THE OPEN ROAD – Those three words stir up ideas of freedom, discovery and adventure around every corner. The opportunity to put aside your everyday worries, give in to the pull of endless adventure and to liberate yourself from a schedule tied to arbitrary hours. The open road represents a path outside of everyday life where we are no longer constrained by time or routine; you allow yourself to be taken wherever the road leads.


    When we decided to take to the open road to visit the beautiful state of California for the first time we had little knowledge of what to expect or even where we would be going.  With our car packed with only the basics, rock climbing gear, trail running gear and simple camping supplies, we opened Google maps and took to the road.



    TIME IS IRRELEVANT – They say that time is not absolute, but relative and flexible, and nowhere is this truer than when you are traveling with no defined notion of where you “need” to be. Days shift around you only because you notice the rising and the setting of the sun. In this state of timelessness you are left with nothing but options of how you enjoy the spaces between each day and night.


    Stresses start to melt away and what becomes important in your life narrows down to the basics: good food, water, shelter and lots of coffee. It was always easy to meet these needs and in fact enjoy them in a way we couldn’t if we were staying in a 5-star hotel. Sleeping in the back of the car, snuggled up in our sleeping bags we would wake up often from the brightness of the moon shining through the windows, as it inched its way across the inky night sky. I could pack my stove and dinner up to a sandy mountaintop to watch the sun set across the beautiful expanse of the desert. In the morning I could wake up to first light, open the tailgate and make a delicious cup of coffee to the sound of birds chirping and squirrels scurrying in the nearby trees.


    There was no need to hurry up; life was easy. That’s the beauty of life on the road, it’s simple and you learn a lot about what is truly necessary. You learn a few things about yourself and figure out how to live as efficiently and comfortably as possible.




    1) Organization – Whatever your chosen mode of transportation for life on the road, I can probably assume it’s smaller than your regular home. Small spaces become cluttered easily so it’s important to have a place for everything. Having an order to how you pack the car each time, ensures you won’t misplace items and keeps a feng shui to the space.


    2) Keep it simple – I always pack twice. By that I mean I take out the clothes and gear I think I need for the trip and then I go through it a second time to pair it down to the mere essentials. Will it be nice to have 5 t-shirts and 5 pairs of pants while I am away? Probably, but do I really need that many items of clothes…nope. Really think about the activities you will be doing, how comfortable you want to be and how long you can get away without having to clean your clothes.


    3) Eat well – Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat poorly. Even without a cooler it’s possible to eat smart and healthy. Good To-Go meals are our go-to food for lunches and dinners. They are quick to make, taste delicious and they are easy to add fresh ingredients to. Fresh food like apples, oranges, bananas, pre-cooked chicken, avocados, bell peppers, spinach, eggs…they all hold up fairly well and add a lot of extra calories to your meals.


    4) H2O – Always have water with you in reusable bottles and containers. This is good for the environment, ensures that you stay hydrated (as you always have water on hand) and best of all will save you a lot of money. It will be easier than you think to find ways to refill your water.


    5) Hygiene – Baby wipes aren’t just for babies. That’s right, you won’t be showering everyday and that’s ok. It’s part of the appeal of the open road, you are forced out of your daily habits and adjust accordingly.

    Credit: Ambassodors Leigh and Spring McClurg

    To learn more about Leigh and Spring visit: Pebbleshoo.com


    Each month we will post a new episode of this video series that will feature our very own Chef Jennifer Scism. The Elevated Kitchen will give viewers a fun and intimate look at Good To-Go, while offering tips on how to enhance your outdoor dining experience.

    In the first episode Jennifer, with a little help from her husband, David, explains why Good To-Go was started – out of necessity. Thai Curry is featured as a hand-made, healthy alternative to the standard freeze-dried, over-processed camping grub.

    Stay tuned for next month’s episode of The Elevated Kitchen!



    What do you get when you mix a 4 star wielding, Iron Chef beating, New York based chef with a outdoor loving, adventure seeking husband and counterpart?  Good To-Go dehydrated meals. This Maine-based company believes that not all dehydrated meals are created equal. Good To-Go has one pointed goal, “to elevate your expectations of what trail food can taste like”. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to be excited for your meal at the end of a long days’ worth of exploring? We think so and are here to see if Good To-Go is the company that can make us say “wow” after eating a dehydrated meal.



    Currently, Good To-Go makes four varieties of meals in both single and double portions. The meals include;

    1. Thai Curry
    2. Classic Marinara With Penne
    3. Smoked Three Bean Chili
    4. Herbed Mushroom Risotto


    • Four meal varieties
    • All meals are gluten free
    • All meals are vegetarian (Thai Curry is pescatarian)
    • Thai Curry won the “2014 Editors’ Choice Snow Award” from Backpacker Mag as well as Gear Junkies “Top 2014 Picks”
    • Ingredients you can pronounce
    • No preservatives or additives

    My wife and I took these Good To-Go meals with us on a little desert excursion last week and had a great time reviewing and testing the product.  We left for the outdoors after finishing up our afternoon workouts and did some hiking on some pretty empty (and hungry) bellies.  We hiked for a while and then decided at sunset to make our meals.

    The directions were super easy to follow and are clearly labeled on the back of the package.  The only real difference from other backpacking meals I’ve tried was the 20 minute wait to re-hydrate the food, which I thought was a little long (but ultimately worth it).

    My wife chose the Herbed Mushroom Risotto while I had to find out if the Thai Curry lived up to its award winning status.  After the meals were prepared and ready we dug right in and let me tell you the Thai Curry was the best tasting dehydrated meal I’ve ever had… period.  I literally said “wow” after my first bite and I barely left enough for my wife to taste test.  I was quite shocked at not only the taste but also the fragrance, the texture, and the perfect amount of spices used.  I was more than satisfied with my meal choice.

    Casi and I both, on the other hand, felt like the Risotto left something to be desired.  It was a little bland and tasted more like a traditional re-hydrated meal rather than something cooked from scratch at home.

    At an average of about 375 calories, all the meals were filling, although I could have probably eaten a double serving of the Thai Curry because it was just that good! My wife was full after her meal and felt like the single serving was the right portion size for her.



    1. The Taste: The overall deliciousness of the meals were far superior than other meals I have tried.  The Thai Curry surpassed my expectations and really does live up to its “2014 Editor’s Choice Snow Award” and Gear Junkies “Top 2014 Picks”.  The Three Bean Chili was probably my second favorite.  Only one of the meals (the Herbed Mushroom Risotto) was “blah”.
    2. The Texture: Most of the time dehydrated or freeze dried meals are little broken up pieces of who knows what and one can hardly determine the contents inside the pouch.  Not with Good To-Go.  You can actually see large dehydrated broccoli pieces, mushrooms, cauliflower, and more.
    3. No Added Preservatives: Good To-Go uses no added preservatives which is awesome!  The dehydration process alone is enough to give the meals a two year shelf life.
    4. Gluten Free: My wife has a thyroid disease that prevents her from eating gluten.  Finding a backpacking product like this is a game changer for her. Nice work Good To-Go!


    1. The Time: 20 minutes to re-hydrate a meal is quite long.  Although my meal was nice and hot at the end of the 20 minute wait, I fear that if I was backpacking in harsher conditions (snow or low temperatures) the meal could get cold before it’s ready to serve.
    2. The Price: I know, I know, you get what you pay for but at $6.75 for single portions and $11.50 for double portions it is a tad on the pricey side.  Good To-Go uses only the best ingredients so naturally the meals will be more expensive but I would have a hard time spending the $11.50 for the double portion of a meal just for myself ($6.75 for a single which wasn’t quite enough for me).
    3. Wheres The Beef?: Currently,  Good To-Go only offers vegetarian or pescatarian choices.  I did read, however, that the company will start producing a new line of meals with meat options (cross your fingers)!



    I only had to ask myself one question when reviewing this product; Would I buy these meals?  My answer is a resounding YES…but only as a reward for a really long day of hiking/climbing/biking.  The meals are tasty enough to splurge on for a special occasion, however, I don’t think I could justify spending $7-11 dollars on one meal every time I go backpacking.  With that being said, I could eat that Thai Curry every meal for a week and not get tired of it!

    This company is filling a much needed gap in the backpacking meals space with these high quality meals. If you are looking for a superior tasting meal with quality ingredients than Good To-Go meals are a no-brainer. You can purchase them straight from their website and get free shipping on orders over $75!


    Check out Arizona Hiker’s Guide for more great gear reviews.

  • Backcountry Food Review: Good To-Go Dehydrated Meals



    Although I’m not 100 percent positive, I suspect most dehydrated meals come from a lab, not a kitchen. That’s why when I first heard the story behind Good To-Go, I was excited to give them a try. They are the product of an accomplished chef—Jennifer Scism, who you may have seen on Iron Chef and who got turned onto backpacking and the outdoors after a successful career as a restauranteur. Not happy with the backcountry meals available at the store, Scism set out creating her own with a countertop dehydrator. The result, after a lot of trial and error, is a current line of four meals—each of which I’d be more than happy to pack into elk camp this fall.



    by David Draper

    See more at: http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/the-wild-chef/backcountry-food-review-good-to-go-dehydrated-meals?src=SOC&dom=fb

  • The LoadOut Room’s: 10 Fathers Day Gifts For Camping


    If your Father is like mine, when asked what he wants for Fathers Day, it’s either, “Nothing” or “Just some peace and quite.” We all know they have something in the back of their mind or like surprises, especially if it lines with their interest. We at the Loadout Room have compiled a list of items we believe any outdoor loving/camping enthusiast father would appreciate. If you’ve been racking your brain or forgot Fathers Day is just around the corner, hopefully we can help you find something for the new father to the old curmudgeon.

    *We have reviewed these products or in the process and have a very strong feeling about their overall performance.


    Go-To-Go Meals and Sea to Summit Titanium Folding Spork

    10 Fathers Day Gifts For Camping

    For fast, easy, and absolutely delicious meals in a package, its hard to beat GOOD-TO-GO dehydrated meals. Then gourmet meets dehydrated foods, you get meals that knock it out of the park like Herbed Mushroom Rissoto and Thai Curry. If your father wants more from his meals and stays on the healthy side, he’ll love these made in Maine, USA flavor concoctions. GOOD-TO-GO meals MSRP – $6.50-10.75. The Sea To Summit Titanium Folding Spork rounds it out and makes sure your dad’s never without a utensil. The ultralight and compact design make it too easy to not take on any adventure or excursion. The Sea To Summit sport MSRP – $16.95 and fits easily within any camp-stove setup.

    Fathers-Day-Gifts-Yeti-Cooler-Good-To-Go-FoodsFathers-Day-Gift-Guide-Good-To-Go-FoodsFathers-day-gift-guide-good-to-go-foodshydro-flask-father-day-gift-guidegift-guide-whiskey-good-to-go-foodsWritten by: 
    Read more: http://loadoutroom.com/16188/10-fathers-day-gifts-camping/#ixzz3dEkdIlVq