New Things to Try in 2019 (with Mountaineers Books)

We perused our library to find fun new things an outdoor enthusiast can try in 2019. How about mason bees? Goats? Yoga for climbers and hikers? Food-waste recipes? Trail building? So many fun things to learn and do.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
January 03, 2019

Welcome to 2019, everyone! It’s that time of the year when ambitions are high, and confidence is running even higher. It’s really time to carpe that diem! And if you are not already cranking your music playlist to loop “Eye of the Tiger” ad nauseam because you are not sure what to do this year, hey – we got a few suggestions for you. Veni, vidi, vici! (Guess who just checked “learning Latin” off this year’s list?)

Farm from your home

  1. Always a good reason to look at pictures of goatsWant to improve your gardening and double up on tackling bee colony collapse? Try raising local mason bees (Mason Bee Revolution)! Afraid the experience might leave a nasty sting? Chillax, mason bees are just as cool as you are, and they play well with others. Give them a home, and they will pollinate your plants literally thousands of times more than the average honeybee -- with rarely a sting from the gentle masons.
  2. “Bees are too calm. I need something a little more energetic in my life,” you may say. Then perhaps raising a goat in the city is of interest to you? Yes, it is possible to have a sweet, stubborn, bouncy goat or three in your yard. But there’s plenty for first timers to learn, and we have just the book to help you out: City Goats.

Making your meals green

You got a stew goingFirst off, let’s get this out of the way: It’s not that people don’t know a home-cooked meal is healthier than fast food; rather, when you are busy, it’s all too easy to slide through a drive-thru on the way home. But how about if your fridge was full and less of what was there went to waste? And what if as a result, you ate healthier, spent less, and did a little more to save the planet? That would be a good new year's resolution, right?

Turns out, there are very easy, affordable, and downright delicious ways to stretch unused carrot tops into pesto, turn stale bread into breading (yes, hence the name), or turn leftover peels into cider. And if you haven’t heard, dishes like jambalaya, fried rice, and gumbo all have roots in taking food leftovers and scraps from the week and –- kapow! -– making a delicious new Friday dinner. Check out this healthy, thoughtful bit of culinary activism in Scraps, Peels and Stems (65 recipes).

Take care of your wilderness

  1. Mountaineers maintains White Chuck Bench trailLearn to build a trail (Lightly on the Land) and get involved in trail maintenance. Taking care of your trails is a great way to engage with the outdoors and the outdoor community (you didn’t think you were going to bushwhack that whole thing alone, did you?), while also providing others a path to loving nature in the end.
  2. But hey, you want to take it a step further, learn ways to make your voice heard in protecting public lands, supporting conservation efforts, and working with your communities to make the world better, more just, and fair. It may seem daunting trying to save the entire world; but it doesn’t take a lot to draw in others when one person decides to get things started.

Incorporate a new training regimen

  1. If you haven’t already, give yoga stretches a try (Yoga for Hikers and Yoga for Climbers). Aside from being able to train wherever there are decent flat surfaces (come back at us about needing weights to train muscles after you can do a set of one-legged squats), improving your flexibility goes a long way in protecting yourself from common sports injuries.
  2. Or, if you are looking to start out, but feel intimidated by a gym (or that monthly membership fee), check out that old gym called Mother Nature (Fit By Nature). Climb a few trees, go for a run. Hey, it’s more than just granite that can be chiseled into shape (looking at you, hot body!).  And speaking of trying a new regimen . . .

Bike more often

Biking to work, biking to the store, biking because it’s fun (Urban Cycling) –- there are plenty of reasons to take the ol ‘sickle out for a spin. Yes, going uphill on a bike is hard. But if you do it often enough it'll hurt less because you'll get to the top sooner. If you haven’t already, think about a 2019 goal to replace one car trip a week with your bike instead.

Find Sasquatch

Well, good luck (best tips found here: Sasquatch Seeker's Field Manual).

B-b-b-bonus!  Learn to REST

You know what a lot of us don’t set as an annual goal? Learning to take a break and rest. Not “oh, I’ll just clear a block in my schedule,” but learning to rest as a skill to practice and perfect. If you catch yourself eating your lunch at your desk (guilty) or looking around and finding you are surrounded by stacks of books you want to read but can’t find time for (guilty), or just find yourself overwhelmed, try to find ways to calm yourself down instead of powering through. You’ll be glad you took a breather when you find yourself really needing to rally.