Beca AKA "Muddy Bootlaces" Hiking and Wildcamping as a Vegan
How to get enough protein hiking as a vegan
“Where do you get your protein from?” is a common question I am asked as a vegan, “you do all these long hikes, but your body must be struggling??! - If I’m honest, this was a concern of mine when I first started hiking as a vegan too.
I had been veggie for 10 years before I turned Vegan and long hikes like Everest base camp, the Aussie outback and Machu Pichu had been done with ease, although meat was off the menu, eggs, cheese and other animal produce happily sustained me.
I was worried that going Vegan would change this, however, the opposite almost happened. I discovered a world of variation and taste and I know this may seem strange to some (please know, I am not here to push the diet, I understand that it may not appeal to everyone) – but for me, going vegan gave me more strength. I could hike for longer, run for longer, my muscles recovered quicker and although my pace was still that of a tortoise, the miles grew.
In summer 2020 I completed the 630 miles of the SWCP (South West Coast Path), hiking and wildcamping the whole route, as a vegan, and I wanted to share with you some of my top tips for sustaining that protein intake while busting through the miles.
So here are my top five sources for packing out protein on the trail. The Fell Store have an amazing range of vegan produce so you can ensure you’re packing out that protein on your next hike too.
- Dehydrated soya – this can be in chunks or in mince form, but the protein to weight ratio is similar. A 50g serving contains 25g of protein and all that is needed is some water for it to soak in!
- Hemp seeds – ok, even if you are not vegan these beasts are amazing, 3 tablespoons has 10g, yes 10g of protein, as well as omega 6 and 3. Their neutral taste also means they go with anything, I sprinkle these on my porridge, add them to wraps, I even throw them on my ramien noodles!
- Peanut butter – this can be in soft for or powdered form – I go for the latter when hiking as its super lightweight. One Serving (2 tbs) of the powdered stuff usually provides 8g of protein and this can be added to oats, mixed with water for spread on wraps or just eaten off the spoon for a quick fix.
- Oats – talking of oats, depending on the type you can average around 5g- 8g of protein in a serving! Many brands also have their own “protein” enriched versions too!
- Protein powder – this can be added to your oats as mentioned above, mixed in a coffee if you have a nice flavor like chocolate or added to other recipes you may bring like pancake or one pot cake mixes
Bonus tips – never estimate the benefits of snacks, nutty or oat cereal bars range from 8-12 g protein and you can even get protein specific bars that have around 10g-20g protein in them. Nuts are also an amazing source of protein too! As well as beans, pulses and lentils!
Vegan or not - these foods are awesome additions to a Bug Out Bag or hiking pack, and I hope this has given you a few more ideas of what to pack when you go on your next adventure.
A typical meal:
Breakfast (37g protein)
50g rolled oats (5g) + 30g protein powder (22g) + 3tbs hemp seeds (10g) = 37g protein
To make this more flavorful I also add cinnamon, sugar, dehydrated apple chunks, powdered coconut milk and hot water.
Dried fruit (usually mango, apricots, apple and dates)
Lunch (35g protein)
Fajita wraps – 50g dehydrated soya chunks (25g) + fajita seasoning sachet + dehydrated mushrooms + sundried tomatoes + 3 tbsp hemp seeds (10g) = 35g protein (this can also be made by cold soaking)
Snack (5-10g protein)
Dinner (25g protein)
One pot cottage pie: 50g soya mince + dehydrated mushrooms + any other dehydrated veg I may have + minestrone soup packet and smash to top
Total protein 112 -117 g
If you prefer an easier option then dehydrated meals are a good way to go. Real Turmat's range includes Chili stew with beans with 26g of protein, Thai red curry with 16.7g of protein and Squash and sweet corn casserole with 12.5g of protein.
TentMeals also have a super tasty range. The Italian inspired main meal holds 18.2g and the Super Seed red berry breakfast has 14.6g of protein.
Firepot also have an amazing plant based range of delicious dehydrated meals including the Porcini Mushroom Risotto. These also come in compostable bags so a double whammy for the environment!
Whatever types of food sends your taste buds tingling, be sure to experiment as there are so many options out there for us Vegans!
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