Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eat The Food

It's the holidays apparently! And people are freaked out!
About food. I see it all over the internet. Sugar is the enemy! Bread is evil! Eat primal (whatever the heck that is. Are you spending twenty hours a day chasing down deer too?)...

I'm glad I don't feel that way.

I have five great outdoors food memories.

1. The Little Debbie chocolate-covered granola bar that Trail Crew Rob gave me when he picked Jon and me up from a wilderness ranger hitch in which we had been out of food, basically, for two days. The. Best. Ever.

2. The PBR that I found in a stream on a hot day when on my fourth day of solo trail work.

3. The bagels that Juls and I used to make and slide across to each other on our kayak paddles while on a river. Bagel, red pepper, tomato, sometimes cheese.

4. A sweet, feral orange from a tree sprouted by a logger's lunch on a wildlife refuge in Florida.

5.  Sweet sun-warmed blueberries from a hillside in the tundra while on a fire near Russian Mission, in the Alaska interior.

People! Take a big bite of a calm down sandwich! Food is fuel. It gets you up mountains and across rivers. I don't run with food (I ran two marathons just on water) but I do hike with it. I munch, I nibble, I chomp. Without food, I bonk.

Happy holidays and eat the food! What are some outdoor food memories you have? What is your anti-bonk food? (Mine is M&Ms. Not the healthiest but they do the job).
Photo by Scout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Scout saved me on a big downhill with black licorice jellybeans. I won't be able to eat those without thinking of hiking down towards Hopkins Lake in the rain!


  1. Cookies are my go-to hiking treats. And I think every hike should finish with a cold microbrew and big bag of kettle chips!

    1. sounds like we would hike well together!

  2. My favorite outdoor food memory has to be the one when hiking up to hidden lake on a beautiful late august afternoon and stopping along the way to stuff my face and a small zip lock with the sweetest huckleberries I have ever tasted. I must have lost myself for hours doing that, but time stood still.

  3. I was camping in the Grand Canyon off the Tanner Trail with my friend Kevin. We hadn't brought much food. Suddenly some food came floating by (a raft had capsized).

  4. Outdoor Food Memory #1: Somewhere in Maryland. Group camping, team building something-something. Had to cook our food over a campfire. Tried to boil water for spaghetti but couldn't get it hot enough. Put it in anyway. Waited 30 minutes. Epically bad spaghetti.

    Outdoor Food Memory #2: Three Sisters Wilderness. Day 3 of 3 days of rain. Ran out of fuel due to a miscommunication with backpacking partners. Picked a gallon bag of huckleberries (in the rain). Combined huckleberries, oatmeal, sugar, orange drink powder, raisins, trail mix, and powered vanilla pudding to make "cobbler" and "baked" it in a wet campfire for dinner. Best cobbler of my life.

    Outdoor Food Memory #3: Wallowas. Summer. We divide cooking responsibilities. They bring dinners: smoked salmon pasta with capers and lemon, curried rice, shepherds pie, sweet and sour lentils, black bean burritos, all from scratch. We leave the wilderness fatter than we entered and ashamed of bringing instant oatmeal.

    Outdoor Food Memory #4: Bike touring the California wine country. Lunch, every day, was a baguette, a ripe avocado, some crunchy vegetable (cucumber, red pepper), some delicious cheese, sometimes salami. I could eat it every day of my life.

    Oh, man. I could go on. But now I'm hungry and must eat. Ciao!

  5. amen. food is fuel.
    drinking hot coffee and eating chocolate chip cookies after a lunch of sandwich and apple while sitting at the edge of a small alpine lake near Banff... one of those moments I keep in my head for rough days.

  6. My outdoorsy go to food is granola bars or a bag of homemade GORP. Loved the GORP since I was a kid because that is what my ma always made for our camping trips. I must say if I could find a way to pack a big bag of Ruffles with out them turning into crumbles I would.

    1. One of the guys on our last trip brought a bag of salty M&M trail mix. It had pretzels, M&Ms and other stuff in it. A perfect mix of sweet and savory. I wanted to wrestle it from him!

  7. Mary,

    I also found a PBR in a stream. It was one I had accidently left on Chichagof Island during an August hunting trip. I went back to the same spot weeks later and discovered it in some tall grass where autumn runoff had deposited it. The can was bleached white, but the beer was like nectar from heaven!

    Rob W.

    1. A reclaimed PBR from a former trip! Awesome!


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