The now politically incorrect catchphrase used to be “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”, when in reality it just helped fuel an obesity epidemic. So they’ve ditched the ‘a day’ part.

That aside, there’s hardly anything better for hill fuel as it packs in a massive 260 calories of pure sugar rush calories. I remember my first few hill walks, armed with an ancient frame pack twice my size, socks to keep my hands warm and the then compulsory kendal mint cake (anyone who’s old enough will remember the pack searches at Pen y Pass and woe betides you if you didn’t have at least half a pound of mint cake on your person). I don’t think it was much of a coincidence that I ended up somewhere on a vertical scree slope on the flanks of Elidir on my first walk and then walked off the PYG track zig zags on my second.

I am convinced to this day that the ditching of the mint cake and the adoption of the Mars bar was the first positive step in getting to where I wanted to be on the mountain. A mix of textures from soft nougat to caramel and of course the chocolate makes it better than chocolate alone and in winter it’s less likely to freeze solid. Anyone who’s made the mistake of taking a Yorkie on a winter walk will know what I mean.


More than enough energy to help a flagging walker recharge halfway through a walk and continue onwards, or keep a few in your pack as an emergency ration. Wrap it in duct tape if you want to make it last, but remember that in warmer weather you can still get at it with just a small snip of the corner with a pair of scissors.

Maybe not as healthy as trail mix, but for me it’s the perfect sugar fuelled energy boost for the outdoors type who dislikes sawdust and raisins and is still in mourning for the discontinued King Size bar.

Read more about them on the Wikipedia page.

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