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From Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacking

A couple years ago I purchased a dehydrator because I was convinced I was going to be backpacking on a near daily basis. After all, dehydrating is what “real backpackers” did and that was my goal. Well, marriage, kids, and eternal responsibility have a way of clarifying reality. In as much as I’d like to use the dehydrator for the backpacking trips I am able to schedule in the midst of balancing life, I use it a lot less than I expected both because it is a bit of a hassle and often I just don’t have the time to deal with it. When I’m pinched for time or need something quick, my options for trail food either include food from the local grocery store or lightweight options available from online sources.

With that, I thought I’d mention a few food sites offering lightweight options which I enjoy.

Both Enertia Trail Foods ( and Pack-It Gourmet ( are likely the best known dehydrated vendors aside from those at REI. To me anyway, these meals taste better and offer solid nutrition.

Harmony House Foods ( offers quite a bit of stuff which includes sizeable portions of only add-in (i.e. beans, spices, tomatoes, cheese, butter powder, etc.). Much like Just Veggies (, they offer items which are nice contributions to any meal and can be used to add taste, nutrition, or just to mix it up.

Aside from, well, “permanently borrowing” (i.e. stealing) from fast food vendors, have you ever wondered where you can get single use packets of things like salt, pepper, relish, mustard, etc.? The answer is Minimus Biz (

If you’re looking for a healthier version of jerky, check out Paleokits ( who sell jerky, nuts, and berries with less sugar and carbs.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, Meal Pack ( offers meal replacement options in the form of a bar the size of a standard Cliff Bar. It is packed with calories and might be a good idea if you need to boost your energy with a mega dump of calories (energy). It might also be a decent emergency food option in case you are late making it off the trail.

Few products offer the punch of necessary fat and calories in a lightweight package like peanut butter. If you want to carry something with differing tastes in a single serving container, check out Justin’s Nut Butter (

All of these vendors are identified on the side of my blog in addition to many other links which might help you on your backpacking journey.