What Do Vegans Bring Backpacking?

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
— John Muir

John had it right. If you haven't had the profound pleasure of visiting Alaska, come on up already! And when you make it up here, give us a holler, we'll show you around.

Blueberry picking is my favorite thing ever.  Period. I cannot put into words how deeply I yearn to go on our adventures to pluck those juicy, sweet little orbs. It's on par with Christmas. For real. That magical feeling swells and swirls in my heartstrings in anticipation of mid-August when the blueberries are ripe and perfect. I think about it all year long. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

We like to pick our berries up at Sheep Mountain, in solitude. It's a vast place that's dominated mostly by four-wheeling hunters (Boo! #sorrynotsorry), but never really see anyone. People aren't generally backpacking where we go. Reason number one, the water situation is less than ideal. I mean, we got water, but we had to bushwhack the same amount of time we actually spent hiking up to our campsite. Reason number two, stupid four-wheeler noises in the distance day and night. Reason number three, it's out of the way. Way out of the way. 

On the plus side, there's lots of berries. The night before, we dehydrated a noodle recipe that I unfortunately wasn't able to document and do a post on. Maybe next week? But, I can give you some insight into what foods vegans bring backpacking. Or, at least the kinds of things that Todd and myself bring. Here's what we brought on this trip. Maybe it will give you some ideas!

  • 2 servings of homemade, dehydrated Teriyaki Pasta
  • 1 bag of falafel chips
  • 1 tub of hummus
  • 4 Prime Meatless Jerky strips
  • 2 Nutz over Chocolate Luna Bars
  • 2 Fruit Leathers
  • 1/2 Endangered Species dark chocolate bar
  • 1 box of Hot Tamale candies
  • 2 servings of homemade oatmeal packets
  • fresh blueberries picked for our oatmeal
  • 2 Starbucks Via coffee packets
  • 1 single serving Silk Very Vanilla soy milk
  • 1 single serving almond milk caramel latte
  • water
  • small concentrated Crystal Light bottle (in case you filter some funky tasting water, it happens)
  • snacks for the road trip up included Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams, Original Sun Chips, Gatorade, Monster Energy Drinks (don't judge), and Justin's dark peanut butter cups.

Our backpacking adventures may or may not also kind of be a junk food adventure as well. We don't eat a lot of processed foods at home and so when backpacking, we tend to go a bit crazy.

It can be heavy and cumbersome to bring fresh fruits and veggies, ensuring that they are properly prepared and packaged so they don't get damaged. I did try to bring some fresh foods. Okay, so I bought some apples...that we left at home....

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In case you're wondering, yep, Bob has his own pack. It's the best thing ever. Also, please don't judge me based on this photo. I am just now realizing how absurd I look.

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I know you're not supposed to cook next to your tent (I did work at REI afterall), but it was super windy we we got to the top and at that very spot on the right of the tent, was the only place of calmness. 

Regrettably, we were a bit early on the bluebs. Next week they'll be perfect. I only picked a small amount, until I finally felt bad and quit. Some bushes had ripe berries, a few were totally green, but most were somewhere in between and I felt pretty guilty picking them. 

Last year we went super late (not really thinking of picking berries) and hit the motherload up at this spot. However, a lot of the berries were seriously past their prime and tasted fermented almost! See last years trip in this post.

Bob did a little doggy meditating in the sun the next morning, when the wind was gone. I almost brought my yoga mat, but I only had my heavy one at home. It would have been a most epic yoga practice though!

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Todd snapped some early morning pics while I was still sleeping in the tent with Bob. There's a few more fun photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that you won't want to miss. Like the time we had to eat with twigs...#mybad.

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Yep, I think it's settled that we'll be heading up there again very soon. I can hear those little blueberries calling my name! Bob can too.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets & Backpacking

Today I give you a simple recipe and some awesome Alaskan backcountry pictures!  When Todd and I decided to go backpacking up by where we got married last year, we knew we had a rather large stash of 1000 year old Mountain Houses and Backpacker's Pantry freeze dried meals. We dug them out only to discover that, as vegans, we couldn't eat a single one. Poo.

So, I decided to make some oatmeal for us. When I was a child, we always brought along those little, sweetened packets of oatmeal backpacking. My favorite was the Fruit and Cream type. Don't you dare give me any of those Apples and Cinnamon ones, blech! Did you know those little packets have whey in them, though? Why, Quaker!? Why???

Oh well. So if you don't want whey in your oatmeal either, here's how to make your own! I used erythritol but you can use sugar if you like. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal PacketsBe sure to add freshly picked berries if you have access! This is my favorite breakfast. Bonus points if you eat it in sleeping bag, outside on top of a mountain!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packet

Inspired by Quaker Oats

Makes 1 packet

  • 1/2 cup dry instant oats
  • 2 tsp. erythritol (or sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla powder
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional, or cinnamon, etc.)
  • boiling water (amount to preference)
  • add-ins (berries, fruit, seeds, nuts, etc.)

In a small baggie/canister/bowl add all the ingredients and mix or shake well to combine. When ready to use, place in an appropriate bowl and fill with desired amount of boiling water.Voila. Done. 

Awesome Alaska Backpacking Pictures

And now on to some amazing Alaskan photos. Below you'll see some of the berries I put in my oatmeal!

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal PacketsYes, it was a little late in the season, however, the blueberry situation was OBSCENE! I went bananas...obviously. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal PacketsBlueberrymania, no? It was pure joy. The Fall colors were very lovely. We don't have these colors quite yet, outside of the mountains. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Still a little ways to go! It was extraordinarily muddy. And here we are, finally at camp! We made it!

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

This is the Official "My Backpack's Off"' pose, in case you were wondering. There's no quite feeling like it. Don't laugh.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Todd and Bob may have the whole "relaxing" thing down a bit better than I do.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

We saw a massive bear print along with scat. So that was special.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

This is what vegans bring camping when they don't plan ahead and dehydrate a meal. There is also some chocolate with candied ginger, and lemon drops too!

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Todd got a JetBoil for his birthday. What a spoiled boy!

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Our furry child hauls his own goodies, of course. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

He loves us.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Family picture! We were photobombed by a blueberry...

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal PacketsWe were happy to squeeze the last backpacking trip in before the snow flies. It was 32 F when I left for work this morning, so literally, we could have snow any day now! Bring it on.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

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Spring Camping in Alaska

Yipes! It's been a few days, but I promise I have some really great recipes to come! Todd and I spent our glorious Alaskan Memorial weekend camping with a few of my bestest buds at Eklutna Lake! It was much too beautiful to be inside. Todd and I spent the days we weren't camping, just lazing about in sunshine at home. A sunburn even made an appearance! I know, typically, a sunburn is not cause for celebration...unless you live in Alaska. I understand it may be difficult to comprehend the excitement surrounding a sunburn, but nevertheless, we celebrated. Today is supposed to be another scorcher. The all-time, record high today for southcentral Alaska is 82 F and today's high is supposed to be 75 F! I see more sun soaking with Todd and Mr. B in my future. My very near future.

Back to camping though, we spent Sunday and Monday at Eklutna Lake campground. There was biking, hiking, veggie dog roasting and of course, corn on the cob! I really wanted to make s'mores but alas, Alaska does not offer vegan marshmallows. Sad face. I would have made my own but I didn't have the necessary ingredients. Do you have any knowledge of store-bought vegan marshmallows or have your ever made your own?


Can you spot the wild Todd? He climbed a tree to try to get a cluster of twigs for the fire. It wasn't a very successful expedition. Though he is an exceptional tree climber. It must be an Ohio thing?


Bobbledore really enjoyed swimming in the still frozen-over Eklutna Lake. He loves swimming, though his husky fur isn't very water repelling. Look at that tongue!


Coop-da-Loop, Bobbledore's BFF, enjoyed our walk to the ice cream stand a little over a mile away from the campground. He even found a dead Pootschki weed stem to drag along! Pronounced push-key, this weed is also known as Cow Parsnip. The sap and outer hairs contain the chemical furanocoumarin which can cause sensitivity to sunlight if handled, resulting in severe dermatitis. I've never experienced it myself, but I have seen it and it's not very fun.


We had a gorgeous, beautiful weekend spent outside in the sun. Even the leaves are almost completely out now! Now that's a cause for celebration.