Trail Snacks: GORP and Fruit Leather

GORP, aka Good Old Reliable Protein, and fruit leather are can be bought. Quality varies depending on how much you pay.

They’re both easy to make and satisfy hunger pangs. Kids can make them; it’s a good rainy day project.


Read store bought GORP for tips on what you will make at home. It typically contains raisins, cranberries, apricots, bananas (chopped if necessary), unsalted peanuts or other unsalted mixed nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and granola. Smarties or M&Ms are also a good addition, but will melt if the product is exposed during a hot day.

Making GORP requires a large bowl or Ziploc bag, and clean hands or large spoon. Add ingredients in equal amounts and stir. When mixed, lift out a handful and see if the ratio of contents looks good. There should be more granola than any other ingredient, but the mix should contain a lot of each except for the Smarties, which should be a smaller quantity.

GORP is eaten by the handful on rest stops or snack breaks, but if carried in a handy pocket, can be munched on as you walk. It is also a high energy breakfast when eaten from a bowl or cup with milk or some hot herbal tea (do not use hot tea on GORP containing Smarties as they melt and the gooey chocolate may or may not be what you like for breakfast.)

Fruit Leather

Fruit Leather is a chewy fruit roll made by blending and drying fresh fruit into a leather-like consistency.

Buy good-quality fresh fruit and puree it in the blender until it is a smooth consistency. If more sweetening is desired add a little honey. Honey will not crystallize like white sugar, which would make the product more brittle. Add a small amount of lemon juice to heighten the natural fruit flavour.

Use a Teflon-coated or Saran Wrap-lined cookie sheet (use masking tape to hold saran wrap at edges) and pour on the puree ¼ inch deep to about 1 inch from the tray edges.

The product may be dried in a dehydrator or the oven at the lowest setting (under 150ºF) and it may be necessary to turn or rearrange trays during the drying to ensure uniformity. Keep an eye on the drying to establish the correct length of time for your oven, but two hours is likely the minimum.

After drying and cooling is complete, remove from the tray and cut into 4-inch pieces that can rolled and wrapped in Saran Wrap or Ziploc bags.

Labelling the packages is a good idea if you have made batches using different fruits.

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