Spring 2020

Features

  • Basecamp Buggies

    Soon after we’d discovered that the rooftop “emergency exit” on our truck camper was actually a hatch to the party roof, the landscape stopped me in my tracks. Drinking a cold beer and watching the clouds shift as the brook…
  • Clear Water Act

    Where to fish during spring runoff.  At long last, spring is here. Those bright, clear days, the warm sun on your vitamin D-deprived skin, finally exposed to light and air after a lengthy sequestration under layers of wool…
  • Getting Out of a Rut

    From veteran environmental advocate to greenhorn bison rancher.  Brow furrowed and jaw set, Matt Skoglund, 41, slams his black F-150 into reverse and digs the tires deeper into the snow. His truck sits high-centered in a…
  • Call of the Wild

    As the final segment of our four-part series, Outside Bozeman caught up with Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s former executive director, Caroline Byrd, for a conversation exploring the intersection of recreation and…
  • Shedding & Shredding

    Making the most of spring.  Spring means many things: migrating birds, swelling rivers, the emergence of wild fungus, green valleys lined with white-capped peaks, dry(ish) trails, and the appearance of antlers dropped by…
  • Runners High

    Lessons from a mountain marathon.  Twelve years ago, when Sam Korsmoe was brainstorming ways to bring people to Ennis, a “crazy idea” entered his head: to hold an annual road marathon above 9,000 feet. He immediately…

Departments

  • In-Town Adrenaline

    Streamboarding Bozeman.  I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. —Hunter S. Thompson Slowly, the waters rise. Inconspicuous at first, then gradually more…
  • Tungsten Toms

    Avoiding toxic shot in the field. When wildflowers bloom beside dwindling snow patches, many hunters’ thoughts turn toward calling in lovesick gobblers. Although using lead ammunition to hunt waterfowl was banned in 1991,…
  • Mind Craft

    Improving mental health through exercise.  We are lucky to live in and around Bozeman. We have seemingly infinite access to opportunities for outdoor adventure and physical fitness. However, our state consistently has one…
  • Bite Marks

    What to do when the rattler strikes.  Spring is when the snakes come out—or rather, slither out, from their cold, stygian dens, creeping downslope in search of insects, small rodents, and other unsuspecting ophidian treats…
  • Hip to the Hop

    All about hip impingement.  The fastest-growing orthopedic surgery in the U.S. over the last ten years has been arthroscopic surgery of the hip. One reason for the spike is that improved imaging and research have given us…
  • Better Biking

    Exercises to improve your cycling season. I’ve recently gotten back into mountain biking. I’m pretty fit, but very few things have worked me as much as a long climb in the saddle. As a strength-and-conditioning coach, my…
  • Hot & Healthy

    The medical benefits of hot springs.  Montana has 61 known hot springs with more just across the Idaho border. Soaking in hot springs is fun but there are also health benefits. The hot mineral-rich water alters our…
  • Flash Mob

    Bright shiny things in spring's night sky.  Spring in Montana can be a sometimes thing. But whether we’re looking up from snow or flood or mud or some other sketchy transition from skis to mosquito repellant, we always…
  • Natural Selection

    Simulated trail running takes stride. Montana trail runners get a pretty raw deal: after months of slipping around on icy, snow-packed roads and town trails, or suffering through endless miles on a treadmill listening to…
  • The Open Road

    Exploring Bozeman by bike.  Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,Healthy, free, the world before me,The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. —Walt Whitman We all strive to recapture our lost…
  • Valley-Ho

    A world away, close to home.  Fifty-four miles: that’s the distance between Gardiner and Livingston—and that short distance holds limitless adventure. But how do you distill all those options into a single weekend? I’m…
  • Better Safe Than Soggy

    Tips & tricks for whitewater safety. "Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide." —John Muir   As spring temperatures rise,…
  • Voodoo in the Hoodoos

    Out in the wild woods, reality and myth come together.  Anyone who spends time hiking, hunting, or camping in Montana has experienced the howl or screech that stops you in your tracks, the animal track that doesn’t make…
  • Trail Tails

    Tips and guidelines for hiking with a dog.  With spring comes more opportunity to comfortably and safely get outdoors for some fun with your dog. It’s a perfect time to start planning trips and organizing equipment, and to…
  • Mud Vessels

    How to avoid murdering your dog. It’s that time of year: the birds have returned, the animals are twitterpated, and the first green tendrils have emerged from the fresh bare soil. In Montana, this is where the resemblance…
  • Motor Ahead

    Where can you ride your electric bike?  Late last summer, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt released a controversial Secretarial Order regarding electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs). Bernhardt’s order advised land…
  • Back to the Woods

    There's no better motivation than spring turkey season.  When T. S. Eliot declared April the cruelest month, he couldn’t have been living in Montana. As dawn broke that April morning, the sounds of courting snipe and…
  • Snowbirds

    The Freezeout Lake waterfowl migration.  Whooooshhh… the sound was deep, like a muffled explosion. I looked up into the sky’s soft palette for the source of the sound, but saw no plane above me. My eyes dropped to ground…
  • Trust Fund

    Building a better outdoor companion.  The wall is narrow, and high: six, maybe seven feet tall. A cat might leap onto it without hesitation, but for a dog, it’s a daunting proposition: a scant four inches upon which to…
  • Not All Who Wonder Are Lost

    Dealing with the changing face of Bozeman. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” —Socrates I recently saw a bumper sticker that read “Make Bozeman Montana Again,” and I laughed. Bozeman will never be Montana again, I thought. And my…
  • Trap Zone

    Hiking in Bear Trap Canyon.  Bear Trap Canyon is a spectacular drainage encompassing 6,000 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness within the Madison Range. The Madison River, its headwaters in Yellowstone Park, rages through…
  • Goose-Leg Feijoada

    After a good waterfowl season, my and many other Montana hunters’ freezers brim with one of nature’s most versatile foods: the Canada goose. A goose breast is trophy piece of meat, weighing up to a kilogram, with a rich…
  • Walking Your Dog

    Hey you! With the stick in your hand! That your dog? Wanna hear something? In the hour between the wolf and the dog when the earth opens the brothers howl and people die he follows me up the mountain trail You must be…
  • Twin Territory

    The sky pledged its justice to vastness and distant mountains remained unable to reveal their rugged nature against such a force. The scene was magnified tenfold by the unbroken surrounding water reflecting everything…
  • Sintering Imagination

    Bryan Schaeffer uses illustration to get people outdoors.Sintering is the process of bonding different particles into a solid mass by heat or pressure without melting to the point of liquefaction. Most of us in southwest…
  • Dry Heaves

    Spring climbing day-trips. You couldn't make your annual pilgrimage to Moab for the spring-break climbing extravaganza. Dreams of sunny desert sendage are floating through your mind, and you need to scratch that itch one…
  • Plant Me a River

    Landscaping as an act of conservation.  As individuals concerned with the continuous depletion of our natural resources, we’re often asked to conserve in ways that seem ineffective. What difference does a recycled sheet of…
  • Fitbitten

    Gymnification of the outdoors. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?It’s an old and wonderful thought experiment: can something exist without being perceived by consciousness?…
  • Pillory: Boat-Ramp Bozos

    Don't be that guy. When the ice melts and the rivers open up after a long winter, everyone’s itching to get on the water. First, it’s anglers and recreational floaters; then, once runoff ramps up, it’s whitewater rafters…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Voormi Access NXT Pullover

    The latest gear company to set up shop in Bozeman, VOORMI has come out swinging with a swanky new shop downtown and a suite of premium garments for the upscale outdoor crowd. But make no mistake: this outfit's as earthy as…
  • Review: Smith Caravan MAG

    The next step in Smith’s interchangeable-lenses progression is the Caravan MAG, a medium-coverage shade that comes stock with two sets of lenses for bright and low light. A simple hinge-and-pop system blends seamlessly into…
  • Review: TrailKeg Half-Gallon

    Beer: after a long day in the outdoors, nothing’s better—and TrailKeg’s Half-Gallon pressurized growler is here to keep your brew cold and carbonated wherever you take it. Lightweight and easy to use, the TrailKeg is the…
  • Review: LOWA Renegade GTX

    No break-in required: the Renegade GTX from LOWA is comfortable and blister-free from the first wearing. These pups have great ankle and arch support, and I love the color and ease of lacing. My feet and toes stay toasty on…
  • Review: Oveja Negra Chuckbucket

    I’ve long searched for a good place to keep my bear spray while biking. Hip belts retard deployment, sternum straps flop around, and water-bottle cages are too big. Recently I found the Chuckbucket from Oveja Negra, an all-…
  • Review: MSR PocketRocket 2

    Backpack weight matters in the spring, when you’re not quite in shape and slippery rocks threaten to send you sprawling—and the MSR PocketRocket 2 helps keep your pack light and your spirits high. This tiny burner weighs a…
  • Review: Ruffwear Float Coat

    When running rapids or initiating a young pup, Ruffwear’s Float Coat puts the mind at ease—even as it disquiets the dog, at least the first time you slip it on. But with timid youngsters, the confidence boost is invaluable…
  • Review: MSR Thru-Link

    Instead of stopping to filter water, stay on the go with the MSR Thru-Link Inline Water Filter. Taking up minimal space in your pack, it’s compatible with any hydration reservoir, so just fill your bladder in the creek and…
  • Review: Nathan VaporKrar

    I’ve always struggled with efficiency and comfort on longer runs in the mountains, which naturally led to diminished motivation—enter the Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 12-Liter race vest. Lightweight, with an apparel-like fit and…
  • Review: Sitka Territory Shorts

    Lightweight yet durable, Sitka’s Territory Shorts kept me cozy on sunny days from April to June. Rugged hikes were more comfortable thanks to the nylon-spandex stretch around the waist. The DWR finish held up against wet…
  • Review: BioLite HeadLamp 200

    A far cry from its ponderous forbears, the BioLite HeadLamp 200 weighs a scant 50 grams—that’s under two ounces for us Americans, or about the weight of a golf ball. Throw in a wide, comfy headband and low-profile design,…
  • Review: MSR WindBurner

    On a recent cold and windy day, we set up MSR’s WindBurner Stove System Combo on our truck tailgate. The anti-topple stove lit easily in the less-than-desirable conditions, and cooled down quickly for easy packing. The…
  • Review: Orvis Pro Boot

    The Pro wading boots from Orvis live up to and surpass the high standards set by their name. While my skills are far from “pro” level, my clumsiness along southwest Montana’s river bottoms is expert, indeed. The Pros have…
  • Review: Voormi River Run Hoodie

    It only took one outing for the Voormi River Run Hoodie to vault to number one in my base-layer hierarchy—which is saying a lot, as over the years I’ve stockpiled a plethora of Merino wool shirts. The River Run is a…
  • Review: GSI Selkirk 460

    The Selkirk 460 portable cookstove rom GSI is compact, light, and durable, yet big enough for multi-tasking in two pans at once: the perfect base-camp stove. With the easy set-up, I spent way less time fiddling with…
  • Review: Oboz Bridger Boot

    I don’t think my feet had ever felt a hug before I slipped on the Oboz Bridger 7" Insulated Waterproof boot. Immediately I noticed the insulation, which formed to my feet for maximum warmth. I laced the boots up above my…

Book Reviews

  • Book: Essential Yellowstone

    In Essential Yellowstone: A Landscape of Memory and Wonder (Riverbend Publishing, $20), Michael Yachim imparts insight and passion about some of our last great wilderness, which serves to ignite the fervor for adventure of…
  • Book: American Buffalo

    Few people know the comprehensive history and biology of our national mammal as well Bozeman’s favorite carnivore, Steven Rinella. While on an elk hunt in Montana’s Madison Range years ago, he stumbled upon a bison skull—an…
  • Book: Trail Mix

    Wild and free—that's the creed of those seeking liberation from the soul-stifling constraints of society. While civilization tends to cookie-cut human identity into subservient models, outdoor enthusiasts find ways to stay…

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