NATA bagel

The NATA: nooch, avocado, tahini, almonds. (Illustration by Christine Mitchell Adams)

We made it through the winter, and the road less traveled is now calling our name. Get ready to pitch your tent, dust off the sleeping bag, break in the new hiking boots and throw a box of granola bars in your pack. But after putting in all that effort to hike the summit, why not reward yourself with a real lunch?

When advising what to pack for a camping trip, outdoor enthusiast and writer Jeff Thrope of Cold Splinters is all about enjoying the view and thinking beyond the granola bars: “I don’t have a problem with those big lumps of oats/sugar/nuts, but I don’t like to eat on-the-go if I don’t have to.” The key to sustenance while on overnight hiking excursions, according to Jeff, is to pack a substantial lunch. “Lie on a rock, write in your journal and replace the copious amounts of calories you’ve lost over the last couple of hours. A good sandwich-style meal will keep you going until hiker’s midnight comes rolling in, after a swig or two of evening whiskey.” One of his favorite recipes is The NATA sandwich, launching right here at Field Notes.

Jeff Thrope of Cold Splinters

Jeff Thrope out in the wild.

Follow the steps below to recreate your own tasty sammie for the trail – or the office, if you’re so inclined (Jeff often does).

A roll/bagel

  • Nooch
  • Avocado
  • Tahini
  • Almonds
NATA sandwich ingredients.

The four simple ingredients that make a delicious NATA sammie.

1- Cut the roll/bagel in half (Jeff gets his from The Rockland Bakery when en route to the Catskills or Appalachian Trail, one of his favorite places in the world. He recommends something in the pumpernickel family).

2- Cut the avocado in half, one for each side of the roll/bagel. Not rocket science, but balance is key for optimal satisfaction in each bite.

3- Squeeze on a bit of tahini. (Jeff travels with some in one of those small hotel shower bottles).

4- Sprinkle on a lot of nooch. (For the uninitiated: nutritional yeast that’s packed with proteins and vitamins. In other words, a hiker’s best friend.)

5- Drop a handful of almonds on each side (slivered is best for sandwiches, store in a plastic bag).

6- Eat.

7- Smile.
Do you have a go-to recipe or favorite snack when hitting the trails? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Check out more of Christine’s writing and illustrations over at N’East Style.

and tagged , , , ,


  1. fawn
    Posted May 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    I wouldn't have thought to try adding the almonds. Thanks for the inspiration. I love Cold Splinters, btw!

  2. minkisoo
    Posted May 1, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Add – One granny smith apple sliced thin on top or the optional sliced banana for sugar – mmmmmmm

  3. Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    So happy you guys enjoyed the recipe! Love the idea of granny smith apple. Yum 🙂

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