Waxing Poetic: 5 Perfect Poems About Spring

Spring is in the air. Spring is everywhere. Although it’s technically springtime, in some parts of the country, it still feels like the dead of winter. April is National Poetry Month, just in time for spring. First celebrated in 1996, NPM’s aim was to honor and raise awareness of poetry across the country.

In conjunction with National Poetry Month and spring, here are five poems about spring to warm you up in preparation for a sunny, fruitful season.

poems about spring

www.tribeawakened.com 

A Light Exists In Spring
by: Emily Dickinson

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay –

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

poems about spring

Image:www.mrwallpaper.com

Spring Sunshine
by: Ellen Ni Bheachain

After all the chills and winter blues,
The staying warm and staying in,
Meetings indoors for outside is cold,
Then comes the spring sunshine,

The sun breaks in like a door open wide,
With the burst of sunlight,
That lasting and warm,
Bringing smiles back on peoples faces,

While in the chilling season it brings,
Us all to hibernate and stay in,
Not getting out much as weather is cold,
Until the spring sunshine brings us back outdoors,

It is the time for new growth,
It is the time for new beginnings,
It is the time for buds to bloom,
It is the time for nature to sound its sounds of nature again,

For all the while when we shelter from the chills,
Winter is chilling,
And springs getting ready,
For all the new beginnings,
Brought forth from the old,
Of last seasons blossoms,
Spring will bring new growth from its roots,
And bloom again with spring sunshine rays,

Spring will start again,
And a new year to begin it with,
That starts with first,
The spring sunshine,
Of first days of spring,
That brings the smile back,
To all our faces,
With warm sun rays,
Of spring sunshine.

poems about spring

Image: www.cummer.org

In Perpetual Spring
by: Amy Gerstler

Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies
and trip over the roots
of a sweet gum tree,
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal
human desire for peace
with every other species
wells up in you. The lion
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it.

poems about spring

Image: www.caitlynch.com

Farewell Frost, or Welcome Spring.
by Robert Herrick

FLED are the frosts, and now the fields appear
Re-cloth’d in fresh and verdant diaper.
Thaw’d are the snows, and now the lusty spring
Gives to each mead a neat enamelling.
The palms put forth their gems, and every tree
Now swaggers in her leafy gallantry.
The while the Daulian minstrel sweetly sings,
With warbling notes, her Terean sufferings.
What gentle winds perspire ! As if here
Never had been the northern plunderer
To strip the trees and fields, to their distress,
Leaving them to a pitied nakedness.

And look how when a frantic storm doth tear
A stubborn oak, or holm, long growing there,
But lull’d to calmness, then succeeds a breeze
That scarcely stirs the nodding leaves of trees :
So when this war, which tempest-like doth spoil
Our salt, our corn, our honey, wine and oil,
Falls to a temper, and doth mildly cast
His inconsiderate frenzy off, at last,
The gentle dove may, when these turmoils cease,
Bring in her bill, once more, the branch of peace.

poems about nature

Image: www.plus.google.com/106123815768039352314/posts.com

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by: E.E. Cummings

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything.

Spring Hiking at Delaware’s White Clay Creek State Park

Contributed by Katie Levy, Adventure-Inspired

One of my favorite things about spending time outdoors is the fact that there’s always something new to discover. You’d think that living in a major metropolitan area would limit my ability to find new places to play outside close to home, but after nearly eight years in Philadelphia, I’m still discovering nearby state parks.

A few weekends ago, I visited Delaware’s White Clay Creek State Park for the first time. I loved it so much that I went back the following weekend. Located just north of Newark, about an hour from Philadelphia, White Clay Creek’s 3,300 acres provide a multitude of opportunities for a variety of activities.

Things to Do

Chestnut Hill Trail

Chestnut Hill Trail

The park’s scenic trails were what drew my hiking partner and me to White Clay Creek State Park for two weekends. On our first visit, we parked at a small fee-free pullout on Creek Road near the edge of the University of Delaware’s campus. We followed the wide, flat White Clay Creek and Tri-Valley trails around the edges of the creek, which was muddy as a result of spring’s impending arrival. We found traces of snow and ice left over from cold winter days and nights. It was a perfect, leisurely afternoon walk.

Judge Morris Estate

Judge Morris Estate

For our second visit, we parked near the beautiful Judge Morris Estate off of Polly Drummond Road. The house, built in the late 1700s, is the former home of Judge Hugh M. Morris. Tours are available, but our goal was to explore the trails near the estate on a short hike. We followed the Chestnut Hill trail, a 3.3 mile loop, through the woods behind Judge Morris’s house. The trail, which ranges from a 5% grade up to 25%, was predictably muddy, but signs of spring were visible everywhere.

My hiking partner and I didn’t even see a third of what’s available in the park over two weekends, and I’m excited to go back! In addition to over 30 miles of hiking trails, White Clay Creek State Park is known among my circle of friends as an ideal mountain biking destination. The park is also home to a nature center, fishing spots in appropriate seasons, picnicking opportunities, and even allows hunting in certain cases. In addition to the trails and other features covered above, the park also has horseshoe pits, a nature store, a playground, restrooms, and a volleyball court available for visitors.

Things to Know Before You Go

White Clay Creek State Park and White Clay Creek Preserve are day-use areas and are open from 8:00 am to sunset daily. If you’re planning to visit the Judge Morris Estate, or park in any of the large parking lots, be aware that some parking lots require a small fee.

Download the Delaware State Parks Pocket Ranger® App before you leave with you. Maps are also also available at the park office at 750 Thompson Station Road, Newark, DE. You can keep up with all park happenings via their Facebook page.

If you’re biking, be sure that the trail you choose is a multi-use trail. The trails are also pretty muddy in the spring. In an effort to prevent erosion and to keep the trails in good condition, wait until things dry up a bit before you head out.

Overall, I can’t wait to see the rest of White Clay Creek State Park. If you’ve been to White Clay Creek, what are some of your favorite activities? What should I do on my next visit?

State Park Ruins

Ruins may have originally been regarded as obstacles to progress, but now they’re admired for their aesthetic and historical properties.

Kinzua Bridge State Park – Ruins of the Kinzua Bridge

State Park Ruins

Kinzua Bridge Ruins
[Image: www.upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Collapsed_Kinzua_Bridge.jpg]

Ruins are physical remains of deliberate destruction, lack of maintenance over many years, or in the case of the Kinzua Bridge, natural disaster. During restoration operations in 2003, the bridge was destroyed by a tornado, leaving some dramatic ruins.

History

Built from iron in 1882 (later rebuilt with steel), the Kinzua Bridge briefly enjoyed the status of world’s tallest railroad bridge (for two years). Now it is the keystone attraction of Kinzua Bridge State Park. This is the only park in Pennsylvania’s state park system that has a man-made structure as its centerpiece.

The tornado brought down 11 of the 20 bridge towers. Now, the park has the Kinzua Sky Walk, made up of an observation deck and a walkway on the still-standing section of the bridge. When getting ready to check out these cool ruins, be sure to download the free Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests Guide!

Sweetwater Creek State Park, New Manchester Manufacturing Company Mill Ruins

State Park Ruins

Textile Mill ruins at Sweetwater Creek State Park, by photographer William Haun
[Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/42432421460526093/]

History

These are the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. This building was a textile mill that was burned during the Civil War. During the Atlanta Campaign in the summer of 1864, General Joseph E. Johnson left the New Manchester Mill exposed when he moved with his confederate army away from the location. Union cavalry units commanded by Major Thompkins and Colonel Silas Adams approached the factory, shut it down, and arrested the employees. Several people have later said that Major Thompkins burned the mill. The ruins still standing today are the brick walls and millrace, a channel that carries water to the water wheel. 

State Park Ruins

Image: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NewManchesterManufacturingCompanyRuins.jpg

A lot of professional photographers like William Haun (above) take compelling pictures of ruins. Ruins can also make great visual metaphors, reminding us of decline in other ways. These classes below at Sweetwater give visitors a great opportunity to explore the ruins as a subject for visual art and creativity!

Upcoming Sweetwater Events

Art In the Park
Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Friday, Apr 18, 2014 1 PM to 3 PM
Bring your canvas and paint, clay, camera, or oil pastels for exclusive access to the interior of the five-story New Manchester Mill. Create your own artwork while you enjoy beautiful views of the Sweetwater Creek rapids alongside the dramatic mill ruins as we welcome spring. Reservations required.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Photography 101 (Class 1-Lighting)
Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek, as we learn about lighting. You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual.  $15 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Photography 101 (Class 2-Composition and Point of View)
Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek State Park, as we learn about Composition and Point of View. You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual.  $15 plus $5 parking.770-732-5871. Of course you’re going to want to have your free Pocket Ranger® Georgia State Parks app when you visit here!

Ha Ha Tonka State Park Ruins

State Park Ruins

The ruins of Robert Snyder’s mansion
[Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/216735800790097777/]

History

The stone ruins are what is left of the mansion of the wealthy business man who originally developed the area. Modeled after castles of Europe from the 1500s, the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1942. Originally bought by Robert McLure Snyder in 1904, he was quoted as saying this about the area: “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from the worries of business and the excitement of city life. I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion.”

State Park Ruins

Image: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ha-Ha-Tonka.jpg

Now you can check out the area and the caves yourself! See what might have attracted this successful business man here in the first place. For the best way to explore, head over to the Pocket Ranger® Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites app page for the free download. Anybody have any suggestions of other cool state park ruins to visit and photograph?

9 Genius Hiking Hacks to Take Your Treks to the Next Level

Who doesn’t love a life hack? We might like to challenge ourselves when exploring the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate tips and tricks to make our outings just a little bit easier. With that in mind, we’ve decided to follow our first two installments of outdoor hacks up with another roundup of the most genius hacks the Internet has to offer. This time we’re tackling hiking hacks, so strap on your boots and prepare to hit the trails with a whole new bag of tricks up your sleeve.

1. When darkness descends a bit more suddenly than expected, create an insta-lantern by directing your cell phone light through a bottle or jug of water. This gives off an atmospheric glow rather than a direct beam of light.

cell phone water bottle lantern

Image: www.snapguide.com

2. Practicing Leave No Trace Principles means you may occasionally have to pack out your waste TP. Sprinkle baking soda in the bags you plan to use for this purpose beforehand, which will decrease unpleasant odors.

3. If you find yourself in need of a little hiking aid, fashion your own walking stick.

make your own walking stick

Image: www.wikihow.com

4. Tired of wires getting tangled in your packs? Keep phone chargers and other electrical device wires organized with the help of hair clips. You’ll never have to stop and untangle again.

5. Want an easy way to estimate remaining daylight? (We are assuming, of course, that you spent your phone battery tracking trails and marking waypoints with your Pocket Ranger® app, since the app’s weather tab is the #1 way to check on sunrise and sunset times.) This brilliant graphic says it better than we could:

estimate daylight

Image: www.showmenow.com

6. Did you lose your matches or lighter, or – GASP – forget to pack them? Don’t worry; you’re not doomed to darkness. Here’s how you can start a fire without matches.

7. Speaking of matches, you can waterproof yours at home with shellac. You just need strike-anywhere matches, shellac, a cardboard box, double-sided tape, and tweezers.

waterproof matches with shellac

Image: www.briangreen.net

Adhere a strip of double-sided tape to the edge of the box. Use the tweezers to gently dip each match into the shellac. Make sure you don’t dip it all the way up to the tweezers. Lift the match out of the shellac, give it a little shake, and push it up against the tape upside down. The matches will drip-dry as they hang here, so it’s a good idea to place a paper towel underneath them to catch the drips. Once the matches dry, you’re all set!

8. When your hike is over, your hacks don’t necessarily have to end too. After your hike, stuff wet hiking boots with balled up newspaper to help them dry. Replace the newspaper every few hours until the boots have dried completely.

newspaper in hiking boots

Image: www.runeatrepeat.com

This is a better method than placing your boots in the sun or near a radiator, which can cause the boots to crack.

9. Your hiking boots may also be a bit smelly post-hike. Combat odors by placing a dry tea bag inside your boots after your hike is finished.

We hope these genius hiking hacks will make your treks even more enjoyable. What are your favorite hiking hacks? Leave us a comment and let us know!

5 Celebs Who Hunt

We often forget that celebrities are just ordinary people. When the basketball season ends or the movie wraps up, these people go back to being like you or us. It’s not like they’re dribbling basketballs, throwing touchdown passes, or attending red carpet events all day long. Former pros Karl Malone and Brett Favre grew up under humble circumstances where hunting and processing wild game was a part of everyday life. Others are more surprising, like Eva Longoria skinning a pig.

Image: flipbeans.com

Image: flipbeans.com

Eva Longoria is a world famous actress and model with a master’s degree in Chicano Studies, so skinning wild animals is probably not the first thing you associate with her. (Unless, of course, you read our post on 7 Celebrities You Should Go Camping With.) But as a youngster, Eva learned to hunt and prepare meat at her family’s ranch in Corpus Christi, Texas. Longoria surprised everybody a few years ago when she revealed her full skill set: “I used to go target shooting all the time growing up, so I’m great with a gun; we’d shoot Coke cans and anything that exploded. I grew up hunting deer and turkey. I can skin a pig and pluck a quail; you name it, I’ve done it.”

Image: siphotos.tumblr.com

Image: siphotos.tumblr.com

Brett Favre is the all-time leader in just about statistical category for NFL quarterbacks. But for all that time spent on the field, Favre probably spent an equal amount of time in the field tracking deer with his NFL buddies. Before hitting it big in Green Bay, Favre and his brothers used to hunt and eat squirrels in the bayou country of Mississippi. He’s probably eating more lobster than squirrel now.

Image: www.theplace2.ru

Bow hunter Eliza Dushku [Image: www.theplace2.ru]

Former slayer Faith on Buffy The Vampire Slayer is also a deer slayer. In 2008, actress Eliza Dushku drew the ire of PETA when she told Jimmy Kimmel about her passion for deer and elk hunting. The organization compared her to a serial killer, so since then she has sworn off talking about her hobby.

Image: gifhunterress.tumblr.com

Image: gifhunterress.tumblr.com

No matter how many movies or Victoria’s Secret catalogues she appears in, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will always be a farm girl from rural England. The model shocked fans when she told Complex magazine about growing up on a farm where she hunted pheasant and slaughtered livestock. “I know where my food comes from. I don’t get sad ’cause you don’t build relationships with those animals,” she told the magazine. “I’m a farm girl; there’s the pigs, that’s the dog that I play with and love, but it’s the pig that’s gonna be in the freezer next month.”

The Mailman was also a hunter [Image: sportsillustrated.cnn.com]

The Mailman was also a hunter [Image: sportsillustrated.cnn.com]

When not connecting with Utah Jazz teammate John Stockton for a bucket, NBA legend Karl Malone was often connecting with big-game in the mountains of Utah. Malone grew up with nine brothers and sisters on a farm in Summerville, Louisiana, where he took to hunting as a way to pass the time and put extra food on the table. Since his retirement from the NBA, Malone has dedicated his life to hunting and land conservation. In 2001, Malone donated $100,000 to help the Utah DWR re-establish bighorn sheep.

Alien Invaders in our State Parks! Snakehead Fish vs. Lamprey

Science fiction movies would have us believe the coolest, most threatening creatures are fictional. But a look at these invasive species will show otherwise! We’re about to compare these two alien invaders in our state parks: lamprey vs. snakehead.

Snakehead Fish

Sea Lamprey vs. Northern Snakehead 
[Image: www.calphotos.berkeley.edu/imgs/512x768/0000_0000/0208/1487.jpeg]

Let’s start with the most obvious category: edibleness.

As Food

When you eat these species you can relax in the knowledge that you are doing something positive for the ecosystem!

Snakehead

This species definitely wins points for popularity in the food category. Native to China, Russia, North Korea, and South Korea, the northern snakehead is an important food in many parts of the world. Apparently it is very popular to deep fry it or grill it with onions and butter.

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

Grilled Snakhead, a popular dish served in Vietnam
[Image: www.vietnamesefood.com.vn/pictures/VietnameseFood2/Grilled-Snakehead-Fish-Beginning.jpg]

At the Potomac Snakehead Tournament, anglers have warmed up to the idea of eating their snakehead catches.

Lampreys

Lampreys have been popular as food for a long time. They were eaten by the Romans and the upper classes in Europe during the middle ages.

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

Smoked Lamprey with Mustard Dip
[Image: www.static.iltalehti.fi/ruoka/syksyruoka11109LS_ru.jpg]

If you want to try some sea lamprey, here is a recipe for Lamprey Bordelaise, courtesy of Syracuse.com:

Lamprey Bordelaise

  • Bleed the lamprey by hanging it by the head and cutting the tail over a container to collect the blood. When there’s no blood dripping anymore, dip the lamprey in boiling water for 1 minute.
  • Take it out and peel it. Cut in 4 cm-thick (1,57 inches) slices. Put the slices in the container of blood.
  • Cut the white part of the leeks into 7-8 cm-long (2,76-3,15 inches) whistles and sauté them in butter.
  • Add the diced ham, the shallots and onions. Sprinkle with flour and with the wine and broth. Add the cloves and bouquet garni. Add pepper, salt a little. Add two crushed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then cook for 45 minutes over low heat.
  • 45 minutes later, add the pieces of lamprey in the sauce, cover and cook again for 45 minutes
  • Remove the slices of fish, and fry them in another pan or skillet with Armagnac.
  • Pour the equivalent of a glass of warm sauce over the blood in order to dilute it, and poor in the skillet. Stir well. Put back the lamprey, season and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on. Beat the sauce with butter.
  • Meanwhile, toast the bread and rub it with the remaining garlic.Put the lamprey in a shallow dish, on the slices of bread. Put the leeks all around, with the sauce.

And here are some more lamprey recipes:

We really like some of the instructions on this one: take your lamprey and gut him! (That’s a good start; you have our attention.) Lamprey Pie and Lamprey Eel Minho Style.

Really, this category might be a draw.

Pest Status

Lampreys

Originally invading the Great Lakes through locks and canals during the 1800s, sea lampreys can be a majorly destructive force when it comes to killing fish. They are known to eat an excess of 40 lbs. of fish during their parasitic phase of life (about 12 to 20 months)!

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

Image: www.redorbit.com/media/uploads/2004/10/47_41f0baf3f24d1bfb7ca6d1d34b565948.jpg

Some of the lamprey’s Great Lakes victims include catfish, chubs, walleye, lake trout, whitefish, salmon, sturgeon, as well as rainbow trout (steelhead). Once the lamprey attaches its disk-like mouth of sharp teeth to a fish, there’s a 40 to 60 percent mortality rate for its prey.

This highly adapted parasite species will probably never be fully eliminated. Instead, the goal is to reduce their negative impacts on fisheries through assessment, trapping, lampricide, and barriers.

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

One type of lamprey trap [Image: www.epa.gov/glnpo/image/vbig/261.jpg]

Whether you really want to check out some lampreys up close or you just want to head up to to the Great Lakes area, download our free Pocket Ranger® apps for Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York.

Snakehead 

It is possible the snakehead was originally introduced to the United States via the food fish trade. In the United States, they are considered an invasive species, due to their top-level predator status.

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

Snakehead Fish Sightings as of March 24, 2014
[Image: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/taxgroup/fish/northernsnakeheaddistribution.aspx]

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species website has a constantly updated map of snakehead sightings in the United States.

The snakehead has no natural enemies. Their invasion could lead to a dramatically altered ecosystem in areas they are established.

The Great Lakes seem to be the lamprey’s territory for now, but there are concerns that the snakehead is getting close to this area. The snakehead has even cropped up in Central Park in NYC!

Other special abilities

Surviving in Saltwater and Freshwater

Lampreys have this one on lockdown. Their early life is spent in freshwater rivers and streams, and during the middle, parasitic phase of their lives, they live in either the saltwater ocean or in a large freshwater lake. They return to the freshwater streams and rivers to spawn later in life.

Snakehead can’t really handle saltwater in large concentrations.

Special Eating Abilities

Alien Invaders in Our State Parks

Image: www.blog.syracuse.com/outdoors/2008/05/large_lamprey1.jpg

Anticoagulant in lamprey saliva prevents the blood of its host fish from clotting, allowing the lamprey to more efficiently drain the victim’s bodily fluids.

The snakehead fish doesn’t have any special chemicals in its saliva, although it does have some serious teeth that make it pretty unbeatable in the waters against other fish.

Migrating Over Land

Snakehead fish win this category hands down. That’s right: these fish can actually breathe air. (We didn’t make this up.) Apparently, they can survive a day or two out of water as long as they can keep moist. AND they can migrate overland by using their pectoral fins to…walk!

Lampreys aren’t really known for being able to traverse terrain outside of the water like the snakehead fish. In fact, one way a fish can get rid of an unwanted lamprey (there’s no other kind, really) is to come up to the surface and flip on its side, taking the lamprey out of the water where it will begin to suffocate and let go.

Winner

It’s hard to choose the winner in this battle of the invasive species, but we’re going with the lamprey because, come on, they’re just so alien looking! But if we were choosing which one to eat it would definitely be the snakehead. There’s probably a reason you don’t see lamprey pie on a lot of menus. Anyone have any experience in eating these invaders?

Hiking Snacks for Kids: 5 Great Recipes

A lot of these hiking snacks for kids are things that are totally buyable in stores. But if you’re feeling adventurous and you want to add a personal touch to your child’s early hiking experiences, check out these recipes.

Wellness Bars

Courtesy of Wellness Mama

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.wellnessmama.com/1047/wellness-bars/

Granola bars or energy bars are always a staple for some quick energy turnaround. Highly portable and not too messy, these options are also great for children with dietary restrictions.

One of the pros to making your own energy bars is YOU control all the ingredients! You can be sure your kids are eating something healthy that’s free of preservatives and other artificial ingredients.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup nuts (cashews, almonds, etc) Reminder: peanuts are not nuts!
  • ¼ cup whole dates (remove pits)-about 3 large dates
  • ¼ cup raisins (or more dates)
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put nuts into food processor (or Vitamix) and chop to small pieces. Remove and put in bowl.
  2. Put dates and raisins (any combination of the two that equals ½ cup total) into the food processor and pulse until playdough consistency. It will start to clump together when it is done.
  3. Mix the two ingredients by hand until well incorporated and you have the consistency of stiff playdough or cookie dough. (You can do this all in the food processor also.)
  4. Roll between two sheets of wax paper to a ½ inch thickness and cut into bars. (Or make it really easy and just roll into energy balls!)
  5. Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap or snack size ziploc bags (or glass containers if you aren’t giving to kids) and store in fridge until ready to use.
  6. Enjoy!

Frozen Banana Protein Smoothies To Go

Courtesy of Rhythm of the Home

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.rhythmofthehome.com/2013/05/recipes-for-easy-hiking-snacks/

The double benefit of these smoothies is that they are a great way to have a cool down break in the warmer weather! Heather Fontenot from rhythm of the home uses freezer jars like these that are BPA-free. You can keep them in the freezer and pack them as you head out for your hike. You’ll be glad you have them as a treat!

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas (we freeze our bananas to keep for smoothies, but frozen or not are fine)
  • 3 cups milk (we use almond)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup dates (pits removed)
  • 1 tbsp ground chia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and process until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into freezable containers, and allow to set over night.
  3. In the morning, simply throw into a lunchbox or hiking pack, and enjoy whenever you need a cold break.

Homemade Fruit Leather Recipe

Courtesy of Penniless Parenting

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.pennilessparenting.com/2012/06/homemade-fruit-leather-recipe.html

Fruit leather is good for a quick snack option on the trail. Penny points out that the best part about making your own fruit leather is using natural ingredients and avoiding the preservatives and added sugar in the store brand (of course buying them is also convenient). Even without all the excess sugar, it’s a treat your kids are sure to love!

This example uses apricots but you can use almost any fruit like plums, pears, strawberriesk bananask and cherries.

Ingredients

  • Fruit (fresh, or canned and strained, raw or cooked)

Directions

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.pennilessparenting.com/2012/06/homemade-fruit-leather-recipe.html

  1. Cut off all the blemishes from your fruit.
  2. Blend the fruit in a blender or food processor until relatively smooth. Small chunks are ok.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper, then smooth the blended fruit onto the tray. You should probably use more than pictured [above]- this is too little and makes a thinner, cracklier fruit leather instead of a very pliable.
  4. Put in the oven on the lowest temperature setting possible, and prop open the door a drop (less than a centimeter) to allow moisture to escape.
  5. Check on the fruit every so often, and remove from the oven when it’s dry. Be careful not to keep it in too long or it will burn and/or dry out too much. I found this needed between 2 and 4 hours, depending on how thick I piled it on the baking paper.
  6. Peel the baking paper off the fruit leather, and cut into strips.

Strawberry Almond Energy Bites

Courtesy of Rhythm of the Home

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.rhythmofthehome.com/2013/05/recipes-for-easy-hiking-snacks/

Sometimes you just need a bit of something delicious to keep you going on your hike. These Strawberry Almond Energy Bites from rhythm of the home are convenient to make ahead of time and you can keep them in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 6 dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 2 T almond butter
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dried strawberries – diced

Directions

  1. Process the almonds in a food processor until chopped.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients through the almond butter, and process until finely combined. Add the diced dried strawberries, and process only until incorporated.
  3. Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 8.

Blueberry Sunflower Energy Bites

Courtesy of Spabettie

Hiking Snacks

Image: www.spabettie.com/2013/04/15/blueberry-sunflower-energy-bites/

Here’s a similar idea to the previous recipe, in the convenience of ball form but changing up the ingredients with blueberries. These are dairy, soy, and gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • sesame seeds, for coating

Directions

  1. Place cashews in food processor, pulse to a small crumb.
  2. Add dates and blueberries, pulse to combine.
  3. Add sunflower butter, spirulina powder, cinnamon and salt, combine.
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls, coat in sesame seeds. Makes 13-14 pieces.

Fun Snack Bags for Kids

Hiking Snacks

Image: http://www.etsy.com/listing/103970256/reusable-snack-bag-eco-friendly-snack?ref=shop_home_active_1

Here are some great reusable (and therefore eco-friendly!) sandwich bags for your kids! These are handmade with some fun prints and durable ripstop lining inside. They are machine washable and dryer safe.

Feel free to share any ideas about kids snacks that are fun to make and perfect for hiking!