BWCA Anyone try Trailtopia meals? Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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      Anyone try Trailtopia meals?     

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HappyHuskies
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02/01/2018 02:24PM  
Just recently stumbled across a company called Trailtopia that makes meals that sound appealing. I've never heard of them, but each year when I'm ordering food for the coming season I like to try a couple of meals from a company that is new to me. Sometimes I find something that I really like and I continue to order from them and sometimes the experiment does not work out. Their calorie count is pretty low which makes me leery, but thought I'd ask for first hand experience.

A second thought is to try Backpackers Bistro, which sound better based on descriptions of the meals, but there is no nutritional information that I can find on their website, thought I may have just missed it. Again any first hand feedback would be appreciated.

Anyway, this year I think I'll try an offering or two from Trailtopia or Backpacker Bistro or both but again wondered if anyone had tried them and, if so, could recommend a couple of their entrees.

Thanks.
 
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02/01/2018 06:49PM  
I can help you a little. I have tried a Trailtopia Dinner - the Chicken Cashew Curry and did not particularly care for it. It was too heavily spiced for me - not necessarily too spicy hot - just too heavy on the curry spices. But I may try something different this year - just because I didn't like their curry doesn't mean you won't and it doesn't mean I won't like the Jambalaya. The problems I have with aa lot of companies' meals is that the amount I'd like is often just about halfway between 1 and 2 servings. I don't want leftovers and don't want to feel too stuffed, but I do want to be satisfied.

A note on the nutrition is that it may be more calories than you think. The nutrition label that say 360 calories is per serving as is the rest. (All nutrition labels are "per serving" no matter how many "servings" are in a package. A "serving" may or may not be the amount the average person eats.) There are 2 servings in the package, so 720 calories for the package. Likewise the sodium for the package would be 860 mg vs. 430 per serving.

You get the same on Backpackers Bistro, but first a note: my computer is advising me that caution is advised as it is not an encrypted site (which would be preceded by https:// like you see in the address of Trailtopia)).

If you click on their Meat Lover's Beans, you can order a 1-serving package or a 2-serving package. If you put your cursor on the picture and click the arrow that shows up on the right side a couple of times, you'll get a picture of the nutrition label. It will tell you there are 2 servings per container and 470 calories per serving, so a 1-serving package would be that and a 2-serving package would be 940 calories.

A long-winded answer, but hope it helps some. FWIW, I did try some of the Heather's Choice last fall. I liked the Salmon Chowder a lot, but wasn't really crazy about the Doro Wat, and even less so the Strawberry breakfast. I got a couple of the Packaroons, which were tasty, but dry.

 
HappyHuskies
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02/02/2018 03:43AM  
Thanks for sharing Boonie. I agree about 1 person meals that are frequently not quite enough, but 2 person meals are too much. Definitely don't like packing cooked but uneaten food out. I also appreciate you pointing out that rolling over the picture of the meals shows the nutritional info. I missed that and will have to check it out.

Based on your experience I will tread lightly, but will probably try a couple of Trailtopia's meals, just to have something new to try. Thinking about trying the Jambalaya and Ginger Chicken. I don't really need much and tend to rely mostly on things I know from past experience that I will like. I still have quite a bit of unused food from last year, as family illnesses kept me out of the woods most of the summer and fall, so really just looking for new things to experiment with.

Sorry you did not like the Doro Wat. I like most of what I have tried from Heather's Choice and will order from them again. Have not tried any of their breakfast items or Packaroons though. Usually just do a hot cereal for breakfast and trail mix and dried fruit for snacks.



Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience.
 
02/02/2018 06:47AM  
I'll be interested to hear what you try and like. Even the companies I order the most from (Outdoor Herbivore and Hawk Vittles) have things I don't like, so I may try more from Heather's Choice and Trailtopia sometime. I tend to rate them on a scale of 1-5 and have tried enough that I don't have to take one if it's not a 4 or 5 :). But I'm always looking for something new.

I usually just have cold cereal for breakfast, sometimes a hot one. I did try a Trailtopia Oatmeal once and it was good, but they are all in a single serving size that's barely over 200 calories, so even two servings is a little short and a lot of packaging. I could get two (or three) and repackage into one, but it seems a lot of trouble compared to just buying a 600-calorie breakfast I like that's already minimally packaged.

I tend to do best with about 600-calorie meals, a little less is OK and a little more is OK, but 400 is not enough on a continued basis and 700 is pushing it, especially on bean dishes. The bean thing from BB looked good, 940 calories of beans is way too much for me, although 470 could work for one meal, maybe with a little augmentation.
 
billconner
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02/02/2018 07:20AM  
Trailtopia was at Canoecopia last year and gave out samples. Honestly, I was not impressed, but I'm sure I like a lot of things others would not. They are listed as exhibiting this year.
 
HappyHuskies
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02/02/2018 08:40AM  
Bill, You would not happen to remember which meal sampler(s) from Trailtopia you did not care for would you? May give me an idea of what not to try straight off.

Boonie, yea I get a few things from both the Outdoor Herbivore and HawkVittles. I particularly like some of the Outdoor Herbivores cold salads for something different for lunch once in a while. I usually get he Sunflower Salad and Gazpacho. I sometime take a packet of the HopPeaSlop too, but I get tired of this one pretty quickly.

For HawkVittles, I seem to like his stews best, particularly the North African Stew and the Black Bean Stew. I also take one of his potato based breakfasts once in a while for a break from oatmeal.

Thanks again to both of you for your input on Trailtopia. I'll try to report back about anything I liked. Will probably be at least April before I get out again. I like to do an early season backpacking trip in the BWCA once most of the snow has left, but before the lakes ice out. Usually don't see anyone else that time of the year once I'm a half day in or so. Hope to spend more time paddling this year too. It would be hard to do less than I did last year.
 
billconner
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02/02/2018 01:49PM  
I looked on line and didn't recognize it. Seem to recall it was a vegetarian offering. I'll try again this year and try to remember to report back.

 
HappyHuskies
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02/02/2018 04:04PM  
That sounds like a lot of trouble Bill. I appreciate, but I'd just forget it. Thanks for trying.

HH
 
02/15/2018 12:43PM  
Sorry for dragging this up two weeks late, I don't look here much.

I'm a fan of Trailtopia. Their apple crisp dessert is heaven in the woods, though of course just about any dessert is heaven in the woods. I really like their Jambalaya, for precisely the same reason that others have mentioned they don't like Trailtopia - it's heavily seasoned, and that appeals to me when I finally get down to the dehydrated / freeze dried food near the end of a trip. My daughter got the beef stroganoff once, and while it was pretty decent, it wasn't nearly as good as the jambalaya. The dinner portions are huge, however - truly one two-person dinner of theirs is enough for two if you're not a huge eater. I also had one of their lunch ramen packs and it was very good as well. Those are single serving, and it was a bit light for me, but it *is* meant for lunch and I was planning on snacking on other things anyway.

I like that the Trailtopia meals actually look like dry versions of the meal when you open the bag. It probably doesn't really matter in how they taste, but I'm really turned off when I open the bag and it looks like a bag of powder.
 
HappyHuskies
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02/15/2018 01:21PM  
Tom,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm still mulling over what to order from Trailtopia and will probably try a small sample of their meals (and maybe a desert). I like to have a few spicier meals in the pack to change things up, so the Jambalaya sounds like a candidate.

I did just place and order from the other company I mentioned in this thread, Backpackers Bistro. I ordered through Garage Grown Gear ... thanks for making me aware of them Boonie.

I know everyone's taste in trail food is different, but asking can lead me to a few gems that a company makes and hopefully help me steer clear of the clunker that no one (or almost no one likes) Anyway, thank you for the input. It really helps.

HH
 
02/15/2018 02:59PM  
I'm thinking I'll try the bean dish from Backpacker's Bistro myself, Happy Huskies.
 
HappyHuskies
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02/15/2018 04:16PM  
Boonie,

If you do please let us know how you like it. I ordered the Risoto, the Wild Rice Pilaf and the Mexican Rice and Beans. Probably a little spending for Risoto and Pilaf, but I've spent money a lot worse ways and a trip into the BW is always a bargain. I still have quite a few of the Bean Salads from Packit Gourmet and the Black Bean Stew from Hawk Vittles in the freezer, so need to finish those before stocking up on a lot of bean dishes.

HH
 
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