Family hikes have become one of our favorite ways to spend time together. This year we set a goal to go on six big (as in a destination within an hour or two drive) family hikes. One of our main goals is enjoying nature together. Shared experiences as a family build strong bonds between parents and kids and between siblings. These family trips are what will make up our kids memories of their childhoods. Two big hikes we have done out of state are Bromley Mountain and Mt. Pisgah. You can read more about those experiences on the blog in Hiking with Littles and Don’t Forget the National Forests.
When you are on a strenuous hike that will take most of the day, it is key to keep up your calories. One of the best ways to do this is to pack a high calorie and high protein snack. Lucky for all of us occupants of the 21st century, there is an entire segment of the retail market catering (literally) to this need. We love Lara Bars and Clif Bars and all sorts of prepackaged trail mixes. It’s actually hard to go wrong with any of these. We try to keep a little stockpile for impromptu trips on the trail.
However, being the overachieving homeschool mom type, I’m always looking to bring various arenas of life together in that lovely synergy that we call an “integrated education.” What this really means is that I’m trying to do double time for family fun and learning activities. I wrote about that too in Learning Opportunities on the Trail. One activity that all my kids enjoy is cooking. So we often like to make our own trail snacks. I shared in Trail Mix-it-up about our GORP recipe. GORP is “good ol’ raisins and peanuts” but we also add M&M because chocolate goes with everything. I’d like to expand this recipe to what I call “fancy GORP.”
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup regular M&M’s
Fancify your trail mix with:
½ cup of cocoa powder covered almonds. Have you tried these? They will change your life like the guilt free chocolate craving crushers that they are!
½ cup of roasted cashew halves. I’ve always enjoyed cashews and they are a nice little luxury element in your trail mix. Also, my four-year-old seems to think that cashews and fortune cookies are the same thing and is always looking for the “secret message” in his cashew. It’s adorable and makes me laugh every time. See what I mean about the marking memories part?
I hope you try and enjoy our GORP and Fancy GORP recipes on your next family hike. You can have fun in the kitchen together whipping them together and go make some trail memories. What would you add to your homemade trail mix? Let us know in the comments at trailfamily.blog or visit us on Facebook at TrailFamily.