For your trail or Paleo diet, we got yummy

2At the Summer Outdoor Retailer, we met fine folks from The New Primal, a small South Carolina company. They make wicked good jerky. And I say that as someone who needs a strong and well-reasoned temptation to veer from my usual vegetarian ways.

The New Primal jerked my chain. Call me the New Convert.

Aside from its savory taste and superior ingredients (Nothing murky: no chemicals or preservatives. Grass-fed beef.), the growing company gives us a wonderful variety of easily-packable protein options. I totally fell for their Trail Pack containing a delicious blend of beef jerky, cashews, almonds, and dried mango. Yum.

We sent New Primal packs out to a few UtahOutsiders. Here’s what they had to say:

UO kayaker:

Trail Pack from New Primal

Trail Pack from New Primal

I’ve been eating beef jerky for as long as I can remember. As a kid, jerky was one of the most important staples on long road trips out west. I remember really starting to dig it as a young boy spending summers out on a Montana ranch where my mom worked.. It made me feel manly and rugged. No matter what it tasted like, I just wanted to look and feel like a grizzled cowboy.

However, I’ve developed a more graduated palate. And the sustainable mission of The New Primal along with delicious guilt-free taste is a perfect blend of goodness for the soul.

1UO backpacker:

I took the Free Range Turkey Jerky on a weekend camping trip. I had it by itself, with cheese and crackers, and even threw some in a rice and bean dish for dinner. What stands out is its flavor: subtle, sweet, mesquite. It is not overwhelming, nor does it taste like a bunch of chemicals or other imitation flavors. The real deal!

I’m not a jerky connoisseur, but it’s the best I’ve had.

Pretty on the Path

AdvStu-9-editlores-218x300Here’s the thing about jewelry and women like us (smart, lively, and outdoors-y):

We appreciate style, but will choose no-fuss over fashion.

We enjoy earrings and necklaces, but not if they get in the way or cost too much.

We especially like products and companies with a good back story.

Adventurista Designs has these elements in spades.

We met founder Meghan Holler at the Outdoor Retailer this summer.

Holler is an adventurista, defined here as an active woman with a passion for travel and exploration.

She lives in Missoula, Montana, but has traveled widely. She’s hiked, biked, and kayaked in Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru. She took a horseback tour in Bolivia, checked out the Galapagos Islands, Cuba and parts of the Middle East as well.

Over the miles and years, she honed her sense of what works and what wholly fails when seeking to look good on the go. She sought out jewelry for active women, but found a whole lot of tribal and stick figure stuff. “It was all kind of masculine,” said Holler. “Not something I’d want to wear if I was going out ad vento dinner or dressing up.”

Soon after landing in Missoula, Holler decided to solve the problem. She created Adventurista Designs to fill the niche, to “offer something I could never find.”

The result is lovely, functional pieces you can wear in the barn or boardroom, on a horse, mountain, or plane.

I tried Puff Drop and Large Open Oval earrings. Both were so light, I forgot I was wearing them until a friend said, “I love your earrings!”

The Puff Drops are made of sterling, but are hollow so they swing easily and don’t pull on your ear. If pearl studs are that standard go-to earring for a classy look, these are the happier, more fun-loving alternative.

I also wore the Water Drop necklace which features enamel beads and a sterling drop on a colorful cord. It has a fabulous magnetic clasp which not only makes it super easy to attach, but proved itself worthy on a recent ride:

My horse and I were navigating a tricky stretch of trail, thick with juniper and very steep. I asked her to turn off an AdvStu-21lores-2embankment, but she balked and barged through the brush. I ducked quickly and felt juniper branches scraping down my neck and back. They snagged the necklace’s thin cord. Had the clasp not released, I’d either have a broken necklace or a very sore neck. Thankfully, I had neither and retrieved it from the trail, still good as new.

Another nice thing about Adventurista Designs? No middle man. You can order straight from home and take comfort that in a little western Montana shop, a few like-minded women are crafting your next favorite trinket.

When Ordinary is Extraordinary

deerEver have a day that stands out from all the rest? Not for anything you did, but because of serendipity and perhaps a peak in your awareness? That day can have you scratching your head and wondering about the world. Being aware, in turn, makes you more aware.

If you in the Big City, it might go something like this:

  • You stumble upon an odd, aggressive dispute between a street vendor and his customer. You watch and walk. Within a minute, they’ve gone from fisticuffs to sorting it out, fist-bumping and nodding.
  • You watch an elderly couple, with matching outfits, holding hands as they shuffle down the street.
  • You continue on your way and spot a dollar bill floating towards you in the air, like a leaf from a tree.

coyThe Big Outdoors gives us days like that, too:

  • Midway through a three-mile hike, we met a coyote, not 80 feet away. It barked and the dogs sprinted after it. They topped the ridge and kept going, with me sprinting and yelling after them (Coyotes are known to lure and prey on domestic dogs.) Two minutes later, the dogs return, tails wagging.
  • Later, I head out again for a ride with the mule. Placing the saddle pad on her back, I notice an odd divot. Oh, but it’s not a divot. It’s a channel of missing wool, gone like a scoop of ice cream. Bad, bad mice. How dare they prepare for winter at my expense? (My gear now must be moved from the shed to the house.)
  • Jolene and I enjoy this fading day of autumn. We’re working hard and have climbed a thousand feet hawkelevation via rough ridges and gullies. A red-tailed hawk circles repeatedly overhead, turning and tilting its head to best scrutinize us. At one point, it poops in our general direction.
  • We spot a mule deer ahead of us. She watches. I expect her to peel off as deer usually do, putting quick distance between us. Instead, she steps deliberately into the cover of a juniper tree, not taking more than 10 steps, and continues to watch as we pass.

The encounters bundled together for a day rich with action and reaction.

joleneThe Big City offer a buzz of humanity; the Big Outdoors offers the buzz of wilderness and wildlife. What’s your pick?

With UtahOutsider Interviews, we’re asking folks a related question:

Do you feel that you’re a part of the outdoors or that you’re simply a user of it? Read their answers.

For sure, many feel part of it. But is the feeling mutual?

Do wildlife ever consider us part of their deal? Are we just interlopers and trespassers?

Is that a Leek in your pocket?

leek3-237x300Three safety items you’ve got to have if you’re working with horses, out on the trail, or both:

Knife. Phone. Belt. (The belt is to leash a loose dog or horse. Or apply a tourniquet, etc.)

This summer at the Outdoor Retailer, we met several knife company representatives and brought them one tiny complaint:

Can’t your knives be a tad more feminine?

I do not want a bulky multi-tool on my hip. I have simple needs and don’t feel it’s over-asking for something more svelte. Us ladies have no problem “manning up” but we still like to look good.

The folks at the Kershaw booth were the ONLY responsive ones. And they had plenty of ammo in their answers.

For the past few months, I’ve used the Kershaw Leek pocketknife. Kershaw makes the only American-made, testosterone-free line of knives with its Leek, Chive, and Scallion blades. We’re giving away a Chive and a Scallion!   Become a Remuda Reader to enter.

leek2The Leek, with a three-inch, half-serrated blade, is my favorite.

Here are the pros:

  • It clips unobtrusively to your belt or in your back pocket.
  • It’s easy to grab and flip open one-handed with either hand. (It has a patented, assisted-opening “flipper.” Pretty nifty.)
  • leekIt feels smooth, strong, light, and svelte – qualities not easily combined.
  • It locks open 100 percent of the time, without fail. Unlocking it is a simple, one-handed deal.
  • Unlike many knives of its size, it has a simple slider lock to keep it locked closed, an especially important feature if you’re carrying it on your belt.

Here are the cons:

  • It’s solid stainless steel, otherwise I’d call it solid gold.
  • It’s so skinny and svelte you might forget you have it and then have to surrender it at airport security.

If you’re looking for something even less obtrusive, the Chive blade is under two inches long and it weighs less than two ounces. Super cute while still strong and capable. We’re giving away a Chive and a Scallion! Become a UtahOutsider Insider.


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