Saturday, December 27, 2014

Go Light, but Don’t Go Crazy – Mama’s Lightweight Philosophy Updated

Go light, but don’t go crazy. My lightweight hiking philosophy in a nutshell. My younger self thought of the wilderness as an escape. Yet I dragged along enough stuff from home, that the escape became a 50 lb. (23 kg) burden on my back. My back ached while hiking. The weight threw me off balance on river crossings. It put unnecessary wear and tear on my knees.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Getting into Shape for Back Country Hiking and Paddling Adventures

Getting ready for a wilderness adventure but wondering whether you're up for the challenge? No one wants to cut a trip short or slow his fellow adventurers down. Ensuring adequate fitness for our sport will increase our enjoyment, minimize feelings of uncertainty, and reduce aches and pains.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Finding Nature's Beauty Even on Cold, Grey Winter Days

It's the first day of winter. That time of year for cozy fires and indoor projects. It's also a great time of year to enjoy nature with greater solitude. There is nothing like the peaceful stillness of a winter day after a new fallen snow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Devil's Doorway

A few weeks ago I set out to hike around Devil's Lake and ended up adjusting my plans due to a thick layer of hard packed ice and snow covering steep, rocky portions of the trail. Today I headed back to hike around the lake and check out the Devil's Doorway.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dayhike at Horicon Marsh - December 2014

Sometimes the sign is so awesome you just can't walk away without a selfie. So named for the redhead ducks that nest at Horicon Marsh, the 2.5 mile (4.2 km) Redhead Hiking Trail joined with the 0.5 mile (0.8 km) Red Fox Trail and the 0.4 mile (0.7 km) Egret Trail make for about 3.4 miles (5.5 km) of easy hiking. While these trails reside at the north end of the marsh, the Bachhuber Flowage and Quick's Point Trails at the south end of the marsh, also adjoining loops, make for a similar hike.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How to Help Kids Become Better Camping Neighbors - Teachable Moments

Left by backpackers, Governor Dodge State Park
Sometimes teachable moments pop up at inconvenient times. We pack for our backpacking trip carefully, we pack light. We plan foods that  allow us to keep our trash bag small and fairly clean for packing out.

Now we're out there. We check out a recently abandoned campsite only to find bread tossed into the brush and smoldering food cans in the fire ring. Do we walk away and pretend we never saw the messy campsite? Or do we recognize a teachable moment?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to Gear Up for Backpacking on a Budget

Shopping for gear and clothing always starts out fun. Then I see price tags. My heart races and I feel like running, not walking, to the parking lot. Is your first reaction to gear shops sticker shock?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How Time in the Wilderness Teaches Us Who We Are

Wilderness expeditions teach us who we really are. Our feet ache. It’s raining. Night noises rattle our confidence. Through the obstacles, we carry on. 

We hike over mountains because we believe we can. And if we think we cannot, we are right. We learn to accept help out of necessity, despite our fierce independence.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dayhike - East Bluff Trail at Devil's Lake State Park

Devil's Lake is the largest state park in Wisconsin, one of the busiest, and beautiful in all seasons.  The park is 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Baraboo, WI. The East Bluff Trail and the East Bluff Woods Trail at Devils Lake combine to create a moderate 3 mile (4.8 km) loop with occasional views of the lake from the East Bluff Trail.