Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reindeer Munchies

They're eating double reindeer moss for the trip down....

White reindeer moss

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift for the Outdoor Enthusiast Who Has it All

Slack Line

Have a gear junkie that you still need to find something for? What about a slacklining kit like this one from REI. Looks like fun to me!

They're On Their Way...


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to Find a Sled

You may recall from previous posts that I am a big fan of sledding down mountains. I try to find mountains with unmaintained access roads or wide telephone lines. It seriously makes the trip up so much more fun knowing that you will be flying back down on a sled.


We've busted through half a dozen sleds during these types of escapades. So how do you find a keeper sled? We're still on the quest ourselves for the perfect sled, but here are some things to look for and think about:
  • weight: needs to be somewhat lightweight enough so that you can truck up the mountain with it
  • handles: sleds with handles are basically mandatory so that you can steer away from trees and ditches
  • heavy duty bottom: the more heavy the plastic on the bottom the better. The bottom tends to be the part that rips apart fastest. The inflatable sleds just don't hold up coming down a mountain, but the cheaper the rig (read: mainly plastic) the better
  • attachable string or cord: this way you can either pull it up behind you or attach it to your pack

They're Coming

Guess who is coming....

albino raindeer

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Camping Plague

I have taken ill with a Winter Camping Plague. You see over the summer our trusty tent pole snapped. We have replaced the tent poles twice before from this site (which depending upon the age of your tent is a great idea). The issue is we pay close to $40 a pole. Given we've replaced the poles together a few times that's almost a $100 bucks a wack.

Since our most recent snapped pole we've decided that duct tape will have to do. We duct taped the pole where it splintered down the metal part and prayed for clear skies. One evening we got a torrential downpour and subsequently got soaked.

our humble abodes

So when there's no wind or pending weather the duct taped pole holds up. Give us a bit of a breeze and some precipitation and we're asking for trouble. Thus, the Winter Camping Plague. Something about winter, plus camping, plus a duct taped tent pole just doesn't go well together.

Till then...we're planning and fixing and trying to decide on our next tent...


Driving through my neighborhood one afternoon I thought I saw a white squirrel fly across the road.

"Nah- can't be," I thought. One week later my sighting was confirmed as I rode my bike up the hill. I live in a neighborhood with an albino squirrel. Since then I've seen the white tailed wonder scurrying across the road, dodging cars, and scrambling up trees on a regular basis.

Eddie the Albino Squirrel

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pick One Thing

With the new year fast approaching I'm starting to think up my 2011 list. I want it to look a lot like my 2004 list. In 2004, I said F-- it to the "not enough" excuses and decided I was going to try everything that year. So long "not enough time to pick up a new sport"- I joined a women's fast pitch softball league. See ya "not enough money"- I tried rowed crew for 12 weeks. I want 2011 to be like that too- time to throw excuses to the wind.

To start with I'm going to pick one thing. I'm going to pick one thing and just get it done this year. It involves my little brother (well if you call 28 little) and one long hike.

So what about you? Got a whole list yet or do you want to start like I did- with just one thing?



On our adventures this weekend we found snow in the nearby mountains. While Misty tends to shy away from extreme cold- she still really enjoyed the snow. She loves to bite it. Yup. She likes to bite at the snow as she runs around- little weirdo.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trail Blazes

A well marked trail really deserves it's own post. Here's to hoping your trails are pretty well marked. And when they aren't- here's to hoping that it leads to a wicked good adventure.

Trail Blaze

Go Hiking

Friday, December 17, 2010

Igloo Making

So what's your snow sitch? We're currently bare ground in the southern part of New Hampshire, but with snow in the north. We also may be getting some fluffy stuff this Sunday. All I know is that seriously- this year I must make myself an igloo.

I just built my first Igloo!

Any igloo makers out there with tips? Please share!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Misty Superstar

Oh yes, that's right. Misty has been making tracks on the blogs. She just hightailed it over to Ruff Wear's blog for Christmas. Her and Santa have been talking and I am pretty sure she'll be getting a new bone in her stocking this year...


Misty in Tent

PS are you freaked out how close Christmas is? We've had a stomach bug that knocked us back an extra week. I haven't even started with Christmas yet....Yikes!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Can anybody say weekend? Weekend!!! We've been having a good cold snap in the Northeast for the past week. We went from balmy 40 degree temps to painstaking windy 20 degree temps. Sure we'll get much colder than that in the winters- but when it comes so suddenly it's such a shock. Not much snow in the southern spots, but the north country has quite a bit!

In the meantime, bring on the weekend!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Should Get This for Your Girlfriend

You should get this sweater for your girlfriend (or wife). Why? Because it's pink and it says "ride like the wind".... which she does.

Welcome December!

Snow Dog

Welcome December! I have such fun things in store for you- none of which involve shopping at the mall.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Unconventional Thanksgiving

We slept under the stars

We're planning on having a very unconventional Thanksgiving in these neck of the woods. Why you ask? Weirdly, we had turkey two weeks ago because of an unexpected visit home from my brother. So we stuffed ourselves before stuffing day.

Since then we've been planning on having an unconventional Thanksgiving. Maybe go camping. Maybe just do a night hike nearby. Either way it will be sans turkey. What about you? Plans? Are you in a turkey-less country? Do tell...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cross Country Skiing

I regularly mention that I want to start cross country skiing. Growing up I skiied regularly on nearby trail networks on some very old school skis. Think metal clamps and springs that go around the outside of the boot- yikes! Hurts to think about still. Anyway, I want this year to be the year that I start gliding again...


To learn more about cross country skis and skiing check out the following sites:

Freakin Finally

Freakin finally it is Friday! Just. Got. To. Make. It. Till. 5. In the mean time, dreaming about the places I love to go...

Mountain Top New Hampshire

Mountain Top New Hampshire

Mountain Top New Hampshire

Betty Jumping

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Women's Adventure Magazine

Women's Adventure Magazine just launched their Winter edition. Read it online here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Avoid the Ho-Hum

I've saved this post for hump day- because let's face it- even the most active & energetic of us outdoor peeps get the ho-hums. Late fall/ early winter tends to be when the ho-hums set in for me. I think it is a combination of darker days & cold winds that brings it on. So here are some strategies for avoiding the ho-hums:

Night Hike

When I transitioned from full-time student to full-time worker I had to start mixing up the work week. Monday through Friday is so dull. But Monday to Wednesday's Night Hike in the woods- to Friday's night hike up nearby peaks is sooooo much more livable.


Survival experts always tout the motivating, let alone warming, powers of having a fire. Well sometimes a little bit of campfire is needed to ward off the ho-hums. Give it a try- got your own backyard with a firepit? Have a nearby cheapy campground or state park with firepits? Fire em (or one) up and watch the ho-hums fizzle out.

Out of Focus Campsite Maine


Seriously there is nothing that a few cartwheels can't cure. I cartwheel on mountain tops, walking the dog on the sidewalk, and even during hike & bike push fests.


TP Your Friends Tent

Sure it's a total waste of TP but it brings the hilarious back to camping as an adult. Plus, who's to say you can't reuse all that TP?

Toliet Papered in the Wilderness

Biking at Night

Biking at night turns the tamest trails into something wildly fun. There is something so appealingly dangerous about limited vision while whipping through the woods on two wheels ;)

Smores on the Grill

Some nights I'm so dead on feet that I just can't gather the energy for the above jaunts. These nights I try to keep the ho-hums away by grilling up some smores on the grill. I find the best way to grill smores is to: put down graham cracker with chocolate and two marshmallows on top, heat for 3-4 minutes with cover on, remove and place another graham cracker on top. Voila! Peanut butter or nutella are nice additions too.

Marshmellow Toasting

My Fall & Winter Without the Gym

Yup, I'm still humming along on my year without the gym. I manage two to three evenings of running during the work week, at least four days of walking Misty, and I play all weekend. So far I am still biking through the cold and hope that I can survive the months of January and February (that is when I traditionally fall apart).


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Revisiting Winter Hiking

Gosh- I've sure been thinking about and getting ready for snow this year. Traditionally, I am more of a warm weather person since biking is one of my favorite sports, but every year I find myself loving the snow just a little bit more.

This year I am really interested in doing a lot more cross country skiing. So I'll probably be posting a bit about skis and jaunts through the woods. In the meantime, I thought some of my newer readers might enjoys some of my previous tips on getting outside in the winter.

Enjoying the View

Winter Hiking: Traction in Snow and Ice

This Way She Says

Top Ten Winter Hiking Tips

Snow Face Dog

Also check out Winter Campers here. Lots of good tips and ideas for camping in the cold.

Turkey Time

We actually celebrated Thanksgiving a few weeks early this year. So after our turkey, stuffing, and pie we had to do a few laps.





Monday, November 15, 2010



Hope you had a great weekend! We did some exploring and adventuring and a little bit of cartwheeling. Here is the game plan this week on Betty Mountain Girl
  • How to Avoid the Ho-Hum
  • Bike Buying Mistakes to Avoid
  • More tips and tales!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cold Weather Camping Tip #1

Adam Catching Playing Tic-Tack-Toe

Cold Weather Camping Tip #1- Entertainment becomes essential

Try headlamp tic-tac-toe or writing your name with light...




Osprey Aura 50 Backpack: Product Review

We did a much longer thru hike of the Wapack Trail this weekend. The weather was ideal- in the high 50’s. I packed an assortment of layers in case we might need something- but didn’t really load the Aura up with a ton of weight. So how did the Aura perform on a longer trip with more gear? Here are my thoughts:

Osprey Aura Backpack

Osprey Aura 50: Balancing the weight

Even though I wasn’t carrying what I would consider a heavy pack for our ten mile hike, I still had a substantial amount of water and food (which as we all know tends to be the heaviest part of our gear). With that in mind I found that it really is all about the weight distribution for the Aura backpack. It doesn’t have the stiffest frame in the world, so how you pack your things really impacts comfort.

Osprey Aura 50: Compartments

The Aura backpack’s real selling point is the well thought out compartments. The top pouch is super roomy which is great for sticky a rain jacket or your mess kit. The waist belt include two small mesh zipped pouches for things like chapstick and tissues. There are also plentiful tie downs for sticking a sleeping pad or tent poles.

The Aura Backpack Final Thoughts

I would definitely recommend considering the Osprey Aura backpack in the 50 if you need a roomy day hiking pack or small backpacking pack. Overall, the pack fits very nicely and has many well thought out features. The only cautions would be to really pack the backpack carefully when not carrying a full load- or else it just gets awkward and wobbly, but then again most large backpacks will when not fully loaded. Lastly, I wish the price point was a bit lower ($199). Osprey’s packs are generally pricier than your EMS brand or REI brand pack- so sometimes that could really hamper your decision.

Osprey Aura

Osprey Women's Aura Backpack

Osprey Women's Aura Backpack

Osprey Women's Aura Backpack

Side Pockets

More detailed specs here and here.

Disclaimer: Product Reviews are based on opinion only and are not intended to condone, encourage, or promote a product. Some products are sent to me by the manufacturer or affiliates and are mine to keep. I mention this specifically on products sent to me. Compensation and/or product and/or services never interfere with the review of the product. Otherwise, products and services are purchased by me for personal use. The backpack was purchased by me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Santa- Love Misty

Ahhh! We made it

Dear Santa:

I would really love some new kicks. You may recall that I have some nice Ruff Wear Jackets (below), but really they are SO three seasons ago. Plus, you got me the wrong size and I practically swim in the softshell.

Misty on Piper Mountain

I know some dogs think it is redic that I wear a jacket, but they don't shiver and shake when temps hit the single digits. So please get me this jacket in size medium please. Kisses.

Plus, I like tops of mountains. Tops of mountains are slippery in the winter even for dogs with all four legs. I want to try these crazy boots- even though I'm not sure I like how tall they look.

Thanks Santa!

Slobbery Kisses,