S24what?! First Bikepacking Trip, Route + Gear List

My original commuter ride: pre Pack Rat. I remember hearing the term "S24O" from a biking friend and mentor years ago. He described a Sub-24 hour overnight is a down n dirty quick overnight trip on a bike, where riders just strap stuff on their rigs wherever they can, and ride somewhere and back within … Continue reading S24what?! First Bikepacking Trip, Route + Gear List

Isle Royale | The Adventure Continues!

We’ve been back on the mainland for a few weeks, but the adventure continues!   Last week, we were invited to be on a podcast based out of Michigan, called "Hike: explore|wander|live"! I have been on the show before talking about my SHT LASH (Superior Hiking Trail Long Amazing Section Hike), and it was so … Continue reading Isle Royale | The Adventure Continues!

Whats In My Pack? 5 Day Comfort Light Gear List!

The Isle Royale trip report is up, so let's talk about gear next! This post covers my 5 day packing list, weights (according to my scale) and some of the conditions I prepared for on this trip. Be sure to also check out the accompanying gear video I shot on our last night of the … Continue reading Whats In My Pack? 5 Day Comfort Light Gear List!

The Long and Short of Insulated Skirts and How to Target Your Layering System

Pants are cool - if you love em, wear em! But I have found, as my body shape changes with age and new hiking and biking muscles, that pants are not the well fitting friend that they once were. Skirts and kilts provide a freedom of movement and fit that pants do not. But the bigger reason for adding an insulated skirt to your closet is that you can target areas that tend to get colder and add a new tool to your layering toolbox. I find that that the fronts of my thighs, rear end and middle get the coldest first, so having another layer over these spots keeps me happy. Having a separate layer of protection provides options for different conditions. Check out this post to read more about insulated skirts, kilts and wraps and a few more ideas of how to stay toasty this winter.

How to Enjoy Winter….just embrace it, they said…

It is currently -16 degrees, -32 degrees with the windchill as I write this. One of the things I've come to love about Minnesotans is their fondness for talking about the weather. Re-visitng my journey towards learning to love winter and rounding up some of my best winter posts was a fun to do over a hot cup of coffee on this cold morning. I hope these stories inspire you to keep venturing outside without worrying about freezing your buns off.

Wandering Pine Outdoor Gift Guide!

Welcome to the Wandering Pine Outdoor Gift Guide! Featuring gifting options for your favorite outdoorsy peeps (or treat yourself!) at under $25, under $50 and even gently used gear! Note: this guide was originally published in 2020, but has been edited and refreshed for this year's gift giving season- like your Christmas tree....this post is … Continue reading Wandering Pine Outdoor Gift Guide!

Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Continued from part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Parks! The prairie has a unique beauty and history that I am still learning more about. I'm also realizing the importance of knowing our history, in order to learn from it and avoid repeating it. So, if you are like me, and history … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Wandering Pine Gear Picks: Sun Protection!

I'd like to interrupt my regularly scheduled post about our Southern Minnesota State Park tour to talk to you about a topic near and dear to my heart (and face...and hands...and everywhere else the sun touches): SUN PROTECTION. This week, I'm fresh off a trip to the prairie AND the dermatologist!  With bandaids still covering … Continue reading Wandering Pine Gear Picks: Sun Protection!

The SHT Blooper Video is LIVE – and other things happening this week.

It's been a full week in Wandering Pine World and I wanted to give an update and check in to see how you are all doing.  I was supposed to be backpacking the Kekekabic Trail last weekend and officially cancelled my Memorial Day Sioux Hustler Trail Boundary Waters Trip.  It was a personal decision, but … Continue reading The SHT Blooper Video is LIVE – and other things happening this week.

How to Plan a Hike…and what is a hike anyway?

This week, a friend asked "what's the difference between a walk and a hike?" I've heard this question before, but even now...when things seem to be changing on the daily...the answer is still the same "Well, that's up to you..." When I signed up for my first 52 Hike Challenge, in 2017, my personal definition … Continue reading How to Plan a Hike…and what is a hike anyway?

The 10 Essentials – What’s In My Pack

The first time I'd heard of the 10 essentials was in our son's Scout Handbook.   It was this succinct list of survival items that every Scout should have on outdoor adventures in case of an emergency.  Both of our boys assembled their items, and stowed them in their packs (just in case).   Eventually, I would … Continue reading The 10 Essentials – What’s In My Pack

From Minnesota, With Love: Supporting Local Gear Companies

Minnesota's Governor issued a two week 'Stay at Home' order that starts today.  I feel fortunate to have already been working from home for 17 days, but half of my household will continue to go out to their workplaces each day.  My last post talked about some of the ways I am staying grounded and … Continue reading From Minnesota, With Love: Supporting Local Gear Companies

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

Now that I've got you with that fantastic title, it's 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!

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