Monthly Archives: December 2007

DSO-Video Promo



As promised here is our first video edition of Doing Stuff Outdoors. Actually it’s not a full show but more of a promo of what DSO is about. It features snippets of outdoor adventures on video. Some will be featured on full video editions of Doing Stuff Outdoors in the future. Hope you enjoy this sneak peak.

We’ll be back with a new audio podcast next week. In the meantime have a safe and happy NewYear.


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Filed under Adventure, Outdoors

Gift of the Outdoors


This could be the Christmas you give the gift of the outdoors to the people you love. By outdoor gift I’m referring to anything and everything that encourages being active in the outdoors. There are many ways of making the outdoors experience into a real and tangible gift. It could be in the form of some new gear under the Christmas tree. Or it could be something completely different.

If there’s an outdoors person on your list it can be as easy as buying them something they can use in the pursuit of their favourite outdoor activity. For instance, a skier or snowboarder can always use another pair of gloves or mitts. A paddler will always find another dry-bag handy or a paddle float or pair of kayaking gloves. For cyclists there are numerous little gadgets and gizmos you can get. The same is true for hikers and climbers and runners. If the person is new to the activity you can get them the basic gear, although it’s probably better if they were a part of that process. You want to make sure for instance that he or she is properly equipped with the right pair of skis, so they need to be there to be fitted and sized properly. Another approach for a beginner might be to buy them some instruction time or some lift passes. That kind of thing is always appreciated.

Outdoor gear doesn’t have to mean hardware. Most people would enjoy a new book or DVD about their favourite activity. There are surprisingly a lot of titles available for just about every outdoor pursuit. The trick is finding them and that might mean doing a little online shopping.

But a gift of the outdoors goes beyond buying things like equipment. It can be as simple as an idea or a promise to yourself or others. It might be a decision to try and go for a walk outside every day even through the winter. It could be deciding to make that idea for a family weekend away of snow shoeing into a reality. Maybe there’s a bird watching course coming up over the winter that you or someone in your family has been thinking about taking. Christmas would be the perfect time to book the course and make a commitment to give birding a try in the coming year. You can plan that annual family camping vacation or canoe trip when everyone gets together over the holidays. Perhaps this is the year you take your concerns about the environment and turn them into action. Maybe it’s a promise to ride the bike to work one day a week or walk to the store whenever possible. It’s all about being active in the outdoors and the options are numerous.

Maybe the best and simplest gift is to make Christmas itself into an outdoor activity. Go to a tree farm and cut down and haul out your own tree. Make it into a family outing. A night time walk on Christmas Eve to take in the lights and decorations is a great way to begin the holiday. Imagine a light snow falling and the crunching of your boots in the snow as you walk. It doesn’t get more peaceful than that. On Christmas Day itself take an hour out of the festivities and go for a walk or x-c skiing or take the kids to a hill and go sliding. Make an outdoor activity part of your holidays and have a Merry Christmas.


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Filed under Christmas, Outdoor Gear, Outdoors

Doing Stuff Outdoors-32



(Mike the ski elf working on Gary’s skis)

On ‘Where to Get Stuff’ Gary takes us to one of his favorite outdoor gear shops. It’s a store called Radical Edge in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It’s one of those places where you can usually find what you want and if you can’t they can get it for you. Gary talks to owner Mike Davis as he works on a pair of skis. Actually they’re Gary’s old downhill skis that are being flipped over for telemark use. Listen in as Mike talks about his passion for the outdoors.

Our buddy Warren Isbister from Edmonton is back with part three of his audio trail journal. He talks about a hike he and wife did last fall in Yoho National Park in beautiful British Columbia.

And in his Outdoor Ramble Gary talks about giving the gift of the outdoors this year for Christmas.

Podsafe Christmas music this week from Doug Boldt. Be sure to check out the Doing Stuff Outdoors website for regular blog posts and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes . Call in your outdoor adventures and story ideas to the comments line at 206-600-4557 and email the show at

There won’t be an audio edition of Doing Stuff Outdoors next week because Gary is taking a Christmas break and hoping to do some telemark skiing on his recycled downhill gear. But he is planning to post the first Doing Stuff Outdoors video content. It’s a short promo for the show. Watch for it on the webpage and in iTunes.

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Filed under Adventure, Christmas, Hiking, New Brunswick, Outdoor Gear, Outdoors, Skiing, Telemark

Playing in the Backyard

We’re being pummeled with another winter storm today. It’s been coming down heavy all day. We’re expecting 20 to 25 cm followed by strong winds and blowing snow reducing visibility tonight. The bad part is tomorrow morning the temperature is supposed to rise and the snow turn to ice pellets through freezing rain and then to rain. The good news is the base is so deep a little rain won’t hurt it and there’s more snow in the forecast. I’m in heaven with all this early winter snow. I’ve skied almost every day for the past week. I was planning to head to the backcountry this afternoon but the roads are too slippery. So I took a lesson from from Travis Roberts of the Skiing At Home webpage. We featured him on the podcast Doing Stuff Outdoors-27. He runs his own backyard ski area, complete with rope tow lift on a farm in Virginia.

I live on a hill and my backyard has a decent incline to it. So I slapped on the telemark skis and played in the yard for an hour this afternoon. I admit I felt a little foolish. I’m sure my neighbours wondered why a 53 year old man would be playing in the snow like a kid. Who cares. It wasn’t quite steep enough but I was still able to link a few turns through the powder between the trees in the yard. It’s nice to know I can ski at home if I want to.

From snow to sand now. Here’s a photograph Andrew Cameron sent along from his 12,000 km bike ride from Cairo to Cape Town in Africa. Listen to his interview on Doing Stuff Outdoors-31.


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Filed under Africa, Biking, Skiing, Snow, Telemark

Doing Stuff Outdoors-31



On the show today a feature interview with Andrew Cameron of Ottawa, Ontario. He spent five months this year riding his bike the length of Africa. He competed in the Tour d’Afrique, a 12,000 km bike race from Cairo to Cape Town. He says on the way he took the time to smell the roses and got to see and experience the real Africa. And it changed his life. We’ll hear about his adventures on the longest bike race in the world.

Our buddy Warren from Edmonton, Alberta has another segment of his audio trail notes from a hike he and his wife enjoyed last fall in the spectacular Yoho National Park in BC. Also on the podcast some comments from listeners in Australia, Wales and California.

We’ll also tell you more about our ‘Where To Get Stuff’ segment that we’ve just launched. We’re asking you to tell us your favorite place to get outdoor gear. Where do you find good quality, good service and a good price? We’ll feature your picks on the podcast. Email your suggestions to Call the comments line at 206-600-4557. Or leave your comments on our webpage.

Next week listen for Part Three of Warren’s trail journal and the gift of the outdoors for Christmas.


Filed under Adventure, Africa, Australia, Biking, Hiking, Outdoors, Skiing, Snow

Doing Stuff Outdoors-30



We’re going telemark skiing on this edition of DSO with the gang from New England Telemark. They travel around promoting telemark skiing, giving lessons and introducing people to the sport. They hold clinics and host telemark festivals. It must be working because tele is one of the fastest growing segments of the sport. Gary met up with one of the directors, Matt DiBenedetto at Sunday River in Maine.

Warren Isbister is an outdoor enthusiast from Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada. He and his wife recently went on a three day hike in Yoho National Park. He kept a trail journal of the trip and sent it along in audio form. We have part one of Warren’s journal.

In our ‘Where To Get Stuff’ segment Rex McInvale recommends the bike shop at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, North Carolina. And running guy Alex Coffin has a suggestion for runners who don’t like the winter. How about running in a swimming pool?

If you’d like to recommend an outdoor store or leave a comment about anything you hear on the show call the comments line at 206-600-4557 or email us at or leave a comment on our webpage. Be sure to check out the Doing Stuff Outdoors website for regular blog posts and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes .

Next week, part two of Warren’s trail journal and we’ll meet a young cyclist who rode 12,000 km, the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town.

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Filed under Adventure, Hiking, Maine, Outdoor Gear, Outdoors, Running, Skiing, Telemark

Snow But No Play

img_0008.jpgThe snow is still blowing and swirling outside. The big system that dumped snow over much of eastern North America left us with about 25 cm and more is coming down. I stare out the window and watch the show but I know I can’t join in. It hurts. You see I’m home today trying to rid myself of this viral or bacterial infection that’s been plaguing me for over a month. About a week ago I finally saw a doctor and was told I had bronchitis verging on pneumonia. I’ve been taking an antibiotic that doesn’t seem to be working. So after spending yesterday hacking and coughing in the office, I decided to take the next couple of days off to see if I can kick this thing. Then it had to snow.

I was in Bangor, Maine over the weekend and did some browsing in a local ski shop. While I was there a man was being fitted for a brand new pair of ski boots. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. The kid working in the shop said he was heading to Surgarloaf that night in anticipation of the coming snow. He was going to skip school the next day and play on the slopes. The man buying the boots said he was planning to take Tuesday off work and head to the mountain. I think of the turns through fresh powder they’re probably enjoying today as I sit and watch the snow falling outside. What I’d give for an hour or two with the backcountry skis in the woods behind the house. But I know I shouldn’t go. I’ll be patient. With an early snow like this I’m hoping there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to play outdoors this winter.

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Filed under Adventure, Maine, Outdoors, Skiing, Snow