Spring 2024

Features

  • Diamond in the Rough

    Forming unlikely connections in the Montana woods. A hike with a hunter is not your typical mom-and-pop stroll. Animal tracks and signs, indiscernible to most people, stick out to the hunter like a white grocery bag in a…
  • Walking the Walk

    Author and angler Thomas McGuane shares his thoughts after a lifetime in Montana. Renowned writer Thomas McGuane once wrote, “I've spent as much of my life fishing as decency allowed, and sometimes I don't let even that…
  • Unsafe Passage

    An overdue call for wildlife crossings on Hwy. 191. In a 2019 video shared by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, waves of antelope rush across an overpass west of Pinedale during their annual 200-mile migration. As the…
  • Wade and See

    Putting “guide-tested tough” waders through the ringer. When you live in a place where spring is always late, you take comfort in the rituals of spring even though it seems a long ways off. This morning I’m preparing for…
  • Uncharted Waters

    The early days of kayak-touring around southwest Montana, and beyond. “Would it be possible to paddle a sea kayak on the rivers around here?” Mike Garcia, the owner of Northern Lights, answered, “Sure. Why not? I’ll order…
  • Freaks of Nature

    The colorful leaves on Montana’s tree of life. Montana and Yellowstone are graced with bountiful and familiar wildlife—the charismatic megafauna that are splashed across calendars and tourism brochures. We name things…

Departments

  • Rock & Role

    How to identify climbers in the wild. Some outdoor activities are pretty homogenous. Take hunting, for instance: everyone is just trying to look as rugged and camouflaged as possible. Or whitewater boating, where the only…
  • Growing Season

    Building a raised-bed garden. Garden beds: they had been on my honey-do list for the past five summers, but I always seemed to find something more fun to occupy my warm days. Finally, I had a free weekend last fall, and…
  • Fifteen Minutes from Montana

    Dirt-road riding out in the country. Spend some time as a Bozemanite in rural Montana, and folks are sure to know you ain’t from around there. If your vehicle’s not an immediate giveaway, then it’s the Blundstones, bike…
  • Feeling Stimulated

    Tying the Shagger, an attractive wet-fly pattern. So... you’re in a bit of a dry spell, and need a slumpbuster, eh? Maybe you’re having trouble with the damsels—nymphs, that is—or striking out on the river, time and again…
  • DIY Bike Fit

    Dialing in your mountain bike. Bike-fitting is a unique blend of art and science. In-person fitting allows for a detailed discussion about training and injury history, investigation of riding styles and goals, and the…
  • Land Chops

    Southwest Montana conservation updates. Conservation never sleeps. Sure, it might move slowly at times, but especially here in southwest Montana, people and organizations are constantly chugging along, making hard-earned…
  • Let ’Em Lay ’til May

    A plea for ethical shed hunting. Montana’s elk and deer herds don’t have it easy: suburban sprawl and trophy homes filling up their low-elevation wintering grounds, robust populations of two- and four-legged apex predators…
  • Canvassing for Nature

    Using street art to protect the GYE. No standard approach to conservation locates guerrilla street art in context with the West’s iconic backdrops. But Lori Ryker bets her drawing board that a wall mural fronting rush-hour…
  • Bangtail Boondoggle

    Lawsuits and languish ten miles from home. Nestled a few bends up Bridger Canyon, rising east from Hwy. 86, is a mosaic of rolling forest that has provided recreation and solitude to Bozemanites for a long time. Stretch…
  • Outdoor Abby, Part 2

    Mating season’s cast of characters. Perhaps after Outdoor Abby’s first round of sagacious advice, you decided to dump your significant other and strike out in search of someone more your speed. But with so many types of…
  • Spring Poems

    Spring Fever by Carolyn Pinet They’re back— I just looked, saw a tail feather sticking out of the nest and thought, “There go the robins, indefatigable, cock-eyed optimists.” They knew that spot by the back door was, to…
  • A Foob's Errand

    Swimming against the current. When Gardiner resident Norm Aldude saw a body struggling in the high-water torrent of Boxcar Rapid in the Yellowstone River last spring, his instinct was to save the swimmer. Aldude grabbed…
  • Water World

    The vocabulary of river anatomy. Before I became a river rat, streams were merely a spectacle of free-flowing water pouring over rocks and forming a scenic view—but not much else. Once I put myself in a floating craft,…
  • Girl Talk

    And other deep thoughts from the river. “So, what do you do all day in the boat?” Have you ever been asked this question? I often hear this after a fishing trip. Whether I spend one day or two days or four days drifting…
  • Risk & Reward

    River-safety essentials. “The river has taught me to listen; you will learn from it, too.” —Herman Hesse Navigating whitewater, whether in a raft, canoe, or kayak, can be a thrilling, rewarding experience. The adrenaline…
  • Battling the Beasts

    April’s solar marvels. Last October, “the sun and moon did not meet harmoniously,” as ancient Chinese skywatchers would have said. The moon passed in front of the sun as seen along a narrow path from Oregon through Texas,…
  • Spin to Win

    Adapting from the slopes to the trails. We’ve made it through another winter in Montana, but looming is what I refer to as “Peloton season.” Leverich still has lingering snowdrifts, Copper City is almost a go, and the town…
  • Water for Thought

    The physiology of sweat & electrolytes. As a sports dietitian, I often hear from my athletes how inundated they are with hydration and nutrition information and products. They want to know how to wade through the info…
  • The Low Road

    A new commute beneath the Bozone. We’ve all been there: driving home after a taxing day at work, the Bridgers burnished with alpenglow. All you want to do is get to the house, walk the canine, rip the bike during the last…
  • Unhappy Campers

    Exposing the truth of sleeping outside. “Do you want to go backpacking?” is, for me, one of those questions that falls into the “no need to ask category,” on par with being asked, “Would you like another lobster tail?” (…
  • Face-Off: Bozeman vs. Billings

    Go east, young man. Everyone talks about the “B” towns: Bozeman, Bend, Burlington, Bellingham, Boulder... the list goes on. However, one name that never seems to pop up in the mix is Billings. Sure, it has a reputation for…
  • Dream vs. Reality: River Guiding

    The truth behind an iconic summer job. We all know a river guide when we see one: her sunbaked skin and overall grimy appearance are readily apparent. If that’s not enough, her smell will likely alert everyone within a 10-…
  • A Walk in the Park

    Finding connection in the Bozone. A handful of winters back, I worked for a cattle rancher in Drummond whose two daughters were attending MSU. A loving father, he was naturally concerned about their sojourn in Bozeman. “…
  • Salt of the Earth

    A weekend at Helmville’s Old Salt Festival. On an otherwise ordinary weekend in the Blackfoot Valley, the foothills come to life with more than the usual cattle and critters rummaging amongst the brush. Just outside of…
  • Dry Spell

    Early-season mountain-biking destinations. Spring mountain biking can be a gamble. Some years, things dry out early, and the riding is superb for months leading into summer. Other years, it rains or snows every Friday…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: La Sportiva Katana Lace

    Once in a while, there comes a product that stands the test of time. Something that never fails to deliver, regardless of the challenge. Something that strikes an immaculate—if perplexing—balance between performance and…
  • Review: Mustang Survival Dry Suit

    A dry suit in Montana is quite literally the difference between being on the river and sitting on the sideline during the best whitewater of the year. On top of that, there seems to be only a few brands producing quality…
  • Review: Altra Solstice XT 2

    When the snow begins to melt and the trails are muddy, I opt for dryer locales to get a workout in—mainly the gym or paved roads. This year, I bid farewell to my blown-out kicks and tried the Altra Solstice XT 2. These…
  • Review: MSR AutoFlow XL 10L

    There's a dizzying array of water-purification products on the market these days. It seems like brands are in a contest to come up with the most far-fetched design—from trekking poles with built-in pump filters to batteries…
  • Review: Astral BlueJacket PFD

    The best PFDs are the ones you forget you’re wearing, and the BlueJacket from Astral is no exception. With a slim profile and a handful of pockets in which to keep river essentials like a knife, fly box, or beer, this vest…
  • Review: Ignik Backside Heated Pad

    Just when you think everything's pretty much been done, a company comes along and spins a cool new variation on an existing theme. For example, electric blankets and heating pads have been around for a long time, but the…
  • Review: UYN Evolutyon Long Sleeve

    Guided by their commitment to a greener world, UYN mixed innovation and sustainability when developing the Evolutyon Biotech Long Sleeve UW shirt. A person can never have enough base layers in Montana, and this product,…
  • Review: Free Fly Bamboo Flex Hoodie

    I've got quite the collection of sun hoodies in my drawer, but more often than not, I find myself reaching for the Bamboo Flex Hoodie from Free Fly. While most of these types of shirts are cut from standard polyester fabric…
  • Review: Smith Embark Sunglasses

    "Sunnies" are something I’m always hesitant to invest in. They always end up forgotten on some river rock or scratched up at the bottom of my pack. As such, I usually seek out cheap pairs from gas stations. But now that I’…
  • Review: Topeak Bike Repair Stand

    For far too long, I used to flip my bike upside down or lean it against a wall in my garage while conducting at-home repairs. The practice worked alright for a few basic fixes, but certainly left more to be desired when I’d…
  • Review: Dakine Hot Laps Waist Bag

    There have been quite a few mountain-biking innovations in recent years to increase rider comfort: more suspension, bigger suspension, dropper posts, and now waist bags. Just a few years ago, nobody was riding with hip…
  • Review: Costa Hoodie

    For warm days in the driftboat, the Costa Hooded Technical Long-Sleeve Shirt keeps the hot sun in check and the cold breeze at bay. The soft, recycled fabric feels good on the skin while wicking moisture away. Anti-…
  • Review: NRS Rev Dry-Top

    I’ve had my fair share of cold, wet days on the river. They’re no fun at all, even if it’s just for a couple hours. With this in mind, the first thing I did when a buddy invited me on a shoulder-season river trip was pick…

Book Reviews

  • Book: Hollowtop Smoke Signals

    Montana is vast, with a big sky, towering peaks, sprawling plains, and bountiful game. But the subject matter in Art Kehler’s Hollowtop Smoke Signals: A Collection of Humorous Essays (Raven Publishing, $14) is refreshingly…
  • Book: Most Trout Don’t Read

    If, as is the case for many Montanans, your desire to fly fish for trout is negated by the activity’s formidable learning curve, pick up a copy of Most Trout Don’t Read: Lessons from Time on the Water (Sweetgrass Books, $20…
  • Book: Yellowstone’s Birds

    Yellowstone’s Birds: Diversity and Abundance in the World’s First National Park (Princeton University Press, $35) is a nearly 300-page book with encyclopedic detail about birds in the 3,500-square-mile expanse of…

Newsletter

Outside Bozeman OutPost Newsletter

Sign up here to be added to our OutPost mailing list. You'll be apprised of weekly goings-on, contests & giveaways, and great local content. We'll also let you know when a new print issue hits the stands and when our digital edition goes up online.