Based out of Vancouver, BC, Nomad Nutrition is leading the way in healthy backcountry dining. With organic, non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients, these meals will leave you feeling good and give you the energy you need to enjoy the mountains. By unleashing the power of REVDry technology along, paired with a conscious business plan, Denis Mikhailov has started a new trend in dehydrated meals.
Words: Ben Osborne Photos: Nomad Nutrition
It all started on one of Denis Mikhailov’s climbing trips to the Bugaboos. Denis, a self-proclaimed nutrition-obsessed businessman at the time, was using one of his three weeks of yearly vacation to get out into some of Canada’s most epic rocks. Just like any Canadian outdoor enthusiast, before leaving he hit his local Mountain Equipment Co-Op to fuel up on dehydrated food for his trip. Fast forward 7 days, deep in the Bugaboos, Denis was feeling less than full strength.
“The stuff I was eating was wreaking havoc on my digestive track—I felt awful.”
Luckily, Denis was on the giving end of some life-changing trail karma. After a run in with a local mountain guide, he was gifted some homemade dehydrated food. As he cooked that food later that night at camp, fellow climbers gathered around in awe that he had brought fresh vegetables up so far into the mountains—but he hadn’t. All he had was some high-quality dehydrated goodness. These climbers awe turned into Denis’s inspiration.
“A switched flipped in my mind that night. It’s always been a problem in the industry—why can’t we have nutrient packed food that tastes good in the backcountry?”
As Denis soon found out, you can.
REV Dehydration Technology
As Denis began to dig into the world of dehydrated food, he discovered the two traditional methods for making these quick-cooking backcountry meals that many of us are familiar with. Those two methods are freeze-drying, and dehydration. While freeze-drying uses sublimation to dehydrate the food, it retains its ability to rehydrate quite well, but takes away many of the nutrients and loses it’s taste of eating “real food”, as Denis puts it. With dehydration, although it is a more “natural” method, the food can be overdryed, meaning the cooking time (i.e. rehydration time) is much longer. Determined to not make any compromises, Denis kept digging and found a third method: REV Dehydration Technology (REVDry for short).
Developed at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, it took Denis just a few emails and a short drive across the city to bring his Katmandhu Curry down to the lab to test out the REVDry process. After a few hours he had his first dehydrated meal—6 months later and a bit of tinkering in the lab, the Katmandhu Curry was brought to life, which stands strong as one of Nomad’s main recipes today.
What makes REVDry different is the process of how it dehydrates the food. By using a pressurized vacuum which decreases the boiling point, the food can be gently heated at around 15-20 degrees celsius, allowing the key nutrients to remain intact. Not only does it leave the nutrients intact, it also works quicker than any other freeze-drying or dehydration process, allowing Nomad to decrease its eco-footprint.
Nomads commitment to the consumer, the earth, and the outdoor community is founded on a four-pillar ideology that is tough to argue with—especially when the food tastes this good.
Optimized & Nutrient-Packed. We design all our meals to meet the nutritional needs of high-performance outdoor athletes. Over time, we have refined our recipes to contain just the right ratios of healthy fats, lean protein and complex carbs. And they’re packed with nutrient-dense calories to keep the stoke high. We’re currently lab testing all our recipes, to make sure that our percentages are precise and accurate.
Wholesome & Plant-Based. We won’t put anything in our meals that we won’t eat ourselves — and our standards are high! The only ingredients on our ingredients list are items that you could find at your local market. We do our best to use organic, non-GMO, whole food ingredients, and all our meals are gluten free, with vegan and paleo options, so that you can make the healthiest choice for your body.
Crafted & Locally Made. We started in a kitchen that probably looked a lot like yours (unless you’re living in your van, in which case, ours was likely a bit bigger), and even now, we craft our meals in small batches right here in the Pacific Northwest, not in a lab or some factory overseas.
Respectful & Small Footprint. Just like you, we spend a lot of time outside. We respect wild places, and recognize that what we do, and what we consume, has a direct impact. While we are far from perfect, we are always working on becoming more sustainable. (We’re open to suggestions too, so get in touch if you see something we could be doing better.
While their current plans consist of spreading Nomad Nutrition to dealers across Canada, the future is bright for this amazing alternative to your typical unhealthy backcountry snacks—and not just in the backcountry.
One of the most promising things about Nomad’s food is its ability to translate it’s taste from the backcountry to the city. Everyone knows, when you’re sitting in a hut, cold and tired, pretty much anything tastes good. With Nomad Nutrition, Denis has been getting reports that it doesn’t matter where you are—the results are the same.
“I have gotten calls from single mothers who don’t have time to cook food for themselves and their kids who have been using Nomad as a healthy alternative. The other day I got a call from a banker who, with plenty of money and restaurants to visit around his workplace, still chooses Nomad Nutrition for it’s ease and health benefits. That stuff is really inspiring and hearing that I can honestly say: I really am living my dream.”
Order Nomad Nutrition through their website at https://www.nomadnutrition.co/, or you can pop by any of these stores in Canada: Mountain Equipment Co-Op (21 locations) True Outdoors (3 Locations) , Indigo Age Café, Protein House Supplements, and Climb on Equipment (Squamish), Sitka Surfboards (Victoria)