In summer and early fall, farmers' markets overflow with fresh, locally grown produce. You'll carry more weight than with dehydrated ingredients, but on short treks and basecamp trips, backpacking gourmets know the extra ounces are worth it. Fresh fruits and veggies from a nearby farm are more nutritious, longer-lasting, and better tasting than produce that's been shipped cross-country. And since grocery-store fare travels an average of 1,500 miles, another bonus of most local produce is reduced carbon emissions. Here's how to add the season's freshest flavors to your next weekend trip
Your farmers' market probably offers a lot more than produce. Look for these trail-friendly local treats.
Snack on jerky and summer sausage
from a nearby farm.
Stuff bakery pitas with hummus
Boost gorp with local dried fruit.
Sweeten homemade trail bars and oatmeal with honey.
Munch on cheeses from a nearby dairy.
Don't wash or slice produce until you're ready to eat it (this extends pack life).
Pack non-squishable fruits and veggies in breathable paper bags.
Stash crushable items in your cookware or a Lexan bottle.