• Teresa Henry

Vegan Camping and Backpacking

It's summer! Sunny days, gorgeous weather, and the kids are out of school. Covid-19 has put a crimp in most summer plans, but many people are able to maintain social distancing in campgrounds and on the trails. Here are some tips and tricks to have the perfect vegan camping trip!

Hiking Shoes

There are many different types of hiking shoes dependent on the type of terrain you will be crossing. If you are backpacking and are carrying a lot of weight, your shoe will need to be stiff and sturdy to help support the extra load. If you are doing low-key hiking with a light day bag, you shoe will likely be more lightweight and flexible.

Many hiking shoes incorporate leather into the shoe construction. Leather is a highly durable material that will stretch and mold to the wearer's feet as they break in the shoe. For generations, leather was seen as the ideal material in hiking boot construction.

As shoe technology advanced, many shoe companies have transitioned to include vegan-friendly options for hiking shoes. These shoes are usually made from synthetic material, usually polyester, nylon, and synthetic leather. Synthetic leather is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Sheets of the polymer are heat-stamped together in a leather grain mold to form the fabric sheets. Hiking shoes made from these synthetic materials tend to be more light-weight, have a shorter break-in period, and are more breathable. However, the shoes don't have the same durability as leather.

All shoes will fit differently! If you are gearing up for a more intense hike, please talk to a shoe specialist to get the right type of shoe that fits well. An ill-fitting shoe, especially one used under heavy weight or over technical terrain, can cause injury. Speak to a specialist for more information.

Read HERE for more in-depth information about synthetic hiking shoes and brand recommendations.

Safety is important! Don't forget your first aid kit!

The key to staying healthy and safe on a hike is to be prepared for anything with a well-stocked first aid kit. Before going on your adventure, make sure that you double check that your kit is stocked and not expired. REI Expert Advice has a handy check list to make sure you're ready!

It can be an added challenge to create a completely animal-free kit. Animal-derived ingredients hide in everything from bandages and compression wraps to pain relievers and antiseptics. We have not found a complete ready-made animal-free kit (yet), but we have tracked down the different components you'll need to be safe! Here are some of our most popular first aid items!

Patch Bandages

These bandages are made from bamboo instead of latex, making them both animal-free AND environmentally friendly! Click HERE for more information about bandages (and if they're vegan!).

Pain Relievers

It's a good idea to have a pain reliever of some form in your first aid kit for that inevitable sprained ankle. Like many over-the-counter medications, most pain relievers contain animal-derived ingredients like lactose, magnesium stearate, and gelatin. However, there are vegan-friendly pain relief options! Advil Ibuprofen Tablets, Bayer Asprin Coated Tablets, and Tylenol PM Extra Strength are all animal-free!


When you're out in the back country, you're bound to get scratches. It's important to fight infection, so you'll want to disinfect it quickly. Neosporin and Curoxen are two great options!

Read HERE for more information about vegan first aid kits. Head HERE to peruse our selection of Animal-Free First Aid Products.

Vegan Camping Food

You spent a full day exploring the outdoors. Hiking trails! Swimming in mountain lakes! Bird watching! Now you're back at camp and starving! It seems like an eternity since lunch! So, my vegan adventurer, what are you going to make for dinner?

There are so many options for food in the back country, but meal planning can be roughly broken down into two main types: dehydrated food and back country cooking.