My Canadian Survival Kit is Turning Into a Nostalgia Kit

The idea for a Canadian Survival Kit came from tweets I read between Candice Walsh and Jodi Ettenburg. Jodi was tweeting about taking packets of poutine gravy mix on the road, and Candice was excited about the idea of doing it herself. I kind of jumped in for a second and mentioned that I also carry packets of poutine gravy mix when I travel. From there, I went on to joke with Candice about creating a Canadian Survival Kit for the Mongol Rally this year.

Searching for Canadian Products

My memories of purely Canadian food is somewhat fuzzy. I blame the way American products have invaded our fine country – many of which I adore! Be that as it may, I have been determined to find Canadian products to add to my little survival kit for the Mongol Rally. During my search I found (and subsequently bought) products like…

  • Map-O-Spread – a maple butter spread for things like toast, pancakes, my finger.
  • Smarties – these babies are like M&Ms, but WAY BETTER!!
  • St. Hubert Poutine Gravy MixSt. Hubert had the best chicken, way better than Swiss Chalet – I wish there were more franchises left in Ontario!!
  • Maple Syrup – This one should be obvious! My chosen bottle for this trip was made by Mennonites, and I’m eager to give it a try – on food, and in cocktails!
  • Nibs – Okay, these babies (think hard red liquorice pieces) are made by Twizzler, which I think is an American company, BUT I am not aware of Nibs being sold in the USA. So, as far as I’m concerned it’s Canadian (angry comments will be laughed at).
  • Pop Rocks – OMG candies that pop inside your mouth, they are AWESOME! I was recently re-introduced to Pop Rocks in Bangkok when I was trying Molecular Cocktails at Aloft. When I saw these babies in Canada, I had to buy a pack from my survival kit!
  • Photos of my family – They were all born in Canada, therefore they are Canadian products!!


Where Canadiana Turns Into Nostalgia

Tootsie Pops, the sucker of champions!

In my search for the ultimate Canadian products (that travel well), I came across several products from my childhood that I felt compelled to purchase for my little survival kit – most of which are not Canadian. I like to think of these items are my go-to snacks for when I’m having a stressful day, and need some comfort.

Fun Dip – pockets of flavoured sugar substance, accompanied by a solid (and tart tasting) sugar substance stick. Oh, how I remember devouring Fun Dip when I was a kid. It was absolutely fabulous, and frankly, I was sad when the local convenience store stopped selling them – even if I was an adult at the time.

Nerds – I am sure you remember Nerds. You know, the small little-flavoured candies in a box. There are always two flavours. You can eat the flavours separately, or mix them and enjoy the flavour combination. Man, I love Nerds.

Runts – kind of like nerds. They are hard sugar substance candies and taste yummy, the difference is that they are more tart in flavour, and they are shaped liked fruit. Yes, I bought a box of runts, but it’s a small one, I swear!

Tootsie Pops – ‘How many licks does it take to get to the centre of a Tootsie Pop?’ is how the commercial went, I think. Actually, I found one of the commercials, and watched it twice! Yeah, I’m a dork. Tootsie Pops are the epitome of deliciousness. I am looking forward to sucking on one, while in the desert, trying to figure out how to cross an impossible river. Yes, I suck on suckers (or lollies to those British and Aussie weirdos) when I’m stressed and need to think.

Oh, How I Wish I Could Take…

There are several things I wish I could take with me, like Canadian Back Bacon for sandwiches, or Ketchup chips – too bad they would be Ketchup crumbs by the time the rally starts – and perhaps some Coffee Crisp.

There are a couple of things I wish I could take, other than food items, like my adorable nieces. I’ve become quite attached to the little munchkins and I will miss them dearly.

There is a good chance that my survival kit will grow a little more before I leave in 9 days – holy shite I have 9 days left before I head to Europe – and I am totally cool with that.


What would YOU take with you?


About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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