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.
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.
This review covers 4 different types of Wandering Pine-tested winter foot traction, including an affordable DIY Screw Shoe option! After a few falls on the ice, I consider winter foot traction a critical piece of winter gear. I also gave traction devices a special shout out in my 2020 Outdoor Gift Guide because they are a practical and thoughtful gift for anyone living in a cold climate.
Welcome to the 2020 Wandering Pine Holiday Gift Guide! Featuring gifting options for your favorite outdoorsy peeps (or treat yourself!) at under $25, under $50 and even gently used gear! Julie Andrews’ classic ‘Favorite things’ is playing on repeat in my brain and I’m stoked to share the great gift ideas and sales going on … Continue reading Wandering Pine 2020 Outdoor Gift Guide!
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
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!
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.
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 first time I'd heard of the 10 essentials was in our son's Boy 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 … Continue reading The 10 Essentials – What’s In My Pack
Review of the brand new Superior Hiking Trail Databook and the tools that I used to plan my Superior Hiking Trail Thru Hike, turned Long Amazing Section Hike
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
The great thaw is upon us here in Minnesota, which the means Winter's trash is making it's BIG reveal and it's time to kick off Groundskeeping season! In case you missed it, or you are new to this space... I am part of a team of amazing humans who are committed to leaving public spaces … Continue reading Groundskeeping Season is Here!
Say hello to the first ever, next-level pee cloth. It's not an afterthought...it's a piece of gear. The first time I saw a Kula Cloth was on an Instagram post that my friend, Kim posted last year. It was hanging on her Christmas Tree as a decoration! Then I saw a few friends proudly displaying … Continue reading Kula Cloth Gear Review!
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!
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
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
Read about our January thaw hike at Minnesota Valley Wildlife refuge! Learn some Leave No Trace Tips to help keep our wild spaces preserved, and check out an initial review of the Kula Cloth: the highly technical, one of a kind, reusable pee cloth!
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!
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 on the sport, I practically did a cartwheel.
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