There have been many times in the backcountry where I have been having a horrible time. I’m angry that it’s cloudy, I’m frustrated that I’m sweating, my pack is too heavy, my skins are sticking to the snow, my dad is blazing up the mountain without a care in the world. Then I start to be angry at him. Doesn't he know how hard it is for me? I haven’t been doing this for 25 years. I’m not as strong as him. Then my thoughts turn to maybe I shouldn't be doing this at all, how can I possibly climb the tallest mountain in Canada, when I’m having trouble going up this 200 meter hill. Soon after this my ACMG guide father, will stop and suggest we eat. I sit down grudgingly thinking, I don’t need a break, I’m fine, it’s the world that has the problem. As I angrily bite into my bar I think about how good it tastes. The chocolate and the nuts held together by delicious honey. When we start walking again, my mindset has done a 180. I am admiring the peaks around us, smelling the lovely pine trees. Smiling as I gulp in the fresh, cool air of the mountainside. I am now having the time of my life, there is no where I’d rather be. That is the drastic change that food has on me while in the mountains.
While in the mountains I have tried so many different foods. When I was training to climb Mt. Logan, I was looking for the best bars. I bought dozens of bars to bring with me on my training trips. These bars were all full of real ingredients. There are so many organic, gluten free, vegan bars on the market its incredible. I would munch on the delicious lobs of calories during the day. I would feel energized as I came up to my camp. Then as we set up camp, I would become slowly more tired and hungry. We could eat our meal of salt, sugar and MSG. It was light though, so it was worth it… right? Wrong, after numbing my taste buds I would feel full, but my stomach was not happy. Throughout the night I would pass a lot of gas and my stomach would grumble until I awoke. In the morning I would eat nuts and berries and start to feel energized again. The meals I ate at night were full of calories, but they didn't give me nutrients. I have brought real pasta and rice into the mountains. This made me diet similar to at home, but the weight of those meals was much more than of freeze dried or dehydrated food. It works to bring fresh food on short trips, but not on three week trips like Mt. Logan. I did not know how I was going to eat freeze dried meals for so long. After eating them for only a few days it is hard to swallow. I also knew that at high elevations, your appetite is diminished. How was I supposed to eat that grainy and spicy slop, when I didn't want to eat? I had tried so many different freeze dried meals and they all tasted so similar. They were either loaded with salt, or it was bathed in spiciness. When I heard about Nomad Nutrition I was so excited. I knew that I hated freeze dried meals, but I didn't think there was anything better. After trying it, I was thrilled to bring it with me on my expedition. On the trip we ate some other freeze dried meals. This meant that we could compare them, and the difference was huge. I could see all of the real veggies in the package of Irish Shepard’s Pie when I opened it. The flavour was all real, not extremely spicy or very salty. I was eager to try all of the Nomad Nutrition meals, but we couldn't eat them all at once. After climbing Mt. Logan I still had some left. I ate them while on the road and on other backcountry trips. Eating them along side every day food showed me that they are great food period, not just compared to dehydrated meals.