How to make a trail mix to suit your needs
Trail mix (aka scroggin) is the art of mixing nuts, grains, dried food and sweets together to create an energy filled, tasty snack. Here are some of our tips to help you make a delicious and valuable trail mix for a day outdoors.
Hikers & Campers
Make a trail mix packed with protein to give long lasting energy when you need it most. Eating a big meal on a hike can sometimes lead to a stitch or fast burning energy. Trail mix is a great alternative to keep you energised and motivated to reach your destination. It’s three or four in the afternoon and after a day of walking you still aren’t at camp. A small portion of sweet, melt resistant treats can be used as a great motivator (if your energy reserves are enough to do so) for each milestone you reach on the way to camp. For the foodies among us, it’s even better to use when spirits are down and you really need a push.
Perfect for the kids
One of the best things about trail mix is you make your own. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, you can create a mix that suits you and your family. Kids love the opportunity to get involved in the process, so let them create their own. This will get them excited about hiking and even more exciting about eating. There are a few tactics you can try when taking the kids hiking. Giving them a list of things to find on the way is a great way to keep them motivated but when they start to get tired, it’s hard to push them to go on. Trail mix is something that can be leveraged to motivate kids to keep going whether they get the treat at the end or get to snack during the hike.
What is in a trail mix?
Trail mix can be anything you want that is a good source of protein. Here are some of the most common things found in a mix.
Nuts | Seeds | Grains | Dried Fruit | Sweets | Our Suggestions
Nuts are best used for longer, endurance treks being high in natural fats and protein. Try to stay away from anything salted or roasted as these will dehydrate you fast and are not as beneficial as Mother Nature originally prepares them. Grains Cereal is a good balance of carbohydrates and sugar (and a winner with the kids) which means they are excellent for short high energy activities or days where the trail is intensive. Be sure to select the right cereal for the activity and treat high in sugar varieties the same as sweets. With cereal, low GI is usually the best way to go for a steady release of energy.
Seeds should be enjoyed in small amounts. They are an excellent source of fiber and Vitamin E and are also a good source of protein and zinc. Both seeds and grains are very similar to nuts, so it’s important to keep it natural, anything added on top is only flavour and subtracts from the benefits.
Cereal is a good balance of carbohydrates and sugar (and a winner with the kids) which means they are excellent for short high energy activities or days where the trail is intensive. Be sure to select the right cereal for the activity and treat high in sugar varieties the same as sweets. With cereal, low GI is usually the best way to go for a steady release of energy.
Dried fruit is a great option for natural energy and sugars and is a must if you love your fruit. Fresh options are normally too difficult to pack, but drying means you can still keep the fruit component of your diet without worrying about bruising or leaking.
Sugar is a quick boost of energy and packed with flavour. While the energy burns faster than natural sugars like fruit, the flavours can pep you up and more importantly the kids to get them to the next milestone. While chocolate and softer sweets have their place in a trail mix, they can melt and ruin the rest of the mix, so it’s most often best to separate them from the mix. Most importantly, remember to use them as treats only and stay away from any caffeine or other energy boosting additives, both artificial and natural. The right trail mix can make the difference in the trip, whether it’s for convenient sustenance or as a motivator. If you haven’t tried making your own, get cracking and have some fun!
The right trail mix can make the difference in the trip, whether it’s for convenient sustenance or as a motivator. If you haven’t tried making your own, get cracking and have some fun!
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