Edible gear website raises the roof on pranks

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.

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:

"Processing Error
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.



Roof Rack Reminder

There is nothing quite so disturbing to the memories of a wonderful mountain bike ride or paddling adventure as hearing the distinctive crunching sound above the car as you remember -- too late -- that your garage was not built high enough to accommodate the cargo on your roof ...read more


Defunct Joe’s lives on through a website…but who’s running it?

SNEWS® received a tip in mid-November that Joe’s Sports Outdoor & More website was operating as if Joe’s had not been liquidated -- which occurred in April 2009. (Click here to read the April 10, 2009, story, “Bye-bye Joe’s -- liquidation seals its end.”) The question is, who ...read more


Fitness specialty retail and CrossFit gym marry under one roof

Although there are some marked differences between traditional exercise and CrossFit (where people lift odd objects like, you know, truck tires), the two concepts live together under one roof at a new facility in Phoenix. The facility, opened Dec. 1 in the city’s midtown, ...read more

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market celebrates 25th anniversary under one roof

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market celebrated its 25th anniversary in style, with special celebrations, events, and overall, a genuinely positive vibe that emanated from the show floor during all four days, Aug. 10-13 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This year’s Summer Market attendees were ...read more


The SNEWS View: Beautiful People website says 'no' to ugly…and that hurts

More than 1.8 million people received confirmation within weeks of a new website launching that they are, in fact, ugly. The bearer of the bad news was BeautifulPeople.com, an international dating site whose members must qualify as being sufficiently attractive, according to a PR ...read more


New website for SNEWS wraps up rebranding effort

Since you're reading this, we don't need to tell you SNEWS has a new website -- the first since January 2006. Well, it's about time! Yes, we thought so too. And oh, what a time we had pulling this together. We wanted to make sure we fully moved into a new era with a clean look ...read more

"Best Fitness Dealers" website appears with specialty store ratings -- and a masked source

Launched suddenly and unannounced in late February was a website that said it's all about helping consumers purchase quality equipment wisely, directing them to specialty fitness dealers, and rating those dealers. SNEWS® received word of the website, www.bestfitnessdealers.com, ...read more


The SNEWS View: Campfire tales raise customer eyebrows

This spring, I joined several friends on a weekend car-camping trip at an Idaho state park. It was one of those casual get-togethers where you set up a base camp of trailers and tents, then frolic in the lake and on the trails during the day and lounge by the campfire at night. ...read more

Perception and Dagger on STP raises ire of retailers

Although Sierra Trading Post (STP) is a well-known, retailer-accepted destination for manufacturers seeking to unload blems, overstocks, and close-outs, the appearance of numerous models of Perception and Dagger boats became a call to arms for numerous specialty paddlesport ...read more