Most people I know, including myself, are chocolate-lovers in some form or another. I love dark chocolate: the higher the percentage of coco and more sea salt the better. Others prefer creamy milk, nut-infused, ultra-sweet white or berry-filled bars. With so many delicious flavors, inexpensive options and colorful, inviting packages, why not start bringing a bar or two (to share) on every climbing trip? Not sold? Let me further convince you:
ONE: As stated in the title: Everyone in the vicinity will love you when you break out a raspberry-filled bar of Lindt chocolate and proceed to offer up a few squares. Everyone will love you even more when you brighten up a rainy day or 15-hour car ride by doing the same thing. Oh, and you also get the benefit of enjoying some chocolate goodness yourself without the fear of “accidentally” eating the entire bar.
TWO: Chocolate, well the very, very dark variety, has been shown to be good for your health when consumed in moderation. Take full advantage of this excuse to load up on tasty antioxidants while lowering your blood pressure. That said, all chocolate flavors and coco percentages are arguably good for the soul, so, just because you aren’t a 90-percent-dark fanatic, doesn’t mean you can’t reap some benefits.
THREE: Chocolate has many other handy uses while camping/cragging/bouldering:
- No milk or sugar to sweeten your coffee in the morning? Pair every sip or two with a nibble of chocolate, and you have a wonderful, energy-boosting mocha.
- Crumble a few squares into your trail mix, and you might actually eat it during the day instead of deciding you’d rather starve than grab another handful of “Good Ol’ Peanuts and Raisins.”
- Chocolate bars also make a delicious edible spoon for bringing peanut butter to your mouth between pitches. You can dump chocolate chips into half-full peanut butter jars to make this combo more packable and warm weather compatible.
- Forgot hot chocolate mix on your winter camping trip? Make sipping plain hot water 4,000 times better by letting it melt slivers of chocolate on your tongue.
- Have trouble remembering to hydrate? Eat a square of chocolate between climbs, and you’ll definitely want to take a few sips of water before you tie in again. Flavors containing sea salt are best for replenishing electrolytes and inducing thirst.
- Hate approaches? A chocolate reward at the end helps, as does having fun, chatty partners or headphones and a good playlist.
I think you get the idea: Bring chocolate. Unless it melts all over the inside of your bag (see warm weather chocolate chip recommendation in “3” above), which can often be prevented by leaving your pack in the shade, you—and everyone around you—won’t regret it.