Vegan Freeze-Dried Backpacking Meals List (Including Small, Local Brands)

Most free-dried foods companies skimp on meat, so you’ll find plenty of vegetarian freeze-dried meals for backpacking.  But if you are looking for vegan freeze-dried backpacking meals, you’ll find your options limited.

Luckily, there are now a lot of smaller brands which make vegan freeze-dried meals — and a lot of them are healthy too.  Below I’ve compiled a list of vegan backpacking meals, including the smaller brands as well as some of the big names like Mountain  House.

 

Consider Making Some of Your Own Backpacking Meals

I dehydrate almost all of my backpacking meals.  This does take some time (but not as much as you’d think) and planning.  However, it is VERY cheap and I get to choose whatever the heck I want to eat.

Guess what? I wrote an eBook on how to dehydrate backpacking meals.  The book has over 50 recipes and all of the recipes are VEGAN! 

The recipes are also lightweight, nutritious, and tasty. 🙂  Plus there’s tons of info on backpacking nutrition and meal planning.

dehydrator backpacking recipes

Some of the recipes include:

  • Creamy cashew tomato sauce
  • Barley walnut risotto 
  • Pumpkin quinoa chili 
  • Red pepper crackers 
  • Mashed potatoes with white bean gravy 
  • Beetroot “salami”

Just because you’re vegan, get 50% off my eBook now. 😀

***Buy it here for 50% off***

dehydrator backpacking recipes

 

List of Vegan Freeze Dried Backpacking Meals

*I didn’t include any vegan trail breakfasts in the list because I think they are a rip-off.  You can easily just buy freeze dried fruits in bulk and pack them with oats + vegan milk powder to make your own trail breakfasts for a fraction of the cost.  Here’s where you can find a list of bulk freeze dried ingredients.

**REI gives 10% when you buy 8 or more backpacking meals. They have a search filter for “vegan”.
Shop REI meals here. 

***If you’d rather buy from smaller brands, check out the vegan food for sale at Garage Grown Gear.


1. Patagonia Meals

Best For: Affordable yet (mostly) healthy

Patagonia is one of the leading brands of backpacking food.  They are a good balance of affordability and healthiness.  The protein levels are good in their food but the sodium is still very high.  As for taste, they use real ingredients in their meals so it doens’t taste artificial like some brands.  If you like flavor, I’d recommend bringing along some spices to add to their meals though.

Vegan meal options:

  • Organic spicy red bean chili
  • Organic red bean chili
  • Organic savory grains: mushroom plus kamut khorasan wheat
  • Organic green lentil soup
  • Organic black bean soup

Buy Here at REI


2. Backpacker’s Pantry Vegan Meals

Best For: When you want lots of calories for an affordable price

This is one of the most popular brands of vegan backpacking food and happen to be affordable for the amount of food you get. They have two servings per package, which means you get a lot of calories for dinner.  The calorie density is pretty good and the meals are tasty (though some are admittedly a bit boring).  The main issue is that their sodium amount is very high.

Vegan meal options: 

  • Three Sisters Stew 
  • Chana masala
  • Pad thai 
  • Louisiana red beans and rice
  • Kathmandu curry 
  • Mango sticky rice 

Buy Here at REI


3. Good to-Go Vegan Meals

Best For: When you want lots of veggies and don’t mind paying for them

Good To-Go actually puts lots of veggies in their meals instead of just loading up on cheap carbs.  As  a result, the calorie density and price aren’t great. Some single serving pouches only have 350 calories. You need the pricier double-serving pouches to fill you up after a day of hiking.

Vegan meal options:

  • Marina with penne 
  • Herbed mushroom risotto 
  • Smoked three bean chili 
  • Kale and white bean stew
  • Mexican quinoa bowl
  • Bibimap

Buy at their website.  You can also buy them at REI.


4. RightOnTrek Meals

Best For: Their cool meal-planning tool makes it insanely easy to plan food for your trip

These backpacking meals are actually dehydrated and not freeze-dried, but they are so good that I had to include them on this list anyway.  The brand also uses eco-friendly packaging.  They have several vegan meal options, all of which are packed with flavor and have a really good texture. What they have changes.

RightOnTrek sells meals individually but you’ll get a better deal if you use their meal-planning tool. The tool gives you ALL the food you need per day — including vegan snacks — and calculates calories and weight for you.  Read my full review of RightOnTrek here.

Vegan meal options (dehydrated):

  • Shephard’s pie
  • Spicy peanut soup
  • General Tsoy’s mountain rice
  • Gado Gado noodles

Visit RightOnTrek here
*Use code MomGoesCamping50 to get 50% off your entire first order*


5. Food for the Sole

Best For: Exciting meals which you can cold-soak in the bag

If you are bored with most vegan backpacking meals, then you’ll like Food for the Sole.  They have some really interesting options.  Some are actually very high fat and have lots of protein (like the Peanut Slaw and the Coconut Beans and Rice).  Other meals are more veggie-based and don’t have as much fat or calories, so read the nutrition facts carefully.  You’ll like that these meals can all be cold-soaked in the bag  too.

Vegan meal options (dehydrated): 

  • Coconut rice and cuban black beans
  • Zesti broccoli miso slaw
  • Lentil walnut pilaf with kale
  • Peanut super slaw
  • Roasted sweet potatoes with kale and quinoa
  • Curried cauliflower salad
  • Ratatouille with nutty quinoa pilaf 

Buy Here at Garage Grown Gear


6. Fernweh Food Co.

Best For: Supporting a small, local business which uses healthy ingredients

These meals are also dehydrated instead of freeze-dried.  They are very gourmet and have an awesome texture.  The brand also uses eco-friendly packaging and lots of real ingredients.  The meals are nicely spiced too.  Unfortunately, the meals are pretty pricy and don’t have much protein but it might be worth buying a few of these to mix up your meals.

Vegan meal options (dehydrated):

  • Sweet potato breakfast bowl
  • Southwest Stew
  • Mushroom pot pie
  • Morning glory bowl
  • Red beans, greens, and coconut rice
  • Green tamale pie

 Buy Jere at Garage Grown Gear.


7. Nomad Nutrition

Best For: Supporting a small vegan-only brand

Based out of Canada, this locally-run small company makes plant-based backpacking meals.  They use real ingredients and have some more interesting options (like the borscht).  There is only about 350 calories per pouch, so the meals do end up being pretty pricy.  They are also low protein, so you might want to supplement them with some of your own protein sources.

Vegan meal options (dehydrated): 

  • Kathamandu curry
  • Indian red lentil stew
  • Irish shepherd’s pie
  • Ukranian borscht 
  • Caribbean curry
  • Spanish paella

Buy Here at Garage Grown Gear


8. AlpineAire Foods Vegan Meals:

Best For: Affordable, albeit limited vegan options and not very exciting

While this is one of the most popular backpacking food brands, they don’t have much in terms of vegan options.  Some meals are available at REI and others at Amazon.  I’ve included links below.

Vegan options: 


9. Backpacker’s Bistro Vegan Meals

*As of writing, these meals are currently unavailable.  Check the links to see if the availability has changed.

Vegan meal options (dehydrated):

 

*Let me know if I missed any vegan freeze-dried meals so I can add them to the list!

 

Tips for Improving Vegan Backpacking Meals

In order to feel full and satiated (especially after a long day of hiking), a meal needs to have:

  1. Protein and
  2. Fat

Unfortunately, many vegan freeze-dried meals are lacking both protein and fat. When there is protein, it is usually beans.   So, those vegan meals can get boring really quickly!

Some solutions to improve vegan backpacking meals: 

  • Pack protein to add to the meal. Textured vegetable protein or textured soy protein are great to add to meals because they are shelf stable and rehydrate very quickly.  You can add them to pretty much any pasta or rice meal for added protein.  Just add a bit more water. I also like to add nuts and seeds to some meals.
  • Carry a bottle of olive oil: This is what many hikers do in order to get more calories. Olive oil has a very high amount of calories per ounce.  Squirt a bunch of oil on each meal and it will instantly taste MUCH better.
  • Bring LOTS of spices: At high elevations our sense of taste changes (which is one reason airline food tastes so crappy). Compensate for this by bringing a container of salt, herbs, and spices.  I find that hot sauce makes any bland meal palatable.

 

Make Your Own Vegan Freeze-Dried Trail Meals Instead

Freeze-dried backpacking meals are super convenient, but they are also really expensive.  I don’t want to spend $5-$13 for a single meal – especially when it is just rice, beans, and a few veggies!.

It’s actually pretty easy to make your own freeze-dried backpacking meals.  You basically just:

  1. Choose a quick-cooking carb as your base
  2. Add freeze-dried fruits, veggies and proteins. 
  3. Add a spices and flavors
  4. Put it all in a bag together.  
  5. To make, pour ingredients into your pot and cook.

Brands like Natierra and Mother Earth sell freeze-dried fruits and veggies. Emergency preparedness brands like Valley Food Storage, Augason Farms and The Ready Store also have lots of good deals on freeze-dried foods.

For more detailed instructions, read this guide on how to make freeze-dried trail meals.

freeze dried bulk food

 

 

*And don’t forget about my vegan backpacking recipes book. You’ll have the most gourmet, healthy food on the trail.  🙂

Get it here for 50% off

 

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