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Q:

The Best Trail Snacks: Venison, Antelope, and Alligator Stick

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.

"Venison Stick: Fire, with Beef"     Photo: Courtesy of Buffalo Bob's

A:To close out the review—and to cleanse the palate of any sort of hale taste of wild salmon—I decided to go in search of the ordinary type of jerky you can get at any gas station. Almost all of these products contain sodium nitrate, but they hit the spot from time to time and many of us have been there.

To find more exotic varieties than I can get in my local Sonoco, I went on Amazon, where there are 2,744 types of jerky. There's ostrich, kangaroo, pheasant, alligator, caribou, beef, emu, moose, ox, cuttlefish, ahi, bison, turkey, buffalo, bacon, lamb, boar, antelope, elk, squid, venison, chicken, duck, tuna, and reindeer. We tried the antelope, ostrich, alligator, kangaroo, and venison. I’m sure there are exemplary varieties of these jerkies, but the gas-station ones we tried all tasted like Slim Jim, but gamier. I got a nitrate headache. I do recommend the ostrich, however. Bon appetite.

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