It's a great time of year to get outside and brush up on those hiking skills whether you're headed out on a day hike or multi day trip. This week I'm cracking open the archives and kicking off a trail tips series. This page is under construction, and will be updated with each post. Thanks for joining!
This trip report will cover our overnight trip to the historic remote cabins at Tettegouche State Park, a glimpse at the northern lights, some new backpacking gear I'm testing out and absolutely zero bigfoot sightings This is the time of year when we get a little itchy and want to get a Winter camping trip … Continue reading Weekend at Tettegouche State Park Remote Cabins
Our Border Route Trail trip report and Ultralight Gear list just published, so it's time to talk about FOOD! This post features the menu from my Border Route Trail trip, THREE favorite recipes (ie kitchen experiments), and some handy tips and resources for making your own meals on the trail. IMPORTANT NOTE: My caloric intake … Continue reading Backpacking Meal Planning + 3 Favorite Recipes
Spring is the time of year when everything returns to life (and gets real muddy). Even though I like to hike year round, I need a little reboot when the snow thaws. This post covers some of the ways I physically and mentally prepare myself for hiking and backpacking. Be sure you get the green … Continue reading 5 Training Tips for Your Next Hiking or Backpacking Trip!
I'm back from 4 revitalizing days in the woods with some new muscles and a full heart. This trip report covers a visit to Hayward Wisconsin with my friends at Thrive Women's Outdoor Adventures, filled with skiing, snowshoeing, friendship and amazing food! I had the pleasure of enjoying a trip with this bunch in 2019 … Continue reading Women’s Winter Retreat in Hayward, Wisconsin!
We're back from an refreshing Thanksgiving weekend trip to William O'Brien State Park! It's been a while since I've had a cold weather overnight and it was great to dust off the skills and gear to extend the camping season. This 3 in 1 post covers: Our Free Park Friday/Opt Outside group hike on the … Continue reading Campsgiving at William O’Brien State Park
This two part post covers foot care tips for hiking, backpacking and off the trail. Check out Part 1 for pre-hike foot care tips. Topics covered in part two: my journey to finding the right footwear, daily foot prep, foot first aid kit and a list of my favorite foot gear. Our feet can take us wonderful places, but without proper care, they can be a real pain. So let's start with some things I learned the hard way, so hopefully you don't have to!
This two part post covers hiking and backpacking foot care tips for both on and off the trail. Topics covered: selecting footwear, prepping your feet, checking your gear and my favorite foot gear. Our feet can take us wonderful places, here are a few ways I keep mine happy! Happy hiking!
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.
HIKE DETAILS LENGTH 20 milesDIFFICULTY mostly flat and paved, with dirt options and a few hillsDATE HIKED October 4, 2020MAIN FEATURES Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, Theodore Wirth Park, Chain of Lakes. Start location - 2601 Theodore Wirth Parkway: Sunset Park Last week, some friends and I backpacked the 35ish mile Sioux Hustler Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It … Continue reading Hiking Merit Badge 20 Miler | Minneapolis 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!
Look what came in the mail yesterday! If you have been following along here, you will know that after finishing the Superior Hiking Trail in long sections last year, I was looking for a new adventure. 2020 was going to be all about the North Country Trail and exploring Minnesota's most remote and rugged trails … Continue reading The North Country Trail 100 Mile Challenge
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 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 What’s in My Pack? The 10 Essentials!
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Mr. Rogers Hi. Everybody doing ok? I feel like I've gotten an email from every company I've ever given my email to this … Continue reading Staying Grounded and Focused in Uncertain Times
Adventuring in Ely MN with the International Wolf Center and Northern Tier High Adventure Base
"GO OUTSIDE WITH THE REST OF THE WILD ANIMALS!!" -Mom Time to Hike! Last month at our "Unpacking Your Hiking Hesitations" Clinic at Midwest Mountaineering, Ruth and I were asked a question: “How do you make time for hiking?” I responded almost automatically: “you make time for the things you love”. But the minute those words … Continue reading Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out
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!