It can be hard to find a balance between foods that are interesting and tasteful, and foods that hold up well on the trail. Especially cheese. True, many sharp cheeses can hold up for days at a time, but eventually they all get moldy, slimy, and gross.

In preparing to hike the John Muir Trail, my Dad and I did extensive research and testing of what we wanted to eat for lunch. PB & J seemed an obvious option, but we weren’t sold. We wanted meat, of some sort, and cheese as well. Something similar to a sandwich we might eat at home.

Eating lunch on the way up to Forester Pass on the JMT

After scouring the internet over and testing out different summer sausages and cheeses, we came across two winners: Hunter’s Reserve (see my write-up) and Northwoods Cheese.

|| Field Testing  ||

It’s true, testing a trail meal at home before going out on a hike can be very different from field testing. Not in this case. For our JMT trip, my Dad and I loaded up on 1 oz. Northwoods Cheese in three different flavors:

Not only were these cheeses conveniently packaged in single-serve, 1 oz. packages, such that you did not have to open a large block and let it slowly develop slime, but they also came in a pleasant variety, which was critically important for our trip. If we were going to be eating meat and cheese at lunch day after day, there needed to be some mixing up of flavors so that we did not get bored.

The perfect supplement to trail lunches!

Each day we would cut up our sausage and cheese into thin slices and lay them out on a tortilla. Roll it up and eat it!

|| The Verdict ||

After testing out the Northwoods Cheeses on the JMT, I was sold! I loved that they were available in single-serve, shelf-stable, and most of all, I LOVED the varieties! My favorite is still the White Cheddar, but some of my friends have turned me on to the Jalapeno Jack.

Jalapeno Pepper, my friend’s favorite.

Not only do the Northwoods Cheeses make great trail lunches, they are also great add-ins into trail dinners, like Shepherd’s Pie, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, and Chunky Chili. If you pour some boiling water over the cheese they melt to a nice, gooey consistency, perfect for adding some more substance to your meal at the end of a hard day on trail.

|| The Story of Northwoods Cheese ||

Once I began to dig a bit deeper into Northwoods as a company, I fell in love even more with their product. Their story was heartwarming:

“Northwoods Cheese Company has created a partnership with Greenco Industries. This organization coordinates the efforts of Sheltered Workshops employing persons with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. Our mutual goal is to provide full and meaningful employment for persons with disabilities. We have assisted Greenco Industries in designing a Holiday Gift Program. This program combines baskets and cutting boards with cheese and other food items. These components are assembled into gift products at the workshops.”

In reading their story and getting to know one of their managers, Derek Thielke, I became proud to use the products of Northwoods. I felt that I was supporting a great business, not only because of their products but also because of their mission. That is something I cannot say for enough companies.

|| Try Some Out ||

Thinking of taking Northwoods out on your next adventure? You won’t regret it! Use the code “EngineeredForAdventure” at checkout for 20% off of your order. Just input the code in the secondary address line.

Disclaimer: I have an affiliate relationship with Northwoods Cheese, whereby I receive commission for referral of customers to their products. That said, I would never endorse a company that I do not use and believe in. For Northwoods Cheese, it is BOTH! You can use code “EngineeredForAdventure” at checkout for 20% off of your order.