When BackPackin' go GreenPackin'

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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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Mile…Mile & a Half Review

Peregrination Notebook

It was not a hard decision to ditch the cable and get my audiovisual entertainment exclusively from the internet. I was always at odds with the TV because no matter the provider, no matter the channel, I rarely found what I wanted to watch. Sometimes The History Channel would have something other than Christian and World War II history. Sometimes. Sometimes…shoot, most educational channels have largely ditched their documentaries, so most of the channels I once watched I no longer bothered with.

Then came Netflix. Those scarce documentaries I wanted to see but never caught? I find them, and many more, so easily now.

Recently the site added Mile…Mile & a Half, a documentary of hikers on the 211-mile, 25-day John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas, done by those hikers. I would love to go backpacking one day, so I don’t mind arm-chair traveling for now (though I…

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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 Second Commandment: Expect Nothing

Hiker Entitlement??

Simple Title About Hiking

“Oh you don’t have to do anything; this is just Southern Hospitality.”

One of the most common mistakes I see hikers make is assuming towns along the trail cater specifically to them. There’s nothing wrong with asking for “Hiker Pricing” at a hotel, but it’s a bit of a jump to order food at a restaurant and ask after the fact if you can get your meal for free or wash dishes for the food. I don’t recommend either of these methods as you can easily give the server/restaurant the impression that hikers are freeloaders with no concept of respect and an inflated sense of entitlement.

In my experience, you get more when you ask for less.

My hike ran into financial struggles at various points along the trail. My bank locked me out a few times, cards weren’t accepted, and money was just not available for the majority…

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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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Splitting up Gear Among Hiking Partners

Just Two Hikers

Since the question of how we as a couple split our gear while backpacking has come up numerous times, I thought I would write a post in response.

First, let me say there is no right or wrong here.  Every couple is different, and has different priorities, this is definitely a HYOH (hike your own hike) subject.

So, what do we do?  How do we split our gear?  How do we decide who should carry what?

Who Should Carry What? Who Should Carry What?

Since Dirt Stew is bigger, faster and stronger than I am, he carries more gear.  This helps to even things out at least slightly, although even if Dirt Stew carried everything and I carried nothing, he would probably still be faster.  We like to think of ourselves as a team more than individuals, and we both bring our own strengths.  But even though we are a team, we realize that there are…

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