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Field testing, South Rim of the Grand Canyon, 1988.

Matt Ashmead chowing down on the Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota.

Backpacker's Pantry - Our Story

Backpacker's Pantry manufactures gourmet backpacking food. 

The company was founded in 1951 by Ann Benedict to supply the Girl Scouts with lightweight, nutritious food for the trail.  The Smith family purchased the company in 1971, and still owns and operates the company to this day out of Boulder, CO.

As outdoor enthusiasts participating in an array of activities, we understand the need to pack light and eat well.  We are dedicated to creating dishes that satisfy not only your palate but your nutritional needs as well.

Our customers are hikers, climbers, kayakers, bikers and all lovers of the outdoors. High in protein, vitamins and carbohydrates, Backpacker’s Pantry meals are designed to fuel any type of adventure, and they require only minimal preparation to enjoy.

Our Food

In addition to Backpacker’s Pantry, we also own and operate Colorado Spice, which supplies all-natural and organic spice blends to restaurants, grocers and snack food companies throughout the U.S.  Backpacker’s Pantry meals are made up of a combination of those same high-quality spices, and freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients.

We use this particular combination because it allows us to get creative and gourmet with our meals, and produces a light weight product that packs well and is easy to prepare. Additionally, the first time all of the ingredients are being cooked together is when the boiling water is poured in the bag, which helps achieve the boldest, freshest flavors possible.

All of our products are produced in our Boulder, CO facility. The owner, Rodney Smith, spends countless hours sourcing the best possible spices and ingredients for our meals, and a majority of them come from the United States. For instance, the chilies used in our Santa Fe Rice with Chicken entrée come from a family farm in New Mexico. And, our chicken is all-natural white breast meat from the USA

Many of our meals are all-natural or organic, and none of them contain MSG.  The shelf-life on most of our products is 7 years. We also offer #10 Cans for Long-Term storage needs, which have a 25-year shelf life.

Our Community

Backpacker’s Pantry is dedicated to exploring and preserving the environment.  A portion of every sale is given to organizations dedicated to the conservation of our planet.

Backpacker’s Pantry sponsors many different adventures each year from groups hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to raise money for Breast Cancer to individuals conquering the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in the name of adrenaline and discovery.  We also donate to many different groups, volunteers and activists to support their mission of making the world a better place.