black Beans contained Sodium Caseinate. Please read the label to make sure you are getting the new recipe that no longer contains any dairy products!!
Good To Go: Smoked Three Bean Chili
I found Good To Go online last year but didn’t find it in store until earlier this year. At that time they did not have many vegan meals, but they’ve since expanded their vegan offerings. They now have 6 options (5 dinners and 1 breakfast). One thing I really love about this company is that they make their meals with real ingredients. Ones that you can pronounce and understand what they are. Their meals also have considerably less sodium than other dehydrated meals. The chili was pretty good and hit the spot on a chilly evening. It would probably be a good burrito starter too! The only con of this brand is that it is more expensive and harder to find in store. Take one of these Good To Go meals on your next trip and compare it to another brand’s meal. You’ll be able to tell the difference in ingredients.
If you want to check out some more vegan backpacking meals check out this post.
Now go out and adventure!