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It’s Settled, This Is the Tastiest Trail Mix You’ll Ever Eat

A simple snack to keep you fueled for the long haul.

Kayla Ramsey

Gorp, trail mix… whatever you call it, some variation of the nuts, fruits and oats mixture has been a mainstay in daypacks and thru-hiking packs since the early 1900s. One of the first recorded appearances of trail mix was published in Horace Kephart’s book, The Book of Camping and Woodcraft. Kephart, who was an outdoorsman, National Park advocate and writer for Field and Stream wrote: “A handful each of shelled nuts and raisins, with a cake of sweet chocolate, will carry a man far on the trail, or when he has lost it.”

The man had it right: trail mix provides the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and sugars to keep you energized between more formal meals on the trail.

Kephart’s recipe is functional, but basic. To get something that fits today’s elevated food standards, we tapped Jen Scism, co-founder and chef of Good To-Go, which makes gourmet dehydrated food for camping. Scism spent years in New York working as a chef in highly acclaimed French restaurants before starting her own praise-worthy restaurant, Annisa. Scism now runs Good To-Go in Kittery, Maine — and she gets out hiking as much as possible. She says trail mix is one of the mainstays in her pack, and she has developed her own recipe over the years.

“For me, it’s a combination of sweet and salty,” Scism says. “You need little things that balance each other out.” Despite Kephart’s chocolate recommendation, you won’t find any cacao in Scism’s recipe. “I don’t like anything that can melt. If you set your pack down in the sun, you’re going to find melted chocolate. So I like stuff that won’t be compromised by the weather.”

Scism starts with a base of a favorite granola recipe and then builds from there. In this recipe she uses a granola composed of almonds, pumpkin seeds and thick-cut oats tossed with honey and maple syrup. Then she builds on top of it, adding different dried fruits like pineapples or yogurt-covered raisins.

‘David’s Favorite Trail Mix’ by Jen Scism


Ingredients for the granola base:
1/4 pound thick-cut rolled oats
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup halved pecans
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shelled, raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 ounce honey
2 ounce maple syrup
1 ounce grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup yogurt-covered raisins

3/4 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup yogurt covered raisins

Optional additions:
Dried apricots
Dried pineapple

1. Toss all of the ingredients for the granola base together in a large bowl.

2. Put the mixture onto two cookie sheets with sides and bake at 300°F for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and move the mixture around so that it cooks evenly. Put them back in the oven, switching the top and bottom cookie sheet. Repeat this step twice, once every 10 minutes — or until the mixture is toasted but not brown.

4. Let the mixture cool, then add the dried fruit, mixing thoroughly. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator or cool, dry place.

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