What if you could eat your outdoor gear? We're serious -- sort of. On April 1, a new website was launched by the company Eastern Active Technologies (EAT) -- www.ediblegear.com. The company claims to have created a technology that allows it to manufacture and sell gear you can eat on the trail.
From backpacks (SnackPack I or II) to tents (SweeTarp I or II) to sleeping bags (SnackSack), this site has it all, complete with detailed product descriptions, flavor choices, photos and use advice.
Tony Pisarra, website designer and owner of a legit website (http://sophiaknows.com), and Chris Carroll, a photographer and the man behind the words in ediblegear.com (http://chriscarrollphoto.com), are avid backpackers and hit upon the idea after getting bitten by the ultralight bug themselves.
"It's so much nicer to get up and not hate your pack in the morning. Now we get up and slip on a 15- to 20-pound load which means we can walk so much further with bigger smiles and far fewer injuries from load stress," Carroll told SNEWS.
"Tony and I were kidding around one day about how cool it would be if you could actually eat the stuff too and the creative juices just went from there."
Creative juices? How about a flood of creative energy that deserves to be recognized!
Take a few examples from the site's FAQ:
Question: Aren't animals attracted to equipment made of out food?
Answer: No. Animals aren't stupid. Animals don't consider Edible Gear food. You, on the other hand, are clearly smart enough to understand that weight saving takes precedence over everything. As you're choking down your sleeping pad just think to yourself how easy it'll be to heft that pack tomorrow morning with two ounces less weight.
Question: What about bugs being attracted to the GummiSkin tarp?
Answer: We have not found this to be a problem. It might be a problem to some people but frankly, if you're bothered by a few bugs, maybe you shouldn't be in the outdoors (and definitely shouldn't be using a tarp). Think about it.
Carroll and Pisarra even went so far as to create an actual order process for their fictional products. Of course, if you try to place an order as SNEWS did just to see where the trail would lead, you'll receive the following chuckle:
Sorry. Due to unusually heavy server activity we are temporarily unable to process your order. Options. You can either: Save your order form and try again later; Print your order form, tape it to the back of a mental patient and hope that he/she wanders near our offices; or Go away angry and frustrated."
The site attracted over 2,200 unique visitors on April 2, and traffic has remained relatively strong, though it has begun steadily tapering off since then. Carroll tells us that just over 10 percent of the site's visitors have tried to place orders.
Read the product descriptions and other text carefully, and you'll most likely recognize additional satire, poking fun at real companies.
Carroll confirmed that part of the enjoyment as well was subtly poking fun at all the Internet companies who start a business, throw up a site and then start making things to sell.
And, as surprising as it may seem, Carroll has even received an email from an investor -- one who knows the outdoor market well -- seriously wishing the company luck and offering assistance if needed. We can only assume this ill-informed soul now knows the business was just an elaborate and very well-executed April Fools' joke -- one of the best we have ever seen.