Food is an obsession for hikers. But what about the chore of buying and packing food for a weekend or week-long adventure? Blair Garland, an RATC member who lives in the Roanoke Valley, has launched a company called Trailfoody, a monthly subscription service for people who love to go on outdoor adventures but lack the time or inclination for serious meal planning. You can see a third party reviewer’s opinion here. As noted in Blair’s guest blog below, RATC members who would like to try out Trailfoody get 60% off for the first month by using the code RATC at checkout.
This is What Led to the Idea Behind Roanoke-Based Trailfoody
By Blair Garland, Trailfoody Founder
I fell in love with mountains the weekend before starting the seventh grade. Borrowing an old, rickety frame backpack from my brother, I went on my first backpacking trip to McAfee Knob with a couple of friends. I was hooked. Fast forward years later, and I was still at it. While backpacking was my favorite, I found that I spent more of my time on weekend adventures. Hiking on Saturday; fly fishing on Sunday. Next weekend: do it again.
Where the Idea Came From. Many adventures took a bit of a drive to reach. So, to make it easier to get out the door, I set up a gear closet. Each piece of gear had its own place, and I could very quickly grab what I needed for the adventure at hand. No more futzing around looking for that water filter or first aid kit. I always needed food for these weekend adventures–not the dehydrated kind you take overnight, but food to fuel your hike throughout the day. Then, I realized how convenient it would be if I could extend my gear closet idea to include food. The idea for a monthly grab-and-go stuff sack full of Trailfoody was born!
What’s Trailfoody? In a nutshell, it’s a service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron, but geared toward outdoorspeople who adventure often. Each month, we send trailfood to your doorstep that you keep in a stuff sack, ready to go. Each kit includes the “day food” to fuel your adventure, such as premium energy bars, jerky, artisan trail mix, dried fruit, and more. You choose your level based on how often you venture outdoors, and then further customize your kit with gluten-free, vegetarian, or regular options.
Tasting is Part of the Adventure. At restaurants, I’m often the one at the table who finds the best dish on the menu (Tip: it’s usually a good sign when the waiter says, “good choice,” when you order). I just really enjoy trying new foods, and the more creative, the better. The same thing goes for trailfood. We realized early on that there are tons of small companies out there creating really interesting products that would work great on the trail. It’s been a lot of fun to find these unique companies, taste their products, and tell their stories. The foods that we include in Trailfoody are different every month so you can try different ones. Customers tell us that’s the best part of Trailfoody. No more burn-out from that huge box of cheap energy bars!
My Personal Faves. A few of my personal favorites have been BGood Bar’s peanut ginger artisan energy bar, which tastes like a fine truffle; the appropriately named Conundrum Trail Mix which has such a curious mix of earthiness, sweetness, and savory; and the Grizzly Bar, by Kate’s Real Food, which has a wonderful chocolate-peanut butter taste.
Nutrition Is Important, Too. My wife, Anita, is a registered nurse. It was her idea that we focus on foods that are healthy, whole foods without artificial ingredients. In other words, these are foods we would (and do) feed to our own family. Food for hiking or other strenuous outdoor activities needs to have the right nutrient mix, with a good portion of carbohydrates, some healthy fats, and a little protein as well. We make sure it’s balanced correctly.
Discount for RATC Members. Since we’re based out of Roanoke, we’d like to give RATC members a discount for trying Trailfoody. Just use code RATC at checkout to get your first month 60% off.