I have been on a quest this summer to find a way to eat healthier while on the trail. During my thru-hike, I ate Pasta Sides pretty much everyday and carried mostly sugary snacks. Looking back, my poor diet made me feel sluggish and tired. Sure, I consumed enough calories, but they weren’t usually from nutritious food.
It’s difficult to eat healthy on the trail. You have to try really hard. Most of the food that is readily available in grocery stores and also meets backpacking criteria (not too heavy, won’t go bad in heat, etc.) isn’t exactly that great for you.
I decided to order a box of dehydrated vegetables from Harmony House in an attempt to consume better food while hiking. I went with the Backpacking Kit because I figured I would want a variety of different veggies. Also, it won Backpacker Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award. I made plans to add the veggies to my evening meals.
The Backpacking Kit comes at a good price of just under $50. The whole box of vegetables will rehydrate into about 45 cups. It seems that $50 is close to what I would be paying for 45 cups of fresh produce anyway, and it takes away the work on my end. I have a dehydrator at home, but not very much patience.
I think that the dehydrated food from Harmony House is awesome. Here’s a few reasons why I love it:
- It seems like an ethical company. It’s owned and operated by a family from North Carolina, close to the Appalachian Trail. I like the idea of supporting a small business rather than buying from a major chain.
- All of their products are non-GMO, Kosher, and gluten-free. They also use BPA-free containers. So that’s nice.
- The vegetables are a delicious addition to my dinners at night. I feel way healthier now that I’m consuming a few daily servings of vegetables. I seem to have more energy than when I only eat pasta with powder sauce for dinner. I feel better overall when I eat a well rounded meal after a day of hiking.
- I lost 10 pounds this hiking season. Disclaimer: I think that myself and all of you are perfect just the way we are. That said, losing a few pounds makes my feet hurt less while hiking since I’m not carrying as much weight, and that’s a good lifestyle improvement for me. It’s not that I think that eating Harmony House veggies was the exclusive reason that I lost a few pounds, but I think making an overall effort to eat healthy food on trail couples nicely with the exercising aspect of hiking.
- As I mentioned above, it is a cost effective purchase. $50 is a good price for a big box of dried veggies.
I used to just eat a plain Pasta Side for dinner at night. I like to get a little more creative now. It tastes better, and I get a variety of flavors and nutrients.
Here’s my “recipe” for my current favorite meal: half of a Pasta Side + a handful of Harmony House veggies + 7-10 pepperoni slices + a few chunks of cheese + a few squirts of Tabasco. (OK, maybe this isn’t super healthy by my mom’s standards, but compared to the average hiker meal it is.)
I recommend Harmony House to any hikers looking to make their trail life a little more nutritious.