Vegan Backpacking Food 1: Katmandu Curry and Chana Masala

Last weekend Ben and I went on a little camping excursion to Sand Hollow. You can see our awesome campsite overlooking the reservoir on the right. Anyway, even though we were car camping we decided to try out some backpacking food so that we know what we like before we go on our first backpacking trip. I have been doing some research on vegan backpacking and have found that there’s not a ton out there as far as vegan reviews of meals, etc. So I’m going to blog about our finds and adventures as we figure stuff out.

Last weekend, we tried two meals, both from Backpacker’s Pantry: Katmandu Curry and Chana Masala.

Backpacker’s Pantry doesn’t specifically market their meals toward vegans, though they do have specific vegetarian meals listed on their website. Ben and I just found them at our local backpacking store, Recreation Outlet, and after reading the ingredients decided to try them. I few of their vegetarian meals are ‘accidentally vegan,’ and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.

Since they are specifically made for backpacking, I’m not going to tout all the upsides of getting these super light weight and easy to make meals for when you’re out and about. It’s obvious they know their stuff, but what I wondered about was taste. Aaaaand I was really surprised at how good they were! Honestly, if I hadn’t rehydrated them myself I wouldn’t have guess they were freeze dried meals. Not that they could pass for a home-cooked meal, but I would say that they both could pass for high-quality canned or boxed meals.

Of the two, Ben and I both preferred the Katmandu Curry. I actually really liked it and thought it was really tasty. Basically it was lentils, brown rice, potatoes, carrots, peas, and curry spices. I would say it was mildly spicy and I loved that it was brown rice and no oil.

The Chana Masala was pretty good too but was more sweet and spicy than I normally think Chana Masala is. Neither Ben nor I were a fan of the sweetness and after a few bites it was a bit too hot (I would say between medium and hot?). I also didn’t like that it was white rice, though it did have more calories than the Katmandu which is nice for when you’re hiking a lot.

TIP! Check out all of the posts in my Vegan Backpacking Food series here.

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