Spring 2019

Features

  • Where the Antelope Play

    At home on the American Prairie Reserve. A side-wind blasts through the open window and a thick aroma floods my nostrils. I bring the car to a screeching halt. Sage, juniper, and prairie wildflowers mixed with the blunt…
  • Casting for Calm

    Female vets find solace on Montana's waters.  One by one they landed at the Bozeman airport, flying in from places as far-flung as Alabama and Washington State.  The veteran to whom I’d been assigned had just retired from…
  • Tension in Transition

    Overcoming a case of seasonal schizophrenia.  Walking past the fly-rod bucket in our garage to return my skis to their “in-season” rack, I feel that familiar anxiety caused by the cognitive dissonance of the equinox. The…
  • Mutual Fund

    As our outdoor economy booms, it's time for all of us to make a shared investment. Montana is a treasure trove of outdoor recreation, a vital and growing sector of our state’s economy. An estimated 81% of residents…

Departments

  • Zero to Hero

    Whitewater kayaking progression.  Being able to competently navigate whitewater offers access to some of the most beautiful country in the world, while at the same time fulfilling our ancestral need for adrenaline. From…
  • Poised to Pull

    Improving mechanics & preventing injury.  As climbers, we are all looking for ways to make gains in strength and performance. By spring, the clock is ticking to make those gains training, prior to testing ourselves on…
  • Cookin' with Fire

    Charcoal-grilled ribeye with fire-roasted veggies.  Spring represents the return of a lot of things, including a return to the outdoor grill. Across the Gallatin Valley, as temps hover in the 50s and evening light lasts…
  • Lake Country

    This spring, skip runoff.  Like most local fishermen, I’m drawn to moving water—which is understandable, given the many blue-ribbon streams that run like arteries through southwest Montana. But lately I’ve learned to…
  • MythBusters: Diets Edition

    Food fads debunked.  This spring, as you attempt to lose that winter weight, don’t get caught up trying to navigate your way through the latest fad diet. None of them are going to necessarily help you traverse the…
  • Three for Two

    Biking near "Montana's favorite small town." As the town motto suggests, there’s a lot to love about Three Forks. In spring, biking is high on the list. It used to be your options were limited to a few prime weeks at Lewis…
  • Reform School

    Sliding back into shape. Spring is here, summer is just around the bend, and right now you likely fall into one of two training categories: 1) you’re right on track, to run, bike, climb, swim, and conquer whatever Herculean…
  • Get the Lead Out

    Make Butte proud and buy copper.  Old habits die hard—and old ideas, even harder. Nowhere is this more evident than in the use of lead ammunition among hunters. In January 2017, when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service…
  • Homeward Bound

    How to recover lost dogs.  Spring is here and that means more time spent outside. Unfortunately, during these outings, you may find yourself separated from your dog. If you do, remain calm. The first few hours are important…
  • Spring Books

    Simple Fly Fishing During the long, dark days of winter, I usually find myself dreaming of powder days and compulsively checking the weather report. Last winter, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about fishing. That’s…
  • Gopher Hot Wings

    They're finger-lickin' good. Gopher fishing is a Montana rite of passage, as essential to our heritage as gold and silver—in fact, rodentia picantur was a runner-up for our state motto. Many a parent-child tandem has…
  • Cocktail in the Rye

    A classic drink comes of age. While there’s never a bad season to have a drink, spring is perhaps the best. The dark days of winter are past and the warmth of summer is on the breeze. We’re filled with anticipation for days…
  • Peets Hillbilly

    A poem, a path ineffable. A forest, a hill, a ski. That walk  Where Bozeman dogs flock to talk.  The Deaconess squares higher into our viewshed. Birdseye views of the cemetery Accompany annual physicals these days, chasing…
  • Air It Out

    Take your running to the trails. So, this is the year that you’re going to start trail running. As a lover of all Gallatin Valley trails, I’m here to help, with some assistance from a panel of expert trail enthusiasts.First…
  • Crazed & Infused

    New fitness trends invigorate Bozeman’s workout scene.   Used to be, if you wanted to whip yourself into shape, you went for a hike or run before work and hit the gym after, to pump iron, spin on the stationary bike, and…
  • Buy or Borrow: the Raft

    “Before borrowing something from a friend, decide which you need most.” —AMERICAN PROVERB All outdoor enthusiasts have gear closets, many have gear rooms, some have gear sheds, and a few even convert their entire garages…
  • Bruination

    Beware of the bear pods. Imagine, for a moment, that you’re walking through the woods on a popular hiking trail when you see a flash of fur, a blast of brown. A bear. A big one—a grizzly. It’s still 50 yards away, but it’s…
  • Follow the Leader

    A leader-and-tippet breakdown. Spring has sprung here in Montana! Rivers are ice-free, the daytime temperatures are bearable, and there’s a resurgence of fish metabolism within all of our local streams. Whether you’re a dry…
  • May Showers

    Spring's shooting stars. I see thy glory like a shooting starFall to the base earth from the firmament. —Shakespeare, Richard II Ah, spring in Montana! Maybe the nights are balmier. Maybe the buds are popping. Maybe it’s…
  • Review: Tip to Tail

    Getting outfitted locally.  Not only are Bozemanites lucky enough to have three cold, clean, trout-filled rivers within a half-hour’s drive, but we can also get completely outfitted head to toe in locally produced fishing…
  • Life's a Beach

    Spring break, Montana-style. When March rolls around, it’s hard not to think of white-sand beaches and umbrella-adorned cocktails. Before you break out the boardies and head for the beach, celebrate spring the Bozeman way—…
  • Root Pause

    The most popular trail in Bozeman is the M trail. For my wife Kate and I, “running” the M loop takes about 50 minutes. We usually hike the pretty-much-straight-up-the-ridge-for-800-feet route. Once we reach the M, we take a…
  • Field Day

    Taking time for trails. Why would someone give up a spring day for dirt and sweat without setting a PR or ticking off a bucket-list item? Last year, a couple dozen people did just that in the inaugural season of the Montana…
  • Your Name Is Mud

    Calling out impatient pedalers. Come spring, we’re all eager to get out. Even if we skied 50 days at Bridger and 15 more at CrossCut, we’re stir-crazy, yearning for green hillsides and tacky dirt. There’s a carefree nature…
  • Dear John

    Q&A with the gear guru.  Now that Johnny Bozeman is back in town for good, he’ll be chiming in every issue with insightful responses to your outdoor gear- and apparel-related questions. Here’s a sample.Q. Dear John, I’m…
  • Flip to the Flop

    Free your feet, free your mind.   “Do not judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Unless they wear ski boots. Do not, under any circumstances, walk a mile in ski boots.” —Mahatma Gandhi (paraphrasing…
  • Go With the Flow

    Top spring floats in southwest Montana. The great thing about spring in Montana is that you get to float what you skied all winter. Rivers are swelling with snowmelt, buds are bursting, geese are honking, ducks are mating,…
  • Grand Enough

    A spring road-trip to Bighorn Canyon.  It often seems that cabin fever strikes Montanans all at once, as refugees from winter start running into their next-door neighbors (and their cousins from every other northern state…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Nemo Tensor Ultralight

    There’s light, there’s ultralight, and then there’s the Tensor Ultralight from NEMO. At around 10 oz., you might forget you packed it. I tried one on a bikepacking trip, because as much as I enjoy grueling hike-a-bikes, I…
  • Review: Session II

    Looking for a versatile, lightweight climbing partner? The Metolius Session II crash pad is a reliable choice. Made to be carried on your back, it makes getting in and out of more remote climbing spots easy. Its system of…
  • Review: Lezyne Mega XL

    Lezyne’s Mega XL GPS is your activity-tracking app on steroids—a lot of steroids. It has every feature you can imagine, from smartphone synchronization to downloadable routes for offline navigation. The battery packs plenty…
  • Review: Sherpa Gurkhali

    Imagine your favorite jeans on steroids and wah-la, you get the Sherpa Gurkhali. Not only do they contain Dyneema—the strongest and most durable fiber in the world—they’re lightweight, soft, and moisture-wicking. The…
  • Review: Bridgedale Lightweight T2

    Spend enough time with different socks on your feet and eventually you’ll settle on one or two brands that fit better and last longer than the rest. For me, Bridgedale fits that bill, and their Hike Lightweight T2 Boot is…
  • Review: Sherpa Asaar 2.5

    Come spring, high-performance rain gear is a must. Look no further than Sherpa’s Asaar 2.5. Featuring Himaltec fabric, the Asaar sheds water while quickly transferring sweat vapor. While the coat is “form-fitting,” there’s…
  • Review: Nikon ProStaff 3s

    It's easy to drop some serious dough on optics, but it's not always necessary. For a solid binocular at a great price, don't overlook the Nikon ProStaff 3s. Lightweight and waterproof, with a rubberized non-slip surface,…
  • Review: Tactical Twosome

    The word "tactical" may be overused these days (one company even sells tactical camp chairs, whatever that means), but it definitely applies to the two packs I'm trying out during this year's hunting season, as each…
  • Review: Helinox Chair & Table

    Ever since Helinox redefined the lightweight, collapsible camp chair, I’ve kept two of them in my car-camping kit—they're compact and comfortable, and they set up quickly. And now that the company has come out with a…
  • Review: Thermarest NeoAir X-Lite

    I’ve spent hundreds of nights in the outdoors over the past 20 years. In that time, I’ve had many poor nights of sleep on substandard pads, from the vintage folding foam jobber that I used as a boy scout, through various…
  • Review: AIRE River Couch

    This past spring, my buddy and I were enjoying some hang time at a whitewater festival and chatting with a paddling-gear rep. As we were about to part ways, the rep stopped and said, “Hold on a sec, bro, I’ve got some…

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