OR - Backpackers Pantry Olive Oil - Ray Estrella
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Backpacker's Pantry Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
By Raymond Estrella
October 28, 2012
NAME: Raymond Estrella
LOCATION: North Western Minnesota, USA
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)
I've been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, Minnesota, and many western states. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly ultralight, I try to be as light as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot evening meals. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.
Manufacturer: Backpacker's Pantry
Web site: www.backpackerspantry.com
Product: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Years manufactured/used: 2009-12
MSRP: US $4.80 for a six-pack
Size (each): 0.5 fl oz (14.7 ml)
Actual gross weight each (incl. packaging): 0.5 oz (14 g)
The Backpacker's Pantry Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is just that. It is small packets of olive oil meant that are convenient to carry backpacking. They come in a plastic bag with six packs of oil inside. Each pack, which is 4.5 x 2 in (11.4 x 5 cm) holds 0.5 fl oz (14.7 ml) of olive oil. (For another way to look at it, that is one tablespoon.) The puffy packs are about 0.25 in (9 mm) thick.
There is no nutritional information printed on the packs or on the plastic bag, but a toll-free phone number is listed to call for it. As I have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil right here at home I can hit the main points. Each pack contributes 120 calories, all of it as fat to the tune of 14 g. They break down as so.
Saturated Fats: 2 g
Trans Fats: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fats: 2 g
Monounsaturated Fats: 10 g
Olive oil is considered to be one of the healthiest oils. Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist Donald Hensrud, M.D. says this on their Nutrition & Healthy Eating web page. "The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat." There is a lot of information online for anybody interested in more.
The first time I used these packets was in spring of 2009 as part of a meal. Later that year I saw the 6-packs at a retail store and bought them. To try to list all the places I have hiked would be ridiculous but suffice to say they have been along for a lot of hiking in California, Minnesota, and North Dakota. I have had them at least 25 times in just the past three years. Temperatures when used have ranged from over 100 F (38 C) in the Sespe Wilderness to -10 (-23 C) in Voyageurs National Park.
I have been using olive oil as a way to boost calories since 2004, the year I got into mountaineering. Long hard days at low temps really burns the calories. I used to carry it in little plastic bottles. I first saw these individual packets in early 2009 and later that year saw the 6-packs for sale in a retail store. I bought one there. Later I ordered some directly from Backpacker's Pantry as I place a large order once a year. Somehow my thought process messed up between wanting "a 6-pack" and hitting the amount because when I got my box of meals I pulled out olive oil, and more olive oil, and yet more olive oil. I had ordered six 6-packs! I still have lots of oil as is seen in the picture above, but that's OK as it should last quite a while in the foil packets since they are not bothered by light or oxygen. (I keep them in a cool place.)
The packets are quite strong. I have never had one leak.
While I mainly use these as a calorie booster for pre-packaged freeze dried meals they are also handy to have for possible use frying fish (or whatever else may want to be fried I suppose). When my regular hiking partner was out of action due to knee surgery I did a few trips with a friend that is really into trout fishing. I dusted off my old UL trout rig for the trips with her and brought the Backpackers Pantry oil along.
That's about all I can think of to say about olive oil. ;-) I expect to be using these handy little packs for many years to come. Maybe they can come out with a garlic-infused version. Yum