Backpackers Pantry

The Story

In 1951, an ill-fated trip involving heavy canned foods, a long mountain trek and a group of increasingly demoralized Girl Scouts forever altered the course of what was thought possible in outdoor dining. The troop leader of that trip went home more inspired than disheartened, and was motivated to create a lighter, manageable, just add water, option for outdoor adventure. And she succeeded in that mission. Dri-Lite Foods became the first adventure food on the market. Anne Benedict started dehydrating meals in her garage and quickly realized there was a growing demand for lightweight meals for the backcountry. Fast-forward twenty years, when this small outdoor company was purchased by Ronald Smith, after a backpacking trip in the Sierra’s sparked his passion for the outdoors. With the help of a small but dedicated team, Ronald transformed the Girl Scouts’ inspired idea into one of the world’s foremost producers of freeze-dried meals.