Two companies you NEED to know
We are truly fortunate to have reached a number of companies (including L.L. Bean, Garmin, ENO Hammocks, USAopoly, and others) who have supported our mission, believed in our vision and sponsored us with various pieces of gear or supplies. Although we are always super grateful to them and love using their stuff, we try to keep our blog focused on the parks rather than shout outs to our favorite companies. Sorry sponsors, no matter how great your product is it can’t compete with this…
^gorgeous fall colors from Acadia National Park^
That said, I wanted to highlight two specific sponsors today that we have very cool connections to. You may not recognize their names as well as Garmin, but you really should!
#1 During our few weeks off the trail over Christmas, we connected with a company that was already represented in a few of the items that filled our stuffed car. ALPS Mountaineering is a camping gear supplier that provides everything from backpacks to camp tables to sleeping pads. I already admired them because in my previous experiences they provided quality gear at extremely reasonable prices with awesome customer service. For example, the ALPS rain/shade tri-awning we purchased before we contacted them was always very sturdy, easy to setup, and when one of the poles was broken ALPS replaced and shipped to us for no cost and no hassle. Plus, it goes for only $149.99. There’s a reason we don’t have any gear from Patagonia or Osprey or any of those other high end brands – it’s insanely expensive! As a thrifty person with mild Scrooge-like tendencies, the value to quality ratio of our ALPS gear as good as it gets. Oh, and where is this awesome company headquartered? In the one and only New Haven, MO just 15 minutes from Elizabeth’s house. So we got to go pick up our gear in person. It was like a second Christmas!
Our ALPS gear we couldn’t live without:
Zephyr 2 backpacking tent (way lighter and smaller than our old REI Half Dome 2)
#2 The packaging of the product from the second company tells you more things it’s not made of than it is made of. Paleonola is a premium granola mix with no grains, no added sugars, no GMOs, no … It’s beautifully natural and short list of ingredients has stuff like nuts, coconut, dried pineapple… We love our Paleonola because it can go with any food and any meal. Or it’s perfect by itself for a snack on the trail. Maybe the one thing I like best is that whenever I eat a couple handfuls of Paleonola I feel like I’m being responsible and giving my body some grade A fuel. And this is coming from a guy whose dream dinner is 3 bowls of Cocoa Pebbles and a full carton of ice cream (with a little help from Elizabeth ;)). But at least sometimes I realize I should be a little bit of an adult and give my body what it deserves after climbing that mountain. Oh, and we love the whole Paleo movement in general. Elizabeth is an especially big believer after she transformed her health with a strict Paleo challenge where you don’t eat ANY grains, dairy or added sugars called Whole 30. Then during one of many driving marathons this year our Paleo interest was further solidified when we listened to an audio book, called Grain Brain, about the negative effects of eating modern day grain products on your brain. All that to say, we really believe in the product and philosophy of Paleonola.
- Piña Colada– our favorite; so delicious it makes no sense that it’s healthy.
- Maple Pancake– you wouldn’t even miss your hotcakes in the morning.
- Chocolate Fix– great solo or makes a great desert with almond butter.
- Apple Pie– mixes well with vanilla greek yogurt; questionably Paleo, unquestionably delicious.