Summer 2015

Summer 2015 Outside BozemanIf you took a poll of Bozemanites and asked what their favorite season was, summer would undoubtedly win. Alpine lakes, river floats, dry trails, and so much more make this a season of plenty, and a fresh issue of Outside Bozeman is here to guide you through your summer activities. Whether you plan on bagging our profiled peak, the Gallatin Range's highest, Electric, or checking out southwest Montana's growing lift-served biking scene, you'll find all you need within the 128 pages of our summer issue. As always, there's gear galore, helpful tips, beautiful photos, and entertaining stories that will have you exploring our mountains, rivers, and lakes until the leaves start to turn. Enjoy.  

Features

Castle Mountains, Motorbike Fishing, Montana Fly Fishing
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Lewis, Jimmy
Fishing by motorcycle, from Bozeman to the Castle Mountains.The formula for happiness in my world is simple: ride, fish, camp, repeat. I like to avoid the banalities of interstate travel, so I ride a so-called “adventure motorcycle”—a bike built to handle on-road touring and light off-road duty... Details
Jefferson River, Paddleboaring Montana, SUP Montana
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Peters, Greg M.
Two days on the Jefferson River.“Watch out for rattlesnakes,” a middle-aged blonde warns as we strap our dry bags onto our paddleboards at the Silver Star boat launch, 11 miles north of Twin Bridges. “They’re on land and in the river.” Despite my deep-seated fear of serpents, the thought of a... Details
Big Sky Resort, Downhill Mountain Biking, Montana
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Tucker, David
Downhill riding gets a boost in the Big Sky.There are downhill mountain-biking destinations in North America whose mention conjures images of loamy trails with hand-finished berms and painstakingly designed freestyle features—where trains of smiling, wide-eyed bikers weave and undulate, testing the... Details
Electric Peak, Gallatin Range, Paradise Valley
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Turiano, Thomas
Climbing Electric Peak.Electric Peak is one of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s most dominant mountains, rising nearly 5,800 vertical feet above the Yellowstone River as it drains northward out of Yellowstone National Park. A climb to its summit affords a centralized view of the sea of mountains... Details

Departments

Campfire tales, adventure stories, Bozeman
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Pogge, Drew
How to tell an adventure story.Call them fish stories, tall tales, flights of fancy, or yarns—whatever term you use, the stories we tell about our outdoor adventures can be as much fun as the adventures themselves. The finest storytellers among us leave barroom audiences rapt, on the edge of their... Details
Montana Public Land, Montana Legislature
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Elliott, Clayton
Lands win in the legislature.Earlier this year, Montanan recreationists of all stripes—from hunters and fishermen to mountain bikers and backpackers—beat back a dozen bills aimed at transferring ownership of American public lands to the state. Montanans realized the threat: a lands transfer would... Details
Nikki Kimball, Female Athletes
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Sheets, Jenny
On gender equality in sports.Montana’s endurance sports have a reputation for bringing crowds of talented, friendly athletes together. An accommodating environment encourages everyone to get involved. But even in this supportive atmosphere, good intentions can be hurtful. Several years ago, at a... Details
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the editors
Categorizing conifers.Think all conifers are pretty much the same? Think again. Next time you’re in the woods, use these simple ID-techniques to better understand your environment.  Details
Illustration by Blaise Arsenault
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Elliott, Clayton
In the ongoing land-transfer struggle, a few folks stand out—on both sides of the battlefield. Here’s a recap of admirable acts and shameful shenanigans for the 2015 legislative session.ChampsRep. Ed Lieser (D–Whitefish). A retired forester, Rep. Lieser fought in the trenches of the House Natural... Details
dryland training, Bridger Ski Foundation
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White, Jenny
Stay ski-fit with dryland training.You don’t have to trade your summer recreation for hot days in the gym in order to get ready for ski season. Take a few notes from the Bridger Ski Foundation’s (BSF) dryland training programs, where playing outside and having fun are paramount. Bozeman’s ski club... Details
Clouser Minnow Fly
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Lewis, Jimmy
Tying the Clouser minnow.In the 30-plus years I’ve been fly fishing, the general trend in streamers has been to make them bigger and uglier—and thus more unwieldy to cast. From zonkers to double-bunnies, articulated fat-heads to sex dungeons, for most anglers the thought of streamer-fishing... Details
West Yellowstone, Fly Fishing, Old Faithful Cycle Tour
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Swenson, Wendy
Small-town vibes with big-mountain highs.When you think of West Yellowstone, you think of the Park. However, long summer days provide access to so much more. Whether you’re fishing blue-ribbon streams, hiking in pristine wilderness, or mountain biking on hundreds of miles of singletrack and forest-... Details
cyngus the Swan
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Manning, Jim
Swan on the wing.Of all the fowl that soar the skies or glide the waters of the Rocky Mountain West, none is larger—or more elegant—than the trumpeter swan, the biggest native North American bird there is. You can see them on the rivers of Yellowstone National Park or other venues about the region... Details
White Sulphur Springs, Smith River
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Ross, Drew M.
Unexpected benevolence saves the day.We pulled into camp at Sunset Cliffs as the sky collapsed upon us. The strobe pulse of lightning along the rims of the river canyon set off peals of thunder. First some hail, and then she let loose with a deluge. We hit the shore like an invading army, everybody... Details
wolf, Montana, wolf hunt
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Jones, Andrea
Montana's wolf population explained.Wolves, as many of our hunters learn, can be hard to find even when you’re looking for them. They’re smart, elusive animals that can travel great distances in a short time. And that’s just part of the challenge when it comes to estimating their population. There... Details
Ennis Lake, Madison Valley
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Dehmer, Kurt
Enticing Ennis Lake.Just north of Ennis is a reservoir that, viewed from the surrounding mountains, looks like the haphazard puddle of a spilled bucket. Though small and shallow—the deepest sections mark out around 20 feet—Ennis Lake is a great spot for a summer excursion. CampingMeadow Lake... Details
CB Cattle Ranch, Madison Valley
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the editors
Summer at the CB Ranch.A weekend at a guest ranch is a rite of summer for any visitor to Montana. Horseback rides through the pine, steak dinners, sunset views: it doesn’t get better than that. This summer, head to the Madison Valley and visit the 6,500-acre CB Cattle & Guest Ranch. Tag along... Details
Bozeman Boot Camps, Health and Fitness
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Beckett, Sean
Benefits of boot camps.Boot-camp fitness classes are popping up all over the Gallatin Valley, and for good reason: they’re a great way to accelerate one’s fitness and prepare for an active summer season. They also help break up the monotony of the usual routine, and serve as an ongoing training... Details
Yellowstone National Park, Canyon Wolf Pack, Montana Elk
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Lyons, MacNeil
Canyon wolf pack edition.Driving down from Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone Park, we spotted four wolves on the road, coming our way. It was the Canyon pack: the alpha pair and two others. They left the road and moved uphill, disappearing among the trees. Guessing that they might parallel the road in... Details
Massage Therapy, Running and Cycling
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McDonald, Cheryl
Massage for runners and cyclists.So you’re training incredibly hard for a triathlon or the Ridge Run and you notice some pain running down the side of your leg and into your knee. Your running partner’s been complaining about a heel ache that’s excruciating at times and she’s developing a limp.... Details
gorp, trail food, Bozeman, Montana
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Brayton, Lea
Fuel for the trail.Quality trail food can make the difference between a killer day in the mountains and a miserable next morning, as your body bears out the previous day’s neglect. Foods high in protein and fiber keep you going strong, and knowing how to harvest from your surrounding environment... Details
Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone thermals, Montana National Parks
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Cuddy, Ryan
From a local's perspective.Yellowstone National Park can be one of the most freeing and unique places in the world—if you know where to go. The majority of Park visitors never leave the well-maintained boardwalks or RV-packed Grand Loop Rd. While my ideal adventure is a multi-day backcountry trek,... Details
Horsepacking, True Tales, River crossing
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Wimer, Brooke
A wilderness river-crossing gone wrong.The river rushes madly, its water, churning and muddy due to the sudden spike in temperature of the last two days. A tall, overhanging rock face to the left, a half-million acres of wilderness to the right, and the trail disappearing into the water straight... Details
Fishing Pollutants, Montana Fly fishing
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Brayton, Lea
You may be doing more damage than you think.It’s a classic summer day on the water: the afternoon passes quietly, the only sounds are the riffling river and the sigh of a reel slipping line. This is what we live for as anglers in Montana—a day well-spent in this vast natural playground we call home... Details
Mystic Lake, Mountain biking, Hunting
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Beardslee, Greg and Villasenor, Estela
How Bozeman Creek was liberated.The year is 1973 and elk season is one hour away. Gallatin National Forest district ranger Ross MacPherson is lying belly-down in the meadow above Mystic Lake with his son and four other rangers. As the party waits, shots ring out from the nearby woods.Across the... Details
Kids Outdoors, Outdoor Children, Family Outdoor Activities
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Harrison, Melynda
Family time outside.Montanans know how to make the most of our short but amazing summers, and we like to take our families along for the ride. Whether you do it yourself or go with an expert, you’ll find enough trails and waterways to keep everyone active all summer long. Here’s a sampling of some... Details
Custer Gallatin National Forest, USGS, Montana National Forest
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Leuschen-Lonergan, Mariah
Custer and Gallatin combine.Last August, with little fanfare, the Custer and Gallatin national forests became one management unit. One of the most geographically diverse forests in Montana, the Custer Gallatin National Forest encompasses a large section of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the... Details
Montana Sunset, Bozeman Summers, Porch-sitting
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Pogge, Drew
And let summer do its thing.Beware the barrenness of a busy life. —SocratesLike many others, I live mostly by my calendar. If something’s not scheduled, underlined, and circled in red ink, it usually doesn’t happen. This kind of self-imposed order is a necessary evil, particularly for people who... Details
Granite Creek Range, Tobacco Roots Mountains, Montana Hunting
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England, Mike
Repentance and redemption at the Granite Creek Range.The shriek of a red-tailed hawk fills the air as I relax and settle into position. Spilling out before me is a series of targets: orange silhouettes the size and shape of a human torso, one after another, from 100 yards all the way out to 900. I... Details
Rattlesnakes, Snake Bites, Montana
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Odenbeck, Loni M.
Avoiding rattlers in southwest Montana.If you have pets in Montana, there’s one type of snake you have to worry about, and that’s the western or prairie rattlesnake. While this is a relatively docile species, snakebites happen, generally because of habitat crossover where people recreate or live in... Details
Yellowstone River, Paradise Valley, Montana Rafting
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Brayton, Lea
It’s open season. Trails wait for fresh footsteps, jagged ridgelines call out, anticipating our arrival. Take time off from a fast-paced place and bask in the easy drawl of summer. The world is fresh, dripping new in hues of vibrant, lively blues. Come play in the sweet pockets of warmth, lingering... Details
Montana Triathlon
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Parks, Matt
An athletic ménage-a-trois.That’s right, summertime is triathlon season, which means you can do it three ways with some of your favorite friends and competitors. There are races in all the major Montana cities and we have two triathlon races right here in Bozeman. Here’s how to prepare.The SwimTime... Details
Bozeman, Kalispell
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the editors
In-state showdown.It’s been over two years since Bozeman squared off against another town—perhaps we’ve run out of worthy adversaries. Or maybe we’ve just been looking too far afield. What better way to re-test Bozeman’s merits than to climb into the ring with another Montana town? Let’s see if... Details
Business for Montana's Outdoors, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Montana
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Tucker, David
The fight to save the Land and Water Conservation Fund.In 1965, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund, guaranteeing Americans access to public land, and while you might not know it, it’s helped pay for the creation and maintenance of many of our favorite recreational hotspots here... Details
4-wheeling, off-road driving, Montana
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Fields, Gary
Outfitting your backcountry rig.If you’ve ever found yourself sitting nervously in your trusty steed on your way to a forest service campsite deep down a mountain road, you’ve probably had that feeling in your gut that beckons the question, “Will I make it?” Given the terrain and obstacles we... Details
Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Main Street to the Mountains
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Brayton, Lea
Gallatin Valley Land Trust summer walks.In an effort the make the Main Street to the Mountains trail system more accessible, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) offers guided trail walks throughout the summer. Beginning in June, they’ll host several hour-long walks per week, ranging in difficulty... Details
Hunt Right Campaign, FWP Region 3
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Frost, Mick
The Hunt Right campaign explained.Long before the heat of summer gives way to cool autumn nights, the hunt will begin—and with it, the inevitable ethical dilemmas that confront sportsmen in their pursuit of game. To help hunters make the right choices while afield—for example, not shooting beyond... Details
Utility Box Wrap, Bozeman
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Brayton, Lea
Local artists turn utility into art.Three years ago, the plain grey traffic box on the corner of Wallace and Main was given a trial facelift by local artist Krista Morey and the Bozeman-based urban beautification company, the Clean Slate Group (CSG). These days, the outdoor-inspired wraps are... Details
outdoor etiquette, Bozeman, Montana
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Wozer, Jeff
O/B’s answer to outdoor offenders.I harbor limited faith in self-governance. Nothing underscores this more than my wish for Apple to equip computers with email breathalyzers. Many mornings-after might have been prevented by this, leading me to conclude that we can’t always be counted on to do the... Details
Whitewater Kayaking national parks, Yellowstone National Park
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Kennedy, Kevin
Paddling bill redux.Wyoming representative Cynthia Lummis is taking another stroke with her park-paddling bill. HR 974, the Yellowstone and Grand Teton Paddling Act—which would allow the use of hand-propelled vessels on select rivers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks—was reintroduced on... Details
Bear Trap Canyon, Kitchen Sink Rapid, Madison River
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Dave Schroeder
A guide to running Bear Trap. It’s Sunday at 7am. Under normal conditions I’d be off in the nether, stumbling through some primal log-sawin’ narrative. Today, however, I’m living the dream, and as I pull into Mama Mac’s under bluebird skies, my partner’s waiting, his outstretched hands and wide... Details
Gravelly Range, Montana
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Tucker, David
Beartooth's latest map.For over ten years, Beartooth Publishing has treated Bozeman locals to the best, most detailed maps around. This year, they’re expanding their lineup of beautifully crafted recreation maps to include a brand-new guide to the Gravelly Range. While you might think you know the... Details

Gear Reviews

Smith Optics Forefront Helmet
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Tucker, David
Your ride is only as good as the gear that gets you from A to B. Here's a rundown of the season's best.Smith Optics Forefront HelmetSmith is a lot more than just optics these days, and the Forefront helmet is proof of that. While it doesn’t have the full-face coverage necessary for a downhill-only... Details
Scarpa Oxigen GTX, Scarpa day-hikers
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Howlett, David
I don’t think I’m asking too much out of my shoes—I only need them to be waterproof, breathable, comfortable, stylish, and versatile enough for a rugged trail hike followed by an evening on the town with friends. Enter the Oxigen GTX from the fine folks at Scarpa. Thankfully these shoes went... Details
Balega v-tech quarter
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Tucker, David
I’ve never been a runner, but last summer, I trashed my mountain bike and wasn’t able to pick up a new one until recently. That meant I needed another exercise outlet, and since running is relatively affordable, I decided to give it a try. After grabbing some comfy trail shoes, all I needed was a... Details
Pearl iZumi Summit Glove Review
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Brayton, Lea
If you’re looking for lightweight protection on the singletrack this summer, the Summit Glove by Pearl iZumi is a good option. It’s relatively breathable and the polyester-and-rubber construction keeps bulk down but utility high. The silicone-coated fingertips make for confident breaking, while the... Details
paddling jacket, kokatat X-Jacket
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England, Mike
Combine Montana’s notoriously volatile weather and the inherent lack of storage on your oversized surfboard, and you’ve got a recipe for discomfort. Which is where the Kokatat X-Jacket comes in. Designed specifically for paddleboarding, this water-repellent softshell has a built-in stuff pocket... Details
Kavu Sockeye Short, Kavu Sockeye Short Review
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Krueger, Ryan
Swimsuit technology has yet to match that of outerwear, running shoes, or even underwear—probably because it doesn’t need to. A good suit must merely be lightweight, quick-drying, and comfortable; and the Sockeye Short by Kavu is all of these things. On a three-week river trip, I wore these shorts... Details
Nemo Puffin Blanket
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England, Mike
Most of us have that special, multipurpose blanket—the one in constant movement, from couch to camp, back yard to the back of the truck. Mine’s an old army blanket, and I love it; but I have yet to find a bedmate who will even feign affection for my beloved blanky. To keep my sleeping partner from... Details
Wilderness Systems Fishing Kayak, Wilderness Systems Ride 115 Max Angler
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Howlett, David
My fishing buddy Mark summed up the Ride 115 Max Angler from Wilderness Systems best: “It’s got all the bells and whistles.” I couldn't say it better, because with a slew of desirable components built in and the Yakattack signature Angler Package, the 115 Max Angler is one of the most formidable... Details
Railblaza C-Tug
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Howlett, David
One of the most challenging things about kayak fishing is transporting the considerable size and weight of the boat from my vehicle to the water’s edge. When fully loaded, my boat weighs well over 100 pounds, and at 12 feet long, it’s awkward to move around. Thankfully I have the C-TUG kayak... Details
Pelican Coolers, ProGear Elite Cooler Review
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England, Mike
For those extended summer road-trips deep into the Montana backcountry, you need a reliable ice-chest—when the fishing’s good and the sunsets are even better, the last thing you want is a mandatory town run. Stay afield as long as you want, with as much cold beer as you can drink, with Pelican’s... Details
Astral Brewer Review
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Kennedy, Kevin
If you’re a recreational or professional waterman looking for a do-it-all shoe for the summer season, look no further than the Astral Brewer. This is an extremely lightweight water shoe designed for whitewater kayaking and rafting, but is comfortable and stylish enough to skip the switch into... Details
Patagonia Tenpenny Pants Review
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England, Mike
Like the proverbial male wearer thereof, a good summer pant is hard to find. Maybe the fit’s too tight for unrestricted outdoor play, or the material too absorbent, or the fabric too flimsy to endure abrasion—sometimes all of the above. Not so with the Tenpenny Pant from Patagonia. The cotton/nylon... Details
Eddie Bauer Flats Polo
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England, Mike
A technical fishing shirt is fine on the river, but wear it anywhere else and you become that guy—the identity-deficient dweeb who wants everyone to know he’s a fly fisherman. Which is why I like the Flats Polo from Eddie Bauer. It’s got all the features and functionality of a high-tech fishing... Details
Garmin echoMAP 43DV
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Howlett, David
When fishing a large lake like Hebgen, one of the keys to success day is knowing where the fish are and what the lake bottom looks like. This is where having a good fish-finder on my kayak comes in handy, and the echoMAP 43DV from Garmin is perfectly suited to the task when expanded with the... Details
Scarpa Ignite Women's shoe Review
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Brayton, Lea
From the moment I slipped on the Ignite Women’s trail runners by Scarpa, my feet sighed in relief—no tension points and a very comfortable fit. Training for a long-distance mountain run, I’ve been running through shoes at an expensive rate and wanted something more durable on exposed rock and trail... Details
Stowaway SwingAway Hitch Carrier
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England, Mike
If our outdoor-oriented weekends have a universal drawback, it’s finding room for all the gear. To ensure plenty of space for people, clothing, equipment, and dogs, add some storage outside the vehicle with a SwingAway Hitch Carrier. Backpacks, tent, raingear, fishing rods—whatever, this roomy box... Details
Stone Glacier Sky 5100 Review
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England, Mike
Quivers may be all the rage these days, but a more minimalist approach has its advantages: less money shelled out, less space occupied in the closet, less time spent fixing gear. Which is why I like my new Sky 5100, made by Bozeman’s own Stone Glacier. Although first and foremost a hunting pack,... Details
Pristine Ventures PR 49, packrafting, packrafting Montana
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Chris McCarthy
The idea of packrafting a river deep in the wilderness is exciting. Doing so with a couple hundred pounds of fresh elk meat—now that’s an adventure. The PR-49 from Pristine Ventures makes this type of epic Montana outing possible. At 15 pounds, it’s heavier than most packrafts, but the burly... Details
Saucony Peregrine 5
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McCarthy, Chris
I’ve never been one to pontificate about a trail shoe. Hell, up until three years ago, I’d run in whatever was on the bargain table. The Peregrine from Saucony has changed all that. This trail shoe is the perfect combination of ruggedness and comfort. The traction is aggressive, giving me a... Details
LOWA vantage GTX
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McCarthy, Chris
It’s been a constant problem for me with mid-height hikers: regardless of brand, the boots rub on the insides of my ankles. I mess with the lacing. Move the tongue to different places. Try socks of different thickness. Regardless of changes, I notice the rubbing, usually accompanied with an... Details
Nemo Wagontop 4P Tent Review
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Pogge, Drew
When it comes to car-camping, sleeping in a cramped backpacking tent is just silly. NEMO’s new Wagontop 4P tent combines modern design, quality materials and construction, and ridiculous convenience for civilized camping missions. This isn’t a tent you’d want to hike further than about 25 yards—it’... Details
Ericksson GTX, Vasque Boots, Bozeman hiking
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Tucker, David
Every once in a while, a product comes around that I won’t shut up about. The Ericksson GTX from Vasque is such a product. These boots were made for walking, and that’s just what I do in them. I walk up mountains; I walk through mud; I walk around town. They’re sturdy enough to backpack in (... Details

Additional Articles

Bill Wood, Granite Creek Range
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England, Mike
Tips from a champ.Former World Championship silver-medalist Bill Wood teaches long-range shooting techniques at Granite Creek Range near Virginia City. Here are Bill’s top tips for shooting well—both at the range and in the field.1. Be comfortable with your equipment. If you don't enjoy shooting... Details
Ramshorn Peak, Gallatin Range
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Tucker, David
Climbing high in Paradise Valley.Mount HolmesJust south of Electric, Mt. Holmes tops out at 10,336 feet and makes for a long all-day climb. You’ll gain almost 3,000 feet of elevation over 11 miles, and should plan for five hours for the ascent alone. Once on the summit, you’ll be rewarded with... Details
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White, Jenny
Off-season workouts for skiers.Every skier can benefit from at least 30 minutes of strength training twice a week. Again, keep it fun, and keep it outside: at the park or in an alpine meadow in the middle of a hike. Here are some key strength exercises that’ll help you ski stronger and safer.... Details

Book Reviews

Young Men and Fire, Montana Required Reading
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the editors
A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting. —ThoreauReading, especially reading books, and especially reading books carefully, is a dying art. We consume information in so many ways... Details

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