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Gear Guy

What do you like eating on the trail?

Boy, I sick of granola and power bars. What do you, O great gear one, pack to make your days on the trail a little more delectable? Does Mrs. Gear bake you up some tasty morsels, or is there something I can pack in to make that meal at the end of the day more than just a function of ingestion? Rochelle San Francisco, California

A: I'm with you, Rochelle. One energy bar in particular reminds me of an episode of that popular British sci-fi series from the 1950s—"Quatermass"—in which aliens hide their nefarious activities by occupying what is supposedly a "synthetic food" plant. Whenever I bite into these compressed-sludge bars, I think of those aliens.

Clif Bar

Myself, I'm partial to Clif Bars, which have many of the nutritional advantages of other energy bars but in a more cookie-like format. The Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar in particular is tasty ($1.35; I also like Kellogg Nutri-Grain bars, available in the breakfast section of your grocery store. They have a fruit filling, are quite tasty, and have a decent nutritional make-up without too much sugar (more sugar than Clif Bars, though).

I also like bagels and peanut butter—really a good combination for high-energy activities. And bananas, lots of bananas. They're high in carbs and potassium. Lastly, I'm a firm believer in drinking something that has more nutritional oomph than water. Usually that means Fruit Punch Gatorade (the blue stuff disgusts me). But on a day trip from home, I also love to mix up a batch of pineapple-orange-banana juice (find it in the freezer section of your local store, near OJ). That's wonderful-tasting stuff, and really offers a lot to a hungry or thirsty body.

Bon appetit!

Want to be the Emeril of your campsite? Outside's Backcountry Epicure is your three-day induction to backcountry cooking done the Michelin way.

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Lead Photo: courtesy, REI