Monday, December 22, 2014

A Tankbag Essential

Earlier this month my friend Chris Cope posted about a recent experience of his where, after riding to his destination, he discovered the cafe he was planning to have lunch at didn't actually exist. Things went downhill from there since, due to hunger, he couldn't come up with a new plan or make a decision about where to eat.

Having had similar experiences where just picking what to have for lunch has become an insurmountable decision, I thought I'd share a little hard-won wisdom I picked up from a very experienced backpacker.

Always Carry Peanut M&M's in your tankbag.

There are three reasons for this:
  1. You are going to end up in a situation where you're so hungry you can't think right eventually. The sugar and protein (from the peanuts) will give you enough of a boost that you'll be able to think rationally again, and come up with a new plan.
  2. No matter what, Peanut M&M's sound good, unless you aren't hungry. Even then, they'll sound good. I've had times when trail mix, on the other hand, sounded awful even though I was starving. Hunger can make you stupid. Packing Peanut M&M's is planning ahead to outsmart stupid-hungry-you.
  3. If I remember my M&M lore correctly, the darn things were designed to be durable.  They melt in your mouth, not in your tankbag.
This works.  Peanut M&M's have saved the day for me on more than one occasion.  Unless you've got an allergy to something in them, I would strongly recommend carrying them.

I wouldn't recommend them as your entire meal plan, but in a pinch, there's nothing better.

So, get a bag of Peanut M&M's (or a dozen.  I mean, they're good...) and throw 'em in your tankbag.  

You can thank me later.  


Chris Cope said...

Damn. They don't sell peanut M&Ms in Britain.

Lucky said...

Ouch. My brief Google search indicated that they were available over there, sorry about that.

Are Peanut Smarties a thing that exists? I recall they taste way different than M&M's, but in a pinch...

Snickers bars would work too, though they're somewhat less rugged. ;)

Dar said...

Good advice Lucky! I always carry a protein bar or granola bars in my tank bag & 1 in my saddle bag, just in case I don't bring the tank bag. I also carry a spare bottle of fresh water with me as well. You just never know when you might be thirsty or hungry.

Trobairitz said...

Damn no vegan versions of Peanut M&Ms. Until then it is trail mix and cliff bars in the tail bag (I don't have a tank bag)......

Richard M said...

Hmmm, how about that. I just picked up some peanut M&Ms yesterday and they are sitting in my tail bag.

mq01 said...

great advice lucky! i always carry a sealed bag of nuts (so it keeps), gummy bears, and at least one frozen water bottle. sometimes more depending on weather.

Lucky said...

Dar - Thanks! Protein bars are good too. Personally, I got really tired of them, but there was a time when I wouldn't be caught without one stashed in my bag. Water too.

Trobairitz - Ouch on no M&Ms. Trail mix is a good alternative, though. Like I mentioned just above, I can't do Clif bars any more, but I used to love them. :)

RichardM - Excellent! Do you carry a winter emergency kit of some sort with you, by the way? Just curious.

MQ01 - Good stuff! Why gummy bears? Sugar boost? Just because? Inquiring minds want to know. :)