I suspect you have more than one friend who enjoys jerking his meat. As a former resident of the Bay Area, I suspect you probably have quite a few who quite enjoy jerking each other's meat as well. (Really, how has this one slipped by everyone here?)
Now, as for preparing dried foodstuffs, I agree with the homemade approach. Buffalo works really well. The fat content is lower than beef so it doesn't get too greasy, but high enough that it doesn't get brittle, like pork and chicken tend to.
Any of you who are into multi-day backpacking should try out some jerky next time, if you haven't. Great pick-me-up and a lightweight protein source.