Category Archives: Uncategorized

Best. Hiking food. Ever.

Back in September Lindsey took me on a hike for my birthday.  The hike was wonderful for so many reasons:

1)  I got to spend six uninterrupted hours with Lindsey.  We never worried about getting eaten by a mountain lion–we blathered and laughed loud enough to scare away every bit of wildlife within 45 miles.

2)  We got to hike down in the dark, by full moon, and it was exhilirating.

3)  She brought us ‘dinner’ for the top.  While snuggled into a rock shelter to stay out of the frigid wind, she pulled out a birthday brownie, complete with a candle and birthday song.  And she pulled out Chicken Puffs.  I have concluded that these Chicken Puffs are the tastiest possible hiking treat.  Comfort food in a ziploc baggie?  Yes, I think so.

I’ve since made them for my husband on his hunting trips and he concurs.

Rather than keep this yumminess all to ourselves, today we are sharing Lindsey’s Amazing Chicken Puff Recipe, complete with two variations on the theme.  Enjoy.

*** quick note:  Lindsey and I used butter croissant dough from the can… like Pillsbury or Great Value brand…  you could also use real puff pastry dough and cut it to the size you want***


Giant slingshots: Angry birds for the real world.

I recently took on a part time job teaching science to K-7th graders after school.  Today I’m sharing with you one of the activities I did with the fourth through seventh graders:  Giant Slingshots.  Summer is coming and soon-to-be-school-free kids will be scrounging around looking for something to do.  Lest they decide to jump off the roof with bed sheets as parachutes for lack of any other suitable activity (true story), build them a slingshot.

I built this one in under an hour.  It’s not hi-tech, but it doesn’t need to be.  The students were completely captivated by the idea of being The One who slung a ball the farthest down the field.  As a result they listened intently to my (short) lectures on trajectory, velocity, force, mass, and aerodynamics.  I set it up on the grassy field behind the school, and ended up with every kid on the playground standing in line, waiting for a turn, and offering advice on how to get the next ball to go just a little bit further.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two 10-foot long 2x4s
  • One 6-foot long 2×4 (you’ll have a little bit left over at the end).
  • Six feet of latex tubing.
  • Some tennis balls—the kind that come in a little mesh bag—you’ll need the mesh bag.
  • A little bit of twine—say two feet.
  • Ten screws long enough to go through a 2×4—say 3 or 3 1/2 inches long.
  • Some weights—logs, bricks, or whatever other heavy materials are lying around.


  • A circular saw or handsaw.
  • A drill and two bits: one of a slightly smaller diameter than the 3 inch screws, and one with a Phillips head.

All of these items can be found at your local giant hardware store.  They’ll be confused when you ask for the tubing, but it is there with all the other types of tubing (in my store on the very top shelf). (more…)

Random News Worth Checking Out

Often, in our internet wanderings we come across an interesting study, a fabulous article or some other random thing. I typically post such finds on facebook or twitter. I’m terrible at tweeting, but have you noticed all the cool stuff on our facebook page these past few months? That’s because I made Olivia an administrator. Days when there’s actually stuff posted on the facebook page it’s because Olivia is successfully distracting herself from dissertation writing. It’s great!

BUT, for those who may have missed a good link, or aren’t on facebook, I’m posting a few favorites I’d recommend checking out. And #6 is totally random, but it’s something I’ve thought about a lot this month, therefore it’s also worth mentioning.

If you’ve come across any noteworthy links in your internet wanderings leave it in the comments!

1. Things to do with your kids this winter:
Turn a table into a playhouse with a few roller shades and some markers. Get a cardboard box (this video is awesome, all 8 minutes of it, trust me), or maybe several… Make a biosphere that can actually keep things alive! (more…)

Silence is golden, duct tape is silver


What do MacGyver, astronauts, and writers have in common?

We all keep rolls of duct tape in our backpacks, our cars, our boats, our spaceships, and our homes.

Ah, the sticky stuff.  That super-adhesive, water-repellant, ultra-durable, handyman-staple:  Duct tape.  I love the sound it makes coming off the role.  The slightly synthetic smell.  But mostly I love the many ways it can be used.  Is there anything in the universe more versatile?  I imagine aliens in every galaxy find it as useful as we do…

Today, we celebrate duct tape and its many uses.  Here’s just a handful of the ways this substance can improve your life.  Did we miss one?  Tell us about it at the end!

Fix Something

1. You can use duct tape to patch darn near anything!

  • Backpacks, tents, shoes, hats, or any other leaky piece of equipment.  Duct tape sticks to itself as well as it sticks to anything else.  Put a piece on the inside of the hole, and another on the outside, and stick the pieces together through the hole!  Problem solved.
  • Also, ski pants.  I fall a lot on my skis.  I use duct tape at the hems to patch up the rips caused by my edges cutting into the sides of my ski pants every time I tumble.
  • Bathtub leaking?  My aunt’s tub has a crack in the floor.  She just taped it over with a strip o the sticky stuff.  That tube probably has another ten years of good use now. (more…)

Today, a question…

Today, we want to tap into the amazing experience and philosophies of the many moms and dads who send their kids outside everyday (and who read this blog).  So we’re asking a simple question.  We hope you’ll take the time to answer it, and ask your friends to stop by our site and answer it too!  Tomorrow, we’ll post the results…

There’s three methods by which you can answer this question:

1)  If you’re friends with us on facebook (, you can pop on over there and answer the survey question we’ve posted.

2)  You can leave your answer, with any additional comments you’d like to add, in the comments section below.

3)  You can go here, and fill in the bubble.


So here’s the question: (more…)

My 3 Favorite Camping Dinners

After the post on assembling a mobile kitchen I had several questions regarding what to cook. (PS I appreciate questions so thanks!)

You’ll notice these are all things you could/would cook at home. I do this for the sake of ease, if you know HOW to cook the meal, and you know your kids will eat it, it’s much less stress. Think easy. A jar of pasta sauce, some noodles and sautéed zucchini. Burritos. Homemade soup (made ahead of time). Or the ever popular hot dogs and hamburgers.

If you have something you love to cook when your camping please leave a comment. I would love to hear your ideas. In the meantime here’s three of our most frequently cooked camping dinners: (more…)

Make Camping Less Stress: Build a Mobile Kitchen

There are two things that usually deter women from being enthused about camping. Food Prep and Hygiene. As women it seems like we’re born with this innate need to have a well stocked kitchen, to make sure everyone is well fed…and to go to bed clean. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but I’m not a fan of packing up the kitchen every time we embark on a camping trip. I’m also not a fan of getting out in the middle of nowhere without something like, utensils (trust me, this has happened, it’s hard to eat spaghetti with a pocket knife).

To remedy this I’ve assembled a ‘kitchen box’. Everything in this box STAYS IN THE BOX. Always! Having a mobile kitchen makes the packing process seems much less daunting knowing you don’t have to pack up your kitchen.

Most of the stuff in our box (list below) came from thrift stores, surplus wedding gifts, Ross, things my Mom was throwing out when she upgraded her cooking ware, etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Once you have assembled your wares, buy a plastic tote from the local whatever mart, throw everything (I mean neatly stack) in there, and whala! Your mobile kitchen. I know it looks like a lot, but trust me, it fits snugly in a 66 quart tote.

Here’s what’s in my kitchen box: (more…)


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia