I’m a lazy backcountry eater. I don’t like spending time thinking about what meals to prepare for my trip. My happy place while adventuring generally resides within simply having enough easy calories to shove into my mouth before hanger can set in. This usually results in dinners of energy bars or pouring water into a bag.
Therefore, when I learned about Fireside Provisions, my interest was definitely peaked. The gist is that a hungry camper planning a trip can go onto its website, click through a variety of breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner options, pick the dates the food is needed for, and have it delivered where requested in a nice orderly box ready to go with ample instructions on how to make it as tasty as the photos look. I had to give this a try.
But, why this company?
Whenever I do a review, I like to start with the actual company providing the product. I believe in voting with your dollars. What companies we decide to support as consumers matters. So, how does Fireside Provisions fare here?
The company sources its food wherever possible from responsible farms, importers, and food artisans. Many of the ingredients used in its meals are organic and made locally in the Bay Area. There are also options when ordering to make substitutions for special ingredients, such as wild-caught salmon. Basically, it’s food you can feel good about putting in your body.
On top of this, the company has a clear commitment to the environment with 1% of sales going to nonprofits working to create a healthy planet, and much of its packaging being reusable, recyclable, or compostable. The label on the jar of Popop’s Pancakes mix encourages the user to recycle or reuse it, and I’m happy to report that mine is currently functioning as the perfect tea holder. This is important. If we’re going to use the planet for our adventuring, we need to make sure we’re using products that care about it too.
So, how’s the ease of use for lazy (and, I mean, non-lazy, too) campers?
Fantastic. It was great to have the work taken out of thinking through a meal plan, going to the store, battling the absurd checkout lines of urban grocery shopping, packaging everything up, etc. Instead, I went online, drooled over tasty photos of things I wanted to eat, clicked on which ones I wanted, checked out, had the box of food delivered to the location I was traveling to for my trip, picked it up, plopped it in the canoe, and was off.
The meal options also offer a range of effort levels. Some are as simple as mixing all of the ingredients together with hot water. Others require one to break out the cast iron skillet and fashion up a Dutch oven. While most generally require a little more effort than the “pour water into this bag and wait 10 minutes” that I’m used to, it’s worth it and it’s made easy with clear step-by-step directions.
BONUS: It’s all incredibly cute. Your meals arrive bundled up with twine like you’re opening a gift. Potatoes are cozied in little burlap sacks. Spices are measured into tiny, compostable Ziploc baggies. The experience of preparing the meals feels somewhat pampering.
Uh, what about the actual food already?
My boyfriend, who enjoyed this food with me as we paddled 250 miles down the Missouri River, summed it up well in his blog on the journey, in which he writes, “We ate like kings queens.”
The meals are easy, but without sacrificing variety or taste, and there are ample options for those who may be gluten-free or vegetarian. Overall, it’s food that would be good even if you haven’t spent the day physically exhausting yourself.
A few notes:
- Fireside Provisions’ breakfast game is on point. We ate scones with assorted jams, summer sausage hash, various scrambles, and pancakes with bacon and real maple syrup. This was not my usual instant oatmeal packet.
- All of the lunch wraps are delicious, and honestly, probably something I’ll try to replicate at home to pack for my work lunches. Top 2 favorites: the Topanga Thai peanut chicken wrap and the Golden Gate spicy tuna salad wrap.
- Wasn’t a huge fan of the Bamboo Bowl pork-fried rice. The jerky was an odd texture for the meal and the hoisin sauce was a little overpowering.
- Top 2 favorite dinners: the Fire Tower Thai red chicken curry and the Dragon Bowl cashew ginger rice, both incredibly tasty—and campfire pizzas are also just a fun time.
PRO TIP: Since most dinners can be made vegetarian, if you want meat, make sure to add enough for both your wraps and your dinners when ordering; otherwise, you may end up a chicken packet short—and tuna just doesn’t always substitute the same.
I will absolutely use Fireside Provisions again. Five stars! Good company, good food, and makes eating in the outdoors easy. It’s a clear win.