Imagine this1: You are at a beautiful limestone crag surrounded by trees that are interwoven with streams, babbling brooks and small waterfalls at every turn. When you make it to the wall and climb to the top you are rewarded with pristine views of a not so distant river sparkling with rays of light that cast a copper glow throughout the atmosphere. You breathe in the fresh crisp air and try not to let the excitement of the climb outweigh the magnificence of the vistas. After you are lowered to the ground, you are surrounded by friends who share the appreciation of the moment and understand what it is to savor life’s small victories. You reach into your pack to pull out an array of cheeses, breads, fruits, nuts, and a locally produced bottiglia di vino. An epicurean charcuterie awaits as evening falls, and the symphony of crickets play in the background of a dining experience that no 5 Star restaurant could ever come close to capturing. You and your closest friends exchange stories synchronously with the conception of a whole new batch of memories of which you were completely unaware. You lay beneath the stars on a night so clear that you can’t help but feel connected to every star in the galaxy. The warmth of the fire and the crackling of the logs are the only lullaby you need as you fall asleep for the night.
This sounds perfect, there’s only one problem…it’s the epicurean charcuterie. Everything about this image is typical of nearly every climbing excursion I’ve ever been on. Everything except the epicurean charcuterie.
My typical epicurean charcuterie consists of no cheese, or nuts, or vino, or bread. My typical epicurean charcuterie is a cold can of Spaghetti O’s, a bag of Animal Crackers, a jar of peanut butter, and two bottles of cucumber Gatorade.
This is not an exaggeration. That’s my crag diet, and while it doesn’t dimmish otherwise perfect climbing trips, it is clearly the weak spot of the image painted above.
The pros of this diet are that it’s cheap, quick, and portable. The cons of this diet are that it’s very difficult to convince oneself that any meal centering around Spaghetti O’s and Animal Crackers is an epicurean charcuterie. And I would love an epicurean charcuterie while climbing and camping. I know it’s been done; I have seen it thrice with my own eyes…some people have camping down to an artform, I mean Michelin level!
But sadly, that is not me.
And so I would love your help, and I’ll offer a couple options if you are interested.
Option A) Join theDIHEDRAL on a climbing trip embracing the role of epicurean charcuterie chef.
Option B) Share your tips for a proper crag/trail diet or dinner or snack. Whatever you’re eating has to be better than what I’m eating. Please help!
- Of course, this leaves out the mosquitos, the humidity, the fire ants, the exhaustion, the dehydration, the low blood sugar, the heatstroke, and the migraines that sometimes accompany a climbing trip with your friends. But that stuff is easily forgotten and completely beside the point!