Windshirt dry times mini-study

A crucial attribute of windshirts, particularly for backcountry (which is to say, multiday) use is moisture retention and drying speed.  If the most common, indeed only criticism of windshirts as a concept is that they can be viewed as redundant relative to a waterproof hardshell, the rejoinder to that criticism is that unlike a hardshell,…More

Jailhouse Ruin

This has to be what fear looks like.   Walking down Bullet Canyon things would have opened up, a wide sandy plain thick with fat pinon and juniper trees, a tight band of tall cottonwoods and willows snaking along the dry wash.  The north wall opens into a series of budding side canyons, that run back…More

Grand Juan Honaker logistics

This is a logical extension of classic loop we traveled five years ago; down the Honaker trail, packraft the San Juan River to Grand Gulch, and hike that and some association of side canyons back to the mesa top.  Riding a bike from any of those trailheads down the highway and Moki dugway to the…More

Essential skills: garment side seams

A wee bit of sewing know-how is handy in the outdoor realm.  And not just for fixing stuff, though that is a subject I will get to over the next month, but for the slightly more advanced (conceptually, if not always skills-wise) realm of modifying gear.  Today we will confine ourselves to the introductory topic…More

Montana Senate Bill 143

The Montana state legislature is a peculiar, somewhat anachronistic critter.  Meeting for 90 days every other year, our state still has true citizen legislators.  This often means they lack what might be called expertise in certain subjects, but it also means that they are generally very accessible and open to public feedback. Montana being Montana,…More

Green straps

We have a new packraft strap color; emerald, with tan buckle. The green is a hair more vibrant than pictured above, soothing, but extra-natural enough that it won’t disappear if dropped in the bushes. Rainbow will remain an option, and I have one set of gold straps still hanging around. We also added, after making…More

The best thing

A new packraft is the most exciting piece of gear.  As of two days ago we have four in the gear room, and have owned six in total.  Skis have an outer purity of purpose, but in practice this is circumscribed to a startling extent by how sucky traction devices are, and how contextual proper…More

Black Diamond Hilight review

I’ve used the 2 person Hilight quite a bit in the last year, with performance quite as I expected it to be, perhaps one or two things surprising. This makes for something of a dull write up; it is a quality tent, well conceived, with defined limits. There a few things that could be done…More

On managing

Our town is wonderful for many reasons, not least of which is it being just east of the Continental Divide and right amongst the westernmost tendrils of the prairie. Proper contiguous mountains, with mountain snowpack, is right beyond the horizon, while our valley winter is often clear, brisk, and low snow. Sun has been more…More

The next year

I did not much miss travel this past year.  Or, to be more precise, I was more than content with staying in Montana (two trips excepted), and ran out of both energy and creativity before I ran out of options.  As I think about 2021, my eye keeps coming back to the home state, and…More