I have tried going without a stove on a few backpacking trips and except for a quick overnight trip I have not been happy with the results. Longer trips usually involve some sort of protein or meal replacement bar. For those who have never eaten one they are usually a very dense solid bar dipped in some waxy form of chocolate in a sad attempt of giving it flavor. It takes a lot of will power to choke one down. After trying a couple Probar Meal Bars I believe I can put together a stoveless backpacking meal plan I can enjoy.
Brian Green has extolled the virtues of Probars for some time on his blog. With an 8 day backpacking adventure quickly approaching I picked up the Wholeberry Blast and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars up from a local outfitter to see if they are something I could tolerate. I chose those two to get a sample of both a fruity and a nutty bar. The taste of the bars were very distinct from one another and the taste and smell fit the description.
The short review, I found these bars amazing and there are a number of reasons. First and foremost, they actually tasted good. Not just starving backpacker good but sitting at home good. A very close second, these bars are made from real food. The ingredient list did not read like a bad high school chemistry experiment. Opening the Wholeberry Blast you can immediately smell the berries. Looking at both bars you can see the nuts, seeds and berrries and can tell immediately they are made of real food.
I eat a mostly paleo / low card diet and found these bars fit my way of eating better than most prepared alternatives out there. They are mostly seeds, nuts, oats and dried fruits held together with brown rice syrup. The carb content of the two bars I purchased were 43 and 51 total grams with a fiber count of 5 and 6 grams. The total fat content of the two bars were 16 and 22 grams and the calorie count was 360 and 390 calories. The carb count for the bars and the rest of my meal components will be a bit high but it should not be an issue given the activity level of hauling a pack up and down mountains for 12 to 17 miles per day.
Of the Peanut Butter and Wholeberry bars I preferred the berry for its berry taste and sweetness. For this upcoming trip have purchased a variety pack that includes 12 different bars. These will be the backbone of my no cook meal plan. I intend to provide an update after the hike.
Both of the bars were soft and tacky to the touch. They are a dense bar but not a solid or hard bar, they are easy to bite and chew. Did I mention they are tasty? I could have easily eaten more when the bar was gone unlike most others that I have tried. Visually you can see they are made from real food but honestly, they look like bear poo with all the nuts and seeds globbed together. Look at the photo and tell me I’m wrong.
For those who like the convenience of a meal bar but never found one that you like then give Probar a try. You may be surprised.
Disclaimer: I purchased these bars with my own funds and was not obligated to write a review. The opinions are my own.