5 Things You Need for an Epic Spring Break

Every year as a kid spring break was a big deal. My family didn't travel anywhere but we did use the time to ski, hike, play outside, visit Yellowstone and see how much fun and adventure we could cram into a week. As an adult I think it's important to take a little spring break too--even if it just means skipping a day of work to head into the mountains or taking the time to clean out the garage, slap some storage wax on the ski's and tune the bike. We've written about spring break adventures before & even written…

5 Ways to Make Outdoor Friends

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on the S'more Outdoor podcast (I'll let you know when the interview goes live). It was so much fun--but one of the questions caught me off guard and I've been thinking about it since. I was rambling on about how much fun it is to hike with friends and to hike with a group. But then Brett, the mastermind behind S'more Outdoor asked what people can do who don't have anyone to hike with. It got me thinking...how do you make outdoor friends? I'm all about embracing solo outdoor adventures but there's a lot to…

How To Hike in the Wind

If you live &/or hike (cross-country ski, snowshoe, mountain bike etc) in southeastern Wyoming this scene is probably familiar. You notice that there's no wind in town and think to yourself, "I should be hiking right now." So, you grab your daypack, load it up in the car and drive up the mountain. As you pull into the trailhead you hear the wind howling. Suddenly your car starts shaking and momentarily you think you've been caught in an earthquake before you realize that it's just the Wyoming wind threatening to blow your car to Nebraska. You sit and contemplate whether…

What Happened When I Left My iPhone At Home

Yesterday afternoon I took my kids cross-country skiing at Tie City. After loading the car with clothing, ski's, poles, the Chariot, snacks, water and ski boots we were off. Happily driving up the mountain to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Then something crazy happened. I pulled into the trailhead, looked in my pack and could not find my beloved iPhone. I remembered that I had left it at home, right on the kitchen counter where I had last been using it to take a picture of my kids eating apples (I know, now that I'm writing this that seems…

5 Reasons to Take a NOLS WFR Course

You might have noticed that it's been a little bit slow around here lately. This book can be blamed. I just spent 10 days knee deep in the NOLS Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. Al spent the weekend doing his WFR recertification. The 10 days cost us a whole lot of money ( $699.00 for the WFR course + $235.00 for the recert + a babysitter ) and a whole lot of time (80 hours for the WFR + 24 hours for the recert). But,  I can say that every single penny was worth it. Here's why. The instruction was incredible. The…

6 Questions I Ask Myself Before Every Hike

Lately I've been thinking a lot about safety on the trails and being prepared for the unexpected. You know, everything from a flat tire on the way to the trailhead, to a twisted ankle or a diaper blow-out. When we leave Laramie and head to the mountains anything can happen. We've written a lot about planning hikes and packing for hiking trips but with our frequent hikes this summer the whole planning & packing process has become somewhat automatic. There's danger there. The danger is complacency. To prevent that I've made a checklist with 6 things I ask myself before…

Aspen Alley: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Last year an acquaintance told me about a place in the Sierra Madre's called Aspen Alley. She told of tall aspen tree's forming a canopy of colorful fall colors over a dirt road. Her description was so charming that I couldn't wait to visit. So we headed there yesterday. Taking a cue from the aspen tree's that we've been seeing on Pole Mountain and in the Snowies we thought we'd arrive just in time to see vibrant yellow leaves but we were probably a week or two too early. This is what we saw. And yes, Aspen Alley is beautiful…

10 Tips for a Stress-Free Hike

The internet is bursting right now with studies showing that time spent hiking in nature reduces stress and it's true nature is cheap therapy. But I gotta be honest...sometimes hiking IS stressful. I'd like to say that every day we have a zen like experience wandering through the mountains, completely in tune with ourselves and our natural environment. But we don't. It's not always a blissful walk through the forest. Often it's dirty screaming children, bug bites and rainclouds. So what can we do to have a stress-free hike or to at least reduce the amount of stress felt on a hike?…

5 Ridiculous Camping Tips

When it comes to packing for a camping trip things get pretty silly around our house. Today we're sharing with you our most ridiculous camping tips. 1) Heat & Eat Meals In a Bag Freeze a meal, any meal (our favorites are chili, beef stew, lentil soup, chicken and salsa) in a foodsaver bag. When you're at camp make cooking a breeze by simply tossing your frozen meal in a pot of boiling water and letting it cook inside the bag. This is my favorite tip because instead of scrubbing food residue from an empty pot you can just throw the…

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

We've been hiking a lot this summer. We're going on day 46 of 100 consecutive days of hiking here. We try to hike with a ziploc bag to pick up trash that we see on the trails. You see, I don't mind picking up a piece of paper here, or what I call "accidental garbage"--we've been known to accidentally drop a cracker or too on the trails. That kind of stuff happens. But I do mind "deliberate garbage"--meaning trash that jerks leave in our wilderness areas with no intention of packing it out. I hate coming across a fire pit…