Screengrab via Good-to-Go

J.D. Simkins  –  June 4, 2021

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Trekking around the backcountry can work up quite the appetite. For those seeking outdoor adventure away from the hustle and bustle of an overflowing campground, packing light to increase mobility is key. That means lugging around food supplies and bulky cookware can pose a significant problem.

Thankfully, there are a bevy of dehydrated and freeze-dried meals to choose from. And these aren’t some depressing, brown-bagged Meal, Ready-to-Eat. These are chef-inspired, healthy, and convenient options that will save packing space and weight while satisfying the type of appetite miles on the trail can yield.

Here are a handful of our favorite options.

Good-to-Go

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Combining a passion for delectable dishes and a love of the backcountry, it was only right that Jennifer Scism and her husband David Koorits come up with a product that can meet both needs.

The Maine-based couple produce dehydrated meals that can meet every need for the outdoors enthusiast, “whether you’ve hiked all day for that summit view, rose with an alpine start to earn those backcountry turns, or are simply looking for an easy-to-make option at home,” the company website states.

Each meal produced by Scism, whose portfolio includes stops in 4-star restaurants, co-owning the nationally recognized restaurant Annisa in New York’s Greenwich Village, and beating Mario Batali on TV Food Network’s Iron Chef, is handmade, gluten- and preservative-free, and low in sodium.

Numerous vegan and vegetarian options are also available. All you need is boiling water.

Check out Good-to-Go’s extensive list of dishes here.

Patagonia Provisions

Few entities do the outdoors better than Patagonia, so it only makes sense for the brand to enhance the outdoor eating experience, something the company is doing through a return to old-fashioned, regenerative organic farming practices.

“To me, Provisions is more than just another business venture. It’s a matter of human survival,” Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard wrote. “The more we roll up our sleeves and dig into the world of food, the more we discover that the best ways are often the old ways.”

Provisions’ farming practices are designed to produce food while simultaneously enhancing the health of soil, wildlife, and farmers themselves. The finished products are healthy, compact meals and snacks that range from Buffalo Jerky and wild caught salmon to soup, chili, and breakfast items.

“Why is Patagonia making and selling food? The real question, to me, is how could we not?”

We can’t argue with that. Check out the Patagonia Provisions shop here.

Backpacker’s Pantry

Around since the early 1950s prior to rebranding in 1978 with their current moniker, the Boulder, Colorado-based Backpacker’s Pantry has been a staple meal choice for outdoor enthusiasts for longer than most of us have actually been in the outdoors.

Backpacker’s Pantry offers a significant range of price-friendly pouch meals that include gluten-free and organic selections, as well as vegan and vegetarian choices. Each freeze-dried meal carries a shelf life between 3 and 10 years, so you’ll have no worries about it keeping things fresh on or off the trail.

To top it off, the company sends a portion of proceeds to cleaning up Boulder and the front range of the Rocky Mountains, while 1 percent of every sale is sent to an array of non-profits via the 1% For The Planet initiative.

Check out the wide range of menu options from this family-owned pillar of the outdoors community.

Peak Refuel

Peak differs from some of the other choices in that they emphasize higher calorie counts and protein-packed freeze-dried meals for those expending way more energy in the backcountry than others.

With pouches that feature calorie counts running as high as 1,000 and protein commonly in the 40 to 50 gram range, many of Peak’s meals can be shared with a partner (or pup) or enjoyed over multiple servings.

Each meal, meanwhile, is non-GMO and comes with premium ingredients sourced from the U.S.

Check out the company’s full lineup of meals here.

CampFare

Andrew Sarda is an executive chef and avid traveler and outdoorsman. That lifestyle, much like the couple behind On-the-Go, contributed to his desire to have quick, easy, and healthy food options to take on the trail.

Enter CampFare’s chef-crafted meals. They require no refrigeration and are made with ingredients tailored to the active lifestyle.

Each pouched meal, the options of which range from chicken tikka masala with french green lentils to wild Alaskan salmon and quinoa-inspired dishes, can be ready in a matter of minutes after simply applying hot water.

Check out CampFare’s products here.


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