I’ve certainly been there. Excited for an adventure, but with a limited window of time. If I don’t head out now, my hike or bike or paddle is not going to happen. But I don’t always have what I need to get out the door.
Blair Garland has been there too. He’s a slight guy who loves to hike and backpack and fly fish. In his pre-Dad days, he dehydrated his own meals (like spaghetti and beef stroganoff!) and completed a six-day backpacking trek in Alaska. Now he’s the Director of Marketing at Roanoke College and father to two busy boys. He’s also the brains and muscle and pretty much everything else behind a new subscription service that aims to address this dilemma of how to be ready for the great outdoors whenever the opportunity arises.
His new gig is called Trailfoody and for anyone who has ever ordered dinner from Blue Apron or HelloFresh or snacks from Graze or Love With Food, the how-to will be familiar: Sign up for a plan and excitedly open the goods when they arrive at your front door. Trailfoody’s focus is high-energy, premium-ingredient, shelf-staple snacks that can be eaten as throughout-the-day fuel or combined for a tasty trail lunch. The service has three levels, targeted to how often in a month a subscriber might want to grab the bright orange stuff sack included with the first shipment and hit the road.
Earlier this month, Blair handed off his February box for me to try. Trailfoody’s only been up and running since December but already it has customers in Colorado, Georgia, Florida and Michigan. The company sold out its inventory in January and February. Blair feels Trailfoody can serve an untapped market. “There’s lots of people looking at dehydrated dinners,” he said. “But trail food for a day adventure — nobody’s giving it the attention it deserves.”
Here’s my take: I heart Trailfoody! The food is very fun — all of it, from nuts to energy bars to dried fruit to crackers — was delicious and high quality. The mix of items was great: My box included electrolyte powder and energy chews along with a decadent artisan chocolate energy bar and likely the best beef jerky I’ve ever tasted. Blair creates themes for each month’s delivery: January’s snacks leaned Mediterranean and February’s box trended Asian.
The biggest danger? Eating all the food before you hit the trail. The best part? Discovering new foods that shake up your routine. Shortly after sampling, I found myself Googling nearly every food company included in the order. My guys have long been on a search for a better energy drink than we can find on shelves around here. And now on my healthy snack radar are jerky and freeze-dried fruit.
Many of you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, where you’ve likely seen my family hiking. We challenged each other back in July to hike, as a family, once a month, every month for a year. A Trailfoody sack of snacks sitting by the door would absolutely make our sometimes frenzied exit smoother. Which can only be a good thing, right?
The last few weeks have been so Spring-like in my neck of the woods that we’ve all been itching to start digging. But our last freeze date is mid-April, a whole two months away. So we’ve been doing what we could during these 70-degree weekends: cutting logs and drilling holes to restart our Shiitake “corner,” harvesting a bonus round of kale, spinach and lettuce and prepping planting beds.
One project that’s been so much fun is growing our own sprouts on the kitchen counter. I bought this Sprouting Jar from The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, but it’s cheap and easy to buy online. We’ve gone from seeds to salad in just five days! I may never buy another plastic bin of sprouts again.
What gardening tasks are you jonesing to get to?
Next week, I’m taking a break to spend some time on the nuts and bolts of this whole operation. (Read: clean my office and file my taxes!) See you March 9 with recipes to get you ready for a delicious St. Patrick’s Day!