Roanoke man launches trail food subscription box service

Trailfoody offers different tiers of membership

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke man has launched a subscription box service for outdoor lovers. 

Trailfoody subscribers receive a box of outdoor-oriented food every month.

A group of hikers who walked 700 miles on the Appalachian Trail while trekking from Georgia to Maine saw the package for the first time when they stopped at the McAfee’s Knob trailhead in Catawba.

“Two hundred calories! It's good and 6 grams of protein. Like calories and protein everything -- this is awesome. I just want to eat it, basically,” Cameron Sorensen, of Wisconsin, said. 

Unlike most people, hikers want all the fat and calories they can get.

“I want something that's fat and I can feel a difference when there's a high-fat content,” another hiker said.

Roanoker Blair Garland understands what hikers want and need. The avid hiker, kayaker and fly fisherman launched the idea in December.

"This is called the wanderer box and it's made for folks to use one to two times a month on their outings -- hiking, backpacking or canoeing,” he explained, showing a tidy box with a bright orange bag of goodies inside, covered by an attractive picture designed to pique the user's interest in doing something outdoorsy.

“When you get the box in the mail you get this little card that kind of inspires you to get outdoors. We review one of the items that's in the box and then from there, it's just there's a product that comes in a stuff sack and it's ready to go,” he said.

"You grab it off the rack when you head out the door to the trail and it's ready to go. That's the idea," said Garland.

The hardcore hikers seemed to love the idea -- but it's weekenders who might most utilize the subscription service the service that starts at $21.95 a month.

When asked what gave him the idea for Trailfoody, Garland responded, "Well every time we go out for a hike I kept saying to myself wouldn't it be great if we had stuff packed and ready to go. We were always itching to get to the trailhead and we kept finding out we didn't have any food in the house."

The company is only six months old but seems to be catching on fast. 

Marketing comes courtesy of a lot of social media and his website, Trailfoody.com, where people can go to subscribe. 

One key said Garland is finding products you can't find in stores.

"Now that we've got a little bit of awareness out there, there's a heavy want to be up there saying, 'Hey we want to be a part of this. We want to be in that box,' and so it's a combination of finding things and paying attention to the people who come to us," Garland said.

So the next time you go for a walk in the woods,  or a paddle in your canoe or kayak -- or whatever your outdoor craving -- you have the chance to get going without the additional step of going to the store.

"People seem really excited about the idea. You know, they really feel like, 'Wow, what a great idea. I'm surprised nobody's thought of this before,'" Garland said.

About the Author: