04 October, 2009

Wilson's Certified Campsite Bacon Bar


Pictured above: a genuine Wilson's Certified Campsite Bacon Bar. Compact food for the cutting-edge camper in the 60's and 70's, the Bacon Bar is 100% pre-fried bacon, compressed into a block measuring about 2 x 3 x 1 inches. This is an actual product, and the example shown above really does contain a block of bacon, still vacuum-sealed in its heavy foil-like pouch (I've thought about opening it up and perhaps giving it a taste - who wouldn't want to try 35-year-old bacon after all?) but decided that since I only have one, I'd keep it intact.

Amazingly, this small 3-ounce bar started off as a full pound of bacon and was considered innovative enough to be mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article in 1963, soon after it had been introduced.

According to this advertisement in the April 1976 issue of Backpacker magazine, the Bacon Bar retailed for $2.45.

.

10 comments:

Chou said...

Wow, that's quite the relic. Great for backpacking, right?

Mr.Dave said...

i put this on the bacon reddit.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Wilson & Co.in O.K.C. for 33 years and never knew we produced this product. I found a 2oz. tin of Wilson Certified scrambled egg mix on line a while back, didn't know they produced that either. Its est no. was 20 n. Our in OKC was 20q Thanks for showing the bacon.

stereophotographer said...

I also remember fondly the Wilson's Bacon Bars which efficiently fueled my backpacking trips in the 1970s. But the good news is that there is now a Costco product that is essentially the same thing but not pressed into bars. It's sold in bags at room temperature and is crumpled dry cooked bacon, with very good flavor.
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11302316&whse=BD_115&Ne=2167+4000000&eCat=BD_115|6221|90641&N=4047570&Mo=99&No=39&Nr=P_CatalogName:BD_115&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=...

Jeff said...

Tasty. I remember an early edition of the Compleat Backpacker mentions it, along with the aftereffects. I well remember the bacon bars and the meat bars, which Wilson also made. Meat bars were sort of like pemmican without all the fat. Westland, I think, made the bacon bars at least, after the Wilson products disappeared. A real standard of the time, at least as reserve food, along with Turblokken, pilot bread, traubenzucker, mint cake, rum fudge, and so on. I wish you could still get some of this stuff. I'll see what I can do with the Costco bacon.

Anonymous said...

On Climbing trips I used to break up some bacon bars into my instant Ralston. I had LOTS of energy for the climb! Great stuff. Doubt my old arteries could stand this sort of thing now, though.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to get this info from a BP food company after asking about Bacon and Meat Bars. I have ~ 20 of the Bacon Bars and 12 Meat bars. When I first started buying them cost was ~$1.25 each. The last 50 I bought later in the 1970's was $2.50 each.

In Dec 1980 while climbing the big 3 Mexican Volcanoes added Bacon Bar to 1 full pkg of powdered eggs. A little too salty so cut back to 1/2 bar for b'fast use and the other 1/2 to dinner dish.

Last time I used the Meat Bar was on 2001 Bpack from Summit Lake to Chimney Lake in Gates of the Arctic Nat'l Prk. I did notice some after taste but otherwise OK.
We added the meat bar to every other meal to supplement FD food.


While bpacking across Michigan(Riding-Hiking Trail) in the early 1970's I ate Meat Bars right out of the package. Good nourishment but looked like gray ground up charcoal.

Anonymous
Eagle River, AK

Bluenote38 said...

Dave - stumbled on your blog while searching for Wilson Bacon Bars. Used them a lot while packing in the Grand Tetons and North into Montana back in the early 70's. Added to potatoe flakes with dried onions it made a great soup and really helped out the dried egg powder too. Sorry to hear they are gone. Heading for Philmont Scout Ranch this summer and though it might be interesting to have a couple along.

Jim Renkert said...

I remember bacon bars from the ‘70s. Used them a few times and they were great to satisfy a teenage appetite! I seem to recall that Richmoor also produced them but I could be wrong. Wish they were still made as they probably have one of the best weight to calorie ratios going. For our ultra light wilderness treks were always looking for foods that are light but have lots of calories in protein and fats, which sustain you longer. There’s only so many powerbars you can eat! Dried salmon and Norwegian goat cheese are the best current sources I’ve found. I’ll have to check out the Costco bacon. Thanks for the website and blog.

Jim Renkert said...

I remember bacon bars from the ‘70s. Used them a few times and they were great on trips to satisfy a teenage appetite! I seem to recall that Richmoor also produced them but I could be wrong. Wish they were still made as they probably have one of the best weight to calorie ratios going. For our ultra light wilderness treks were always looking for foods that are light but have lots of calories in protein and fats, which sustain you longer. There’s only so many powerbars you can eat! Dried salmon and Norwegian goat cheese are the best current sources I’ve found. I’ll have to check out the Costco bacon. Thanks for the website and blog.
Jim Renkert
Anchorage, Alaska