Surprise treats mean a lot on a trip — just ask Norwegian explorer Aleksander Gamme, who in this video finds a secret stash of junk food, and promptly freaks out.
Do you see things like chocolate and treats as unnecessary dead weight on a trip? Think again. It’s no mistake that bags of cheez doodles, gumdrops(?), chocolate and snooty cheese are in Gamme’s supply cache… These things fuel morale.
Gamme describes the scene:
This is day 86 on my full return South Pole Expedition 2011/2012. I’m quite hungry and about to pick up my last cache by my second pulk which I left on the way in. As a part of my motivational plan I have on purpose not made notes on what goodies I have left behind in the cache… and on this last one, I didn’t expect very much…
The video is, of course, in Norwegian, but while we here on staff don’t know his exact words, he’s happy enough to be purring (2:50) and singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
Gamme’s notion of planning unexpected delights (no less, for himself!) is a really smart one. Morale can take many different forms, but when it’s bathed in chocolate or hydrogenated cheese powder, it turns even a mundane trip around 180 degrees.
Are you planning a wilderness trip soon? Here are some ideas we’ve used to keep spirits high among our ranks:
Snacks as rewards
I’ve brought bags of individually-wrapped Twix bars on guys’ trips, and used them as rewards in contests of skill. Delicious caramel-coated cookie crunch goes to whomever catches the first fish; or can hit a target with the slingshot, etc.
Sweets as sanity-savers
A dozen or so Tootsie-Roll Pops are always in our thwart bag when we have kids with us. When boredom strikes or bickering ensues, it’s amazing how a little sugar can inspire a ‘tudinal adjustment.
Saving for a rainy day
Stuck under a tarp in a downpour? or worse, in a tent? In times like these, even the smallest bits of happiness can save the day. Go for the secret stash of sweets.
Dessert to the rescue
Nothing caps off a day like dessert. And that doesn’t always have to mean more dishes, or fussing with improvised reflector oven. Candy bars, cookies from home, instant pudding mixed into your drinking cup… anything goes. Your camp mates will never ever forget desserts you serve on the trail. A favorite of ours are packs of mini-stroopwafels we purchase at Trader Joe’s.
I’ve now made it a personal goal to plan a surprise worthy enough to make my friends howl in surprise on our next trip… just like Aleksander.
What are your favorite snacks or desserts to bring on a trip?