Tired of munching MRE’s while camping or on the trail? Is Mountain House starting to taste like wet cardboard? Tired of spending loads of money on overpriced store-bought trail mix? Then GORP it!
The abbreviation GORP is commonly thought to stand for Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts. But it has become an acronym for trail mix in the outdoor community. And it makes an excellent travel, camping, and survival food. The concept of a combination of certain nuts, cereal and dried fruit as a munchable meal is universal. In Germany they refer to it as Studentenfutter (“student feed”) and in Poland it is called Mieszanka studencka (“students’ mix”). (You need to be able to read either German or Polish to read those pages, so if you don’t, then kindly take my word for it).
Trail mix has been around for a long time, and many companies offer commercial, ready-made mixes that you can buy outright. But you can make your own GORP much cheaper, and custom design it to your taste. Having a survival type food in your bug out bag is essential. Weight and space are always a problem. For it’s size and weight, GORP is nutrition packed. Generally nuts and seeds have approximately 6 calories and 0.3 grams of protein per gram. That translates to about 2,721 calories and 136 grams of protein per pound. For the weight, this exceeds the nutritional value of even custom designed survival food such as SOS Survival Bars. And it tastes a whole lot better!
Making your own GORP is easy. Here is a simple recipe. You can change the quantities to suit your needs.
- 1/2 ounce whole shelled (unpeeled) almonds
- 1/4 ounce unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- 1/4 ounce dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon pitted dates
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate chips (or M&Ms)
There is a whole world of things you can add to your GORP to suit your individual taste:
- Personally, I add raisins. It wouldn’t be GORP without the R!
- Banana chips
- Oat Granola
- Sunflower Seed kernels
- Dried apricots
The list is only limited by your imagination and taste.
This website has a lot of interesting recipes. Check it out for some great ideas! I’m sure many readers have their own favorite recipes, so share with us and post away!
Storing Your Gorp
So how long will your GORP last in storage or in your bug out bag? It will depend on the moisture content of the items you make it with. If stored in Zip Lock freezer bags it should last a very long time, months even. Remember, you should be rotating your food stocks anyway.
So Why Bother?
- It is a lot cheaper to make your own trail mix than buy it.
- It is actually a nutritious and tasty survival food.
- You can pack more nutrition in less space and weight in your bug out bag than most other survival foods.
- You can customize your own special recipes, even individual recipes for each member of the family or group.
- It is much healthier for you when you get those midnight munchies that what you are probably eating now.
So, experiment, and find the GORP that is right for you. Happy Trails!
8 thoughts on “GORP. Nutritious, Tasty, and Cheap!”
Yes, rotating one’s stocks is quite important. In a BOB, rotating the stock every month might get obnoxious. Also, if there was any chocolate content, one might need to worry about it melting (depending on where it is stored).
Trial and error. The only time I use chocolate is M&Ms for short term use. I change the water and check expiration dates on items in my BOB monthly.
That is certainly wise, but more conscientious than I can manage. I just have a tag with any expiration dates written on it. I try for things with at least 5 years; meds are usually the exception. Good point about the water. I don’t have any in the bag; carry it separately where it is easy to change out.
My bug out ruck is a Camelback with the built in water bladder. Used it extensively in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Although the water will remain good longer than a month, if I don’t change it out it starts tasting a bit skunky. A 2 quart and 2 1 quart canteens hang on the outside. Easy to change. I stay 90 days ahead on the meds and rotate them out.
Yep, those bladders are handy, but sure do get “skunky” quickly. I’ve got one system which is pretty easy to get the bladder out of, since the hose has a quick disconnect at the bladder, but the other system is a real pain to fill/empty/clean because you have to feed some of the hose back into the pack enough to get the bladder out far enough to deal with, then the pack flops around while you attempt to deal with the bladder. Oddly enough, I hardly ever use that one.
“months” is not “a very long time”. I wonder what the shelf life would be if you were to vacuum seal it?
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“Months” is relative to quantity. Rotating one’s stocks will also matter. I think vacuum sealing would be a great idea if you plan on making large quantities for long term storage.
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