A Vegan Guide to Camping and Van Life- Including Grocery List

It is generally understood that when camping or living the camper van life, you are not going to necessarily go about your regular routines as you would in your home. For instance, doing laundry. Not many camper vans are equip with a washer and dryer, although that would not be a bad idea. I would opt for that over a toilet in my camper van.

Eating healthy at home is difficult enough as it is, especially with COVID running rampant in which grocery shopping feels like a life or death mission. However, I highly recommend that you do not trigger the 'vacation mode' way of thinking and subsequently throw the concept of diet and wellness out the window when you leave for your next adventure. In fact, it can be the opportune time to take it to the next level of discipline! Your body often reacts to disruptions in time zones, climate, etc. So extra nourishment is required in order for you to feel at your best.

I often share my plant-based creations when I cook at home. Routines I attempt to recreate to some degree while on the road traveling, sans full kitchen. But there are limitations due to lack of storage and not having access to a full kitchen that force a bit of creativity when creating the menu. Over the years of camping, I feel I have come quite near to perfecting the vegan camp food menu. So I am sharing my grocery list her but feel free to head over to my Instagram Story Highlights, where I have a whole reel dedicated to Vegan Food and Vegan Camp recipes.

Grocery List for camping/van life- *Can you believe I didn’t stop once for groceries in two weeks?*

(3) 1 gallon water jugs
(2) Spring water 3 gallon jug w/ spout (handy for refills, hand washing and dishwashing)
(1 variety box) Gluten-Free Oatmeal *in packets
(1 container) Non dairy milk (*not a plug for vegan-ism: non dairy milk won’t spoil)
(1 small package) Tortillas, in lieu of bread. *Easier to store than a loaf of bread.
(1 bag) Trail mix and granola: doubles as a trail snack and breakfast.
(3) Protein bars: for easy pocket storage on hikes
(5) Oranges: Vitamin C for immunity building
(4) Individual packets of almond butter: trail food and easy to store
(6) Calm magnesium packets: natural anxiety aid and helps prep for sleep. Just add to water before bed!
(6 varieties )Amy’s Canned soup and chili (with easy open top) easiest camping dinner
(1 packet) Tofurkey deli slices, 1 onion and 1 cucumber to make wraps
(1 packet) Vegan 'Bacon' strips
Coffee (I usually recommend buying a local blend to give back to the community you’re visiting. Possibly from the aforementioned cafe you’re stealing WiFi signal and electricity from)
(1 box) Vegan Crackers or cookies: I always try to avoid but you end up becoming a bit lazy in your meal prep while on the road so this is a chance to slip a bit within reason)
(5) Apples. I eat them constantly and had them in the cupholders so they were easily accessible while driving
Perishable but manageable: (1 bundle) Bananas, (1) cucumber, (1) white onion, spinach, (1) avocado. (none of which are refrigerated in the wild, so you do have some time but want to make sure they don't sit on a hot car dashboard if you are without a cooler or mini fridge)

If you’re traveling where the weather is warmer, fresh foods will go bad quickly. In my case, my entire vehicle acted as a refrigerator in the PNW so my groceries stayed for longer. The real trick is not buying in excess which we have a tendency to do when we are bringing the groceries home because we know we have the space and means to store them properly. That is not the mentality for 'on the road' life, necessarily. Rather, I know finding a bathroom, a grocery store and a coffee shop is highly likely in most areas in between your destinations.

No one wants to spend their outdoor excursion locked in a bathroom, curled up in a hotel bed the whole time or uncomfortably bloated while trying to be active. The goal is to take care of your body to ensure you have the energy and the mind clarity to enjoy your adventures, be present in the moment and look back on them fondly.

Be Well.