Kula Cloth Gear Review!

This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links does not cost you anything extra and helps keep this page running. Thank you for your support!   Kula Cloth: 'Legit Technical Pee Cloth' The first time I saw a Kula Cloth was on an Instagram post that my friend, Kim posted last year. It was … Continue reading Kula Cloth Gear Review!

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Backcountry Hygiene: How to Pee, Poop and Period Like a Pro!

Now that I've got you with that fantastic title, its time to talk facts about bodily functions on the trail and how you can keep yourself and the outdoors sparkling clean! I am asked about this topic often (usually in private messages, whispered conversations and in the cover of darkness), so I'm bringing it out … Continue reading Backcountry Hygiene: How to Pee, Poop and Period Like a Pro!

Tick Prevention on the Trail

I remember finding a wood tick stuck on the hairline of my neck over 30 years ago when I first moved to Minnesota.   I was a teenager from Southern California and didn't even know what a tick was!   Its the only time I've ever had an attached tick and can still feel it... Today's post … Continue reading Tick Prevention on the Trail

Crescent Moon EVA Foam Snowshoe Gear Review

As a lover of both snowshoeing and design, I have been following the development of the first EVA foam snowshoe for about a year.  They have a very different look and construction compared to a traditional metal or plastic snowshoe, and the binding is greatly simplified.   In talking to the President and co-founder of Crescent … Continue reading Crescent Moon EVA Foam Snowshoe Gear Review

Exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and 5 LNT Tips During the Government Shutdown

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH Long Meadow Lake Trail 3.5 miles one way DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  January 4, 2019 MAIN FEATURES  11 miles of flat, multi-use trails in this section, birdwatching I head back to work tomorrow but have had a chance to squeeze in 4 hikes to jump-start my 52 Hike Challenge this year and the best part is that … Continue reading Exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and 5 LNT Tips During the Government Shutdown

2018 Year in Review!

On January 1st 2017, I started this blog, as a place to write about my outdoor adventures, learning experiences, failures and encourage others to get outside at any skill level. That first year, I challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, “Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review!

Snowshoe Basics: And Re-thinking Winter

Winter is here and it's the perfect time to think about staying outside and extending the hiking season!   Snowshoeing is my favorite winter activity and has been a game changer when it comes to my attitude during the colder months.   So, when Minnesota Monthly Magazine contacted me to do a quick story and photo shoot … Continue reading Snowshoe Basics: And Re-thinking Winter

Lightweight Backpacking Tips: 5 ways I reduced my pack weight – Including packing list

FUN NEWS! Our Superior hiking Trail adventure is being featured all week as a series on the BSA Instagram page. Volunteering with our son's Boy Scout Troop has provided me with opportunities that have ignited a passion for the outdoors and empowered me to pursue adventure both inside and outside of Scouting activities. I'm grateful … Continue reading Lightweight Backpacking Tips: 5 ways I reduced my pack weight – Including packing list

5 Gear Hacks and How to Lighten Your Load Without Breaking the Bank

Lately I have been doing less writing about the trail and more about skills I've learned as we prepare for our first thru hike. We are counting down the days until we hit the Superior Hiking Trail, so gear and food have been top of mind. Still staying as active as possible but MYOG (making … Continue reading 5 Gear Hacks and How to Lighten Your Load Without Breaking the Bank

5 Things I Learned This Week

I usually write about trails and parks I've visited, but this week, I'm highlighting a few useful things that I learned off the trail.  Each of these could probably be a post on their own. Last week I met the one and only Keith Myrmel, gave a Boy Scout a tampon to stick up his nose, … Continue reading 5 Things I Learned This Week

Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

LAKE LOUISE STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 1.3 mile hiking club trail DIFFICULTY Easy and flat DATE  June 22, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Iowa River and Lake Louise-blood thirsty mosquitoes     I left work a little early on Friday to hike my 37th Minnesota Hiking Club trail and get a head start on meeting the Scouts at Forestville Mystery … Continue reading Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

  Most of my hikes in May started early with the sunrise.   When people ask me how I have time to hike, I tell them, you make time for the things you love to do...this means going to bed early and getting up before the sun sometimes.   Setting goals for myself such as … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

Gear Review: Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Here it is!   My first shot at writing a dedicated gear review.   I have written quick reviews and recommendations embedded in trip reports that mostly express discovering nifty things or gear I found a good deal on…but wanted to challenge myself to focus on writing a review about ONE piece of gear.  So why not … Continue reading Gear Review: Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

How do you describe the beauty of a place where heaven and earth join seamlessly?   Or the mind trap of telling yourself over and over again that this massive body is not the ocean or an endless sea?  Or the magnetic-siren-pull of her waters that make you want to jump in and crash like … Continue reading Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

Backpacking on the North Shore – Part 1: Testing My New Pack and SHT Packing List!

I'm still mentally and spiritually unpacking my trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior.   It was so beautiful, I'm at a bit of a loss for words, but they will eventually come.  So, lucky for you, this will be a two part post! One of the first things I did when I decided … Continue reading Backpacking on the North Shore – Part 1: Testing My New Pack and SHT Packing List!

Making Your Own Ultralight Backpack!

Have you ever thought about making your own backpacking gear?  This week's post is about my experience sewing an ultralight backpack.   There are lots of reasons to do it yourself, including:  financial, weight savings, customization and just learning something new! If you have been reading in the last 6 months, you already know that … Continue reading Making Your Own Ultralight Backpack!

Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy but very icy today (bring ice traction) DATE  March 24, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  53 ft Minnehaha Falls and Pike Island My 18th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.   One of Minneapolis' oldest and most popular parks features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river … Continue reading Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with a little ice DATE  March 17, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Historic Fort Snelling and Pike Island My 16th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Fort Snelling State Park.   It is a park that I have been to many times during all 4 seasons and can easily be modified … Continue reading Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

Urban Snowshoeing and Tips for Getting Started!

Snowshoeing is my favorite winter activity because of the access it brings.   Unlike hiking or skiing, I can walk right off the trail, alone into the woods and feel strong and confident.   I don’t feel this same desire to venture off trail in the summer when the woods are thick, shaded and full of obstacles. … Continue reading Urban Snowshoeing and Tips for Getting Started!

10 Winter Hacks to Keep You Warm

The word of the day is Bombogenesis and the headlines are all about the Cyclone Bomb that is hitting the East coast right now.   Reports are coming in that New York City is colder than Mars....and Minnesotans are still being spotted wearing shorts. In addition to my post earlier in the week The California … Continue reading 10 Winter Hacks to Keep You Warm