Summer is a busy time for everyone and many of us can’t take weeks off of life and work to adventure in the north-country, hence the need for the weekend warrior. The weekend warrior is a master of making the most of a 48-hour explore-cation. How can you learn the warrior way? Keep reading for some suggestions on how to begin right here on the north shore of Lake Superior. Friday: Start the weekend right by stopping at Tettegouche State Park on your way up the shore. A quick 15 minute hike out to shovel point will land you the perfect vantage for taking in the sunset over the Big Lake with the Sawtooth Mountains in the background. If you need to kill a few hours before sunset, stay in the park and head to the 70ft-high falls on the Baptism River and rock on the suspension bridge. Follow all that up with Dinner at Northern Lights Road House and Pub for an Elk burger, glass of wine, or a pint of craft beer. Want to sleep under the stars? Then crash for the night in Superior National Forest at one of the many inland campgrounds. Many of them are free! Saturday: Take a pre-dawn hike to Oberg Mountain where the Sunrise [...]
You’re out camping, backpacking, or canoeing on a beautiful day and out of nowhere the sky is black and you are caught right in the middle of a huge thunder storm. How do you stay safe? Seek out shelter if possible. If out on the lake get off the water and onto shore as quickly as possible. Avoid being the tallest object. Don’t put your tent by or stand by tall lone trees, rocky outcrops or other tall objects. They are prefect targets for lightning. Ditch your backpack, cooking kit, fishing poles, any electronic device (this includes your weather radio) and tent. Although most tents no longer have metal poles they still an unsafe place to be during a storm. If you are in the forest stand under small trees that are surrounded by taller trees. This can offer you some protection. The lightning is more likely to strike the tall trees over the short trees or you. NEVER lay flat on the ground, if you get struck by lightning this would be a great way to stop your heart. Instead stay in a crouched position sitting on your heels with your head between your knees. Minimize the amount of contact you have with the ground. Stay [...]
Lake Superior Weather Predicting the weather any where is never an easy task. However, here on the North shore this is even more of a challenge. It is a challenge because of a phenomenon known as the “lake effect” which can drastically alter the predicted weather. In the summer the shore line of Lake Superior tends be about 10° cooler than if you are to drive about five miles inland up the ridge where it is about 10° warmer. The opposite effect happens in the winter time, the shore is 10° warmer and up the ridge is about 10° cooler. This is because water is slower to absorb and release heat than land. Storms can quickly become stronger than expected with the added moisture and speed of the wind traveling across the lake. This can create gale size waves and massive snow storms depending on the direction of the wind. Fog is another factor that is created because of the lake effect. Fog hides Duluth under a heavy blanket for 52 days in an average year by comparison, Minneapolis averages 11 day. Ship Wrecks Lake Superior is responsible for at least 350 reported shipwrecks. The oldest of which was the SS Algoma [...]
Imagine being lost in the Boundary Waters. Your boat has an extremely large hole in it and you are unable to patch it, you just ate the last of your dehydrated food. It could be days maybe weeks before another group passes by to help. What are you going to do to survive? Could you handle eating a bug? Here is a list of edible bugs you can eat that are located right here in northern Minnesota that can help you survive. Remember when preparing your bug dinner never eat any bug raw. Sushi -insects can cause you to become extremely ill, due to the fact that insects can carry parasites and bacteria. Ants Ants are easy to find and are located just about everywhere in the woods. Although I personally have never eaten an ant or any bug; other than the occasional gnat that flies into my month unwillingly, they are said to have a sour flavor. This is because when an ant feels threatened it secretes an acid that gives it a sour flavor. The best was to catch ants, find an ant hill and poke a stick into the hill and wait for it to be engrossed with ants. [...]
Hey bikers do we have a killer bike course for you. Do not have a bike? This is no problem, Sawtooth Outfitters rents bikes and you can leave right from the parking lot. This route is called the hill climb route and it certainty lives up to its name. The ride is a little over 20 miles. For the average rider you can approximate on riding for around two hours. This route has you warm up right away with your first hill, climbing the Sawbill Trail/County Rd 2, ride past where pavement ends and continue on the gravel until you get to the Six Hundred Rd/Forest Rd 166. Take a left and cross over the Temperance River. Feel free to take up the road and take in all its gorgeousness. This road is closed to all vehicles, just watch out for the occasional ATV. The Six Hundred RD has the famous Heartbreak Hill. Once you havve made it to the top of this hill you are halfway through your ride. Feel free to stop and give yourself a nice pat on the back and maybe a let out a little “woo hoo”, I know I did. Continue to ride [...]
Looking for a great adventure for the day? Grab a Kayak and get out on the water. One of our favorite inland lakes to go explore is Fourmile Lake located only 15 miles from Sawtooth Outfitters. With no houses or cabins on this lake and minimal use by boaters this lake makes you feel like you are out in the BWCA. Three campsites are located on the lake making for a great area to rest and eat lunch. One located on the east end of the island and two on the south side of the lake. Although, this lake is not large there is plenty to explore. There is an eagle’s nest on the west end of the island. The best view point is to paddle to the south side of island and look from there. If you paddle to the far west end of lake there is creek you can paddle up that has been home to moose around the area. Best time to see the moose is early in the day. Come grab a kayak and get your paddle on!
Do pack a sharp axe and saw. Having a sharp high quality axe and saw makes a big difference when cutting frozen wood. Having enough wood is very important, this is your primary heat source and you do not want to be running out. Do pack plenty of extra layers. Extra hats, mittens, base layers and socks are going to make a big difference. As you get hot and begin to sweat or your clothing gets wet from snow it is important to take off these wet items and change into dry items. Nothing will bring on hypothermia quicker than wet clothing items. Don’t bring in food items that are going to freeze. Bringing in pre cooked items that can easily be warmed on top of the stove will save time and energy. Some of our favorites are burritos; breakfast or regular, soups and chili, meat with peppers over instant mash potatoes. Dehydrated meals are great however getting water to boil in extremely cold conditions uses a lot of fuel and takes a long time to boil. Do bring quick energy food items. Between all the work of winter camping and the cold you will be burning a lot of calories. It [...]
Skijoring; I am unsure about whom is going to have more fun, you or your dog. Either way it is a great way to get outside and get some quality time in with your best friend. Get a few friends together and make it a race. Here at Sawtooth Outfitters we have everything you need to get started Skijoring. Sugarbush Trails has the two wonderful locations for Skijoring. The first location is out of the Britton Peak trailhead. It is 1.3 km gradually going uphill to the end of the Summit View Trail and is a mix between beginner and intermediate level skiing. The second location is out of Moose Fence and is the Upland Loop. It is 1.5 km of beginner trails to get to the start of the loop. The Upland loop is 2.4 km and considered to be an intermediate level and has a few hills. Remember when skiing with your dog you are in charge of keeping your dog under control and picking up any droppings left by your dog. Most important rule is to have fun!
Cross country skiing is easily one of top full body toning workouts you can do. It has been said to be the most demanding cardio sport in the world. Best thing about it is you can do this at virtually any age because of the low impact on your joints. Cross country skiing is a high caliber cardio workout that is guaranteed to burn many calories and help your mental health by creating an endorphin rush. This is because cross country skiing uses almost every muscle in your body unlike running or cycling. While you ski you are doing a pulling pushing motion, this is using your muscles in best way possible. Muscles that appear to be doing nothing are actually helping is balance and coordination. Much like a cross fit workout where you are constantly changing and challenging your muscles, cross country skiing you are doing the same thing. Skiing is an excellent aerobic workout, and because no single muscle group is overstressed, the activity can be sustained for hours on end. As a result, a fast heart rate is also sustained for a long duration. Thus, creating oxygen rich blood that flows to every organ in the [...]
Ski and Snowboard Etiquette Avoid scraping boards and skis when standing in line. Those few centimeters that you push your skis up to try to get as close to the person ahead of you as you can, is not going to make bit of difference on how soon you get on the lift. Do everyone a favor and give yourself space and keep everyone’s equipment in great shape. Share the chairlifts. Everyone wants to get to the top of run just as bad as you do. Do not be afraid to split your group to fill in empty spots on the chairlift, you can all regroup at the top. Who knows you may even make a new friend. Cross Country Skiing Etiquette No bikes, dogs, horses, snowshoes, hikers and snowmobiles on groomed trails. It costs thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours to groom a trail. Be respectful and stay off them unless you are skiing. Do not walk on trail. Ski trails are for skiing not walking! Your foot prints ruin the trail for everyone. We have the beautiful Superior Hiking trail for anyone looking to do some hiking or snowshoeing. Skate skiers should be respectful of classic tracks and make every effort to not ski [...]