Our mission is simple: we provide outdoor experiences and educational opportunities that inspire respect for self, others and the land.
Muddy Boots Newsletter
May 2021
Never say that you can't do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can't be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.
~Mike Norton

This summer is a birthing, of sorts. A transition and change of processes and patterns that two years ago looked so very different from a year ago and different again from today.

The dawning of a new hiking season has not hidden away the challenges of the COVID pandemic. In many ways, our outdoor experiences have been greatly changed. For the past four weeks I have been taking a class whereby resilience is the ongoing theme of care. For many, COVID resembles a trauma and the time is now, if it wasn't before, to give ourselves a moment to reflect on how our personal actions have worked in favor of protection and courage and a resistance to adversity.

As you trend outdoors and gaze upon the nuances of outside, reflect on what it is that makes you strong. What you are practicing with attitude to persevere? What do you bring to the table for internal strength and healing? Reward yourself with acknowledgement.

In just a few days we will be heading out with a group endeavoring upon hiking 126-miles. No doubt self care and resilience will be a component of the accomplishment. We are hopeful this trip will mimic examples and practices of happiness, goodness and undeniable strength.

This month is the start of summer season. For Step Outdoors, this is an ongoing changed practice for offerings but an internal excitement of getting back out doing what we do best - sharing the adventure so you can share the experience. Check out our Featured Offerings. Be in the know with our upcoming Zoom workshops and discussions. Make a batch of granola to have ready when you leave for your next adventure and play a game. A game of criminal investigation.

To assist with your discovery, print the spring BINGO card. It is free. Share your successes on our Facebook page.

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

Proofreading Credit: Meg W.
We will be in the field beginning May 9th through June 1st. During that time we will have limited technology access. Please be patient, we will return messages upon our return; registration confirmations will be send on June 2nd. You can leave a voice message at 970.946.5001; our message will advise when you can expect a return phone call.
Upcoming In-Person Trainings
Leave No Trace Trainer Course
June 13-14, 2021
Basecamp in Derby, Vermont
In-person training

Trainer Course Weekend Description:  Trainer Courses are informative, practical, hands-on and fun. You will learn skills and teaching techniques through lectures, skits and discussions in a spectacular outdoor setting. These courses are designed for people who actively teach others outdoor skills or provide recreation information to the public. Trainer Courses emphasize three components: low-impact camping skills, wildland ethics and outdoor teaching techniques.

During the two days of a Leave No Trace Trainer Course, participants will learn and teach the seven principles and discuss wildland ethics. This course emphasizes skills and techniques essential to minimum impact outdoor ethics and education and follows LNT training guidelines.

Cost: $135 per person

Registration Closes: we are extending the closing date to June 1st by 6p (Eastern Time)
Survival (with solo)
Practice Weekend
October 8-11, 2021
Basecamp in Derby, Vermont
In-person training

Practice Weekend Description:  For a lot of years we have been sharing with outdoor enthusiasts the skills and practices to keep themselves safe in the backcountry. We all know, and should understand, that you can do everything right and something can still go wrong.

For the 2021 offering we are changing up the schedule to add a half day of autumn hiking before we delve into skill practice. Making this addition will allow the schedule to slow down a bit for more practice and less concept training. There will be no processing of small game in 2021.

This training is a co-ed weekend designed to learn and practice skills. Beginning midday on Sunday, participants will embark on an overnight solo that requires not only finding their campsite with a map and compass, but setting up their site with items they are carrying, finding food and water through map and compass and building fire to cook food and stay warm.

This weekend is created to give you genuine insight into how you can react – with success. Be prepared, you will need all your stamina to enjoy the weekend.

Cost: $575 per person

Registration Closes: September 17th by 6p (Eastern Time)
Upcoming Zoom Offerings

A Zoom Workshop
Plan Ahead and Prepare

Saturday, June 19, 2021
10 am - 11:30 am
Zoom call

Workshop Description: The first principle of Leave No Trace is Plan Ahead and Prepare. We would argue this is the most important principle.

The most important tool preparation. What you are doing is planning to have a great adventure. 

This 90-minute workshop will focus on the following topics:
  • Your safety
  • Components of trip planning
  • 10 Essentials
  • Five Why’s of a Bad Day

Cost: $15 per person

RSVP Required: June 17th by 6p (Eastern Time)

This Month's Recipe
Maple, Cinnamon and Apple Quinoa Granola
Makes six cups

Granola is one of our favorite foods to prepare in the kitchen. Versatile, granola can be hot or cold, served with milk or yogurt or as a handful of energy. Granola freezes well, making it an easy item to prepare on a cold and wet day when going outside is delayed but tomorrow's adventures look more promising.

  • 3 c rolled oats
  • 1 c quinoa flakes
  • ½ c pecans – chopped
  • ½ c almonds – sliced
  • ½ c coconut flakes
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 c coconut oil – melted
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • ¼ c unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ c dried apples - chopped

How to Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, except for apples.
  • In a separate bowl, blend liquid ingredients together then add to dry ingredients.
  • Mix well - goal is to have all the dry ingredients coated.
  • Spoon onto baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to avoid burning and to brown evenly.
  • Once cool, add chopped dried apples.

Recipe from Simply Quinoa.coms
Photo from Bear Naked
Backcountry Tip
Criminal Investigation
Leave No Trace
One of my favorite Leave No Trace activities is great for both kids and adults. The activity requires some set up and the creation of a Crime Scene investigation card.

Set Up: Before the group arrives, create a simulated campsite (crime scene). The campsite should be full of problematic features; be descriptive and creative when setting the scene. Some examples might include trash where it is not permitted, animals getting into food, tents left open, etc.

The Activity: Tell the group they are the first group to arrive to the "scene of the crime." The crime that was committed was a failure to Know Before You Go. Give a quick overview of the principles - focusing on respect (self, others, animals) and tell them they will be closely examining the crime scene to find as many examples of poor planning, or camp practices, as they can.

Give each person one of the investigation cards to take notes and something to write with. Give 20-30 minutes to investigate the campsite (the time allotment will depend on the extensiveness of your crime scene). Allow participants to brainstorm solutions to the problem.

Debrief: Gather the group and discuss the findings. Encourage sharing solutions to the found problems and review any problems that were missed.

Photo and Activity Credit: LNT.org
Step Outdoors, LLC
3152 Gore Rd.
Derby, VT 05829