Vegan camp out set for this weekend in Boonsboro

August 20, 2013|By CHRIS COPLEY |
  • Outdoor Excursions has hosted rafting trips with vegan meals along the Potomac River. This weekend, the adventure company will host a vegan camping trip at its facility near Boonsboro.
Courtesy of Scott Coulter

Travel agent Donna Zeigfinger likes to combine two of her passions — travel and vegan dining.

“I’ve been a vegan for over 30 years,” she said. “And my specialty in the travel business is vegan travel — people who travel and are vegan and want to eat and not worry about it.”

Zeigfinger said she has organized vegan-themed rafting trips on the Potomac River for years. She worked with Scott Coulter, owner of Outdoor Excursions Outdoor Center near Boonsboro, who provides rafts, guides and food.

Vegan diets have become more popular in the U.S. in the past decade. A 2008 poll conducted by Harris Interactive Service Bureau for Vegetarian Times magazine concluded that about 1 million Americans are vegan. 

Vegans eat primarily vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. They do not eat animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy products, honey and gelatin.


Zeigfinger said she works with the sizable vegan community in the Washington, D.C., area. But this year, she said, she wanted to try something new.

“Rafting, we can take only 24 people. It’s not going to grow more than that,” she said. “I like the idea of this (vegan camping). This time, maybe 10 people. We’re going to really just check it out. Eventually, we might get 50 people. (It might) become a vegan-palooza.”

So Zeigfinger and Coulter have put together an overnight camping excursion for Saturday, Aug. 24, and Sunday, Aug. 25. Campers will meet just before lunch Saturday at Outdoor Excursions’ facility near Boonsboro and stay through breakfast Sunday morning.

Zeigfinger is working with a private, Washington, D.C.-based chef to develop the menu.

“We’ll start with lunch — an Italian-style sub sandwich with chips and fruit,” she said. “Dinner is lentil burgers and carrot dogs with vegan potato salad, vegan pasta salad and then a green salad and brownies. Breakfast is going to be muffins and scones.”

The burgers and dogs will be cooked over a fire, she added. And maybe vegan marshmallows. 

“You don’t get that (quality of vegan food while) camping,” Zeigfinger said. “I want to make it possible for vegans to be able to travel and do something they wouldn’t normally be able to do.”

The official registration deadline has passed, but Zeigfinger said she could accept a limited number of last-minute registrations. She said she wants to expand adventure opportunities for vegans.

“I like to let people go out and travel and not worry about where their next meal is coming from,” she said.

If you go ...

WHAT: Vegan Camp out and Dinner

WHEN: Lunch on Saturday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 25,

WHERE: Outdoor Excursions Outdoor Center, 18905 Osage Drive, Boonsboro

COST: $63 per person; two persons per tent

CONTACT: Call 800-775-2925 or email

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