Hiking is a great way to spend your weekends and holidays. It is ecological, slows you down immensely, keeps you fit and it is the best way to get to know a country and its people. Good preparation in terms of the itinerary and your equipment is a must, so you experience no unpleasant surprises on site.
However, as a vegan, you also need to be extra mindful that you are well groomed every day, which can be a real challenge depending on the area you are hiking in or the stages you are preparing.
But don’t worry, vegan hiking is possible!
In the meantime, I have a lot of vegan hikes behind and can assure you that with a bit of planning in advance everything will be easy to handle.
So that you don’t have to have the same experience that I have gained over the years in order to put together great trips and make it a wonderful trekking experience. Now that you don’t have to undertake your hiking trips with a growling stomach or encounter other unforeseeable issues, I tried to put together here below my 8 most important tips for your successful vegan hike.
Tip #1: Good Preparation Is Everything!
Of course, every hike requires a certain amount of preparation.
However, as a vegan hiker, you should pay attention to a few additional aspects, because depending on the purpose and duration of your walk, it can be difficult to feed on plant matter.
Be sure to check out what vegan regional cuisine has to offer, so you know which meals and dishes are right for you.
Besides, it doesn’t hurt if you travel abroad to have a explanation of your diet in the language of the country you travel to.
Very helpful is the compact “vegan passport” issued by the VeganSociety.com in 79 national languages as well as pictorial representations or a corresponding app, if you have your smartphone with you on your trip (check out also tip # 2 on that subject).
In well-developed touristic regions, collecting tourist information in advance or on-site tourist information centers can be a good place to go to provide you with all the necessary information on vegan restaurants and shops you need.
In addition, mark potential shopping possibilities along your route beforehand.
Especially in lonely areas often larger detours are required to replenish your supplies. Therefore, it makes sense, if you plan this before.
Tip #2: Use Social Media And Vegan Apps!
Swarming knowledge can also be a great help in preparing your vegan hike.
Just ask around in vegan Facebook groups to see if anyone has ever been hiking at your destination and what tips and advices you can find there.
The same goes for local vegan groups in connection with your destination.
Experience shows that other vegans are very helpful and are happy to help out guests with advice and assistance.
And of course, vegan apps are great tools to help too.
Happy Cow and Vanilla Bean help you find vegan restaurants and shopping opportunities in the area.
The above-mentioned Vegan Passport or an App like V-Cards help you to articulate your desire for vegan nutrition in a large variety of languages.
Tip #3: Inform Your Accommodation Hosts!
During my hikes, I often found my vegan diet in the huts, hotels, hostels, or bed and breakfast establishments of interest and open ears.
Many hosts are eager to provide you with a vegan meal.
The easiest way to do it is to inform them about your wishes beforehand.
It’s best to write in the booking form that you’re vegan and if possible, call again a few days before to remind them.
You will be amazed how helpful they are in most cases.
Of course, I have already experienced that my wishes were completely ignored, but then you can still improvise a bit, which brings me directly to my next tip.
Tip #4: Improvisation Is All!
If it really doesn’t work out with a vegan meal, improvisation is needed.
Especially for breakfast, because to go to the next stage of your hiking trail being hungry with a growling stomach is not a good idea.
As such, it’s important to keep your body nourished in the morning for strength and endurance for the day.
You can often snip together a small delicious fruit salad from different fruits. Strew a few oatmeal over it and you have a nice tasty little breakfast.
Bread with jam is always an option too.
My favorite improvisation, which is feasible in almost all accommodations, is by the way cereals with orange juice.
I had to force myself to get used to such a breakfast in the beginning, but now I find it really enjoyable.
Just try it out.
Tip #5: Asking Costs Nothing!
Sometimes foods are vegan that you would not expect.
For example, in Switzerland I have already been served croissants for breakfast, which I didn’t want to eat until I was assured that they were made without any animal products.
In addition, many regional foods that you may not even know are possibly vegan.
So, just ask!
And surprisingly often, there is also a pack of soymilk in the far-flung corner of the hotel or hostel kitchen – for the lactose-intolerant guests.
Tip #6: Always Pocket An Emergency Ration!
Of course, this tip is not only for vegan hikers: An emergency ration is a good idea in other cases too!
After all, you never know when you will get the next meal.
Sometimes the weather will put you off balance or the bistro where you want to eat, and drink is closed. Therefor you should always have an emergency snack in your backpack.
Best suitable in this case are a few muesli bars, nuts and dried fruits.
All this can be transported easily, saturates you reasonably and brings you over the worst hunger.
Tip #7: Supply Yourself Again And Again Along The Way!
Depending on the season and region, you can also look forward to find food on hikes along the way.
Berries and other fruits are offered to you by mother nature for free and can make a great snack in between.
Of course: Eat only what you really know and pay attention to pests and impurities!
There may also be stands selling fresh and cheap local produce on your route.
Just take a little break and take care of yourself.
Try to resist the temptation to buy too much and then drag too much weight around with you.
Tip #8: Don’t Forget To Drink!
Now I’ve written so much about food, but walking is also important: Remember to provide you with regular and enough fluids!
Through physical activity, the fluid requirements of your body are higher than usual.
One, preferably even two, refillable bottles are therefore an absolute must.
For example, I can recommend you the aluminum bottles from Sigg, which are light, pollutant-free, leak-proof and stable.
They are also available in different sizes – depending on your requirements.
As a drink, you can drink water – if you sweat a lot, like adding a pinch of salt to compensate for the salt loss.
If you like it a little sweeter, apple spritzer or another variety of fruit spritzer is perfect.
So, with these 8 tips nothing should go wrong on your vegan hike, at least with the nourishment necessities you’ll need.
I wish you a lot of fun on your journey!
If I have forgotten something or you want to tell me about your own experiences, then I look forward to your comments below this article or an email from you.