Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gear Review: TrailFork Paleoats

Price: $7.79
Cooking on a camping trip plays out to be either be one of two things: the most rewarding, delicious feasts, or a stressful, disastrous failed attempt at filling an eager stomach. The first situation sounds better to me.

Prior to loading up the car and hitting the road to camp at a state or national park, meal prepping is an important task. What to bring and prepare at the site? What to cook at home first and then eat around the fire? What gets refrigerated? What about all the trash? So. Many. Questions. Not to mention if you're like me, food that's both filling and healthy is a top priority. Especially at breakfast.

I received a new product from TrailFork in the mail to try out and review on my blog. Recently my girlfriend and I put it to the test on a quick, overnight camping trip at Kohler-Andrae State Park, one of the few places in Wisconsin with towering sand dunes along the coast of Lake Michigan. Founded just a year ago, TrailFork is a new company focusing on offering fully customized meal kits to be enjoyed in the great outdoors, all while promoting sustainability and natural ingredients.
Based out of Boulder, Colorado, TrailFork's "individual approach to outdoor nutrition" is fantastic. All of their meal packs are gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Apart from a selection of predetermined recipe packs with tasty names (coconut granola with milk, unwrapped burrito, loaded veggie hummus, apricot-almond couscous, to name a few), TrailFork sells a three-meal day supply kit. $30 gets you dehydrated meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At checkout, you can opt for paleo/keto, and splurge for an optional Latigo pour-over coffee. Every meal kit, whether the individual or day's worth, arrive in fully compostable pouches, an even better step in following key Leave No Trace principles.

When you fill out your order for a day meal kit, you're taken to a "get to know you" screen, with questions and prompts regarding your upcoming adventure. Here you can enter in your trip length, estimated miles per day, dietary preferences or allergies, trip destination, and your height and weight so TrailFork can accurately calculate your caloric needs each day. There's even free shipping on orders of 3 days or more, perfect for week-long jaunts into the backcountry.
After eggs and breakfast banana boats with fruit, we fired up my Coleman car camping stove to boil a kettle of water. With the Paeloats pack opened up, a 90g rush of dry hearty hemp seeds, chia seeds, cashews, banana chips, walnuts, salt, coconut milk, cinnamon, and brown sugar fell into my bowl. Prior to starting any hiking, I strive to fill myself up full of energizing nutrients and of course, coffee. Their Paleoats pack (which retails for $7.79) is filled to the brim with 14g of protein, calcium, iron, 9g of fiber and 11g of sugar. One pack has 520 calories, 41g of fat, zero cholesterol, 28g of carbs, and only 85mg of sodium. Everything about this product, I'm a fan of, and my first reaction after holding it in my hand was realizing how perfect this would be for my backpacking trips.
The meal packages are quick and easy to make. Pouring boiling water into the bowl, the ingredients became alive and the smell was intriguing. Letting the contents rehydrate for a few minutes, we dived in with our spoons and were treated to warm, tasty morning treat that soon filled our stomachs for the day ahead. Throw a few fresh blackberries and blueberries in and cue extensive "yums." This was a pleasant surprised, putting my usual go-to grocery store bought oatmeal packs to a massive shame.

This fall I have a few backpacking trips on the calendar, and will definitely be reaching out to TrailFork for some grub. Because chowing down on a breakfast of peanut-butter-banana oats under the shadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park in mid-October, sounds heavenly.

Cheers,
Robby