Camping offers the perfect opportunity to get in touch with nature and live simply, away from the rush of civilization. Whether you’re into roughing it in a tent and sleeping bag or going glamping in an air-conditioned RV, you don’t want to forget your vegan ethics at home. To ensure you have the best cruelty-free camping trip ever, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite foods, supplies, and essentials to ensure you have a peaceful weekend in nature. 

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The gear

If you plan to camp where the temperature dips at night, make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag to avoid shivering throughout the night. Some sleeping bags are made with down or wool, but REI offers a selection of sleeping bags—made only from synthetic fibers—that will keep you cozy all night long.

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If you plan on hitting the trail, a sturdy pair of hiking boots are a must. Without proper shoe wear, you put yourself at risk of injuring your ankles or having aching feet due to lack of arch support. To remedy this, we suggest Eco Vegan Shoes’ All Terrain Pro Waterproof Hiker, Vegetarian Shoes’ Approach Mid, and Merrell Men’s Zion FST Mid Waterproof hiking boots to keep your feet and ankles supported during wilderness treks.

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When trekking in the outdoors, you’ll also want to have a cruelty-free backpack to hold your water, snacks, and any other necessities. Mountain Smith’s Clear Creek Backpacks or Osprey’s Backpacking Packs are 100-percent vegan and made to last for many trips.

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The food

Camping food is all about low-maintenance meals that don’t require kitchen appliances and can be thrown together with a few basic ingredients. Still, that description doesn’t have to equate to endless PB&Js and protein bars. For a fun and simple breakfast, bring JUST Egg in a cooler to whip into an epic scramble or sandwich.

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Get your morning coffee fix with BruTrek’s French Press, designed for brewing outdoors and made with a hardy exterior shell. Make sure to stick a few packets of Nod Food’s powdered oat creamer in your pack for a tasty swirl of added creaminess. 

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If you want to go a bit more gourmet as you fuel up for your day, make this Campfire French Toast, which requires mixing only a few ingredients before your trip. When the day draws to a close and your stomach is ready for dinner, get the campfire roaring, and toss some veggie and tofu kebabs on the grill. On a backpacking trip? Try these plant-based dehydrated meals from Readywise. Our personal favorite? The Wild Rice Risotto. 

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As the sun sets, pull out a bag of Dandies marshmallows, your favorite fair-trade vegan chocolate bar, and honey-free vegan graham crackers to make s’mores while you tell spooky ghost stories.

Other essentials

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Camping isn’t just about food and clothes, which is why you’ll need to have a few more basics with you to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. First, when you sling up a hammock at your campsite, don’t forget to apply cruelty-free sunscreen to protect your skin and avoid dealing with the pain of a sunburn later.

One downside to camping in the summer can be the mosquitos—especially if you’re near a lake. To keep away the bugs in a cruelty-free manner, use a vegan bug spray or a mixture of essential oils such as citronella, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus oil.

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Going for a dip in the river or lake? Pack a durable Nomadix towel in your bag for an eco-friendly way to dry off. Each towel is made from 30 post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel extra good about your choice.

Finally, you’ll want to pack your own plant-based hand sanitizer or hand soap because your bathroom options might be limited (or not ideal), and your trip will be much more enjoyable if you stay clean and comfortable. 

Sarah McLaughlin is the New Products Editor at VegNews who loves exploring the outdoors and weekend camping trips.

Photo courtesy of Fresh Off the Grid

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