Be Prepared with Trail Mix

My friend Heather and I joke about appearing to be overly outdoorsy, but in reality, we are a bathroom, air conditioning, and a refrigerator away from any form of “roughing it.” This misconception is mainly due to our enjoyment of shopping in outdoor-type stores and our tendency to buy fashionable, comfortable and not so inexpensive outdoorsy threads and accessories. For instance, at this moment I’m drinking out of a Nalgene-style bottle while wearing Clarks shoes, an Acr’teryx jacket, and wool socks. I also drive a Subaru. Hi, my name’s Marie, and I’m a poser.

Heather, on the other hand, is a step ahead of me and lives by the scout motto, “be prepared.” She agonizes over purchasing bags that are not waterproof, she keeps flashlights and pocket-sized umbrellas on hand at all times, and her watch reports the tide changes. I should mention that we live a couple hundred miles from an ocean. Because her current bag is so reliable, efficient and waterproof, she’s already purchased its replacement, an exact replica. Let’s just say that if something unforeseen was to occur, zombie apocalypse or other, causing everyone to hibernate in small, dank quarters, I would wish for Heather and her Mary Poppins’ bag of tricks to be with me. I, on the contrary, am never prepared for anything. In fact, you are more likely to find toys in my handbag than anything remotely helpful in dire circumstances, unless of course, you’re trying to calm an unruly child.

Now this is my kind of hiking!

Alas, I’m not the most outdoorsy of people though I do love and respect the wilderness and its creatures. I grew up in the country surrounded by acres of woods, and we didn’t call it “hiking” but “walking in the woods” or in my case, “getting the four-wheeler stuck and having to walk back home.” I remember when I was in college and everybody seemed to be so gung-ho about biking, camping and hiking. They would ask me if I’d hiked before, and I would respond, “Sure, if that means walking around the woods lost.” Anyways, thanks to the persistent nagging of my roommate Lindsay, I have gone legit “hiking” quite a few times. These expeditions entailed fairly steep inclines with the destination being a waterfall or serene mountainscape. While these nature-inspired destination points are breathtakingly beautiful, my favorite part has always been the snacks. This brings me to the point of this tirade…TRAIL MIX. I like it! I love it! I want some more of it! I also have a theory—things that can be eaten by the handful (i.e. trail mix), are hard to stop when started. While discussing the unstoppable force of cheesy goldfish crackers, my friend Rebekah perceptively noted, “It’s as if you begin to get antsy about it, like someone’s gonna take it away from you, so you start eating it faster.” Oh, so true!

Antioxidants? Yes, please.

This particular trail mix-mix, is well-versed in awaking every taste bud and flavor nuance. What we have is the dynamic combination of sweet and tart dried cranberries, dark chocolate (which may offer some marginal means of cancer-fighting antioxidants), oat squares (which must be good for you, right?!), almonds (which add a dose of good fat and protein), graham crackers and marshmallows (which are mainly just processed fun).For argument’s sake, let’s say that it is moderately good for you though the “moderately” part is directly equivalent to its consumption in moderation. Meaning that you could easily brush over the goodness of it by eating way too much of it.

SIDENOTE: This is a trail mix that the professor lady I work with makes, and whenever she makes a surplus of it, she gives it to me, who takes it home and can’t stop eating it. So, while it hasn’t quite made it on the trail with me per say, I do think it will be a likely candidate for snack time the next time I go for a hike, get lost in the woods, or visit a fallout shelter, accompanied by Heather, of course.

This blog is brought to you by—songs that include whistling and/or clapping, apple cider doughnuts, and Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Sweet S’mores Trail Mix

1 (16-ounce) box oat squares cereal

1 (14.4-ounce) box graham crackers, broken into small pieces

2 cups whole, almonds (unsalted)

2 (6-ounce) packages dried cranberries

1 (12-ounce) package dark chocolate chips

1 (10.5-ounce) package mini marshmallows

  1. Combine all ingredients, and store in an airtight container. Yield: A LOT! (serving size: a good handful)
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1 Comment »

  1. HAT said

    Thank you for handling our disorder with respect, dignity and sensitivity. I don’t think your portrayal makes us sound even half as crazy as we really are. Well done.

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