Do you have a backpacker or hiker in your family and struggle for ideas on what to get them? Here are 10 food suggestions for their holiday gifts.
1. Epic Bars
Epic bars are free range meat bars. The best way to describe them is they are just like a Clif Bar but all meat. They are not jerky but instead a moist tasty meal in a bar. They have three epic flavors. Bison Bacon Cranberry, Beef Habanero Cherry, and Turkey Almond Cranberry. To learn more about Epic Bars and where to buy them check out their website.
2. Scratch Labs Hydration Mixes
A fantastic drink mix that will not only hydrate you but also give you some flavor if your tired of drinking plain ole water. Skratch Labs uses all natural ingredients: cane sugar, dextrose, sodium citrate, real fruit, citric acid, magnesium citrate, calcium citrate, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C). There are several different variations based on activity. They have awesome flavors such as Orange, Lemon Lime, Tropical and a new Hot Apple Cinnamon Mix.
Check out my review here and visit the website for purchasing info.
3. Pronto Cafe
Pronto Cafe is a great way to kick start your mornings with a nice cup of full flavored full body coffee. Leave those instant coffee packets behind while reducing your waste in the back country. Unlike many of the other “gourmet” coffee products on the market this one manages to drastically cut down it’s waste by removing the large packaging and filters that most use. Instead they have gone to more of a loose tea brewing method. To learn more about this great coffee check out their website.
4. Backpackers Pucks
Backpacker Pucks are a fantastic snack or even full meal while on the trail. A dense flavor and energy packed snack that every backpacker would enjoy.
With flavors like Chocolate Cherry, Peanut Butter Banana, Pumpkin Spice, and more on the way.
To learn more about Backpackers pucks check out my review and visit the Backpacker Pucks Facebook page.
5. Honey Stinger Chews
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are a great tasting organic energy snack. They provide a source fiber and protein derived from 100% organic tapioca syrup and honey
Made with USDA certified Organic ingredients. Gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO ingredients. 0g Trans Fats and no partially hydrogenated oils. 100% RDA Vitamin C along with protein fiber. Flavors include Cherry, Pink Lemonade, Limeade, Fruit Smoothie, and several others. To learn more visit their website.
A quick and easy way for a backpacker to stay healthy and energized on their adventures. Emergen-C vitamin supplement drink mixes provide any hiker a burst of essential nutrients, including 1,000 mg of vitamin C and other immune supporting antioxidants zinc and manganese, 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, and electrolytes to replenish post-workout! There are 20 different varities to choose from and there are even options for kids. Check out the Emergen-C website for more information.
7. Dehydrated Meals
Dehydrated meals are always a great choice. There are several brands such as Backpackers Pantry, Mountain House, AlpineAire that make tasty options.
Meals can be found for every meal including snacks. They range from beef stew all the way to Pad Thai noodles. Many of the companies have vegetarian options as well.
Light weight meals that are high in calories that are easy to cook are a back packers best friend. These meals have a long shelf life and can be great for anyone who is active and enjoys outdoor sports not just backpacking and hiking. These also make great SHTF and Bug Out Bag food options. To learn more check out the above links or visit your local outdoor retailer.
8. Beef Jerkey
Beef Jerky is a snack that has been a favorite of adventures since the dawn of adventuring. A high protein high caloric light weight snack. It can be found in a varieties of flavors and meat types. There is even meatless jerky for those who prefer not to eat meat.
Jerky can be easily found just about anywhere these days including but not limited to grocery stores, gas stations, road side stands, flee markets, and even strange vans parked in empty parking lots.
An assorted flavor jerky buffet is always welcomed by backpackers as gifts.
Ramen the staple of all backpackers diets. You can never go wrong with a heaping of Raman noodles as gifts. Super cheap and tastes great after a long hike. You can even spice up your Raman and turn it into “Fancy Homemade Raman“. You might think I am joking but 1/2 of all backpackers love Raman noodles. (statistics are not 100% accurate). Raman comes in various flavors and styles. Find it at your local grocery store by the truck load for only a $1 (prices may vary).
10. Journey Bars
Journey Bars are not your ordinary energy bar. These food bars come in flavors like coconut curry, hickory barbecue, pizza marinara, and several others. They are made with whole grains, almonds, and real herbs and spices. They are gluten-free, soy-free, gmo-free and vegan friendly. A fantastic alternative to all of the sugary fruit and nut bars on the market.
To learn more about Journey Bars check out my food review or visit the Journey Bar website.
The Gateway front pack by Seek Outside is like having a fanny pack but instead of having the belt attach around your waist the pack connects to your backpack.
Plenty of room for a drink, snacks, camera, and maps.
There is a drink holder compartment with a pocket and a zippered section that is divided with a small organizer inside.
My first impression was that it was smaller than some of the other front packs that I have tried and it was also not incredibly easy to use. The pack came with no instructions and when I contacted the company about it they sent me to a video of a guy wearing the pack and talking about how great it was. Nothing was said other than you just hook it up or something to that affect. The product is not water proof but it is made up of ripstop nylon so it does have some water resistance to it. It seems rather durable and could hold up to some heavy use.
Overall I would not see myself using something like this but it might be good for on the go parents or someone looking for a a little extra storage space and quick access to gear.
To learn more about the Gateway front pack by Seek Outside you can visit their website here.
Full Disclosure: The Gateway front pack used in this review was provided to me by Seek Outside at no charge as coordinated by Deep Creek PR. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
Out of the box and directly onto my feet. The Columbia Conspiracy™ OutDry Shoe is comfortable light wight and an all around great shoe. These trail runners are made for adventures both on and off the trail. Built with Columbia’s OutDry water proofing and the Techlite midsole. I had no idea what to expect when trying on these shoes. I honestly did not expect much as I am not a huge fan of shoes that ride low on my ankles. I was very impressed with how sturdy they where and provided enough stability for just about any kind of activity you can think of. I have hiked and did a little trail running in them. They are also great for out and around town or even for daily wear. The tread on them is grippy enough for trails but still works great on pavement.
Lets Get Technical
- OutDry patented waterproof breathable construction
- Breathable sandwich mesh upper
- Protective rubber screenprint
- Protective wrap
- Asymmetrical lacing alleviates pressure on the top of foot
- Techlite lightweight cushioned midsole
- Techlite FluidFrame multidensity underfoot support for smooth foot transfer
- TPU shank
- Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber
- Weight: size 9, ½ pair = 10 oz/283.5g
- OUTDRY UPPER
- TECHLITE MIDSOLE
Techlite FluidFrame technology
- OMNI-GRIP OUTSOLE
High traction non-marking rubber
To learn more about these fine shoes and the awesome technology used please head on over to the Columbia’s Website.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Columbia sent me these shoes to review at no charge, but my views and opinions are my own.
The Columbia Powerdrain Cool™ Shoe This hybrid lightweight shoe is designed to allow you to go from trail to water and back again. It features the Omni-Freeze ZERO technology.
Lets get right to guts of these shoes. They are light weight, breathable, sturdy, fast drying, and super comfortable. I find myself wearing them around the house because I had forgotten I still had them on. I also find that I wear them more around the house and in the yard than I do actually on trails or doing awesome adventuring. I suppose spending time in the back yard could be considered an adventure since it now looks like a jungle. (I need to mow but its simply to hot to be bothered by such work). (more…)
image taken with a thermal camera that displays, when it was moistened with steam, darker blue areas signify colder temperatures
As part of the #OmniTen crew I have had the wonderful opportunity to test out lots of neat gear over the past few months. Before I get into the gear itself I would like to first take some time and talk about little blue rings that keep you cool. Very similar to the little reflective dots that keep you warm the blue rings help you stay cool. They do this by absorbing your sweat creating reaction and cooling down the fabric.
A lot of weekend warriors stow their survival gear in an emergency kit and think they’re ready for anything. But, over time, your gear will need to be maintained, and possibly replaced, to keep it working in top condition. This article looks at common things that need to be replaced regularly in your survival kit, and at tips for maintaining your more permanent supplies.
Store It Well
The first thing you should consider about your survival gear is how it is stored, and storage will vary depending on where you live or travel. If you have a kit aboard your fishing boat, for example, that will be different than the one you keep in your car. Wherever you store it, it should be safe from water, heat and insect damage.
Make a Schedule
Next, make a schedule for checking your kit. You should check any travel emergency kit before taking any long or potentially hazardous trip. Car and home kits should be checked after having been used or every six months, whichever is sooner. Make a hard and fast rule for your household that any time someone borrows something from your emergency kit, it needs to be replaced or replenished within 24 hours, even if it’s just a bandage or a single flashlight battery. Ideally, no one will borrow anything from a survival kit unless it’s a true emergency, but it’s good to have a procedure to follow, just in case.
Any perishable items in your kit must be replaced periodically, and this includes drinking water if that’s part of your gear. It can help to make a paper checklist that you keep with your kit. On this list include an inventory of all of the items in the kit, the dates that those items were placed in the kit, and the expiration date or date of next servicing. For example, some painkillers and other medicine in the first-aid portion of your kit may have a use-by date of only a year or two from when you purchased them. It’s best to make sure that everything in your kit has an expiration date of at least six months in the future and longer if possible. While that’s not to say that a painkiller that is a few days past expiration can’t be taken, the whole point of a survival kit is to help you out in a difficult situation, and making sure that all of your items are current and ready to be used is key.
Replace Batteries and Safeguard Basic Components
Batteries are another important point to consider when you overhaul your emergency kit. Unused batteries can hold their charge for months — but do you want to take the risk that your flashlight won’t work just because you didn’t think to change out the batteries on your last check of the emergency kit? And, if you have any lights, satellite phones, radios or other technological items that have in-built batteries that need to be charged, make sure you take note of that as well on your handy emergency checklist.
Knives and fire-making tools are usually listed as the first two components of even the most basic survival kit, and as such, yours should be in tip-top condition. Keep your blades sharp, oil hinges of folding knives, and refill lighter fluids if necessary.
Cordage, straps and buckles are another part of your emergency go-gear that should be checked periodically, even if you haven’t used your kit since you last looked at them. Extreme weather changes, pests like mice or moths and other things out of your control can weaken fibers or corrode metal components.
What Can You Upgrade?
Keep an eye out for what you can upgrade. The market for survival gear is constantly changing, with many innovations bringing lighter-weight, smarter gear to be used in emergencies. Just because you bought something 10 years ago and it still works fine doesn’t mean that there’s not something better you could get now. For example, can any of the cordage or ropes you have in your existing kit be replaced with lighter, more versatile paracord? Is there a more nutritious and tasty alternative to the energy bars you last packed? Being aware of advances on the market now might make a tangible difference in an emergency later.
About the Author: Hobert Pruitt works for GlobalSatelliteCommunications.com, a leading satellite-phone provider.
In an earlier post I took at the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1. The Fly Creek UL 2 is identical in shape form and function. The only real differences you will notice is the size. The UL 2 gives you a considerable larger living space. The tent was very easy to set up and it did so very quickly. This tent was provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 2
|Fly Creek UL 2||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||2lb 2oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 10oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 11oz|
|Packed Size||6″ x 19″|
|Floor Area||28sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||7sq ft|
On the inside there was enough room for myself and all of my gear plus I still had room under the vestibule. This tent was much easier to get into and out of than the UL 1. I was also had more room to change clothes and felt less inclosed like I had in the UL 1. One thing you do get with the larger space and more fabric is more weight. Even then the weight is only an additional 7 oz of total packed weight.
A look at the Inside of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2
Fly Creek UL 2 set up with rain fly.
Overall this was a great small roomy light weight tent that I will be taking with me on my John Muir Trail in July. To learn more about the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 you can visit the Big Agnes Website. Do you have this tent or have you used one before? I would love to hear what you have to say.
Recently I had the opportunity to test out the The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent and the bigger brother the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2. The tents were provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
The Fly Creek UL 1 is a great little tent. It sets up and tears down quickly. Weighing in at a packed weight of two pounds three ounces puts this tent at one of the lightest on the market. It packs down into a very small package so you can tuck it away in your pack. One thing I would recommend is to not pack the poles and stakes with the tent when you pack it up in your backpack.
My only issue with the tent is size. I am not a huge person, but found it a little hard to change clothes or maneuver around the inside of the tent without bumping the sides. I had plenty of room to sleep and did not feel claustrophobic once i laid down. I do understand it is a 1 man tent and if you do not mind small spaces you can’t beat the weight of the tent for the space you do get.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 1
| Fly Creek UL1||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||1lb 14oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 3oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 6oz|
|Floor Area||22sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||5.5sq ft|
View of the inside of the Fly Creek UL 1 with rain fly on and off.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 set up with rain fly on.
Overall its a great backpacking tent. Sturdy light weight and all around great tent. I would honestly consider purchasing this tent if it had a little bit more room. Do you have this tent or have you used one before?
To learn more about this tent check out TheGearHouse.com for more information.
Happy Trails and Happy Camping.