Monthly Archives: June 2009

Doing Stuff Outdoors-96



Our feature interview today is with Dan Coons of New Hampshire. This spring he and his wife spent a week in southwestern France. They rented bikes and toured the countryside, visiting medieval hilltop towns from the 13th century.  They found that traveling around by bicycle opened up interaction with the locals that they would never have seen had they confined their traveling to rental cars and walking around the towns.

Music on the show from a French band called Fresh Body Shop and comments about climbing Maine’s Mount Katahdin in winter and spending time in the outdoors with your dog.

Send along your comments, story suggestions, outdoor adventures and favorite outdoor books to


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Filed under Adventure, Biking, France, Outdoors

Doing Stuff Outdoors-95


Frost River 2008_Cliff

Today on the show a feature interview with outdoor writer, consultant, wilderness guide and very nice guy Cliff Jacobson. Here’s his bio from his website:

Cliff Jacobson is one of North America’s most respected outdoors writers, wilderness guides, national and foreign consultants, and is the most published canoeing/camping writer of this century. He is a professional canoe guide and outfitter, a wilderness canoeing and camping consultant and the author of over a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing— numerous titles have been translated into Spanish, German, French and Turkish with sales approaching one million copies. His video, The Forgotten Skills, details the most important campcraft procedures.

Cliff’s methods are proven by the sweat of pack and paddle and are reminiscent of the days when skills were more important than things. A retired environmental science teacher (34 years!), Cliff is respected by educators for his backcountry ethics, water quality, and wilderness navigation curricula. The Wilderness Meal, an outdoor ethics unit he wrote for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNR), is among the most successful environmental education activities of all time. You’ll find a copy in his book, Boundary Waters Canoe Camping With Style.

Cliff Jacobson

Cliff Jacobson

The book entitled, The 20th Anniversary Edition: Expedition Canoeing is the authoritative resource for wilderness canoe expeditions. The map & compass curriculum developed for the MNR, and Water, Water, Everywhere, But…– an environmental education project was authored in cooperation with HACH chemical company–is used in hundreds of secondary schools and community colleges throughout North America. Contributing editor, Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Consultant to Eckerd Family Youth Services and the Boy Scouts of America (canoeing section, Scout Field Book). Cliff is also a national and foreign outdoor tactics and equipment consultant whose speaking and consulting expertise have brought him to the Canadian Arctic, Norway, Sweden, Costa Rica and many of the 50 states. Cliff has also been hired to render expert opinions. An accomplished canoeist in his own right, Cliff was recently recognized by the American Canoe Association (ACA) which presented him with the Legends of Paddling Award and inducted him into the ACA Hall of Fame.

Contact Gary by email at

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Filed under Adventure, Backcountry, Canoe, Canoe Expeditions, Outdoors, Wilderness

Doing Stuff Outdoors-94


Cougar Tracks Rear ontop of Front

Today on DSO we join Adam Fox and his nephew Nate as they go tracking with members of the Portland Tracking Club. They get together on the last Sunday of every month. On this trip they met at Oxbow Park, just east of Gresham, Oregon and went tracking across the floodplain. Adam brought along a digital audio recorder and recorded the adventure for us. He also took some photos that are posted here and this is what he wrote about them.

As you listen to the MP3’s keep in mind that the same questioning process I use with Nate can be used by anyone to help figure out what made a certain track.  Questions like, How many toes? Are there any claw marks? Do the tracks look like any other animal tracks I know?   Having a copy of Peterson’s Field Guide to Tracking by Olas Mauree is also really handy.  I did not have my copy with me on Sunday. The cougar track photo is really a nice one.  In this picture you see the left front track has been stepped into almost but not quite perfectly by the left rear foot.  The cougar jumped up onto a log, looked around and jumped back down. This picture is of the jumping up track.  There are claw marks in this picture. Cougars rarely show their claws but it used them in this case because it wanted extra traction for the jump.  Note the slight amount of sand pushed back at the rear of the track, that indicates the cat pushing off to jump.  Also note the AA battery used to indicate scale,  keep in mind most cougars have front feet that are almost 1/2 an inch larger than the rear.  That’s a rear track you’re looking at, get a battery and do the math.  Here kitty kitty, nice kitty.   The Blacktailed deer track is nice too because it was just an hour or so old.  Note that it shows the dew claws at the back, something you don’t always get to see in a deer track.Nephew Nate Tracking

We have some music on the show from a German band called Loudog and a comment about Canine Search and Rescue Teams. Contact us a

Deer Track Fresh2

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Filed under Adventure, Oregon, Outdoors, Tracking