The Long and Short of Insulated Skirts and How to Target Your Layering System

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.

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.

Gear Review: Winter Foot Traction!

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.

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!

Roam if you want to… Women’s Winter Retreat at Roam Adventure Basecamp!

...Oh girl dancing down those [snowy] and [icy] trails Take it hip to hip, rocket through the wilderness... -Roam, The B-52's Back from a Winter retreat with Thrive Women's Outdoor Adventures! We got close to a foot of snow in parts of Northern Wisconsin, played in single digit temps and had the trails to ourselves. … Continue reading Roam if you want to… Women’s Winter Retreat at Roam Adventure Basecamp!

Crescent Moon EVA Foam Snowshoe Gear Review

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

Women Who Hike and Winter Snowshoeing at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of our first ever Minnesota Women Who Hike meet up: Superbowl Snowshoe Shuffle! And the Women Who Hike founder, Nicole Brown, was just featured on The Stokecast Podcast sharing her story and about how Women Who Hike became the organization that it is today. So, this post is … Continue reading Women Who Hike and Winter Snowshoeing at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 mile Hiking Club Trail DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Dec 28, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Wooded loop through rolling hills, views of a Wildlife Pond You may remember my post from Moose Lake State Park last 4th of July.   Back then the park was bursting with happy campers and families celebrating their 4th of July traditions a the … Continue reading ‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

Winter Camp, An Annual Holiday Tradition!

A couple of weeks ago I flooded the Wandering Pine Instagram page with snowshoeing photos after the Minnesota Monthly Magazine Feature hoping to make it snow before camp!   I'm still waiting for a good old fashioned blizzard to kick off Snowshoeing season as I write this, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun outside!   … Continue reading Winter Camp, An Annual Holiday Tradition!

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.

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!

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.

Minneapolis Winter Festivals

There are 3 festivals converging in Minneapolis right now.   Yesterday's temps were in the 30's so there's really no darned good reason to stay inside. The Great Northern Festival City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival Super Bowl VII Live   Hike n Pint Our morning started at Theo Wirth Park for a quick 3 … Continue reading Minneapolis Winter Festivals

Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.5-3 miles DIFFICULTY Easy, with caution DATE  Jan 13, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail on a frozen river, use caution and traction devices. I have been taught to never trust a river, whether frozen or thawed...it is wild, dangerous and a tempting treat. I think there are more rivers in my future. Today’s adventure started at … Continue reading Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Jan 6, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail with views of the river and 9 mile creek. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1976 to provide habitat for a large number of migratory waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife species threatened by commercial and industrial development, and to provide environmental education, … Continue reading Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

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.  

Winter Camping at Fred C. Andersen Scout Camp

Another year at Winter Scout Camp and a review of two different sleep set ups I used: Hammock and Solo Tent.  Winter camping takes more planning and effort but refines my outdoor skills each time I do it.

Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 7 miles roundtrip DIFFICULTY Moderate DATE  December 9, 2017 MAIN FEATURES Highest Point in MN, Amazing views of the BWCA Wilderness, No wind, no rain Or winters cold can stop me, 'Cause you are my goal. There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to … Continue reading Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!