With the end of summer approaching quickly, now is the time to get the most of your outdoor time. Camping is the best way to fully submerse yourself into all that nature has to offer and to reap the benefits of disconnecting from reality for a while. After all, everyone needs a break from reality sometimes.
Backpacking is a great alternative to camping, and it’s one that really lets you explore the area, instead of staying confined to one location. Going in with a green plan isn’t too terribly difficult since most backpackers want to leave the area as pristine as they found it. Going vegan with it, however, can prove a little more challenging. That’s why a handy list of some green and vegan ideas can be useful!
Get Lost, but Get Out
When backpacking, it’s safe to assume you’ll be somewhere relatively remote, so you develop a basic plan in case of emergency. You don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles, but some simple safety precautions can keep a trip from turning into a nightmare. The typical list of necessary camping items includes:
- First aid kit
- Extra food
- Water and/or water purification
- Rain gear
Packing these 10 things can keep your hike on the right track, so to speak. Even in the case of an emergency, a map, compass, first aid kit, food, and water can be the difference between life and death. Don’t leave them at home!
Keep it Vegan
It may be daunting trying to plan a vegan menu in the woods, but there are plenty of great vegan food options, and fruit leather is one of them. Because it won’t spoil easily, you can carry it with you for quite a while, too.
All you need is fruit and sweetener.
Blend them together into a smooth paste, smooth it out over parchment paper, and bake it low and slow in the oven. Then roll it up and pack it — it’s a much simpler way to get your fruit without having to carry all the extra weight.
There’s also GORP — which tastes much better than it sounds. Aside from the weird gulping sound when you try to say it, the acronym actually stands for Good Old Raisin and Peanuts. It’s a sweet, salty, energy-boosting snack that’s easy to pack and eat on the road. Plus, it’s one of those snacks that’s very easy to share with anyone you’re hiking with — unless they have a peanut allergy, of course.
Peanut butter is also an ideal way to boost your energy and fill up without taking up a lot of room or requiring much work. It can give you the boost of energy you might need to reach your next rest stop.
If you’re a bit tired of peanuts or peanut butter, opt for sunflower seeds and almonds. They are easily portable and have a ton of protein. You can buy them in the store, but try to bring them on your hike in a reusable container. There’s no sense in risking a plastic bag flying away on the wind when you’re trying not to leave trash!
Additionally, instant grains are an important part of your backpacking food basics since it’s hard to feel full on nuts and fruit leather alone. Quinoa, pasta, rice, and oatmeal are all great options and can really help to round out a meal. Add in a can of beans and voila! Right in the middle of the woods, you have a full-blown vegan meal.
Pass Through as a Ghost
When you’re trying to keep a trip green, there are a few basics you can do. Pass through the forest like a ghost, leaving nothing behind and taking nothing but photographs as you go. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to pass through the wilderness without leaving any evidence they were there.
The main emphasis is on planning properly for your trip, so you can dispose of trash correctly, avoid items that can harm the environment and take nothing from the wilderness with you — aside from the fresh air and maybe a little dirt on your boots.
Backpacking is an amazing adventure. It’s something you can do at almost any time of the year, although fall is one of the best times, especially during the peak color change of the season. Just remember to plan carefully, take the necessary equipment, and make sure you leave everything as you found it.