Sweet Treats for the Trail
What motivates a hiker to make that final push to their campsite at the end of a long day on the trail? Dessert, of course!
by Shannon Leader
What motivates a hiker to make that final push to their campsite at the end of a long day on the trail? Dessert, of course! No proper backcountry meal plan would be complete without everyone’s favorite course. A handful of candy makes a sweet treat, but you can do better. Try one of these easy-to-make indulgences on your next outdoor adventure to take your meals to the next level.
Open-face pecan pie
- ½ cup pecans
- 5 caramels (about ¼ cup)
- 3 cookies, such as vanilla wafers or graham crackers
Chop the pecans and caramels into small pieces at home and put in a bag. At camp, melt the caramels and pecans together in your pot, then spoon onto the cookies. Makes three servings.
Festive apple compote
- 1 cup dehydrated apple slices
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pat of butter or coconut oil (optional)
Before you leave for your trip, mix all the ingredients together in a bag. At camp, heat ½ cup of water and pour over the mixture. Let it soak 5 minutes to rehydrate, stirring occasionally. Add butter or coconut oil. Makes two servings.
Eggnog chia pudding
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons powdered milk of your choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of cinnamon
Before leaving home, mix all the ingredients together in a bag. At camp, heat 1 cup of water and add it to a bowl with the chia seed mixture. Stir to incorporate and let rest for 15-20 minutes. You can also make it with cool water, but it will need a longer resting period. Makes two servings
Eat and drink
The right food and drink can take a trip from great to amazing. Here are three on-trail treats we’ve enjoyed this year.
- Caffeine boost: Dark chocolate + artisan coffee. What’s not to love? Joe Chocolates, made in Seattle, started when the company’s founders wanted to make a treat for a friend who was thruhiking the PCT. They add a nice boost of caffeine and come in four flavors. The honey almond was the first to disappear when we took them hiking. joechocolates.com.
- Comfort food: With plenty of okra and chicken — and just the right kick — this gumbo is great for a cool-weather meal. Good To-Go prides itself on only using ingredients you would use in your kitchen, and this is no exception. goodto-go.com.
- Cheers to hiking: Pocket Cocktails from BarCountry are easy to make in any water bottle. They come in four flavors: margarita, old-fashioned, bloody mary and bloody Caesar. A moscow mule is coming soon. To make a cocktail, just add water and a travel-sized bottle of the appropriate liquor. barcountrycocktails.com.
Looking for a dinner to go along with these sweet treats? Head over to our Backcountry Kitchen to view our full suite of trail-approved recipes.