Gear Guy

Wild Salmon Jerky     Photo: Courtesy of Patagonia

Q:

The Best Trail Snacks: Patagonia Provisions: Wild Salmon Jerky

I'm going on a long backpacking trip and am looking for a good, healthy snack that won't weigh down my pack or my stomach.

A:In June, gear manufacturer Patagonia released its boutique jerky in black pepper, chili, and teriyaki flavors. This strange move from a maker of tents and rain jackets has a political motivation as well as commercial one. Patagonia argues that selling wild, river-caught salmon will create a greater demand for the product, directing sales away from environmentally harmful farmed salmon, with its pollution, antibiotics, and other chemical hazards. River-caught is better than wild sea-caught, Patagonia claims, because open-water hauls sometimes contain endangered species.

As for the jerky itself, it was the most expensive (at about $6.25 per ounce) and the least tasty. Patagonia’s offering has the least salt of the group (480 milligrams per ounce), but it was dry and leathery. The ingredients are simple and natural. The taste itself is pleasant enough, with a faint hint of sweetness and soy sauce. Gear Girl liked this one the best, probably because it was wasn’t at all fishy. I was disappointed not to taste a bit of those cold British Columbia rivers.

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