Happy Feet! Foot Care on the Trail Part 2

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!

Treat Your Feet! Foot Care for the Trail: Part 1

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!

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 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!

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 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

Staying Grounded and Focused in Uncertain Times

“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

Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out

"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

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

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!

Tick Prevention on the Trail

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

WRFA/CPR/AED-Wilderness First Aid and Rule #1 for Staying Safe in the Wild.

Wilderness and Remote First Aid/CPR/AED certification is 18 hours of intense training packed into two or three days. As a leader of High Adventure Treks with Scouts and as a Women Who Hike Ambassador, I am required to take it every two years. Last weekend was my 4th time going through the course and I … Continue reading WRFA/CPR/AED-Wilderness First Aid and Rule #1 for Staying Safe in the Wild.

Defend Your Joy! 5 Winter Amusements to Try Before Spring!

“Defending My Joy” is a term I have been using for the last few years whenever I have to take action to keep things positive. Protecting and defending your joy is an act of resistance. This post shares some fun and silly examples of ways I’ve found joy during some of the coldest and snowiest Winters in Minnesota. I hope it will bring you a smile as well!

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

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!

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.

10 Winter Hacks to Keep You Warm

Expanding on my previous post,  The California Transplant's Guide to Winter Layers,  here's a quick list of 10 hacks and skills to help you stay warm this winter!

A California Transplant’s Guide to Winter Layers

If you know how to layer, it’s never too cold to go outside. So here are a few tips, whether you are sub zero, sub 60 or completely buried in snow, to help ya get through the next cold snap.  

WRFA-Wilderness and Remote First Aid Certification weekend!

Wilderness and Remote First Aid, CPR, AED certification is 18-20 hours of intense training packed into two or three days. As a leader of High Adventure treks with Scouts, I am required to take it every two years. Last weekend was my 3rd time going through the course and I learn something new every time. … Continue reading WRFA-Wilderness and Remote First Aid Certification weekend!

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.