Feeding wildlife is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but with food this good, you won’t want to share!
Trail mix is an especially tasty treat for any outdoor adventure. It’s such a great snack because you can customize it based on your tastes and your adventure. We love s’mores trail mix for backpacking trips because it’s calorically dense for the weight and usually the heat of the day can melt the chocolate and marshmallows just like the real thing. Since you can’t have campfires in the backcountry, we find the melty s’mores trail mix is as good as the real thing.
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup sweet graham-cracker-type cereal, think golden grahams or cinnamon toast crunch
- 1 cup of mini pretzels
- In a large bowl or bag, combine all the ingredients. Toss until well mixed and combined.
- Position bag on the top of your pack during a sunny day, or on a cloudy day on the inside of your back against your bag.
- Hike until you can’t hike anymore
- Enjoy your sun-warm or sweaty-back-warmed s’mores trail mix, as close as you can get to the real thing sans campfire.
Trail mix is the quintessential hiking snack, and this recipe is so good you won’t want to share, especially with any of our not-so-human park inhabitants. Feeding and enticing wildlife is a big problem in our parks, but there’s a really easy solution – just don’t do it. And if you see others feeding wildlife, let them know not to as well.
Feeding and enticing animals with food can change their behaviour. Enticing animals can distract them from other important behaviours necessary for survival. For example, Canada Jays or the colloquially known “whisky jacks” can connect humans to food and remember this association. The link between humans and food can be so strong in Canada Jays that nesting females may be enticed away from their brood or babies by people offering food. Feeding animals is never a good idea and can be especially damaging when you distract these animals from other important natural behaviours, like caring for their young.
Human food isn’t healthy for wild animals. They have specialized diets and can often become sick, die or malnourished if they eat the wrong foods. When you feed animals, you might think you are helping them out, but that is not the case. Wild animals can survive just fine on their own, they’ve been doing it for thousands of years.
Animals accustomed to people often lose their fear of people and can become aggressive. Those that become too aggressive may have to be destroyed to protect people and property. . Being mindful of wildlife attractants and never feeding wildlife can help save an animal’s life.
Thanks for reading and we hope we helped inspire you to recreate with conservation in mind.