Welcome! Ultralight backpacking is my passion, and keeping up on new technologies, gear, and techniques relevant to UL backpacking is what floats my boat. I'm always looking for the lightest, most functional gear to improve a lightweight or ultralight backpacking kit, and report my impressions and field testing results here. For hikers wanting to keep up on the latest and greatest ultralight backpacking gear, this is a good place to hang out. Also, there is a lot of information here (and on our informational website Southwest Ultralight Backpacking) on useful techniques and backcountry etiquette -- food for thought for hikers wanting to lighten their load and their impacts.

My goal for Ultralight Insights is to understand, test, and report on new technologies and gear of interest to lightweight and ultralight backpackers. It's a passion after all, so we just plain enjoy talking about it. I hope readers will add their own wisdom and comments, respond to my questions, ask their own questions, and correct me if I get something wrong. Happy hiking! Will

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer 2016 Outdoor Retailer Trade Show: Food Items of Interest

By Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl

 Food (this article)

There are many different brands of energy bars around nowadays, and at each OR there are always more. We like to feature the new ones to give them some visibility.

GLUKOS, as the name implies, is based on glucose, a directly digestible sugar for fast natural energy. Other sugars must be converted to glucose to be utilized by the body, and that process requires energy and time, and produces byproducts like lactic acid and triglycerides. The company serves up glucose in the form of energy bars, energy gummies, energy gel, energy tablets to dissolve in water, energy powder to dissolve in water, and a liquid energy drink. They also make a protein bar and protein powder based on whey protein.

Muir Energy Gels have all-natural ingredients and more calories than the competition, and they are available with or without caffeine. One pouch sells for $2.75.

Milkman is back. After being retired for awhile, Milkman is being revived and their packets of instant lowfat dry milk will again be available. They claim to produce the best tasting low-fat powdered milk product, based on their slogan “A kiss of cream”. So when you pick up your packets of Idahoan Instant Potatoes, pick up some packets of Milkman instant milk to go with them. $1.99 a packet.

We found the Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal to be very tasty and it contains all natural ingredients: pre-cooked wild rice, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, cranberries, and blueberries. It cooks in 10 minutes, so in camp you can add boiling water to it, let it sit for 10 minutes, and eat; $8/package.

Gorilly Goods are snack mixes consisting of nuts, fruit, and spices; well I see from their flier that they sneak in a little chocolate, kale, hemp, and cilantro to add a little kick. They come in six yummy flavors, each with a unique taste. Cost is $2.19 to $2.49.

Bogg’s Trail Butters are mixed nut butters with natural flavorings that make them awesome. We really liked them; they rival nut butters from Justin’s and Yum Butters, which are also very good. They are calorie dense with healthy fats, come in three flavors for $5 per 4.5 oz pouch.

Santa Barbara Bars are fruit and nut based plus superfoods. They don’t contain any refined sugars and are a good source of healthy oils and protein; $1.59 to $2.50 per bar.

Skout Backcountry Organic Trail Bars deliver nutrient-rich organic fuel on the trail. They are date-based with various fruits, grains and seeds, and deliver 170 to 200 calories per bar. Although the contain grains they are gluten free; $2.30 to $2.40 per bar.

Kate’s Bars come in five flavors, each a separate recipe similar to energy bars you might make at home. Ingredients are all natural. Kate is best known for her Tram Bar, which started it all; ingredients are: oats, honey, peanut butter, chocolate, rice nuggets, dried bananas, dried apricots, raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt. Each of the five varieties has a distinctive flavor; $2.99 per bar.

Simple Squares are nut and honey bars infused with herbs, and are made with just five organic nutritional ingredients. The eight savory flavors give you the idea: Chili Pep, Cho-Coco, Cinna-Clove, Coconut, Coffee, Ginger, Rosemary, and Sage; $2.49 per bar.

Thrive Go Macro Bars come in ten different flavors with all natural ingredients and provide 220 to 290 calories per bar. Each uses organic brown rice syrup as a binder with numerous nuts, fruits, and seeds; $2.19 to $2.99 per bar.

B.REDI Salsas are dried salsa mixes that come in a packet. One 18 gram packet plus water makes 8 ounces of salsa. They have four flavors available: Roasted Red, Tangy Tomatillo, Relleno, and Chipotle. I see great possibilities to use on chips or to provide flavor to our homemade trail meals. The cost is $2.50 per packet. http://www.bredifoods.com/

We reported on Health Warrior Chia Bars last year; this time we found the new Health Warrior Protein Bars that deliver 10g of clean, plant protein from a superfood blend of chia, quinoa, and oats. No soy, no whey, and half the sugar of many protein bars; $1.99 to $2.50 per bar.

 Food (this article)

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