The Joys of Eating Snow, Dos and Don’ts

The Joys of Eating Snow, Dos and Don’ts

The Joys of Eating Snow, Dos and Don’ts

It seems like a strange, maybe childish question, but have you ever wondered how and why you should eat snow?

- Eat clean snow. This is common sense. No colored snow, please. If possible, avoid snow on the ground, take it from trees, it is less likely to have been polluted by anything. Prefer freshly fallen snow. No snow near roads or from urban areas where the quantity of air contaminants is higher, etc. Prefer snow from large natural outdoor regions, with big expanses of forests, mountains, etc. Snow is safe to eat generally and you will feel just fine even if by mistake you ingest small parts of pine needles or tree debris. 

-Some people don’t recommend eating snow as a solution for dehydration, as it supposedly accelerates dehydration. For fighting dehydration liquids are more adequate than snow. Snow is not liquid, it is mostly air. But snow is water also, and your body needs water. Of course, we don’t recommend eating large quantities of snow, but eating some will add more water to your body. 

-A bit of technique: when eating snow, just roll it into a snowball and eat it without touching your lips. Cold snow could get you chapped lips!

-Snow can be adapted to many recipes, “snow ice creams,” “snow pops,” “snow-fogatos” or “snow-garitas” if you are into cocktails, etc…. You can experiment with many variations. Do you know the famous Québécois-style maple syrup taffy? Boil a cup of maple syrup and then drizzle it over packed snow. Next, twirl the syrup on a stick and you have a succulent treat. Maple syrup and snow combine in other succulent variations. Try this: make two balls of snow in your titanium sierra cup, and just pour maple syrup on them, next sprinkle your cup with frozen mangoes or berries. A quick and delicious winter dessert! And what about mixing your coffee with snow. Try a Cappuci-snow! Mix snow with chocolate chips and honey and pour a hot cappuccino on it!

-Eating snow is a way to commune with nature. Sure, eating dirt is yucky! But snow? It is not supposed to taste anything and the substance and temperature are not much different than regular ice cream. Tasting snow is tasting the landscape, it adds a finer, more sensual perception of the world surrounding you. Kids do it instinctively. Feel the snow going down your throat and esophagus. Feels different, right? Get more of it!

-A guiding principle of wilderness living is learning to use what’s around you. Nature sends a white gift: snow. Build shelters with it. Read it like a book. On its surface you will read the story of who or what came before you: track the moves of people or the wildlife you may have a chance to spot. Snow is associated with the season of gifting (Christmas) and with fun outdoor activities, all over the world, like skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing… But more importantly: snow provides immense reserves of water everywhere. Take advantage of it: melt it, eat it, touch it. Some places in the world never get snow and their people fantasize about it. If you are standing in the “white stuff” right now, you are in luck!

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