Trail mix, Gorp or Scroggin – hiking snack food by any other name!

What is the best snack food when hiking?
Yummy nibbles to keep up your energy?
Gorp for the trail? Try this recipe, we love it!
Easy food to eat while hiking, bushwalking, mountain climbing or treking?

No matter where you live or what you call trail mix you probably have a favourite “snack” food you take hiking.

Hi, Frank & Sue here,

Sick of eating the same boring food every time you go hiking? 

We teach you how to plan a menu, package your food, share ideas on what to eat or how to dehydrate meals, our book Food to Go is packed with easy tips and great recipes!

Click here to download it now

Wikipedia describes trail mix as the ideal snack food for hikes, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit and/or granola, and sustained energy from the mono- and polyunsaturated fats in nuts

We have been modifying our scroggin over several years and in this post describe how we put it all together and prepare our scroggin for each hiking trip.

The “rules”:
- cut up your treats into small pieces for different taste sensations
- avoid anything that melts or goes too soggy
- avoid anything too sticky (makes big chunks) or soft (breaks up into small pieces that are hard to grab)
- there are no real rules – just add what you like to eat

The recipe:
This is just a sample of the type of snacks we use in our scroggin, mix and match it to your taste.
- Liquorice all sorts cut into quarters
- Liquorice twists or straps cut into 2-3 cm (1″) lengths
- jelly beans
- snakes – cut up
- jelly babies
- dried fruit such as apricot, pear, sultanas, raisins, currents etc
- chocos
- Liquorice chocolate coated bullets
- yogurt balls
- M&M’s
- smarties
- Nuts – peanuts (we use unsalted or EVERYTHING gets salty), cashews, almonds etc BUT nothing with shells

Our scroggin, mixed and ready to bag
The amount:
- We take 100grams (about 3.5 ounces) or a small ziploc bag per person per day (this has gradually been reduced from about 200g as we now tend to eat less).
- We count the first and last day in the trail as one bag
- On a 5 night hike we take 5 bags (half for first and last day)

How we buy it all:
- We work out how many nights we are hiking – for example, 4 nights, 400gms each, two of us, total required 800gms! Our last trip we needed 1.6kg or 3.5 pounds!
- off to the supermarket and head to the confectionary / health food/ nut / dried fruit sections
- graze around for 30 min or so deciding what looks good (best to eat BEFORE you go there)
- start adding bags of goodies to our basket, writing down the net weight of each bag
- once we reach the required amount / weight we usually throw in an extra bag or two to get some more variety
- head off to the checkout and nearly faint at the cost….. junk food is expensive.

The packaging process:
- get a large bowl or container
- open packets, cut up large pieces and add to bowl
- beat off the children and hungry animals
- mix together by hand taking care not to eat too much
- depending on the amount you have decided for each day, weigh or fill bag with required amount
- share the leftovers with the kids

Seven days of scroggin for three people – bagged and ready to go

Advantages:
- we love the convenience of a pre-measured amount each day
- you don’t eat all your scroggin in the first few days
- your get a real energy boost nibbling on high sugar food each hour or so

Disadvantages:
- You can add some serious weight to your pack if you are hiking for a few days, for example, seven nights, 700grams (1.5 pounds) of trail mix.
- you can get sick of the same tastes each day – think about putting a mix of different items in for different days if you are out for more than a couple of days e.g. nuts and jellybeans or bullets, snakes and yogurt balls in one bag. Experiment.

We would love to hear what you take as trail mix or scroggin or gorp. Leave us a comment so others can read them and use your ideas on their next trip.

Comments

  1. Traildreamer says

    Hey! Just found your blog from the Problogger forums, and absolutely love it! Will follow you avidly.

  2. Frank and Sue says

    Hi Traildreamer – thanks for dropping by, I really enjoyed having a look around your site. Sounds like you really like a challenge!

    Big Red Adventures – good luck with your dreams! Have you thought about adding subscribe by email to your site? Much easier than feeds!

    • Alex says

      Hi there,
      GREAT blog. Love the scroggin tips and (as a Tasmanian) the Overland track info. Just wanted to let you know that (unfortunately for me) a lot of your links aren’t working.

      Alex

      • Frank says

        Thanks Alex,
        Appreciate the feedback , enjoy your scroggin— I will check the links too….bane of my life…..
        Frank

  3. Murray says

    It seems that, while your trail mixes are tasty and high energy, you may have missed the ‘scroggin’ point a bit. The traditional ‘scroggin’ mix gets its name from the ingredients. S- Sultanas; C- Chocolate; R- Raisins; O- Orange peel (candied); G- Ginger (Crystallised); G- Glucose (as in barley sugars or similar); I- Imagination (seeds, dried apple or apricot, etc..); N- Nuts (non-salted). Enjoy!

  4. Frank says

    Hi Murray,
    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, sorry about the delay in replying. I agree totally with your comment that the origin of scroggin is as you mention.
    What we are trying to get across here is that you can really use anything you like in “trail mix” or hiking nibbles or whatever!
    Must say we have probably used more of a percentage of imagination and less of the traditional.
    What do you use?
    Frank

  5. Bill says

    Love your site, fantastic ideas. Just recently have been drying fruit & fruit leather’s for the kids to take to school, I can’t keep up with the production, kids just devour it. Where we get our fruit & veg, I spoke to the owner & every week I pick up fruit that can’t be sold ie: to soft, just perfect for fruit leathers or apples passed there best, but great for dried fruit. He was throwing it away & was more than happy to pass it my way. About a month ago ended up with a box of peaches, pureed it up 1 container in the freezer the rest made up fruit leathers. Made a fruit leather of 4 peaches & 2 apples placed on plastic tray in dehydrator, 12hrs later I had to hide it from the kids!!!

    • Frank says

      Thanks very much Bill, and welcome! Your story really made me laugh, home made fruit leathers are fantastic! We are in the final phases of writing a new book on hiking food and have some terrific pictures of fruit leathers drying!

      keep up the drying!

  6. says

    Taste explosions galore in your recipe. It beats anything I’ve bought or made and my husband would think he’d died and gone to heaven with licorice allsorts thrown in. Heading out for a 3 week bike trip in 3 weeks and think I’ll whip up a batch of this.

    • Frank says

      Ha Ha! Glad you like the idea Leigh. We love a bit of variety and this mix works a treat (if not a bit heavy!)

      Can’t wait to read about your next trip, they are always a great read.

  7. Andrew Bishop says

    Crikey – it’s a diabetic’s nightmare! Personally, I like a scroggin that is heavy on nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

  8. Sharon says

    My Mix tend to have all sort of things
    * Chocolate (what ever is on hand or I like when I go to the store – (i.e. dairy milk blocks chopped up or M&M’s, clinkers, choc chips I have even cut up small chocoalte coasted turkish delight bars and added them))
    * Nuts (what ever is on hand or I like when I go to the store – Almonds, macadamias, cashews etc)
    * Cereal (things like Nutra grain or Granola clusters or such)
    * Dried Fruit (what ever is on hand, or I like when I go to the store, sultanas, raisins, craisins, paw paw, papaya, banana, apple, glace ginger apricots, flaked coconut etc etc)
    * Liquorice or other lollies.
    * Seeds (what ever is on hand, or I like when I go to the store – pepita’s, sunflower seeds etc)
    * Apricot delight (if I have some lying about)
    * Muesli or Protein Bars (cut them into small pieces and add)

    Mix thoroughly and store in zip lock bags (or one big bag to dole out into smaller bags each day (depending on what sort of trip it is being used for (if Canoeing and leaving from a base camp each day then one big bag and take out a days serve each day etc).

    I made up a batch of this today for my fiance using what ever I could find in the cupboards while trying to keep it somewhat healthy (it is to be used as an afternoon snack during next weeks – week of 13 hour days).

    This particular one has – Nutra grain cereal, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, pomegranate clusters, a handful of his breakfast museli (heavy on the fruity bits), mixed dried fruit (like what you use for making Christmas cakes – sultanas, raisins, glace cherries etc)), liquorice, chopped up turkish delight bar, some chopped up dairy milk chocolate block, coconut, craisins, chopped up fruit and nut with chocolate base protein bar. I think that is about it.

    • Frank says

      Sharon,
      You are a legend! What a great comment, fantastic ideas.
      Love the idea of using cereal for a change, our’s is very sweet….. (sorry for the delay in replying)

  9. Jakkles says

    I add cubes of parmesan cheese to my mix to offset the sweet things with something savoury. Parmesan cheese handles warm weather pretty well too. As others have suggested, seeds are also good (although the small size makes them a bit fiddly).

    I haven’t thought to use licorice allsorts…probably not a great idea for me, as I’d eat it all in the first half hour!

  10. says

    It’s a good thing I just had breakfast or you’d have me heading back into the pantry to mix up some nuts and candy! I discovered this idea of mixing things when hiking with my sister in New Zealand last January, what an eye opener!
    Loved your laugh-inducing recipe! ;)

    • Frank says

      Thanks Cristina!
      Did you enjoy hiking in NZ? We have not been there yet but it is on the list.

      The fjord images on your site look great.
      Cheers
      Frank

      • says

        Glad you liked the pictures Frank! I got waaay behind on my blogging about NZ… was too busy living it! ;)

        The hiking in NZ was gorgeous! I didn’t have time (or skills) to do any of the multi-day hikes, but I did do several full day ones (famous Tongariro Crossing, the final day of the Kepler track near lake Te Anau, Mt Taranaki…) and I just loved it! The scenery is so different if you’re in the north or the south… in the centre of the island (N) or on the coast… Volcanic mountains or rainforests. All so gorgeous! And the trails are very well marked and easy to follow (mostly, I got a bit side-tracked on my way up a peak behind Queenstown), so for someone without much experience “off the beaten track” like myself it was a relief not to have to worry about getting lost! I did some hiking with my sister (who lives there), some all by myself, loved all of it!

        NZ is well worth the visit! I’d say the only aspect I preferred when I was in Tassie, was the excitement of spotting wallabies and other critters in the bush. In NZ the birds are a lot more elusive… but once you get the hang of it, you’ll go nuts like me trying to get a decent shot of the bloody fantails who come and nag you and then flit away! ;)

        Oh, and advice for the Tongariro Crossing (most poppular 1-day trek in NZ): do it on New Year’s Day! It was my sister’s 3rd time and she confirmed that the mountain almost felt empty (even though there were a lot of people!)

        cheers!

  11. Joel says

    Im going on my first hike this weekend, in the Blue Mountains, out to Colo River, and I am really excited about it! Only one night, but its a good start.
    I have done several lightweight camping trips on a motorbike, and I will be taking similar gear on this hike.
    Thanks for all the info on the site. I was wondering how you prepare and divide food up for multi day adventures, and now I know!

    I fear that I may make a bit of a habit of multi day hikes after this trip! lol

    • Frank says

      Well done Joel!
      You have to start with the first step. Have a great time and let us know how you go. Remember, keep the weight you carry down. Makes for a much more comfortable trip.

      Cheers
      Frank

      • Joel says

        Thanks Frank!
        I’ve packed as best I could, but my pack Inc food and water is at 17kgs.
        I’m going to take out a few odds and ends, and reduce my water from 5 litres to 4 litres.
        If I can get it to 15, I’ll be happy.

        Btw, I should have waited till after dinner to make my trail smash! I’m full of ginger and liquorice!! Lol.

  12. Alyce says

    Love the trail mix idea! Looks like too many lollies for my liking though, but I’m looking foward to trying it out on the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk! :)

  13. Wendy says

    Thats it. I’m going shopping to buy some licorice allsorts and whatever other sweet goodies I can find to add to my boring fruit & nut trailmix. I have been walking the Bibbulmun Track in sections on weekends and am bored with the food I have been taking.
    Great website guys and I will be investing in the Food to Go book.

  14. says

    This is a great guide! We used it to measure our weight for trail mix for a 5-day backcountry camping trip.

    Mine was:
    - strawberry filled mini wheats
    - butterscotch chips
    - peanuts
    - yogurt covered raisins
    - freeze dried strawberrys
    - salted almonds

    YUM! BF is more of a traditionalist – granola, mixed nuts, dried fruits, and choc chips :)

  15. Catherine says

    Hi, I get to go hiking a lot (i am a scout). I really enjoy it and find it heaps of fun. Although i do find it hard to work out how many changes of clothes i should take. I always seem to take clothes thinking i would change on the hike but never seem to. Do you have any tips?

    My mum found the Food To Go book on your website and found it very handing. I love all the recipes you have in it and the way you have the examples of the meal plans – they have come in very handy!

    • Frank says

      Hi Catherine,
      Great question. I was a scout too , many,many , many years ago. Loved every minute of it!
      Even though the Overland Track book is about, well, the Overland Track, we put a fair bit of info in there about what clothes we take hiking on any long trip. I have emailed you a copy.

      Mum might have got an email recently saying she could download the latest 2014 version for free as well. She just has to be on our mailing list.

      Hope the book helps!
      Frank

      • Catherine says

        Thank you very much! The book will help a lot and maybe even one day i might get to go to the Overland Track!

  16. says

    Hi,
    When hiking I always take lots of trail mix. Usually I include mixed nuts such as peanuts and almonds, small chocolate pieces, sultanas or dried cranberries and other dried fruit like pawpaw, pineapple and mango. It’s relatively healthy, satisfying and delicious.

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