Spring 2016

Features

  • Wolke's World

    A personal crusade for Wilderness.As of late, one of the most important acts of environmental advocacy that conservationist and longtime Wilderness guide Howie Wolke partakes in is a small one: he hands a self-described “…
  • Like a Fish Out of Water

    The unseen impacts of catch-and-release. Catch-and-release has become an ingrained fly-fishing habit. It’s been the only way to fish for so long, that for many, it’s hard to imagine an alternative. But is catch-and-release…

Departments

  • Spread In

    The benefits of town-centered development.  What Bozeman recreationist hasn’t biked down her favorite rural road, savoring the unobstructed Big Sky views, only to come around a corner and find a new trophy home plopped…
  • Gone Clubbin'

    Bozeman-area hiking groups.For most outdoor enthusiasts, solo outings are nothing out of the ordinary, and adventures with pals usually involve the same person or persons that one has been trekking with for years. As is…
  • A Balancing Act

    Managing agriculture, nature, and recreation. Eight miles of trout-inhabited water curl across an 1,100-acre expanse in the Ruby Valley. The water drips from the delicate feet of a nearby sandhill crane and the curved lip…
  • Saved by the Cell

    Phones in the backcountry.You’re in a remote area and your friend is injured, or you’re seriously lost and not equipped to spend the night out in severe weather. Dealing with this kind of emergency, or more importantly,…
  • Strung Up

    Ospreys and baling twine.Orange streamers of twine fly on the wind. I spy them tethered to a snag-nest on a platform high above the Yellowstone River. They may appear harmless to a casual observer, one who keeps an eye on…
  • Paddleboard vs. Kayak

    A final watery showdown.Running rivers is a rite of spring, and warmer weather begs us to seek out a seaworthy vessel and hit the water. But which one is best suited for the aquatic environs of southwest Montana? Now, we…
  • Dave's Angle

    Q&A with a local legend.If you love fly fishing, imagine moving to the Gallatin Valley in 1970—that’s when legendary angler, outfitter, and conservationist Dave Kumlien settled into a life filled with “mountains and…
  • Shouldering Through

    Making the most of mud season.Spring is a strange season in Montana. On any given day, you might be skiing, you might be biking, you might be fishing, or you might be doing all three. To help guide you through, we dug into…
  • Long Live the Lubber

    Fun before mastery.Let me be clear: I am a landlubber. Dweller of solid ground; denizen of rock and soil; habitant of earthy matter; a landsman, through and through. The liquid realm, where river rats, surfers, mariners,…
  • Spring Forward

    Must-do seasonal races.“It’s not important how fast one runs, but that one runs.”—Ed Anacker, co-founder of the Big Sky Wind Drinkers Ah, spring… break out your running shoes and shake the winter’s rest from your legs—it’s…
  • Hip to be Cool

    Preventing running injuries.As the seasons shift and we move from gliding across the mountains to pounding across the mountains, it’s important to review the principles of running-injury prevention. If you’re a runner, you’…
  • Parks & Recreation

    Introducing the Montana State Park Foundation. Montana’s state lands comprise iconic landscapes, unique recreation opportunities, and treasured historical sites, yet they get far less attention—and funding—than their high-…
  • Spring Hatch

    Caddisflies in my ears and up my nose, Caddisflies riding the brim of my hat. Inside my waders and inside my clothes, Trichoptera stuck to my hemostat.  Stowed gear on the porch when I got home late, Recalled my youth with…
  • Willows

    The essence of spring can be found in giant willows whose roots seek depths of sweet-scented earth to siphon water from subterranean streams quickening their leafy embrace of the moon.  Go and sit amidst the bright halos…
  • River Retreats

    Overnight floats in the Bozeman area.Finally—the sun is shining and it’s time to get out on the water for a good, long float. Many rivers in our area are best suited for a single day in the boat, but why not extend the…
  • Captivating Cragging

    Warm spring climbing areas. It’s spring, which means it’s time to put the ice tools away and squeeze into rock shoes once more. But with Montana’s fickle weather, finding climbs that are accessible, warm, and dry enough…
  • Distinctly Montana

    Unique opportunities along the Yellowstone.As the days get longer, the nights get shorter, and the air gets warmer, it’s common for even the stodgiest of homebodies to seek out a change of scenery. Fortunately, good scenery…
  • Boom for Whom?

    The curse of measuring Montana's economy.The economy throughout southwest Montana is thriving. Gallatin County’s unemployment rate is 2.2%, there’s a new building boom, real-estate development is surging, new mines have…
  • M-Bassador

    GVLT's trail-steward program.When I moved to Bozeman 16 years ago, it was uncommon for two hikers to pass one another without a smile and a greeting. I think we’ve slipped a bit in recent years, so I joined the Gallatin…
  • Review: Let 'Em Lie

    Sleeping gear for dogs. So naturally, your dog loves trail running, hiking, biking, and skiing just as much as you do. That’s why he has a giant smile on his face right before collapsing into a pile of clean laundry for a…
  • Dog Duties

    Spring advice for dog-owners.Spring is here and summer’s just around the corner. The snow’s melting, the days are getting longer, and we’re itching to get out to our favorite spots. Who better to join us than Fido, our…
  • Trail Aware

    Benefits of self-protection training. A quick search on Wikipedia reveals that “martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition…
  • The Bowline

    Essential knots, part 1.For outdoor recreationists, cam-straps sit proudly among the world’s greatest inventions—we use them to quickly and securely strap down boats, bikes, coolers, gear, you name it. But they can’t do…
  • Hidden Treasure

    The geology of Lewis & Clark Caverns.Gorgeous panoramas and abundant wildlife have drawn many to Montana; however, the Treasure State has much to offer below ground, as well. The most beautifully colored and whimsically…
  • A Master Plan

    The Custer-Gallatin revision.Where do you go to recreate? Around here, chances are on the nearly 3.1 million acres of National Forest System lands that make up the Custer Gallatin National Forest. This spring, the CGNF is…
  • Room to Roam

    West-side bison decision explained.Over the winter, Governor Steve Bullock released his decision to expand tolerance for bison in a limited area of Montana outside of Yellowstone National Park. The decision relied upon…
  • Old-Guy Fly

    The Hi-Vis Baetis Parachute.Spring heralds the first substantial hatch of the year: the baetis (blue-winged olive) mayfly. These little guys hatch prolifically on the Paradise Valley spring creeks, but also in good numbers…
  • Field Forecasting

    Reading the weather.When it comes to preparing for weather, most of us are decidedly reactive: see raincloud, grab parka. Even the most scrupulous student of the skies does little more than read the newspaper’s daily…
  • Stable in the Sky

    Spring constellations.In the vast open spaces of the Old West, almost any isolated homestead you came upon would have had horses for transportation and a stable in which to house them. In the vast open spaces of the night…
  • Undersold

    Don't rush the season.“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.” —Cormac McCarthySpring in Montana is a little like walking into a kitchen where cookies are baking. The smell is arresting, with the…
  • To Release or Not to Release?

    That's become the question. Fishing pressure on Montana’s rivers has reached a tipping point—such is our opinion, anyway. Given the increased numbers of fishermen and new data on catch-and-release fish mortality, does the…
  • Gallatin Goodwill

    O/B-approved nonprofits. Astute Altruism With dozens—perhaps hundreds—of nonprofit organizations in southwest Montana, it’s hard to know which to support. After all, we only have so much time, energy, and money to give,…
  • Champs & Chumps – Spring 2016

     Industry is a sticky wicket. One the one hand, we like stuff, we consume freely, and we value innovation. On the other, we decry greed, despise arrogance, and denounce business as usual. With that in mind, we present the…
  • Return of the King

    Mystery Ranch bringing back old classics. In 1996, when Bozeman backpack-manufacturer Dana Design was sold to K2 Sports, and K2 did what big companies do—streamline production and short-change quality—legions of outdoor…
  • Last Best Leave

    The work of Big Sky Bravery. Although most of America’s regular troops have pulled out of the Middle East, thousands of special-operations soldiers remain—and after multiple deployments, returning stateside takes…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: MSR Papa Hubba NX

    When my family outgrew our beloved Mutha Hubbard three-person tent, upgrading to MSR’s larger Papa Hubba NX four-person backpacking tent was an easy choice. After all, it shares performance features we’ve grown to love such…
  • Review: LOWA Innox GTX Mid

    Gone are the days of weighty, oversized hiking boots—those eight-pound clodhoppers that made the ankles invincible but limited one’s pace to a slow, steady walk. Modern materials mean lighter weight with negligible loss of…
  • Review: Petzl Tactikka+

    Headlamps are a dime a dozen these days, which is great—more competition means constant improvement and increasing options. My new favorite just happens to be from Petzl, the company that pioneered headlamp-development back…
  • Review: Nikwax Tech Wash

    This is less of a review and more of a reminder: take good care of your gear, and it’ll take care of you, plus you won’t have to keep buying new stuff every season. A few times throughout whatever season it is, I throw my…
  • Review: Patagonia Powslayers

    When you spend a lot of time outdoors in the elements, protection is key, but functionality is equally important. With that in mind, I went looking for a workhorse ski pant and landed on the PowSlayer Bibs from Patagonia.…
  • Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir

    It was in a tent at Hyalite Reservoir when I finally gave up any hope of getting sleep while being pinned between two miniature inflatable rafts that my nieces were using as makeshift mattresses. Never again, I vowed! Now…

Additional Articles

  • Keep 'Em Wet

    Fishing-photo protocols. After finally chasing down that perfect slab of a rainbow trout on the Gallatin, a triumphant photo feels like due reward. The folks behind the KeepEmWet campaign agree, but they’re aiming to…

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