Our mission is simple: we provide outdoor experiences and educational opportunities that inspire respect for self, others and the land.
Muddy Boots Newsletter
February 2021
Joy of winter ... play games ... plan for warm ...
Winter forms our character and brings out our best. ~Tim Allen

The spring equinox is on March 20 at 5:37 am (EST) - that is only weeks away. To get you into the spirit of a season coming, while also embracing the joy of winter, we have created a BINGO card. There are 12 possible entries you can submit.

Now midway through winter, we have added numerous options to our calendar. Offerings include our Groton State Forest Orienteering Challenges and the first of what we expect will be a three-part introduction to map and compass skills through our Zoom workshops and discussions.

We are again looking for an apprentice to assist with our Centennial Trail End-to-End Hike. Contact Stacy for details or forward your letter of interest as soon as possible.

Read ahead for our upcoming offerings you should pen into your calendar. Learn how to prepare a sweet potato breakfast bowl and why adding nuts to your trail mix is not only nutritional, but good for your body.

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
Upcoming Zoom Offerings

A Zoom Workshop
What Crossed your Path
Saturday, February 20, 2021
10:10 am - 11:30 am
Zoom Call

What Crossed Your Path Description:  When you aren’t passing through, there is a lot of activity in the woods you are traveling. Trees are growing. Wind is blowing. Critters are moving around. 

We will review walking patterns and characteristics of a track pattern. Then, we will discuss the differences of the most often identified tracks of animals living in the woods you visit.  

With a bit of knowledge, and a commitment to make time to examine the surrounding environment, you may find other signs of the animal to help ID the print. This workshop should give you a working knowledge of what to look for to determine what has crossed your path. 

Cost: $15 per person

RSVP Required: February 18th by 6p (EST).

Book Discussion
The Quiet Crisis

Friday, March 5, 2021
7 pm - 9 pm
Zoom Call

Author: Stewart L. Udall

Book Description: In this book Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior from 1961-1969, details the history of great Americans who advocated for conservation and preservation of the USA's great outdoors. A passionate and idealistic politician, Udall entered office with an immense knowledge of the environmental challenges facing the United States. The massive economic growth of the postwar boom, the construction of immense infrastructures such as the interstate highway system, and the emergence of urban sprawl as a problem confronting several states - though these brought prosperity, they also carried great perils of irreversible environmental destruction. This work establishes that concerns about human proliferation on America's lands are not new: they can be traced back to the dawn of the American nation.

About the Discussion: Grab a drink of choice and prepare a small plate of snacks. Format is question and discuss.

RSVP Required: March 3rd 6p (EST).

Book description credit - Project Muse

A Zoom Workshop
Maps, Reading the Details
Saturday, March 20, 2021
10:10 am - 11:30 am
Zoom Call

Maps, Reading the Details Description:  Map reading is quickly becoming a lost skill – replaced by phone apps which include a dot to follow. For outdoor recreationalists who hike on public lands that are well marked, misplacing self is often not a concern. What about the places that are less visited? Could you refer to your map to place yourself if necessary?

Many hikers never advance beyond watching the heels of the person in front, thereby trusting the leader knows they are going. This workshop is 90 minutes of learning how to read the details on a map. Maps reveal a landscape as seen from directly above. A map divulges natural and artificial features the reader can locate. Topographical maps disclose the ups and downs of the landscape.

Cost: $15 per person

RSVP Required: March 18th by 6p (EST).
This Month's Recipe
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

This recipe can be easily adapted for the backcountry by using dehydrated sweet potato and banana, or fruit of choice.

  • 3/4 c mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • maple syrup, just a drizzle
  • dash of cinnamon

How to Prepare
  1. Assumption - you have pre-cooked the sweet potatoes and are pulling one out of the refrigerator.
  2. When you are ready to eat, remove a sweet potato from the fridge, peel off the skin and mash the potato with a fork.
  3. Best when hot - microwave for a few minutes, then add toppings.
  4. You can use any combination of ingredients (i.e. nuts, blueberries).

Adapted and photo from Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
Backcountry Tip
Adding Nuts to Trail Mix
The Benefits
Adding nuts to trail mix is a no brainer for me. Mostly, because nuts are a quick protein source I can eat while I walk and it reduces how much food I can shove into my mouth at one time. If that isn't a good enough reason, here are six reasons why adding nuts to your trail mix is beneficial.

  • Nuts are high in fat, low in carbs, and a great source of several nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
  • Nuts contain antioxidants and help reduce heart disease. Antioxidants known as polyphenols, may protect your cells and “bad” LDL cholesterol from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Nuts have been shown to promote weight loss rather than contribute to weight gain. There exists a few studies that indicate your body doesn’t absorb all of the calories in nuts.
  • Blood sugar and blood pressure improve when nuts are included in a diet.
  • The body exhibits less inflammation, the body's way of reducing injury and bad bacteria.
  • Nuts are high in fiber, which help you feel full, decrease calorie absorption and improve gut health.
Step Outdoors, LLC
3152 Gore Rd.
Derby, VT 05829