Trail Butter

Trail Butter

Trail Food
Trail Butter
$7, 8-oz. plastic jar; $5 4.5-oz. resealable tube
Flavors: Ozark Original, Expedition Espresso, Mountain Maple
trailbutter.com

Given the inherent limitations on what you can eat in the backcountry, finding foods that are portable, non-perishable, don’t crumble or get crushed after a couple days in a backpack, and that everyone loves—adults and kids—is challenging, to say the least. Backpacking for three days in Utah’s Coyote Gulch with my family and another family—including four kids age nine to 12 with very different tastes—the tube of Trail Butter I brought became an instant hit with everyone and it disappeared quickly.

We ate this all-natural, nut-based spread on bagels and tortillas, but you could spread it on anything you’d put peanut butter on: bread, vegetables and fruit, etc. A blend of almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, and other nuts with dried fruits, chocolate chunks, seeds, nectar, honey and oils, it has the consistency of crunchy peanut butter and hits all my buckets for what I look for in backcountry food: simple, tasty, and nutritional. If I’m backpacking ultralight, I pay attention to the calories per ounce, and Trail Butter packs between 170 and 200 calories into a two-tablespoon serving (about what you might spread on half a bagel), including 15 grams of fat, a good, slow-burning fuel for long trail days. My kids are more difficult… um, discerning… about what they will eat. So when I find something we all like, and that actually delivers some healthy calories and requires little or no work, it’s a home run. Trail Butter will become a staple of our backpacking trips.

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.

—Michael Lanza