Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
I usually flinch at the quippy philosophies espoused on car bumper stickers, but when I spotted one that said, “Life is short, eat dessert first,” I knew a great mind was at work somewhere. On the trail, dessert is what I live for.
There are good reasons, other than simply satisfying a sweet tooth, for having dessert. Desserts top off scanty dinners, filling the gastrointestinal crannies and pumping up essential
caloric intake after an arduous day. Beyond that, something sweet and scrumptious is always a morale booster. With a dessert going down, bad weather doesn’t seem so terrible, and your muscles aren’t as sore. Desserts are also a great way to celebrate-a birthday, an anniversary, reaching the top of a peak, a change in the weather, anything.
So why do many backcountry travelers include sweet treats only as an afterthought? And even then why is it only a handful of gorp or a candy bar? It probably can be traced back to one too many experiences with crumbly oatmeal cookies, pudding that never does pud, or no-bake creations that leave a processed taste in the mouth.
We’re suffering a national crisis of imagination on the subject of camp desserts, which I mean to address right now. What follows is some sweet inspiration on the backcountry confections frontier. Some of the recipes are dead easy, others a tad elaborate, and there are a few you prepare at home and carry along. A full day of backpacking gives you license to eat dessert without the slightest twinge of guilt, so indulge.