For reasons I can only explain as “because I wanted to try it” about four months ago I decided to try consuming the pre-made liquid version of Soylent, called “Soylent 2.0“, on a near 100% consumption level, supplemented with some solid food in the form of Greenbelly Bars, bananas, avocados, artichoke hearts, pickles, and whatever fruit I could get my hands on – pears, peaches, plums.
I had already been consuming the powdered version of Soylent, usually a couple of bags per week, for a few years. When the liquid version of Soylent came out I ordered a single box of it, 12 bottles, to see how I would like it. After throwing it into the fridge overnight, the next day I had some for lunch, and I found it to be totally acceptable in flavor and texture.
As a long time user of the powdered versions of Soylent, the idea of having it pre-made, I have to say, excited me more than it probably should have.
Banana purée is, simply put, bananas that have been peeled and puréed – think very thick applesauce, except bananas.
This is a great way to have bananas while out hiking, or even around the house, and I prefer it over dehydrated banana slices because it is more versatile and easier to use – because dehydrated banana slices are usually really really hard to rehydrated and are nasty nasty nasty if you do. With banana purée it is very easy to rehydrate it – it can very easily be rehydrated for use in smoothies (even trail smoothies), and because the bananas are in purée form you can do a lot more too it, such as add vanilla or other fruit purée to give it some different flavors.
The other day I got some PROBAR Fuel Bars and I pretty much instantly fell in love with them!
A little over a month ago I wrote about my thoughts regarding the PROBAR Core Protein bars and while I found them to be good, they just did not really match up to the awesomeness of the PROBAR Meal bars that I have loved and used for a year or so – it is not that they were no good, they were just not my style of a bar, I like soft and gooey type of bars! If you are looking for a way to supplement some protein into your hikes, the Core bars are totally worth taking along and I intend to take them along on my future hikes, but they are just not going to replace the Meal bars for me.
I had this to say regarding the Meal Bars in my article on the Core Bars:
The texture, flavor, and size of the PROBAR Meals are something I simply cannot see myself letting go of.
Amazingly, I think the time has come for me to recant that statement!
Because I got some of these “Fuel Bars” and it was just one of those magical “omg – this is awesome!!” moments.
To keep this simple, here are the reasons I have fallen in love with these Fuel bars:
Soft & Gooey!
Half the size of a Meal bar – which makes eating them easier while hiking
Less large nuts inside of them (it seems a lot of the Meal bars have one large almond in them, and I do not like almonds – or walnuts – so I am always biting into a Meal bar, finding it, and spitting out the almond – regardless of how good they are for hikers)
To address the second issue of them being half the size. One of the things I have always done with the Meal Bars was to open a package and break off a third to half of them and leave the rest in the package for thirty or sixty minutes down the trail. Sometimes I forgot about them and they got kinda hard – all too common late at night on the trail. By going with a bar that is half the size, they just seem to be the perfect size to consume all at once. Granted this might result in a micro-amount of additional weight and waste due to the extra package material, but micro is really the right term here, when compared to the size of the larger Meal bar packages. Nit-picky issue and one that does not even warrant my scale being used and my time being wasted testing such matters. All in all, I am just finding that when I am hiking down the trail, I am reaching for the Fuel bar because it is a more manageable size and amount of food I want to consume at any given time.
On both a calorie and protein basis, I will have to consume two of the Fuel Bars to get about the same amount as I do from a single Meal bar, so given that I typically break my Meal Bars into two pieces, that is pretty much the same thing.
Economically they also seem to be about the same. A 12 pack of the Meal bars go for $35.48 on their website. Two packs of 12 of the Fuel Bars go for $35.20 on their website. Pretty much an even issue there too. Amazon.Com offers them as a “subscribe and save” for $16.99 per 12 pack, making two 12 packs of them $33.98, so that is what I plan on doing to save a couple of bucks.
From a flavors perspective, there are a lot more options for the Meal Bars, as there are only four (4) flavors of the Fuel Bars: Blueberry, Cherry, Cran-Raspberry, and Strawberry. The blueberry is by far my favorite, with Charry in second place. I pretty much hate watermelon and strawberries, so the strawberry got the down-vote from me, with the Cran-Raspberry taking third in my preference. Here is the thing though, regarding flavors: As Brian Green has said regarding the PROBAR Meal ‘Oatmeal Raisin‘ bars, “Can you say breakfast? This is the perfect morning snack bar. Like having a bowl of delicious oatmeal in a bar” – yeah, he is dead on right about them! I eat one of the Oatmeal Raisin Meal Bars every morning and have zero intention of stopping. He also said good things about the Superfruit Slam, which is probably my favorite PROBAR Meal.
While a bit off-topic, a couple weeks ago I was down at my local hiking store and they had some of the PROBAR Bolt bags, which are kind of like gummy bears, only packed with a lot of stuff that is suppose to be way better for you than gummy bears – giggle. Usually I like orange flavored stuff (it reminds me of the orange and vanilla ice cream bars I use to eat when I was little) so I bought a bag of the PROBAR Bolt Orange and they were pretty neat. I did not get any bolt of energy from them, but they made for a nice distraction while hiking on down the trail. For some of you they might be totally worth buying – if for nothing else than the flavor change-up in your mouth from the other PROBAR bars, they have a bit too much sugar for my likes. The PROBAR Halo bars are something I will likely never take with me either – for as Scott Williamson has said for a rather long time, “I avoid sugar on the trail because sugar highs and crashes affect my hiking“.
So I think my plan going out on my next hike is to take my usual Oatmeal Raisin bars for breakfast per day, one Superfruit Slam per day, and for the rest of each day I will be taking with me the Blueberry and Cherry Fuel Bars, probably three packages of each, to offset the PROBAR Meal bars that I would normally consume throughout the day. Anyway, that is the plan and I will update everybody later this year if this idea works out.
If you get a chance to try out some of these PROBAR Fuel Bars give them a try and let me know what you think! If you have already given them a try, likewise, let me know what you think of them!
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that the products mentioned within the content of this article were not supplied to me in exchange for services.
As of April 2013 I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell America, Gossamer Gear, Black Rock Gear, Suluk46.
Never been a big fan of talking about trail food, but two years ago I learned a hard lesson while on a long hike: a high calorie trail diet is a good thing, but if you ignore protein intake, it can have consequences. This put me on the quest to learn as much as I could about protein and how to acquire it while out on the trail in manners that did not add significant weight to my already heavy food bag, or result in me taking food that would spoil easily. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy nutrition, so learning about foods that contain high levels of protein and trying to find ways to integrate them into my normal day to day trail life became yet another microquest in the life of hiking.
During the early part of the 2012 hiking season I started using the ProBar Meal bars as a way to add some extra calories to my daily nutrition. Anytime I could afford to buy a few cases I would pick up a box of the Superfruit Slam, Wholeberry Blast, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate, and recently the Oatmeal Raisin. They are all in the 370 – 390 calorie range, and average between 8 and 10 grams of protein. They are soft, not sticky, and not crumbly – three keys to what I feel makes a great bar to eat while you are on the go.
The ProBar Meals are 90 grams (3.17 oz) each, including the packaging which are 2 grams, making each bar average out to 88 grams (3.10 oz) of food substance.
So you are getting an average of 380 calories and 9 grams of protein for 88 grams of weight.
PROBAR Core Protein:
Enter: the new “Core Protein” bar from PROBAR. Whoever it was at PROBAR that decided to take on the task of building a high protein bar should get a raise. This is something the long distance hiking community needs. Continue reading “ProBar Core Protein”→
For me the weight of food while out on a long distance trail is typically 60-65 percent of the total weight of my backpack. This revelation has been causing me to evaluate the wisdom of some of the food I have been using the last few years.
As with all of my “Applicational Hiking” articles, what I do within these articles is purpose a few ideas, none of them any better or worse then another, and try to draw out thoughts and ideas from other hikers, so that we as a world-wide hiking community may be able to gain wisdom and insight into better methods of how to approach hiking.
Within this article I am going to take a very simple example of how dehydrated or freeze-dried food can potentially result in a heavier backpack, and a greater ounce-to-calories weight ratio than off-the-shelf food bought in just about any local trail-town.
What I have is a single serving pro-pak bag of Mountain House ‘Chili Mac with Beef’ – a freeze dried meal of chili, beef, macaroni and beans. By far not the best meal out there, but one that stays in my food back for one of those long hard wet trail days. On my scale it is 136 grams (4.797 ounces) for the entire package.
Now, here is where I want us all to stop and go “hmmm” for a moment.
Is 136 grams, or 4.8 ounces, really the true weight of that meal?
No, am not talking about the weight of the bag…
Rather, I am talking about the weight of the water and water container required for us to carry for potentially miles and miles, so that at the end of the day we can enjoy that hot cooked meal of chili mac and beef.
Stop and ponder on that a moment. It is not just the weight of the bag of food that we have to take into consideration, but we also have to take into consideration, as long distance hikers, that we typically do not have a nice creek, river, or water source sitting right next to our campsite every night out on the trail. We might have to carry the 14 or so ounces of water needed to hydrate the meal, for potentially miles and miles.
The weight of the water to cook your single meal, carried inside of a smart water bottle is around 500 grams, or 17 ounces.
This just took a single meal from around 136 grams to around 636 grams (4.8 oz to 22.5 ounces).