OUTSIDE The Art of Making Gorp By: Steve Roark TN Dept. Agriculture, Forestry Division

My enjoyment of such pastimes of hiking, biking, fishing, etc. is further enhanced by another favorite activity: eating.  You know what they say, food tastes better outside.  You can’t always carry a lot of food with you on the go, but you can throw together a compact food that is tasty, energy filled, and (if you prefer) healthy.  The food I speak of has several names: trail mix, granola, and my favorite, gorp.  There are plenty of pre-mixed products you can buy that work just fine, but if you want to custom blend your own, here are some tips.


Gorp (good old raisins and peanuts) is a mixture of dry nuts and fruits plus anything else that does not require refrigeration and can be easily carried.  Raisins and peanuts are usually the core ingredients, and can stand alone to provide protein and fuel for an all-day outing.  Just mix equal amounts of them in a zip-lock bag, stick them in your pocket or pack and off you go. I personally prefer golden raisins over the darker ones, but it’s a matter of taste.  There are plenty of other ingredients that can make gorp more interesting.  Chocolate is universally accepted, and can be in the form of M&Ms or dark or white (my favorite) chocolate chips. Delicious yes, but healthy? Well… walk faster and burn it off.


Another favorite additive of mine is dates, which come whole or chopped.  Other things you can find in the grocery store are small pretzels, dry cereal like chex, mini-wheats, or cheerios; other dried fruits like apples or bananas; and different nuts like almonds, cashews, or walnuts.  There is no exact formula of what to put in or how much to use, so start with a 2:1 ratio of crunchy stuff to sweet stuff, and adjust to suit your taste When you gather up ingredients for gorp you usually have to buy more than you would use on a trip, so mix a batch at home, store in a tight container and plan more trips.


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