«

»

Aug 05 2013

Report from Summer O.R. show 2013

Walk this way to BC toys galore.

Walk this way to BC toys galore.

Once again, last week was spent in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace, temporary home to the toy palace of every outdoor aficionado’s wildest dreams. Though the focus of EarnYourTurns is essentially winter, we don’t go into hibernation when the weather gets warmer. So I wandered the halls of the Summer Outdoor Retailer show looking for cool accessories that are equally useful no matter what the temperature is.

Energy Bars
My focus this past show was on headlamps and energy snacks, although I must admit nibbling on samples from PowerBar, ClifBar, and Honey Stinger, plus hot samples of the latest dehydrated food from BackPacker’s Pantry did not quite keep the hunger pangs at bay for the entire day. Twice in four days I fell for the satisfaction of a mini-carbo, nutritionally toxic, wheat bomb, sometimes called a soft pretzel. On the days I didn’t, I simply hit on BackPacker’s Pantry twice to sample more of their delicious offerings. My fave was pretty much everyone’s fave, Phad Thai, although the Pad See Ew was rather tasty, as was their new stew, the name of which evades me.

Saquito is a mix of chia & hemp seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries, coconut sugar, rice bran, cinnamon, vanilla bean, Inuun soluble fiber, and stevia leaf extract. The Goji berries give it flavor and keep it from being too dry.

Saquito is a mix of chia & hemp seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries, coconut sugar, rice bran, cinnamon, vanilla bean, Inuun soluble fiber, and stevia leaf extract. The goji berries give it flavor and keep it from being too dry.

Despite the desire to eat something more substantial I must admit that regularly swinging by each of these booths while walking the aisles to and fro did manage to keep my energy up throughout each day. This is hardly evidence that they deliver the energy they claim to deliver, more an endorsement that most have managed to deliver stuff that is tasty enough to want more, although that wasn’t always universal.

One category I was interested in was the use of chia seeds as an energy booster. It was used by the Aztecs for years as an energy food with natural healing powers. Today endurance runners are using it and it has a reputation for helping with weight loss as well as helping cancer patients. Knowing it could be good for me was motivation to see if the concoctions of Mamma Chia and Saquito were good enough to make me want to eat them. My first impression suggests not so much, but taste is a personal thing so don’t take my word for it, try ‘em out if you have a chance. The drink from Mamma Chia was actually fairly tasty, though unexpectedly “thick.” The vanilla goji mix from Saquito seemed a bit dry, but would probably fare better with water and maybe some parmesean cheese.

FRS chews and powder. Not shown? Their delicious canned drinks.

FRS chews and powder. Not shown? Their delicious canned drinks.

Besides the waffles from Honey Stinger and the Pad Thai from Backpacker’s Pantry the offerings from The FRS Company were the tastiest. The core ingredient in FRS products is quercetin, a natural anti-oxidant found in many fruits and vegetables that was developed to helped maintain energy for chemotherapy patients. That knowledge has been turned into a line of drinks (bottled or canned), powders, and chews. Their energy drink reminded me of EmergenC for its fizzy quality and citric zing. So too do their bite size chews.

More on headlamps and other tidbits to follow soon. Despite the fact that August has only just begun, old man winter has already begun to shut summer down as the days grow shorter in the northern hemisphere.

© 2013