Whether you’re planning an afternoon excursion or a week long expedition, having the right vegan hiking food is essential. If you take the right food you can have the experience of a lifetime but take the wrong food and you can end up having a nightmare in the wilderness. Take it from us, we’ve experienced both and know which one we prefer.
Some foods are better suited to the great outdoors and the items on this list have been meticulously chosen for their hiking suitability. Everything on this list is non-perishable, light-weight and easily stored which means you can cram them into your rucksack and focus on reaching the summit until the munchies kick-in.
When your belly does start to rumble you can delve into your snack supply knowing these foods won’t spoil after getting smashed about on a ridge-side. And, as it can be difficult to find reliable vegan food options around the world, all of these hiking snacks are available world wide and won’t break the bank either.
Don’t get caught short on a mountain side because you didn’t pack the right foods. After years of hiking and outdoor adventuring we’ve tried and tested a whole host of energy sources – these are the best vegan hiking foods you’ll find. So have a butchers and be assured, when your energy levels are low and you’re feeling exhausted, you’ll have the right munch to make the most of your hiking adventure.
Whoever discovered you can take the wonders of fruits and dry them to make them smaller and lighter whilst keeping all the nutrients was a bloody genius. I’m a big fan of dried fruit and think I could probably live off the stuff alone. Dried fruit is a great vegan hiking food because it’s small and light, has a high concentration of sugars for energy and is filled with iron and nutrients.
Obvs nutrients are always great but when hiking it’s the sugars that are really important. The sugars found in dried fruits are just what you need for a quick boost to reach the summit. Keep them in your pocket for handy munching throughout the day!
Homemade or shop-bought these bad boys are great for when you’re on the trail. We like to make our own with a combination of oats, dried fruit, raw seeds and nuts, sugar, maple syrup and sometimes banana, coconut and chocolate – the possibilities are endless! One great thing about making your own is that you can cram them with all the things you love. Mix it up with different combos or do as I often do and shove everything in, hoping for the best and being left with some epic, rather crowded, hiking flapjacks. Plus, this way you’re able to avoid all the unnecessary packing from the shops.
Homemade or shop-bought, flapjacks are a winner when it comes to vegan hiking foods as they cover all bases. Full of sugar for instant energy along with oats and seeds which give you slow release carbohydrates. Wouldn’t you call that an all-round winner?
If you too like to make your own let us know your favourite flavour combination in the comments below!
Looking for the ultimate vegan outdoors shoe?
Okay so I know these are three different foods but hear me out. Our go to combo on any hiking trail is the famous PBJB sandwich. Not sure what that is? PBJB is the glorious Veggie Vagabond creation that is; peanut butter, jam and banana all in a sandwich, or baguette or any other carby vessel. This is honestly the best combination of slow release energy, protein and instant energy. The accumulation of these integral ingredients all smushed together between fluffy slices of bread is enough to keep you going when climbing the highest peaks.
We’ve feasted on this creation in the snow of the Peak District, at the summit of alpine peaks and in the jungles of Vietnam. Tried and tested we can vouch for the PBJB as the ultimate vegan hiking food.
If for whatever reason this epic combo isn’t for you then the individual elements should also be considered. The right nut butters are filled with healthy fats, protein and crammed full of energy so are a hikers best friend. Jam is full of sugar for when you need a quick energy boost and bread is a slow releasing carb to keep you going all day.
Protein is paramount for muscle recovery which is especially important when hiking. Your muscles are keeping you moving and upright so thank them with some protein-packed pulses and they’ll thank you for it in the long run. Whip up a batch of roasted chickpeas by simply seasoning them with some curry spices or agave and cumin, then bake for 20 minutes until crispy. Voila! You have yourself the perfect savoury vegan hiking food. Just be sure not to use too much salt or oil when baking as this will dehydrate in the sun’s rays.
Salt does have a special place especially if you’re hiking in the heat and losing all those vital minerals in your sweat. Salt is also mighty vital for human survival so when hiking you need to replenish all the salt you’re losing when, especially if like J, you sweat for the whole of humanity.
Our advice, don’t eat salted nuts at the beginning of your hike, they’ll just dehydrate you which is counter productive. This is particularly important when hiking in the heat as you’ll be sweating even more and you don’t want to drain all your water when you’ve only just started. Instead save grazing on these savoury snacks until the end of your hike when you’re craving some salty goodness!
These little champions are another also great all-rounders. Chock-a-block with protein, high in calories and slow release energy means that nibbling on handfuls throughout your hike will top up your energy supplies. The protein found in raw nuts will also help your muscle recovery and will give you a come-back for all those “where do you get your protein from” comments.
As far as vegan hiking food goes this one is is always our go to choice to munch on with some dried fruit or crammed into some flapjacks. Depending on where we are in the world will depend on our nut of choice for example in Vietnam the almonds were really cheap so we found ourselves tucking in to our hearts content.
There’s a whole variety of brands on the market and this will differ depending on where you are in the world. Biscuits are a good choice for a quick injection of oomph whilst hiking as they’re loaded with sugar, and they’re pretty yummy. Be careful with sweet treats as they’re not very healthy and relying on these as a vegan hiking snack may counteract the health benefits of the hike!
Also, as you probably know, be sure to check the label as some varieties may contain animal products.
The world of fruit is so versatile and some are more practical to take hiking than others. Here you have to use your noggin a little and realise that taking a kilo of blueberries and a watermelon, although delicious, isn’t the best idea when climbing a mountain.
Fruits such as apples and oranges are a good idea for a short hike as they don’t bruise easily and are refreshing to sink your teeth into on a hot day.
Bananas are also a great choice as they’re brimming with nutrients and their potassium will help you fight cramp. Again these are tricky for long distant hikes as you know as well as I do that bananas don’t travel well. Better yet, mash some into your homemade flapjacks and you’ve got the best vegan hiking food on the menu!
At Veggie Vagabonds we pride ourselves on being vegan adventures and can recommend these vegan hiking foods with confidence. Tried and tested after years on the trail, on our Three Peaks Challenge by bike, along pilgrimages in Sri Lanka and now whilst we explore the Alps and surrounding peaks.
Let us know what’s your favourite hiking snacks? Is there anything we missed from the list? Drop us a comment below or send us a message as we love to hear from you guys!
The Best Vegan Hiking Food for Adventure-Driven Herbivores