To be quite honest, I tire very quickly of packing food for the trail. I have a very hungry family (don’t we all?!?!) that gets hangry when the food runs out, so I really have no choice…if we all want to make it back home alive.
When I was approached by Trailfoody to check out their new subscription system, I jumped at the opportunity to mix things up (and take a load off myself for an adventure or two…)
Trailfoody’s whole mission is to make getting out easier….by doing the food thinking for you. They select premium foods that are healthy, have the right nutrient mix for outdoor activities, AND taste really good.
They also have a bit of a challenge with us reviewing their foods: KIDS. I have a strong philosophy that my kids will eat (or at least try) what is given to them or go hungry….but they do have their own opinions, for sure.
This is what arrived in our first shipment (note the “pan-Asian theme”) along with our quick thoughts:
Lawless Japanese Curry beef jerky—Hands down the favorite part of the package for the adults. The kids tried it, but would rather eat one of the bars or dried fruit. It had a great mix of flavors and wasn’t tough at all.
Laiki black rice crackers – A new taste for all of us….but one we really liked! Clean and simple.
Phivebar Blueberry—My favorite bar. And the kids’ too. This time WE were fighting over it. Sigh….
BGood Espresso Date Nut bar—I have to admit, no one in this family likes coffee. How weird are we?!?! But, kudos from my friend who does!
Honey Stinger Pomegranate Passionfruit organic energy gels—We’re always a big fan of Honey Stinger. These gels are enough to share (especially with kids) and do really give quick energy when you need it.
Gomacro Thrive Almond Apricot bar— Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and an ancient seed blend of hemp hearts, quinoa, and sprouted flax. And it actually tastes really, really good.
Verdict? A surprisingly good mix of different foods, new tastes, sustainable energy and good tasting. I won’t lie – one or two of the products were not loved by the kids. And that’s totally fine with me – all the more for Mtn Papa and I to share. I loved the opportunity to snack on foods I wouldn’t normally buy (I guess I need to step out of my comfort zone), but I also knew I could trust to enjoy. Besides the espresso bar (which has an unfair disadvantage here), there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. I call that a big win!
The Wanderer (1-2 outings) – $21.95/month + $4 shipping
The Pathfinder (3 outings)- $43.95/month + $4 shipping
The Intrepid (4 outings)- $53.95/month + $4 shipping
So, the question is – is it worth the cost??
I guess that depends on your needs and tastes. Personally, I LOVE someone choosing snacks for me and having the chance to try new things every month. I like to eat healthy foods like the ones in the packages and would be paying about the same anyway – they just do the work for me. For our family, the Wanderer really only covered 1-2 outings for sure…and we were supplementing with fresh foods (like cheese and fruit, etc.) But, it’s perfect for a couple or a single person (or a parent who doesn’t want to share!)
I suggested TrailFoody do a “family option” and I know they are working on that possibility for the future.
We will be continuing to test and work with TrailFoody over the next few months and I will be updating this post as we try the packages from other months…just to get a better feel for how it could work for us long term.
Right now, anything to make my life easier is welcome. The TrailFoody snacks are coveted as “trail-only” foods and are really great motivation to get out there too! We give them a big thumbs up!
This weekend we had to say goodbye to our dog of nearly 12 years. To be honest, the last months (years?) have been tough on us…and him. Old dogs do crazy things, and his body wasn’t allowing him to do the activities he loved so very much. While I knew it was time – his quality of life was so not there anymore – it’s been surprisingly difficult to say goodbye to my oldest adventure buddy. And so I’ll do what I know best how to do – write and share and reminisce and let his memory live on.
I got Katmai long before I met my husband, right after college when I was going through a time of trying to figure out what I wanted to do next in my life. It was a tough period if I’m honest with myself, and Katmai was my “therapy” and hope in a dark confusion of life.
I moved to a studio apartment in the Mount Baker area, and was certain a dog would make solo living much easier. My plan to sub and work didn’t pan out as easily as I hoped, so Katmai and I hiked and hiked and hiked. He had my full attention and was my first “baby”. While I looked for more constant work and experience, I relished those days of mountain time with my pup.
Katmai (not to be confused with “my cat”), was named for my favorite National Park in Alaska. Katmai National Park was one we visited often as a kid, and always held my complete admiration and awe.
I put together a photo book this week for our family to remember him by, and was taken down a winding memory lane. How had I forgotten so easily how much he used to do with us? No wonder the last few years had been so hard as he slowed down and we had to leave him behind more and more often.
He ran with us, and biked with us and skied with us. He was happiest on the trail (or off of it….wildly chasing sticks and dashing through the trees). It’s what bound us – our common love for playing outside.
When he was a puppy, far before I had children of my own, I was determined he would be great with kids and trained well to be a family dog. As a lab, that’s not a hard feat – he had serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and just wanted to be with us. He loved us all and we loved him back.
I joked with every kid, his position on the totem pole got a little lower. Sad, but true. He started to prefer Mtn Papa over me….who was always so busy with my two-legged babies. But, he continued to be patient and loving and content to just be with his family.
He’s been my constant for so long, it’s so weird to not have him here.
It’s easier to not have to worry about him in pain and accidentally snarling at one of the kids when they unknowingly touched a sore spot….which is so unlike him.
It’s easier to not have to constantly clean up poo and dog hair and messes.
It’s easier to not have to worry about him getting into food we left out (all that training goes down the tubes when you’re old, I guess).
But, his normal spot is empty and quiet (where’s the snoring?!?!) and I keep feeling like part of us is missing….which it is.
And so now I remember him doing what he loved most and find peace that he had a full life of fun and adventure, which is a good life indeed.
And I find comfort knowing he is no longer in pain or confusion or depressed over his body failing him and keeping him from doing what he wanted.
And so cheers to all you adventure dogs and all you adventure families making it happen. And cheers to Katmai and all that he was for me, for us for so long.
If you have a dog who loves to play outside with you, will you share a quick story with me in the comments? I love hearing them.
Having good hiking boots is key to having a great hiking trip! And just like every body is different, we all have different FEET too. I enlisted some help from my favorite women hikers to round up the best hiking boots for women.
This is one of those posts that I will also be continually adding to, so I would LOVE to hear your opinions too. If you have a boot that you just LOVE, please email me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail – I’d love to hear all about it (and maybe will add your opinions here!)
I’ll share my favorites first and then continue with what others have shared with me.
I have worn and loved this boot for 4 years now. It’s great support for multi-day trips, alleviates any plantar fasciitis pain I am dealing with and works just fine for my wide feet. It’s beefy, but not too heavy or cumbersome for day trips too. My all-time favorite.
This is one of those boots that has KEEN has kept around forever….because they’re really great! KEENS tend to usually work very well for my wide feet and are a bit more substantial than the lighter Ahnu boots above. Great traction and they hold up to a few years of use and abuse.
This is actually a men’s boot, but Whitney James swears by them! And she would know, as a past editor of Outside Magazine’s Buyer’s Guides. She says, “These are lightweight, water resistant enough to be perfect in all conditions, and most importantly–comfortable. They’re the only boots I’ve ever hiked in that don’t give me blisters.”
Stacey has been wearing these boots for TEN years (ok, 9 with the first pair and another year with her new pair). That’s a lot of years! She says, “They’re wearable straight from the box, no need to ‘break them in’. Being in Scotland, conditions vary every time we go out (sometimes 4 seasons in a day!) but these were great and stood up to the conditions… especially as I always seem to find the boggiest bit! I only had to replace last year due to a bit of leakage around the sole seam. Needless to say, I went out and bought an exact style as replacement and they’re just as comfy.”
While Asolo is known for fitting narrow feet better, Stacey has very wide feet and has never had any issues.
Narrow feet? According to Tanya, this one is for you! She says, “Maybe I have narrow feet, but I have always found it next to impossible to tighten a pair of hiking boots so that my feet don’t wiggle around inside the boots. Feet sliding around in boots = blisters and I hate blisters. I also suffer from weak ankles so I need my boots to tighten well at the ankle or else I’m prone to sprain one of my ankles. (yet again!) With the Keen Marshalls however, one simple pull of the laces cinches the entire boot from my toes to my ankle and I don’t have to reef on every single lace in a vain attempt to pull the sides together. I have never had happier ankles and I owe it all to these great boots.”
“I have very flat feet and struggle to find shoes that accommodate my collapsing arches. The Merrell Moab 2 MID Waterproof is what I have found that works great. I need ankle support and this provides that while not making my flat feet ache like other shoes have. I have had several pair and they are awesome new and with miles on them. I don’t feel like I have to break them in and that has been a big blessing. I forgot my shoes on a trip to Colorado a few summers ago and had to buy new boots to hike the whole trip in. I was so worried I’d end up in blisters but these were great from the get go.”
Narrow feet? Stephanie of Raising Kids Wild has gone through 3 pairs of these and swears by them.
She loves the following features:
-leather for durability
-comfortable even after soaked
-breathable (I always wear wool socks when I hike and my feet never get hot with these boots)
-cute design and I love the subtle peeks of color
-great if you have narrow feet as they are not chunky or heavy in any way. They seem to mold to my feet perfectly
-laces are strong but thinner which I like
A few of these links are affiliates. Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.
Thank you to Whitney James, Elisa Rispoli and Tanya Koob for contributing photos!
I grew up proudly sporting…and then ditching my training wheels on my bike at age 7. It was a big deal…..dwarfed now by my own kids riding pedal bikes at THREE. And while it sounds and looks impressive (especially when said kids are petite riding those pedals), they certainly aren’t unique. With the introduction of […]
Over the past 7 years we have had SO many boots come through this house. And winter boots are a big thing – they are sometimes the difference between a really good day and an outdoor “failure”. I will keep updating this post as we try out new boots over the years and really put […]