Our mission is simple: we provide outdoor experiences and educational opportunities that inspire respect for self, others and the land.
Muddy Boots Newsletter
December 2020
Happy Holidays!
What can you do to improve an area that is perfect? What possible satisfaction could a hiker ever get walking on a man-made trail?
~Frank Warren

Happy Holidays! Time to swing into another winter season of outdoor recreation and personal challenge. What is a challenge you have set for yourself this winter season? We have wanted, for a lot of years, to build a quinzee - maybe this is the year.

It won't be long before hiking season is again in our midst. Don't get caught behind in preparation. You have until 6p (EST) on December 15th, to receive a discount for registering, and paying in full, for any of the four offerings listed below.

We look forward to sharing our next adventure with you. Until then, take care of yourself, grab a map, make a plan, go outside!

Happy Trails!
Step Outdoors, LLC

Holiday Specials
Stocking Stuffers and
Long Night Entertainment

Who doesn't love a puzzle?
Who doesn't love looking at pretty pictures?


We will be putting in a second order of puzzles and calendars with a post holiday mailing.

- ordering closes December 15th at 6p (EST) -
Upcoming Offerings
RESCHEDULED Book Discussion
Coming into the Country

Friday, January 8, 2021
7 pm - 8:30 pm

Author: John McPhee

Book Description: The reviews tell of an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. Woven into the story is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, that deal with life in the remoteness of the bush.

About the Author: John McPhee began his writing career in 1965 as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Coming Into the Country was originally published in 1977. This book acquaints the reader with the lore and techniques of placer mining, the habits and legends of the barren-ground grizzly, the outlook of a young Athapaskan chief, and tales of ordinary people compelled by extraordinary dreams.

About the Discussion: Grab a glass of wine, or beer, and prepare a small plate of snacks. Format is question and discuss.

RSVP Required: January 6th by 6p (EST)..
A ZOOM Workshop
Respect the Potato
Saturday, January 23, 2021
10 am - 11:30 am

Respect the Potato Workshop Description:  It is okay, you can laugh. A workshop about potatoes – yep.

The premises behind this workshop is that mashed potatoes are often a staple of backpacking food. Easy to make – heat, mix and eat (often times with only bacon or cheese).  We will share with you that there are numerous other options for potatoes in the backcountry. For instance, you can take a baked potato and eat it in the backcountry for dinner. Simple, right? But, have you considered peppermint patties for dessert? How about trying one of our favorites – vegetable koftas.
This workshop is not going to be entirely about backcountry food options. Expect a few quick recipes specific for the backcountry. The rest, meal options you can prep, or make, at home and take with you into the backcountry. 

Cost: $20 per person

RSVP Required: January 21st by 6p (EST).
This Month's Recipe
Cranberry Bog Bars
  Makes 24 bars

The sweet and sour of cranberries provide the foundation for a delicious snack mid-day on a hike. Easy to prepare; extras can be stored in the freezer for later.

  • 1 1/4 c butter, softened, divided
  • 1 1/2 c packed brown sugar, divided
  • 3 1/2 c old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
  • Gradually add 2-1/2 cups oats and flour into the creamed mixture until crumbly.
  • Press into a greased baking pan.
  • Spread cranberry sauce on top of the base mixture.
  • Melt remaining butter; stir in the pecans and remaining brown sugar and oats. Sprinkle over cranberry sauce.
  • Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Adapted Recipe and Photo Credit: TasteOfHome
Backcountry Tip
Gloves and Mittens
Gloves and mittens both function to warm, and maintain the warmth, of hands. But each operates differently. For instance, gloves provide a better conveyance of movement with each finger receiving a separate space. This space enhances mobility and functionality of task but the drawback is that there is no exchange of natural body heat to keep each finger warm and insulated. Mittens, on the other hand, benefit by permitting fingers to remain closer together allowing for an exchange of natural body created heat. Often though during exercise, the hands will begin to sweat, causing a buildup of moisture which dampens the mittens and reduces their insulating properties.  

Winter Rule Number 1 – Learn how to do everything you need to do while wearing your gloves or mittens. This is essential, even vital to maintaining the dexterity and functionality of your fingers and hands when temperatures and conditions are less than amicable. Doing everything includes setting up tents, opening water bottles, tearing the wrapper off a snack, zipping your jacket and tying your boots. Practice makes perfect with this skill set.

Winter Rule Number 2 – One pair is not enough. No matter if your plan is a day hike or a backpacking weekend, no less than two pairs of gloves are taken. One set you are wearing and the other set you will wear if you lose the set you are wearing. (I also have this same rule for hats.) You may wonder why you would or could possibly lose a glove in the backcountry but that is akin to losing a sock in the laundry – they vanish.

Winter Rule Number 3 – Make informed glove decisions. Every outdoor recreationalist determines which hand warming method is their preference – that penchant may change depending on the activity. Learning what you need, that takes practice and patience to plan what is most effective in preserving warmth for your recreational task.  
Step Outdoors, LLC
3152 Gore Rd.
Derby, VT 05829