The Iowa National Heritage Foundation claims humans have been combining foods into a “trail mix” of sorts since the hunters and gatherers in nomadic tribes mixed fruits with meat for extensive journeys. The Nibble states the first semblance of the trail mix we know and love today may have come from an 1833 citation in Denmark surrounding a popular snack food called student oats or “studenterhavre.” This European mixture mainly contained raisins and almonds with occasional chocolate pieces added during the holidays.
According to Gear Patrol, the next mention of trail mix in print form wasn’t noted until the early 1900s in Horace Kephart’s book “The Book of Camping and Woodcraft,” which was originally published in 1906. The author states “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.”
While REI CO OP claims one character in Jac Kerouac’s 1958 novel “The Dharma Bums” snacked on an assortment of fruit and nuts, GORP which is a fancy acronym for good old raisins and peanuts was supposedly coined by two California surfers in 1968. Harmony foods successfully gained rights to the term “trail mix” and marketed the nut and seed mix toward hikers and campers in the late ’60s. While this veritable snack has come a long way, there are now countless easy trail mix recipes for snacking on the go. Moreover, how has trail mix evolved since the 1960s?