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Primal Spirit Primal Strips

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Primal Spirit Primal Strips vegetarian entrée

Staying vegetarian on the trail just got easier! A great source of protein and sodium with great taste and meat-like texture. I can't leave the trailhead without it!


  • Great flavors
  • Decent texture
  • Great source of protein
  • Cheaper by-the-ounce than beef


  • Messy

Last year, I transitioned to a mostly-vegetarian diet on which I eat non-egg, animal protein in any considerable amount only about 6-8 times a month. As a hiker and backpacker, jerky was always one of my favorite protein- and sodium-replenishing trail foods. When I changed my diet, I hated that I had to drop jerky and I felt guilty when I would break down and eat it anyway. Along came Primal Strips!

Primal Strips are vegan jerky strips made of seitan (wheat protein), soy, or shitake mushrooms and vegetarian flavorings. The soy and seitan options have more protein than the mushroom option, but each provides different benefits for people with different needs like soy and gluten allergies or just taste preference.

The packages are single 1 oz. strips in an easy-open vacuum pack. At first, the price seemed high, but after comparing with beef jerky, the price is much lower per ounce. The jerky is pretty juicy and is quite a deviation in that sense, so they can be a bit messy; eating it like a banana and pressing it out of the package is easiest to avoid sticky fingers. For those who don't like meat alternatives, it doesn't feel quite like meat, but it's still better than a lot of others. It flakes almost like salmon. Try it before you take it out or invest in too many packages.

The protein serving ranges from 6 to 11 grams depending on the base protein used, so it's great for a morning protein boost before hitting the trail or a mix-in for vegetarian dinners and muscle recovery. It also contains a good amount of sodium, a few grams of carbs, and some fat (a much lower fat-to-protein ratio than nuts make it a heart-healthy snack).

There are six flavors, and the mesquite lime is my favorite so far: it's tangy, and smokey. Overall, I love them and they will be coming with me on every all-day hike or multi-day backpacking trip.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1.50/strip

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Price Reviewers Paid: $1.50
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