Hiking was a big part of my childhood. I have great memories of the days we spent climbing Bear Mountain as children. My father was, and still is, an avid hiker. Every few months he would pack up his camping gear, head for the mountains, and come home with a beard and lots of smelly, muddy clothes.


On our last vacation we went to Vermont; I couldn’t wait to get my own kids into the woods for their first real hike. We picked the shortest trail and started up the mountain. It was pretty challenging but I had a secret weapon that I knew would motivate them to get to the top. Three packs of GORP tucked away in my backpack – only to be opened once we hit the summit. It was a snack my dad never hiked without.

The promise of this mysterious treat called GORP was the perfect carrot. All three boys made it to the summit and were rewarded by a gorgeous view. A pristine lake nestled in the trees at the top of the mountain. Asking for GORP was the first thing they did. When I pulled it out they were delighted (it had M&M’s!) and munched away. The second thing they did was throw off their sneakers and jump in the lake.


Heading back was much easier, at least for the kids, since Brian and I ended up carrying them most of the way. Looking back I wish I had packed some spare GORP for the trek down.

Traditionally GORP is a mixture of Granola, Oats, Raisins and Peanuts, hence the name. But anything goes, from chocolate to dried fruit to wheat germ; as long as you combine something sweet and salty you will have a winning combination and a perfect snack for your next venture into the woods.

House of Bedlam GORP


1 cup of coconut flakes

1 cup of dried cranberries

1 cup of chocolate chips, assorted

1 cup of salted peanuts


Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the coconut flakes out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes. Toss every few minutes to avoid burning.


When coconut is cooled, add the cranberries, chocolate chips and peanuts. Place in Ziploc bag and mix together.


Store in airtight container for up to two weeks.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Except for the nuts I like it all!”

Liam (age 4): “Did you make this when we were sleeping? I like the chips in this very much”

Dylan (age 4): “Are we going hiking?”

Images Source:// All Are Author’s Own

Elaine Studdert

Elaine Studdert


I am no chef – I am just a girl who loves to cook and loves to eat! I have three of the toughest little critics around who are my official tasters. My mission is to expose them to new flavors and have them eat real food, not from a box, and actually enjoy it too.

My blog is about documenting my culinary experiments with three very rambunctious and opinionated little boys. Each week I test a new dish, a new spice, or a give a twist to an old classic.  I don’t want to change the world but I do want to get my kids to eat some broccoli once in awhile.