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 on the sport, I practically did a cartwheel.

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

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 the … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

Shakedown #1 and Tarptent Saddle 2

Shakedown hikes and backpacking trips are the best way you can train yourself to become a confident backpacker or day hiker. They provide a low pressure setting for you to practice new skills, learn how to use your gear, plan a hike, and develop the physical fitness required to hike all day with a backpack. -Section … Continue reading Shakedown #1 and Tarptent Saddle 2

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!

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. I also don’t hike at night in the warmer months, but a moonlit snowshoe stomp is one of my favorite things.   I feel a unique combination of safety and freedom when I am snowshoeing in the open woods, on an empty trail bathed in winter’s blue light.

Hike 52 Adventure Part 1 – Lake Superior

"Those who have never seen Superior get an inadequate idea by hearing it spoken of as a lake Superior is a sea It breeds storms and rain and fog like a sea. It is cold, masterful, and dreaded." -Rev. George Grant, 1872 If you have been following along on the 2017 Wandering Pine journey, you … Continue reading Hike 52 Adventure Part 1 – Lake Superior