Fillo’s Walking Tamales + Bushka’s Kitchen Meals

While March winds and April showers abound, local trailwork crews are tackling trail maintenance needs as fast as the snow recedes. This cold and wet season is not a fun time to take a lingering lunch break nor do the prep work required for a fancy backpacking dinner. As I lead early-season trail crews, I’m frequently eating lunch on my feet and then getting back to work as quickly as possible before I become chilled. Later, I look for a just-add-hot-water dinner so I can go to bed at hiker midnight (just past sunset!) on backcountry trips.

Enter Fillo’s Walking Tamales as my preferred trailwork lunch for cold weather. As the name implies, this is a lunch that can easily be enjoyed while on the move. My favorite version is the Bean Salsa Habanero since I love a spicy meal on a cold day, coming in at 260 calories per bar with an ingredients list that is 100% pronounceable, containing no preservatives. Everything in the Fillo’s line is vegetarian and gluten-free, and those looking for less spice may enjoy the mild Bean Salsa Verde.       

Come dinnertime, my go-to brand of freeze-dried meals is Bushka’s Kitchen. The Hunter’s Pie is my favorite, featuring ground venison and mashed potatoes with carrots and peas. The pouch serves one at 780 calories and contains less sodium than most freeze-dried meal options. I find it takes a little longer than the three-minute wait time indicated on the package instructions for the meal to rehydrate, but it is always still nice and hot when it’s time to chow down, even on the coldest of spring nights. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available. Find them at Hyperspud Sports in Moscow or through Garage Grown Gear online.

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