by Diane Spicer
This Alpenfuel review was written for one purpose: to try out a hiking food subscription service and pass along the details to you.
No one asked Hiking For Her to write this review.
There is no affiliate relationship between Alpenfuel and Hiking For Her.
The box of hiking food was purchased with my own money, and all opinions and photos belong to me.
Alpenfuel is a family owned business located in Bozeman MT.
It's a simple idea, really: receive a box of lightweight, packaged hiking food for the trail once, or every month.
Someone else does all the work, you just tear open the wrappers and chew.
Alpenfuel provides you with two tempting options:
This review focuses on what's in a Summit Snack Box.
Calories are worth a lot to a hiker.
Just for fun, Hiking For Her tallied up the amount of calories provided in one box of Alpenfuel hiking snacks: 1,132 units of food energy aka "calories".
Now let's look at the distribution of those calories.
Because not all hiking calories are equal.
Here's the short story on hiking fuel:
The long story is here.
The box of hiking snacks in this Alpenfuel review contained food in all of the Big 3 categories.
There was also "mixed" fuel in this box of tasty treats, in the form of two energy bars containing all 3 important hiking nutrients.
The first bar (220 calories) was a Peanut Butter & Strawberries "slightly sweet" selection from Skratch Labs.
As a gluten free hiker, I love this ingredient list.
It's based on two of my favorite sources of protein, peanuts and cashews.
Simple carbohydrates are sourced from tapioca, fruit, oats, quinoa and rice.
The nuts also provide a nice dose of fat, complimented by the medium chain fatty acids in coconut (which burn more quickly and aren't stored as adipose).
The fiber keeps a hiker feeling full for a longer period of time.
And for hikers who want/need to be free of other things beyond gluten, note the plant based (vegan), dairy (lactose intolerant) and soy free formulation.
Somebody took a lot of time to come up with something delicious AND nutritious for us hikers!
The PickyBar (180 calories) was also a nutrient winner, taking a somewhat different approach to the Big 3:
And then they made good on the name of the bar, the Smooth Caffeinator, with these additions:
Just the thing for that last push of the day!
All of this was delicious trail food.
No weird chemical after tastes, no oversalted strange flavor combinations, and no sugar rushes.
There was a nice variety of fruity, nutty, savory, chewy and sweet snacks.
I may or may not have fought over the energy chews with my trail buddy (also husband).
Only one of us had some of those tasty chews left over at the end of the day. I cannot divulge the identity of the hoarder in this Alpenfuel review, but I know where he stashed the (soon to be empty) bag.
Alpenfuel understands that staying hydrated on the trail is critical to safe navigation, strong legs and smart decisions.
That's probably why they chose Skratch Labs drink mixes for you to enjoy in your water bottle.
Note the short ingredient list (below), and the fact that you're getting simple carbohydrates in a tasty format.
Also note that you're getting electrolytes (sodium), important for sustaining your muscle contractions on a hike.
What you're not getting is shocking neon artificial colors.
Also missing: stabilizing chemicals or additives (hard on your liver and kidneys) to extend shelf life.
Have you checked out the grocery store aisle of hiking snacks lately?
And even more specifically:
If you have, you'll know a deal when you see it: $33.25 (at the time of this review) for 8 high quality, delicious trail snacks delivered to your door and sourced from companies you should be paying attention to:
I was impressed that Alpenful took time to include a newsletter explaining why the brands and fuel products were included.
Clearly, a lot of thought and attention to detail goes into picking these snacks, something I appreciate when my time gets tight and I just want to get out on the trail.
Included on the info sheet was a great way to save some money: a code for 15% off your order of any of the products featured in the box, when you purchase in the Alpenfuel store!
Here's another way to get rewarded for making a smart choice:
Once you sign up for a subscription box, you'll begin to earn rewards that accumulate for up to 10% back.
Every time you place an order, you'll earn more points toward rewards.
What are the rewards?
Discounts, up to $20 off depending upon your point balance.
Yet another way to save a bit of money on hiking food!
You are not automatically enrolled in the rewards program.
Be sure to locate the orange gift icon (I know you can predict what it says) on their website and get yourself signed up.
Alpenfuel was started in 2018 by Shaun and Emily.
Because they faced the same thing we all face as hikers and backpackers: limited availability of high quality and tasty trail food combined with limited time in a busy schedule.
So Alpenfuel was created to pull together good hiking food options for you, with an eye toward quality and a fair price, as well as convenience.
Makes sense to me!
That's why I've signed up to receive a monthly box of those satifying hiking calories, and can't wait to see the new brands being introduced each month in their on line store.
Such a fantastic way to try new trail food (that's my taste buds talking), and leave all of the logistics to experienced outdoors folks (left brain chiming in).
Alpenfuel has partnered with an organization called 2% For Conservation to help preserve the fantastic wealth of outdoor opportunities we enjoy here in the United States.
They have pledged to contribute both time and a portion of sales to this preservation effort.
I like the name of this company, because it emphasizes that your hiking food is your body's fuel.
Too often female hikers think that eating "too much", or having a snack when you feel hungry on the trail, is somehow wrong.
When you ask your muscles to carry you up the trail, up the mountain, up to a viewpoint, you need to pay for that work in the form of calories.
That's what your big trail appetite is about, right?
Having the convenience of a snack box sitting on your kitchen counter, filled with tasty, nutritious hiking food ready to roll, makes it easy to stay fueled up for spur of the moment hikes.
As a hiker, I identify strongly with my dog:
A soft place to sleep, a distant second.
So when I saw this chance to check out a collection of carefully curated hiking food from Alpenfuel, did I hesitate?
No, I did not.
And there's no reason for you to hesitate, either.
This food is good stuff, both from the perspective of your taste buds AND from the vantage point of sensible hiking nutrition.
I haven't tried any of the backpacking meals yet, but that's next on my list.
Need more hiking food selection tips before you go?