Patagonia Provisions are making healthy, organic camp food!
Yup, you read that right. Patagonia, the awesome company leading the charge for sustainable production, fair trade, supporting grassroots environmental causes and programs like 1% for the planet, is making food – Patagonia Provisions.
Not just any food though, healthy camping food, prepacked and ready to take on adventures at and at a really good price point. I don’t know about you, but I get freaked out looking at the ingredients on the back of pre-made food. Backcountry camp food is no different.
On a recent splitboard trip deep in the Australian backcountry, we read the ingredients of the camp food we were eating – A Backcountry Kitchen special selection of beef, Thai chicken curry, and other delights. The list of preservatives and medlies of unrecognizable E-numbers and letters was rather terrifying. Replentishing my body with nutritious, energy-dense food after a big day of splitboarding is so important. It literally feels like your body soaks it up immediately. I can often put away 2 packs of 2-person meals!
Our foods are the products of forward-thinking farmers, ranchers and fishermen who embrace growing methods that regenerate and restore our resources, rather than depleting them. It’s a partnership with nature that results in delicious, high-quality products while simultaneously shaping a more responsible, farsighted approach to our global food system. We’re on a mission to create a better tomorrow. Join us.
Taking a selection of Patagonia Provisions into the backcountry was such a treat. We took a packet of the DELICIOUS Wild Sockeye Salmon, a few soup mixes, the Red Bean Chilli, a breakfast selection and the fruit bars. I didn’t take the cooking container with us as weight is a precious commodity when you carry everything on your back, skiing uphill slowly over 20km+. On a surf trip though, or a regular camping trip, the container would have been great.
The cooking instructions on the Patagonia Provisions suggest that you add water and simmer for 10 or so minutes. That isn’t always a preference in the backcountry when gas is in limited supply, and better used melting snow for rehydration. So instead, we poured water into the packets and folded over the seals and held for about 5-10 minutes. For the soups and bean chilli, we added more boiling water after a few minutes and stirred. Unlike the Backcoutry Kitchen meals that come in a re-sealable package allowing for ‘cooking in the bag’, we had to hold the Patagonia Provisions which prevented multi-tasking somewhat.
But it worked fine and we were able to cook the meals straight in the bag – Easy. No need for a cooking container, no cleaning – Simple.
The Sock Eye Salmon was an absolute treat. Pre-cooked, we shared it as an aperitive. Having salmon deep in the mountains was reminiscent of all the amazing times spent in Alaska enjoying the previous summer’s catch, with my fishermen and fisherwomen friends. The salmon got a 10/10 – packed full of protein, absolutely zero cooking admin, and delicious. I remembered to carry a spare plastic bag to wrap the oily packing up in, so it didn’t leak salnon oil all over my backcountry pack.
The Red Bean Chilli was another absolute highlight. Dense, delicious, and high protein and energy packed. This dish was in demand as it got circulated around the hungry team. Made from certified-organic red and pinto beans, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, herbs and spices. YUM!
The soups, I was a little hesitant of, thinking they wouldn’t really satiate my extreme hunger and energy deficitcy in the backcountry. They (the green lentil soup) was really dense in lentils (high protein, fibre, and iron), warming, hearty and delicious. It filled me up just the right amount. Adding more hot water to them also meant we were getting that extra hydration which is always front-of-mind on a big backcountry mission.
Breakfast was our least favourite of all the dishes (we tested the Organic red raspberry hot cereal mix and the creamy banana hot cereal mix. Mostly because it was so healthy and grainy that it wasn’t that enjoyable. More seeds that oats (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not my fav). I thought how it would harden my poo making it easier to pack out! You got to think about these things! Not being the biggest breakfast eater anyway, I struggled to get this meal down, opting for the fruit bars instead.
The Patagoia Provisions fruit and almond bars were exactly what you wanted from easy access food on the trail. High energy, high natural sugar, natural and nutritious. We took up all 3 flavours: Mango, Inca Berry and Apricot. All were yummy, with the mango being my favourite. What I like about food on the trail is that it makes my mouth salivate rather than dry up. That’s why I opt for stuff like protein balls made with coconut oil or dried mango. These fruit bars are soft, a little chewy and dissolve easily in your mouth. No dry bits – the perfect easily accessible, trailhead snack. When I got home, I finished the rest of the 12-pack case as pre-surf snacks. So good.
The price point of these products is definitely something to note. Compared to Backcountry Kitchen which comes in at $10.95 for a single serve of dried weight at 90g (serving weight is more as you add water), a comparable product like the Bean Chilli from Patagonia Provisions costs $7.95 for a dried weight of 174g. I always need to eat a double serve of the BC Kicthen and was nicely satiated, on the 174g of the Patagonia Provisions. The price point is definitely attractive, competitive, and helps making healthy food decisions when camping or in the backcountry, easy.
Being a huge fan of Patagonia the brand, their products and their ethos, I know that a lot of thought goes into their products. The owner Yvonne Chouinard always wanted to design things better, more efficiently and with less impact on the planet. That is what Patagonia has done with camp food and Patagonia Provisions. They have removed the chemical shit that’s added to other alternatives like Backcountry Kitchen and replaced it with organic, nutrient-dense, high energy foods that are naturally derived. I like to know that my money is contributing to a better planet and commercial practices.
Would I but Patagonia Provisions again? Yes. Absolutely. They were a treat and I felt great the next day from the food. My bowels thanked me, as did the poo bag I have to carry out from the backcountry. If you don’t know why, read this book ‘How to shit in the woods‘. Anyone that packs their poo out knows you can tell immediately how nutritious the food was the night before!
It would be good if the portions were a little bigger or if an option was available for a double serving as even as a girl with arguably a smaller appetite than most men in the backcountry, I could devour a few of those babies after a big day! I’m also interested to know why they didn’t make them ‘boil in a bag’ as the admin of having to actually ‘cook’ something when camping is somewhat unnecessary. All good though, boil-in-the-bag worked. A re-sealable bag would have been great to help with this… and also use for a poo bag later!
Again, you got to think about these things!
So thank you Patagonia Australia for giving Still Stoked the opportunity to test and review your new camp food products in Patagonia Provisions. I can’t wait to get back out there with a new group of friends and delight them with the salmon again!
Have you tried Patagonia Provisions? What did you think? Nutritious, nutrient-dense food is so important when doing big days in the outdoors. If you have any recommendation on what you pack in or prefer to eat, do let us know in the comments below. Sharing is caring people!