Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Ball Park brand, the makers of America’s and mine, favorite hot dog, has just launched the NEW Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky. For years I have been grilling Ball Park hot dogs over the fire and on various fire grills around Midwestern campsites, but now I have a new product to bring with me on my camping trips. In this sponsored post, I will introduce their new snack item, which is perfect to bring along on your next outdoor adventure.

Ball Park hot dogs

Grilling some of America’s favorite hot dogs on a camping trip in Wisconsin

I have never really been a huge beef jerky fan. They are too tough and it seems to me that any nutrients they offer the body is offset by the energy used in the struggle to consume. Thankfully, Ball Park has changed that with their tough and tender flame grilled jerky that comes in five varieties: Original beef, bourbon BBQ beef, peppered beef, barbecue pork, and teriyaki pork.

When I opened the package I braced my incisors and my molars for some heavy duty chewing as I know how tough jerky can be. It was love at first chew though as instead of meeting fierce resistance, my teeth parted through the flame grilled jerky almost like butter. Just like Elvis, I love it tender. The taste was also a pleasant surprise.  Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky is dried for toughness and then flame grilled for a uniquely tender texture and superior char-grilled flavor.

Being an outdoorsman, the combination of tough and tender is near and dear to my heart. In order to thrive and appreciate the wilderness it is necessary to have both of these traits. You need to be tough in order to survive cold nights in the sleeping bag and long hikes with your heavy backpack on.  You also need to be tender and not disturb the wilderness too much by practicing leave no trace ethics and caring about all the animals in the forest.

Big Bend Chisos Mountains

Have to be tough to carry a heavy backpack but tender to really enjoy the wilderness

I am a canoe guide with the Friends of the Chicago River and the tough and tender aspect is also critical in helping other people experience the outdoors for the first time. You need to be tough by leading and getting in the muddy water at times to help people if they get stuck in their canoe. Then it is necessary to show tenderness by providing instruction in order to assist people in improving their canoeing skills.

Chicago River guiding

Showing tough and tender capabilities at the same time guiding paddlers on the Chicago River

I believe all of my fellow guides at the Friends of the Chicago River follow this ethic of tough and tender. There is never anyone in our group that shirks the roles of taking the heavy canoes off of the racks and carrying them to the water’s edge. If a guest gets in trouble and even dumps, all of the guides are there to help rescue. Everyone in the group enjoys working hard and sincerely wants our guest paddlers to enjoy their experience in a safe manner.

Tough and tender

Fellow Chicago River canoe guide showing tender side helping young paddlers out of the canoe

Canoe ambulance in the Boundary Waters

One time the combination of tough and tender came into fruition while paddling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. We were paddling with friends in this remote wilderness when one of our friends accidentally had a fishing lure go through his thigh. The lure was just laying on a shrub along a trail at thigh level and when our friend walked by it, the hook punctured his leg and went straight through.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was the scene for this tough and tender journey

We debated cutting the barb or just pulling it out, but in the end we feared infection might take place and realized the best way to address the situation was to get him trained medical attention pronto. Problem was, the closest road was 15 miles away. My dad and I put him in the middle of the canoe, and we paddled him out of the wilderness. It took us four hours of grueling canoeing, but we eventually made it to a road where we called for an ambulance. In an hour our friend was at a hospital where a doctor removed the lure and dressed and sanitized the wound.

That night our friend actually made it back to the campsite out on the lake. It was great that our tough and tender paddle got him the proper medical care he needed. In the outdoors with limited access to certain needs, you have to look out for each other.

Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky

Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky is tough and tender

The Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky is a great new snack

Next time I am out hiking, paddling, or skiing in the great outdoors, I will be glad to be armed with a tasty new snack. The Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky is conveniently packaged and light, so it is perfect to bring along on a backpacking trip. The re-sealable pouches are great for enjoying some of the product now and then some later with still the same fresh taste. The tasty flavor is sure to go well with whiskey or beer, so I am also looking forward to sharing and enjoying around a campfire.

This post was sponsored by Ball Park in partnership with the #toughandtender campaign. The thoughts, stories, opinions, photos, and affinity for Elvis are purely my own.

Have you ever turned a tough moment or situation into a tender one on a camping trip or while traveling? Please share in the comments.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).