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. … 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

A California Transplant’s Guide to Winter Layers

“There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” -Alfred Wainwright It’s a new year and it’s time to start the 52 hike challenge again! If 52 hikes isn’t your thing and you needed another reason to hike today, there’s also an event led by the American State Parks in all 50 states called … Continue reading A California Transplant’s Guide to Winter Layers

Winter Camping at Fred C. Andersen Scout Camp

Here's a follow up to my first winter camping post a couple of weeks ago and a review of two different sleep set ups I used last weekend.  Winter camping takes more effort but refines my outdoor skills each time I do it. I traditionally help plan the Winter Campout for my Boy Scout Troop.  All … Continue reading Winter Camping at Fred C. Andersen Scout Camp

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

Ursack Major Bear Bag Review

Spent some time this morning researching and testing out the Ursack Major AllWhite Bear Bag.  What else are you going to do on a Saturday morning when the house is still clean from the holiday and you #opt(ed)outside all day on Black Friday?  Note: The Ursack is now made in black but works the same. … Continue reading Ursack Major Bear Bag Review

Moarrr Gearrr… and my new favorite backpacking book!

"Fear is heavy..." -Hiking Dude In my quest for updating to lightweight gear without breaking the bank for next year's SHT Thru hike, I've been selling or giving away the older stuff and picking up new gear at gear swaps or sales.  See last week's post on 10 ways to rock an REI Garage sale! … Continue reading Moarrr Gearrr… and my new favorite backpacking book!

10 Tips for Scoring at an REI Garage Sale!

Sometimes I joke that my initials should just be “X” because all of my gear is marked with a black “X” signifying it was bought at an REI garage sale. I just got back from one before our hike to Lebanon Hills this weekend and found a few things I needed for our SHT hike. … Continue reading 10 Tips for Scoring at an REI Garage Sale!

Superfog & Snow Predictions

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields (and windshields), that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass … Continue reading Superfog & Snow Predictions

First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH N/A DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 20, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Remote camping On Friday, after a week of the “me too” movement, reading discouraging responses to the Boy Scout announcement allowing girls in the program, this Outside Magazine article about women alone in the woods, and years of ‘helpful' unsolicited … Continue reading First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

DIY Fancy Feast Stove

Here's a quick post of a little project I did tonight.  I've been thinking about how to lighten my pack and this is one way to take a bit of weight out.  I have a Snow Peak Giga Power and MSR Reactor Stove that I dearly love, but wanted to explore how to simplify my … Continue reading DIY Fancy Feast Stove

Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 8 miles (6.2 mile Hiking Club) DIFFICULTY Easy wide trails. DATE  Sept 10, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Wildflowers, Pelicans, 16 miles of trail and sleeping on an island. This summer started out full of hiking in preparation for our trip to Glacier National Park and ended with weeks of biking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding.  It's been … Continue reading Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review

Mile 1 | Superior Hiking Trail

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. -Lao Tzu Or in my case, the journey of 310 miles...   Last week feels like I walked my first mile on the trail.   Making the decision to go, working on a plan to get there, nerding out on gear excel grids - trying … Continue reading Mile 1 | Superior Hiking Trail

Last week’s micro-adventures, plus Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 and Women’s Serrana Sleeping Bag gear review!

And at the end of the day (or week), Your feet should be dirty, Your hair messy And your eyes sparkling ~Author Unknown   So....it's Thursday and my hair is still a mess, I keep finding dirt under my nails and my eyes are definitely sparkling;  stronger, braver and wiser. Last week started with a trip to Colorado … Continue reading Last week’s micro-adventures, plus Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 and Women’s Serrana Sleeping Bag gear review!

Packing.

I've done a packing Demo for my Scouts for the last 3 years and every year, it gets easier.  Next week I get to do a Backpacking Demo for a room full of regional Scout leaders!  (They pack the heaviest). Here's a 38 second packing video I made as I was getting my gear ready for … Continue reading Packing.