A Quirky Interview with Tom, TentMeals' Newest Staff Member

Tom in his happy place: about to hug a rock!

What is this about?

This blog is here to introduce our newest team member Tom, and to pick his brain on a range of things outdoorsy, TentMealsy and just plain silly! Read on to find out about our latest eccentric marketing bod and to get a little feel for the kind of characters that gravitate to working at TentMeals in our exciting new North Welsh home.


Who are you and why work for TentMeals?

I am a keen outdoors enthusiast with a big passion for rock climbing and hiking in the mountains around my home in Snowdonia and further afield in whatever exciting locations I can get to! I’ve previously spent years working as an outdoors instructor for various charities before deciding that sometimes sitting indoors away from the rain is a nice idea and taking on a marketing degree in Bangor, North Wales. I started working for TentMeals because I’d just finished uni and happen to get on with Jess (the founder) very well and have a big love of all things foody! I’m hoping to help grow the company and the quantity of happy adventurers we feed, while maintaining our lovely friendly, helpful and non-corporate vibe.

 Wild views on a recent trip to Madeira.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest misconception about nutrition when adventuring?

I think the biggest misconception about adventure nutrition is that you need a great deal of short burn sugary carbs. The kind of thing you get from a bag of sweets or a bar of chocolate. People also tend to underestimate the quantity of calories you burn in a hard day’s exercise out in the elements, you need a lot of food! Not just a lot… A LOT, A LOT.

It's important to eat balanced meals with a large portion of slow burn carbohydrates and a healthy dose of protein to restore the glycogen stores in your muscles and your liver and to start repairing those muscles. The number of calories required to fuel an outdoor adventure cannot be underestimated. Just maintaining your body temperature outside burns far more calories than a normal sedentary lifestyle. This is why TentMeals products are nutritionally balanced and come in a chunky 800 calorie offering (we do 500 calorie options for smaller peeps) which makes it really easy to track your food intake and make sure your getting enough calories in! Forget recommended calorie intakes, get chomping!

In desperate need of food on El Capitan

What’s your favourite TentMeals meal?

Our new tropical breakfast! It’s not quite out for sale yet but it's full of delicious things! Papaya, coconut, pineapple, linseed, goji berries…. All the good stuff! Perfect for stoking you up for a big day out in the hills and a nice new addition to our breakfast range. If you’ve eaten all our other meals, it's time to suck on your spoon and get ready for this new one!


What do you think makes TentMeals different from other brands?

I think what separates us most from our competitors is how dedicated we are to making the best product possible for adventures rather than simply doing what sells best. An example of this is how we compress all of our products into tiny packets to reduce packaging and minimise the amount of space they take up in your bag, despite how this reduces visibility on a shop floor. We also use all natural ingredients and organic ones where we can, to make our meals as healthy and nutritious as they can be! 


We are also a very ethically minded company, deliberately working to minimise our impact on the planet, improve the experience of our customers and the welfare of our staff. All the packaging we ship products in is reused boxes from our supply chain and we use recycled plastic packaging to contain the food itself. We always try to go the extra mile for our customers, shipping to different locations along a trail or catering to any number of odd requests adventurers seem to have. Any spare product is either eaten by our staff, given to charity for free or given out free via our website to create a no food waste company policy. Lastly, we have a flat PayScale with all our staff on the same wage regardless of job role. This is because we believe each team members contribution is equally important and everyone should be treated equally. Giant pay disparities and lining shareholder pockets is not the kind of thing we will ever be interested in. We like our company to be fair, helpful, decent and kind.

TentMeals in use in Snowdonia, our home.


What’s been your favourite adventure in the UK?

My favourite adventure was an early overnight camping trip with my dad when I was about eight. We followed a section of the Cotswold way through stunning rural scenery of gentle hills and magical native woodlands before bivying on the top of Stinchcombe Hill with a glorious view of all the surrounding farmland and natural environment. Being the kind man that he is and me being the pestering, stubborn titch that I was he carried a full set of frying pans and eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, hash browns and beans with him for our breakfast. These days I’d usually opt for a lightweight TentMeals porridge-based option (shameless plug), but the experience of watching the sun rise with an amazing breakfast, stunning views and hot nettle tea will stay in my memory forever. It’s an early experience that really got me hooked on the outdoors.

UK adventures can be pretty stunning!


Final Question, What’s your number one adventure tip?

I couldn’t decide on just one answer so here is two!

Option 1

Always bring toilet paper and a lighter! Let’s face it moss and leaves just really aren’t that great and the desperate hunt for a suitable not-spikey leaf in a remote mountain setting is not something anyone relishes about the great outdoors! Toilet paper is perhaps the greatest creation of the western world and as such should be kept dry in a ziplock bag as a precious commodity. Once you’ve done what you need to do you can burn it and therefore leave no trace of your luxury toilet experience on our beautiful natural environment.


Option 2

Always bring more food than you think on an expedition. Assuming you have lightweight meal options it doesn’t weigh much and the extra large portions and reserves that allow you to wait an extra day and sit out bad weather are always going to be a good thing! When you're working like a packhorse you should be able to eat like a hippo (not to shame hippos in any way). More, more, more! That should be the expedition catering mindset.

Thinking about flushing toilets in the Dolomites.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published