“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” – Kurt Vonnegut
I'm a vegan, I LOVE chocolate. The only thing I love as much as Chocolate is to travel. I absolutely love to travel. For many years I was a Vegetarian traveller, which has it's share of challenges. It is unbearably rude to decline food when offered almost everywhere in the world. And when you don't eat ANYTHING, that can lead to uncomfortable situations. It's pretty easy to travel vegan in the tropics where there are a plethora of fruits and veggies and rice and beans coming out of your yazoo. You just learn the local language for "Without milk/cheese/egg/meat, please" and learn the words for "deathly allergic to" for when you are in someone's home. All well and good. I have survived flying by the seat of my pants having only to sacrifice my ideals in the name of politeness a couple of times... shudder.
Last Summer my partner and I spent 2 months in Iceland. We hitch hiked and camped the entire time. Do you have any idea what they eat in Iceland??? Do you have any idea what is available to eat, in Iceland?? I'll give you a hint... it's not all that wool.
In Reykjavik there are a couple of good vegan friendly options like Cafe Babalo and my favourite soup and salad bar of ALL TIME at 'Kryddlegin Hjörtu'. Most of the time the only place to eat out in a small town is the notorious Gas Station/grocery/fast food bar/community hub. There you will inevitably find a small variety of packaged foods, an ice cream and hot dog counter and a few tables to eat at. I ate many a bag of salty popcorn with an American flag on the package. In larger towns where there was an actual restaurant I was usually limited to the odd combination of a salad with fries. Sometimes luck would have it that they had a salad bar!!! Those were the days!
Iceland has been blessed with geothermal activity and uses it in hot houses to grow delicious nutritious veggies that can be found in some odd places for a few kroner. I could eat the Tomatoes, the carrots, and the rich moist rye bread. That's it, that's all, that's Iceland.
A vegetarian would allow for Skyr , and local cheese's... but a vegan will have to do her research and bring her own artillery of nutritious foods. I did that, and though it took time and planning, it was well worth it.
For multi day hikes you need lightweight nutritious energy food in addition to more bulky protein sources and quick easy to cook hearty and hot meals. You will need to get rid of all extra packaging and portion your own "just add water and heat" meals.
This is what we brought from home:
- 300g vegan chocolate (like I'd leave home without it!)
- lb of almond butter (use it up before climbing over mountains for days)
- 1036g Chocolate Vega Meal Replacement
- 12 pack of chocolate Vega whole food vibrancy bars
- 12 assorted cliff bars
- 12 assorted Larabars
- 12 Super Food Slam ProBars (these are amazing)
- 635 g Progressive Vega Greens
- 336 g Coco Camino dark hot chocolate
- 984g Carb-Boom Strawberry Kiwi gel
- 129 g Ultima Replenisher Lemonade
- 552g Vance's DariFree Potato Milk Powder
- A huge bag of nuts and dried fruit
With our tight student's budget we didn't want to buy all pre packaged meals so I bought in bulk:
- cooked, dehydrated balck beans
- bulk dehydrated vegan chili
- dehydrated hummus
- cooked dehydrated kidney beans
- dehydrated potato flakes
- Barley flakes
- brown rice flakes
Portion out tantalizing mixes of grains and beans into zip lock bags and season with nutritional yeast, dried herbs, spices, and bullion. Write cooking directions on the bag in permanent marker.
With the proper planning and preparation you should be able to go anywhere without going hungry.