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RightOnTrek Review


PRE-HIKE REVIEW: You cannot purchase a standalone meal pouch from RightOnTrek. The meal pouches are only available by purchasing a daily meal plan. It is difficult to accurately calculate the price of an individual RightOnTrek meal pouch. I can only calculate the cost based on what I would pay individually (at the best available price through Amazon) for each of the other items that are included in the RightOnTrek Meal Plan that I selected. The actual price (if available separately) of each RightOnTrek meal is hidden by the cost of the other foods that are included in your pre-selected or customized meal plan that is based on your desired daily caloric intake.

The comparison to other freeze dried/dehydrated meal pouches (Mountain House, Next Mile Meals and Packit Gourmet) is made based on their site that it will cost you $1.00 per 100 calories for the RightOnTrek Meal Plan, $2.10 per 100 calories for a Mountain House meal pouch, $2.69 per 100 calories for a Next Mile Meals pouch and $3.11 per 100 calories for a Packit Gourmet meal pouch. The comparison is made between these using RightOnTreks Meal Plan vs. the Mountain House, Next Mile Meals and Packit Gourmets meal pouch. That is the cost per calorie of an entire day’s food plan (which does include a meal pouch) being compared to an individual meal pouch (not an entire day’s food plan.) These calculations are accurate but, again, it is difficult to calculate the actual cost of a RightOnTrek meal pouch because that cost is built into the cost of an entire day’s meal plan. Based on RightO[DJ1] nTrek’s claim of $1.00 per 100 calories, their breakfasts were priced at (for my selected meal plan): Banana Bread Oatmeal (399 calories) $3.99 and Cranberry and Walnut Oatmeal (315 calories) at $3.25. Dinners were: Chicken Alfredo Pasta (516 calories) at $5.16 and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Chicken (516 calories) also at $5.16. Decent and average prices when compared to other freeze dried/dehydrated pre-packed meals and slightly above the cost of a Mountain House meal pouch. Price per Dinner Serving: Mountain House – $5.00 per serving (Chicken and Mashed Potato Dinner- 2 serving Pouch at $9.99 with 460 calories and Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken – 2 serving Pouch at $9.99 with 860 calories). When comparing the cost per serving of a RightOnTrek dinner serving to either a Next Mile Meals dinner serving (about $14.00) or a Packit Gourment dinner serving (about $12.00), RightOnTrek is much less expensive (less than half the cost per serving). In general, the cost per calorie of a RightOnTrek meal pouch is comparable to the cost per calorie of a Mountain House meal pouch.

I have learned than my biggest expense when working out a food budget for a backpacking trip is always, always, always the cost of my dinner, especially when buying a freeze dried/dehydrated complete meal pouch.

RightOnTrek Review

Okay, on to the review of the actual packets and meals.

RightOnTrek provides a packet (labeled by Day #) that contains a complete days’ worth of food. There is a breakfast, lunch and snacks and a dinner. RightOnTrek personalizes the Meal Plan based on the number of calories you would like to have per day. I requested 2,000 calories per day (I have a smaller appetite the first few days that I am out backpacking, so I request only 2,000 calories per day). It looks like the maximum number of calories you can choose per day tops out 4,000. Their pricing model: RightOnTrek will put together a daily meal plan at a cost of $1.00 per every 100 calories that you request. In my case, $20.00 per day (based on my request for 2,000 calories per day.

The Day 1 pack included Coffee, hot chocolate a candy bar and several snacks (peanut & tropical fruit snack, a few energy snacks, a vegan jerky) and a RightOnTrek breakfast and dinner. The snacks and drinks were typical for what I would normally bring with me. Dinner the 1st night was the RightOnTrek Chicken Alfredo Pasta (23g carbs, 516 calories and 827 mg of sodium). It contained ramen style noodles, chicken and a variety of spices. I used my JetBoil and prepared the meal according to the package directions (this is NOT a meal where boiling water is added to the pouch). The meal must be cooked in a pot (or as in my case, in my JetBoil). I really did enjoy the flavor of the meal, the chicken was rehydrated well. The only real issue I had was with the ramen style noodles as they were a bit on the gummy side. The package calls for 6oz of water and I think that the amount of water called for could be increased. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the meal. I found there to be enough chicken in the meal. Now, this is a single serving. For those with a larger appetite, there may not be enough to satisfy your hunger. As for me, the amount provided worked well. The breakfast that was in the Day One pack was the RightOnTrek Banana Bread Oatmeal (9g protein, 399 calories, 48g carbs and 372 mg sodium). As with the dinner, this is classified as a single serving. I opened the package and was hit with a great cinnamon smell. Again, as with the dinner packet, I think that there could be more water added than what is called for. The package calls for 7oz of water. Using this amount, I found the meal to not be as creamy as I would have hoped for. The taste was so-so. I didn’t find the cinnamon flavor in the oatmeal as I thought I would have when I opened the package.

The Day 2 pack included much of the same as what was included in the Day 1 pack (coffee, hot chocolate, various snacks,  a vegan jerky and a breakfast package and a dinner package). The 2nd nights dinner was Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Chicken. Following the package directions, I again found that I could have used more water for cooking. The meal though was very good. The chicken was rehydrated well and a nice cheesy flavor. The Day 2 breakfast was Cranberry and Walnut Oatmeal. As with the other meals, I think that more water could be added to make the meal a little creamier (personal preference maybe???). The cooking instructions on the package indicated that the walnuts, cranberries and an additional butter and cream packet were to be added after cooking the oats for 3 minutes. I did not have the additional butter and cream packet included in my pre-packed pouch and the walnuts and cranberries were not separated from the oats, I had to cook these items at the same time. As with the other meals, I think that more water could be used in the cooking process. The breakfast was good and I found there to be enough cranberries and walnuts included.

Final Thoughts:

If you don’t want to take the time to shop for all your food, The RightOnTrek Meal Plans are a good option. The total price for all items included in each Daily Meal Packet will be higher than purchasing the individual items on their own but, you are paying for the convenience of having these pre-packaged Daily Meal Plans put together for you. You do have to have a separate pot to cook the meals in as each meal pouch is not suitable for rehydrating the meals. The benefit of having the meal pouch includes having a resealable bag to pack out your trash. I did like the flavor of the foods, and thought they were adequate for a single serving.

Post Purchase/Post Hike:

After coming back from my hike, and in the process of writing this review (April 21, 2021) I found that RightOnTrek has made some changes to available serving sizes and have also included additional items that can be added to their meals. Whereas there was only one size available when I ordered my meal plans, I have found out that there are now larger servings available.



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Fuel 100 Electro-Bites Review

Fuel 100 Electro-Bites

As stated on the Fuel 100 Electro-Bites home page, “Electro-Bites are designed specifically for endurance athletes to help extend training and improve race performance.” I wouldn’t put myself in any category where I would be defined as an endurance athlete. What I am is a backpacker.

I keep my backpack ready to go and all my gear is readily at hand. I have gear lists for different types and lengths of hikes. I also have different gear for these hikes. The gear is pretty much a constant for whatever type of hike I have planned. What does change is what I bring for nutrition and I have run the gamut in that area. I have tried multiple varieties of bars, chews, gels, drink powders and liquids hoping that they would provide the boost I needed when tackling a tough section of the trail.

For the purposes of the Fuel 100 Electro-Bites review, I chose a hike that would tax me physically. There was a time where I could bomb up most any hill and scarcely feel the effects of the climb. Those days have passed me by. I am no longer a great hill climber. Hills slow me down and take a lot of energy out of me. Even after slowing my pace and shortening my steps, I still tire easily.

On to the review:

Electro-Bites Apple Cinnamon

While on an uphill section, I noticed my energy flagging, I pulled the first of the Electro-Bites out of my pack. They happened to be Apple Cinnamon flavored. I am a big fan of anything apple-cinnamon flavored and was looking forward to my first experience with the Electro-Bites. I tore the top off the package and was surprised by what was inside. (I think I was surprised because I didn’t know what I was going to see.) “Interesting, tiny dried pellets” was my initial reaction. I poured about half of the package into my hand, kind of bounced them around a bit (they are very light weight) and popped them into my mouth. I was pleasantly surprised! Very nice flavor, they dissolved relatively quickly, did not leave my mouth dry and really left no residue in my mouth. I took a quick drink of water and downed the rest of the package. I looked at the Electro-Bites package and their tag line jumped out at me “Your next mile is on us”. Okay, let’s see what happens.

As I stated earlier, I am no longer a great hill climber and I now had two and a half miles of uphill staring me in the face. Again, I purposely chose a tough trail (for me) for this backpacking trip and review. While hiking up, I noticed that I wasn’t tiring as easily or quickly as I normally do.  I also noticed that despite the dry texture of the Electro-Bites (Fuel 100 states: “Electro-Bites are a baked product…The simplest description of their taste is they taste like a salted graham cracker.”). I found them to be much less dry than a graham cracker and I wasn’t feeling any gumminess in my mouth that Ive experienced with other “dry textured” products.

After climbing the two and a half miles and reaching a level area, I opened a second package and downed that.  Honestly, I felt much better and far less winded than I normally would feel after a hike like that.

Each of the Electro-Bites packages contains the following:

  • 100 calories
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Agave Syrup
  • Potato Starch
  • Sodium (190mg), Magnesium (46mg), Potassium (55mg)

I don’t know how many calories I burned on that uphill section and I really don’t care. What I do care about is that I felt very good after the climb up, a feeling I don’t normally experience.

Final Thoughts:

I like them! The taste is fine and not overpowering. The dryness that Ive experienced with other “dry textured” products wasn’t there and I didn’t have to swig a half bottle of water after chewing and swallowing the Electro-Bites. There’s a nice variety of flavors available (Pumpkin Spice, Apple Cinnamon, Salty Vanilla, Salty Vinegar and Simply Salty). As a backpacker (and for other weight conscious backpackers out there), the Fuel 100 Electro-Bites weigh in at 0.81 (22g) for each 100 calorie package. I really don’t have a knock on the Electro-Bites other than if you feel the need to chew or chomp on something while getting your nutrition, this probably wouldn’t fulfill that need.



Electro-Bites are designed specifically for endurance athletes to help extend training and improve race performance. Designed as an alternative to the sweet and sticky products currently on the market each 100 calorie pack contains bite sized snacks that are slightly salty in taste.  Electro-Bites contain only the best all-natural ingredients including coconut oil and agave syrup.
In addition to calorie replacement each serving contains 190mg Sodium, 55mg Potassium and 46mg Magnesium.  Using Electro-Bites may reduce or eliminate the need for electrolyte replacement and other nutritional supplements the body needs to perform at the highest level. (Nutritional information)
Electro-Bites were designed to dissolve easily in a dry mouth and absorb quickly into your system. There is nothing like this on the market.
(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Electro-Bites for free from Fuel 100 in consideration for a gear review).

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GreenPackin’ Trail Bars Now Being Taste Tested.

April 14th, 2016

Finally working on and creating the GreenPackin’ Trail Bars. So far we have: 1) Pressed-On Bar (Dates, Cherries, Walnuts, Agave Nectar) 2) Generic Bar (Dates, Mangos, Walnuts, Agave Nectar) and 3) Gier Bar (Dates, Blueberries, Walnuts, Agave Nectar). All ingredients are organic.

Nutrition info on the Pressed-On Bar: Nutrition Facts Serv. Size: 1 Bar (75g), Servings: 1, Amount Per Serving: Calories 320 Fat Cal. 140, Total Fat 16g (25% DV), Sat. Fat 1.5g (8% DV), Trans Fat0g, Cholest. 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 15mg (1% DV), Total Carb. 42g (14% DV),Fiber 4g (16% DV), Sugars 33g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A (20% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV),Calcium (2% DV), Iron (4% DV). Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie

April 16th, 2016

First impressions of the GreenPackin’ Nutrition/Trail Bars are very promising! 1) Pressed-On Bars (Dates, Cherries, Walnuts, Agave Nectar): “Don’t change a thing”. “How much are they? I want to buy some now”. 2) Generic Bars (Dates, Mangos, Walnuts, Agave Nectar): “Tastes great”. “I’ve never had a Mango bar before and I love it!” 3) Gier Bar (Dates, Blueberries, Walnuts, Agave Nectar): “Tastes pretty good”.

Still want to work on a Macaroon Bar and a Cinnamon Apple Pie Bar. If it goes well with the people I’m using as taste-testers, I’ll try to introduce them (via samples) at a couple of local outdoors stores.


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Class of 2014 AT Thru Hikers

I’ve been following a number of 2014 AT thru hikers since the start of their journey. While doing this, I also came up with an Excel spreadsheet that provided a bit of information about each of the hikers, things like their name, trail name, home town and updating their location along the AT. It has been very well received. The hikers, their friends, families and visitors to the page like being able to follow the progress of the various hikers and enjoy seeing the pictures of their progress, the amazing views along the Appalachian Trail, trail magic at work, notable locations along the AT, group photos of friends on the trail and a variety of humorous poses taken as well.

Bangarang at Mt Moosilauke

I’ve made the spreadsheet available through a Facebook group that I belong to: Appalachian Trail thru Hikers: Class of 2014 NO Censorship and you can also access the spreadsheet here.

As the interest in the spreadsheet grew, I started looking into ways to improve it and to allow the hikers themselves to update their information and progress (if they chose to). A number of ideas have come to me. I’m currently working on a different (and hopefully better) way to provide the information that is currently available through the Excel spreadsheet. While not available for the Class of 2014, I’m working diligently to have it available for the Class of 2015.


01 - Wind Rock

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The Grasslands – The Most American Landscape

A little bit about The Grasslands – reposted from The Great Plains Trail.

The Great Plains Trail

Grasslands!  There are no major grasslands in Europe. Grasslands! There are no major grasslands in Europe.

I’m posting this again this year because, well, I think this is a point I want to make. . . .

Happy 4th of July from the Great Plains Trail!  On this most American of holidays, it’s time to recognize (and brag just a bit) that the most American of landscapes is indeed the Great Plains.  I will expand on this idea briefly so you can get back to grillin’ and chillin’ in your neighbor’s backyard.

In the varied and intricate history of the country we call America, with its many cultural influences and stories, it can be argued that the dominant cultural thread is a European one.  From the time of Columbus onward, the creation of what was to become America was, by and large, a grand European project.  Yes, I know, there are countless other influences, and yes, I know…

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Unboxing the Bushbuddy Trekker Ultra 004 Wood Stove

The Bushbuddy stove is one that I’ve read up on before but never took the time to really look into it. Take a look at this piece about the Bushbuddy.

Stick's Blog

P1040191A few weeks ago (4 to be exact), I broke down and placed an order with the Nomadic Stove Company for the lightest Bushbuddy stove available, the Trekker Ultra 004. Without crossing hairs, I have used the Solo Stove for a while now, and found that I was really happy with the way the stove performed, as well as how clean and easy it was to use, however, I wasn’t too happy with the weight. So, I gave in and dropped $110 on the original, hand-made design, that weighs almost half of what the Solo Stove clocks in at!

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New kid on the block: Trekkertent

A new tent & tarp manufacturer on the market. No details or reviews yet but worth taking a look at.


It’s good to see that there is a new UK niche tent maker, Trekkertent.  It’s early days, but Trekkertent have three tents on offer, all utilising trekking poles. I’m told that there are others in the pipeline.edgeTrekkertent Edge 1 (courtesy of Trekkertent)

I’m quite interested in the Edge, which looks an interesting alternative to the Tarptent Scarp 1. It looks to be very solid and weighs less than the Scarp at 1.1kg, although the design is being remodelled and the production model might be heavier. Below is a video taken from the top of Suilven.

I’ve been in touch with Marc, who owns Trekkertent and there will be some interesting further developments, but we will have to be patient! Wishing Marc every success in his venture.

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Day 107 – MA

A view from an AT thru hiker.


Cookie Lady to Mark Noepel Shelter – 23.4 miles
1579.1 / 606.2

We are sitting up at a shelter around 3000 ft, in a crazy thunderstorm, wind whipping, rain coming down in buckets, rivers created and flowing under us. It’s about 8 pm and we are just grateful to be inside. We are with Topo, Dune and Grasshopper, all of whom dodged the rain. We did not have so much luck. Just listening to the rain hit the shelter makes me cozier now that I’m dry.


We began at the cookie lady’s and decided to try for 24 miles. We had Dalton after 10 and Cheshire after 20 and could get energy in each town. The first 10 miles were a breeze, we climbed a small mountain and it was only beginning to get hot. Once we reached Dalton, we realized just how hot and muggy it had become. We…

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MLD Cuben Duomid vent mod


Last year, on Dartmoor, I discovered that the vent on my MLD Cuben Duomid doesn’t close properly because the Velcro on the hood doesn’t line up properly. On that occasion, I used a clothes peg to shut it.


Since then, I’ve been thinking of a more permanent solution using either some Velcro or some snap closures.


I decided the neatest solution was to sew a strip of Velcro on the grosgrain strip that links the zip to the crown of the shelter (shown above).


This now mates properly with the Velcro on the vent hood (shown above).


The vent hood now closes securely (after removing the plastic hood stay) , preventing any wind blown rain from getting inside the shelter.

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The Whites

Nobo Hippy Bro

This library charges $1 ever half hour to use the computers so I’m going to do my best to give the last couple days the credit they deserve.

I’ll start with the bad stuff since it’s less abundant. My knees feel are pretty wrecked and the skin on my feet are rubbed raw. The White Mountain National Forest… well really the entire Appalachian Trail… knows nothing of switchbacks. In the west you’re generally treated to a nice, gradual path up a couple thousand feet with a bit of extra distance added on to spare you the pain of going straight up the side of the mountain. Not here. Whoever designed the AT was on cocaine or something, totally cracked out when they designed the trail because going straight up the mountain is exactly what happens. At first it’s really not so bad doing a 3000-4000 foot scramble with an occasional easy class…

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