Outdoor Adventure Expo

Midwest Mountaineering and the U of M

April 26 – 28, 2019

Expo Hours:

Friday  2 – 9:30
Saturday  9 – 6:30
Sunday  10 – 5

2 – 9:30

9 – 6:30

10 – 5

Presenting Sponsor:
Lakes and Legends Brewing Company logo

Sponsored By:

Eddyline Kayaks Northstar Canoes Oboz Footwear Patagonia prAna Smartwool Trailtopia Adventure Food Western Mountaineering


Lakes and Legends Brewing Company logo
Official Beer of
Outdoor Adventure Expo

50¢ Popcorn
50¢ Popcorn
All Weekend Long !!!

Speaker Biographies / Program Descriptions

AAA Auctions

Whether selling a loved one's estate, selling your own house, consigning items, or raising money for your school or for a non-profit, Tony Elfelt and AAA Auction will guide you through the process and relieve you of the stress.

Canoe, Kayak & Paddleboard Auction
Arrive early to see all the watercraft!


Your canoe, kayak or paddleboard at the World's Largest Canoe and Kayak Auction!


Your next dream canoe, kayak or paddleboard at the World's Largest Canoe, Kayak and Paddleboard Auction!

7:00 – 10:00a.m.:  Watercraft Drop-off
7:00 – 11:00a.m.:  Watercraft Inspection
11:00a.m. Until Finished:  Auction

Complete auction details in the Outdoor Adventure Expo Newspaper page 3.

Complete auction details on the Paddlesports Auction page.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:00a.m.,  Grassy Knoll (across from Expo tent entrance)

The Banff Centre

The Banff Mountain Film Festival (banffcentre.ca/banff-mountain-film-book-festival) accepts over three hundred mountain films into it's competition, the top fifty or so are screened throughout the festival.  Every year the films feature a range of styles and themes, including climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking, adventure, culture and the environment.

The festival (held in Banff, Alberta Canada) runs from Oct. 27th to Nov. 4th, 2018.  2018 is the festival's 43rd anniversary!

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

The Banff Mountain Film Festival accepts over three hundred mountain films into it's competition, the top fifty or so are screened throughout the festival.  The tour brings a selection of the best films from the festival right here to Midwest Mountaineering!  Every year the films feature a range of styles and themes, including climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking, adventure, culture and the environment.

Stunning International Film Productions on mountain themes ranging from mountaineering to ice and rock climbing to wildlife and environmental issues, as well as mountain sports such as skiing, kayaking, snowboarding, and much more.

These are some of the best of the fest from the internationally acclaimed film competition that captures the spirit of the mountains with magnificent cinematography.  See the award winners that blanket the spectrum of outdoor activities, culture and environment.

Come explore breathtaking mountain environments and cultures celebrating the spirit of outdoor adventure.  The tour brings the festival to 305 cities in 20 countries around the world covering territory across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the South Pacific.  Whether you are an armchair adventurer or an experienced mountaineer, this event is for everyone.  Don't miss the excitement!

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
2018/2019 Trailer
(2018/2019 Trailer Coming Soon)


More Details:  Banff Mountain Film Festival page.

Tickets ($18) available for purchase beginning Friday, March 15th at 10:00a.m..

Purchase tickets ($18) here:  midwestmtn.com/tickets

These shows always sell out!  Get your tickets early.  Our Friday and Saturday night screenings will contain completely different films.  Attend both nights and see all of the films!

Sorry, Friday and Saturday have SOLD OUT !! 
Enjoy the Show !!!

Friday,  Apr. 26th, 7:30p.m.,  U of M – Willey Hall, Auditorium
Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 7:30p.m.,  U of M – Willey Hall, Auditorium

Tiger Beaudoin
Tiger Beaudoin

Tiger is a cancer survivor who began mountaineering at 50.  He has summited Adams, Shasta, Whitney, Eldorado, & Rainier raising funds for cancer research while climbing.

Mountaineering 101
Mount Rainier

Intrigued by mountain climbing, but don’t know where to start?  Hear how one 50-year-old caught the mountaineering bug and now summits annually - and you can too with climbforhope.org.

We introduce aspiring climbers to alpine skills from beginner (12,280 ft. Mount Adams - parent & child-friendly) to advanced (14,411 Mount Rainier - crampons, belays, crevasses).  As a bonus, climbers raise funds for cancer and MS research.

Experience the surprise and delight that comes from unzipping your tent and discovering that you are looking down on clouds.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Barry Brahier

Barry, an educator since 1977, has made seven Voyageurs trips, five of which were solo, since 2012.  He’s learned solo kayak camping in Voyageurs National Park, which is, hands down, his heaven-on-earth getaway.

Sea Kayaking Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs is an amazing place for kayak camping, solo or group, especially in the Fall when the power boats stay home.

Think BWCAW but with bigger lakes, Taj Mahal campsites reserved just for you and … NO PORTAGING!

Learn the nuts and bolts of a Voyageurs kayaking trip and understand why going solo is something you can do – and probably should.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Erik and Hanna Brandt

Erik & Hanna Brandt are high school teachers in Saint Paul and world travelers.

Recently, their family of five, and a set of grandparents, completed a week-long barge trip in France.

Boat Barging through Europe

Interested in a European vacation that the entire family can enjoy?

Consider a drive-it-yourself barge trip on the historic canals in France!

This family-friendly, and family-presented presentation will talk about some of the logistics of organizing a European barge trip.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Craig Carlson

Craig Carlson loves hiking in the mountains, hearing the words of John Muir:  “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”

He’s proof that anyone can hike mountains, even an old fat guy with a fake hip!

Walker’s Haute Route: Hut-to-Hut Hiking from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

The Walker’s Haute Route is one of the classic Swiss Alpine treks, covering 100+ miles from Mont Blanc near Chamonix, France to the Matterhorn and Zermatt in Switzerland.

Craig will share photos and details of his guided trip along the WHR, with sweeping alpine valley views, glacier-trekking, and 4,000 meter peaks;  he’ll also give some tips on how you can plan your own trip.

Oh yes, and more Swiss cowbells than you can count, too.  Now is the perfect time to start planning next summer’s adventure!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Bonnie Carlson-Green

Bonnie Carlson-Green is a pediatric neuropsychologist by day and late-blooming athlete by night and weekend.

Swim Adventures for Dog-Paddlers to Olympians

Get off terra firma and explore the world from the water for a new perspective on travel.  Swimming holidays are popular in Europe but just starting to get known here in the U.S.  Many trips are doable for all levels of swimmers and some are able to accommodate non-swimming partners with an enjoyable travel experience as well.

Join Bonnie to hear about two fantastic swimming holidays she has taken with Strel Swimming in less-traveled parts of the world:  Slovenian Lakes and Rivers and Montenegro Fjord and Cove swimming and learn ways to add a swimming holiday to your adventure bucket list.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Dan Cooke

Dan knows outdoor gear ... he produces a wide variety of high quality outdoor products under the Cooke Custom Sewing brand name.

Website:  cookecustomsewing.com.

Tarp Setup Demonstration

Does your rain-fly flap in the wind?  Have you ever wanted to leave the tent behind and sleep in a tarp shelter?

Dan Cooke, of Cooke Custom Sewing, will show a variety of ways you can utilize a tarp to better enjoy your wilderness adventure.

He'll demonstrate various rigging methods, suggest some creative ideas to common challenges and show the best knots for setting up a storm-proof shelter.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  Grassy Knoll (across from Expo tent entrance)
Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  Grassy Knoll (across from Expo tent entrance)

Clayton Daughenbaugh

Clayton Daughenbaugh is the Midwest Regional Organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (suwa.org), as well as the Chair of Sierra Club's National Wildlands and Wilderness Committee.

Wild Utah: A Wilderness Icon
Labryinth Canyon Wilderness

America’s wild public lands are a proud part of the national heritage.

Sadly, they are under attack.  The current administration is seeking to repeal and replace the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments and reverse the steady progress towards protecting the largest unprotected wilderness area in the lower 48 states.

This program highlights both the natural beauty of southern Utah's spectacular canyon country and includes a short film dramatically documenting citizen efforts to conserve public lands in the area.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Renee Davies

Renee Davies is a Peru and Ecuador Trip Specialist at Knowmad Adventures (KnowmadAdventures.com) – an award winning company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America.

She lived in Mexico for over 3 years and is excited to help travelers discover the wonderful impact not just travel, but really experiencing a different country and culture can have on your life.  She has traveled extensively throughout Peru and Ecuador and has a profound knowledge of the countries’ regions, off the beaten-path destinations, and cultural experiences.

Exploring the Breathtaking Galapagos Islands and Mainland Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands, some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, is one of the most unique, pristine and remarkable destinations in the world.

Ecuador is home to nearly every ecosystem imaginable.  Visits to Ecuador can include cloud forest, Andean Highlands, historic haciendas, remote indigenous communities, volcanoes, Amazon Jungle, colonial cities, and of course, the famed Galapagos Islands.

This presentation will show astounding photos of the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador, as well as share practical advice on everything from picking the perfect Galapagos cruise for you to where to go in mainland Ecuador and how to plan the perfect itinerary.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Machu Picchu and Beyond:  Making the Most of Your Travels in Peru
Machu Picchu

Home to ancient civilizations, vast archaeological marvels in unbelievable settings, vibrant indigenous cultures, and natural wonders spanning from unspoiled Amazon rainforest to towering Andean peaks, Peru inspires awe at every turn.

Renee's presentation will feature inspired images from Peru's various regions while offering practical itinerary planning and travel advice for Peru including hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, less physical and more luxurious trips to Machu Picchu, Amazon Jungle travel and lodges, and Lake Titicaca.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Matthew Davis
Matt Davis

Matthew Davis lives in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and has worked since 2006 as the Minnesota & North Dakota Regional Trail Coordinator for the non-profit North Country Trail Association (northcountrytrail.org).

He is an avid hiker, skishoer, mountain biker, and also a long-time trail volunteer.  His family has visited and hiked in all of Minnesota's State Parks.

Family Hiking & Volunteering

This program will cover some basic of hiking with kids, highlight a few tips, and share some good options for Minnesota families to get out hiking together in the region.

Since most major hiking trails currently rely upon an aging volunteer pool, a special invitation for families to get involved will be shared.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Maps & Apps for Hiking

This program will cover the upsides and downsides of hiking with "old school" paper maps and smartphone apps.

Learn about some of the best options for the Trails here in Minnesota and beyond.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Sarah Ehlen

Sarah Ehlen has worked as a park ranger, wilderness guide, and outdoor photographer throughout the West.

She is passionate about exploring wild places with her camera in tow, and also loves helping others learn the craft of photography.

She owns and operates Glacier Photo Guides (glacierphotoguides.com), which specializes in teaching landscape photography for all skill levels in Montana’s beautiful Glacier National Park.

Hiking & Photographing Glacier National Park

There are endless trails and places to explore in Glacier National Park.

Join Sarah as she highlights her favorite hikes and other hidden gems, giving valuable advice for anyone interested in a trip to this beautiful part of Northwest Montana.

In this presentation, Sarah will talk about when to visit, tips for getting a camping permit, and ideas for the best places to photograph in the park.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Landscape Photography

Learn how to capture beautiful landscape photos whether you use a mobile phone or a DSLR as your camera!

In this presentation, Sarah will give some tips and techniques for shooting landscape and nature photographs that you can put to use on your next trip or even your own backyard.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Cassie and Krista Eichhorst

Cassie and Krista Eichhorst are sisters who spend as much time as possible hiking and backpacking around Minnesota and across western North America.

Backpacking Jasper National Park
Cassie and Krista Eichhorst

Jasper National Park contains some of the most spectacular landscapes in North America.

Learn what you need to know for planning a successful backpacking trip in Jasper’s beautiful Tonquin Valley in Jasper, Alberta!

The Eichhorst sisters will share tips for what to expect and how to prepare for a multi-day trek into the Tonquin Valley.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Krista Erdahl
Krista Erdahl

Krista Erdahl is a Chile and Argentina Trip Specialist at Knowmad Adventures (KnowmadAdventures.com), an award-winning company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America.

Krista fell in love with Spanish at summer camp more than 20 years ago, studied it in college, and ultimately became fascinated with exploration and adventure.

She has lived in six countries on four continents and visited more than fifty countries.  Today, she is back in her home state of Minnesota where she finds joy in sharing her knowledge and passion for travel with others.

Patagonia Unbridled: Journey through Southern Chile & Argentina
Patagonia Chile

Patagonia is as vast and sparsely populated as it is dramatic.  This remote region at the end of the Andes is home to Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego and the expansive Torres del Paine National Park.  It also includes the iconic Monte Fitz Roy, the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier and more.

This presentation will offer jaw-dropping images of the region's incredible natural beauty from a variety of expeditions, and will also offer practical advice on traveling through this vast area of wilderness and cultural intrigue.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Kim Fishburn

Kim Fishburn spent 27 years hiking the Sierras.  He is a Chapter President for the North County Trail Association, and moderator for the John Muir Trail Yahoo group, a top source of information for the trail.

A Guide to Ultralight Gear

Many people starting out backpacking find that their pack is too heavy and wish it was lighter, and spend the rest of their life trying to make it lighter.

It isn't unusual for the top 3 items to weigh in at 15 lbs., but for Kim, it's about 5 lbs. with a pack weight of 20 to 25 lbs. for a 5 day trip.

Kim will discuss different options to guide you toward picking out the gear that’s best for you!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Yosemite National Park – Half Dome

Yosemite has over 750 miles of trails which make for some great backpacking.  Some areas are better than most.

This presentation is focused on showing you the different areas of the park, and what you need to know for a successful hike.

Permits, food storage and the use of public transportation will be some of the subjects discussed.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Sean Foster
Sean Foster

Sean Foster is a local climber and AMGA (amga.com) certified instructor who has been a member of the Twin Cities climbing community for over a decade.

Twin Cities Rock Climbing

Interested in rock climbing, but don’t know where to start?  Join me for a look at how to take advantage of rock climbing in around the Twin Cities;  where to climb indoors and outside, a brief look at gear, and taking your climbing beyond Minnesota.

We will cover local gyms, gear shops, crags in Minnesota, and easy destinations beyond our border.  Presentation will include a slide show followed by Q&A.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

EJ Gurley

EJ Gurley is a Destination Specialist with Borton Overseas.  He recently led a group to Antarctica and will lead a group to Thailand and Laos in 2019.

Overseas Adventures!
Kayaking in Hardangerfjord

Borton Overseas is a Minneapolis-based tour operator specializing in Africa, Scandinavia, SE Asia, South America and Antarctica.

These diverse destinations have one thing in common – varied landscapes, which provide many opportunities for exhilarating outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re looking for mountain trekking in Patagonia, kayaking in Antarctica or on a Norwegian fjord, biking between vineyards in Mendoza, or another any of the many wonderful choices, come and learn about how Borton Overseas can fulfill your wishes for adventure!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Christina Hausman and Lindsay Brandt
Christina Hausman

Christina Hausman has been the executive director of Voyageurs National Park Association (voyageurs.org) the park's non-profit partner since 2013.

She has camped on all of Voyageurs' major lakes and has plenty of tips on what to see and do at the park.

Lindsay Brandt

Lindsay Brandt is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Voyageurs National Park Association focused on community outreach and engagement.

She spent the past two summers as a seasonal park ranger at Voyageurs, so she knows the park inside and out, and is eager to share her enthusiasm for this wonderful place!

Top 10 Voyageurs National Park Experiences

At 218,000 acres, Voyageurs National Park has places for everyone to explore.  Voyageurs is known for its amazing water-based recreation and camping experiences, pristine lakes and world-class fishing, boreal forests, wildlife, winter ice roads, and starry skies.


Come hear Christina Hausman and Lindsay Brandt of Voyageurs National Park Association, share ways you can make the most out of a trip to Voyageurs.

Maybe you've done the BWCAW and Lake Superior, but have you experienced Minnesota's national park?  voyageurs.org

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Tony Heimkes

Tony is a founding board member of the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association (mnkayakfishingassociation.org).

With over a decade of kayak fishing experience, Tony will share everything you need to know to get started and to improve your kayak fishing results.

Kayak Fishing Tips and Tricks
Shane Olson with Bass

Enjoy tips, tricks and videos to get you started on your kayak fishing adventure!  We’ll help you pick out your first or next kayak and help you rig it with gear and teach strategy for picking and fishing the best lakes for trophy fish.  From proper storage to choosing lures.

Don't miss this exciting presentation from Tony Heimkes, the tournament director of the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Karl Huemiller
Karl Huemiller

Karl Huemiller is a Minnesota Canoe Association (mncanoe.org) board member who has worked as an outdoor educator for organizations such as Three Rivers Park District and Wilderness Inquiry.

Paddling Opportunities in the Twin Cities

Getting out on the water doesn't need to take all week, all weekend, or all day.  Even if you have just an hour you can enjoy fun paddling adventures close to home.

Join Karl and other Minnesota Canoe Association members as we discuss where to go paddling right here in the Twin Cities Area.

Navigating small meandering streams, plying big rivers, traversing lakes, slowing down and enjoying nature or racing your heart out are all possibilities when you know where to go! www.mncanoe.org.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Bruce Hyer

Bruce Hyer is a biologist and forester.  Many call him the “Father of Wabakimi”.  A former Member of Canada’s Parliament, he is excited to be returning to Wabakimi!

Wabakimi: World’s Best Wilderness Canoeing Area?

Wabakimi is the world’s largest canoeing reserve.  Only a six-hour drive from Duluth, it is twice as big as Connecticut or Yellowstone.  Last year, only 700 people paddled in Wabakimi!

The good and bad news about Wabakimi:  it is tricky to access and hard to find information.  Bruce loves to help you solve both those issues.  Bruce will talk about the history, ecology, fishing, and canoeing in Wabakimi.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Woodland Caribou are a Lot Like Canoeists!

Bruce Hyer was the driving force behind the creation of Wabakimi Wilderness Park, which at 5 million acres is the world’s largest reserve both for canoeists and woodland caribou.

With a masters degree in caribou, Hyer will explain why Wabakimi is prime habitat for both!  A blend of boreal biology and the politics of biodiversity.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Cliff Jacobson

The author of numerous books on canoeing and campcraft, Cliff Jacobson is one of the world’s foremost authorities on canoeing and northern travel.

Check out Cliff's recently updated website:  cliffcanoe.com

Canoeing Wild Rivers

Loosely based on Cliff’s flagship book, Canoeing Wild Rivers / Falcon Guides, 2015 (formerly titled “Expedition Canoeing”), this fast-paced presentation focuses on canoeing remote northern rivers, and remote but easy north American rivers that are suitable for those with limited paddling skills.

Tips and tricks and lots of laughs are the rule at Cliff’s seminars.  There’s practical advice for every outing, whether it’s close to home or off the beaten path.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 106

Cooking Secrets

Here's a wealth of food ideas that will make your canoeing and camping trips more fun.  Emphasis is on fast-to-prepare entrees that take no more than 20 minutes to make.

Discover pita pizza, tortilla melts, northwoods stir fry, garlic-cheese pita melts and egg McPita, carmel tortilla's, and tricks for preparing meals in cold blustery weather, and for large groups.  For example, how do you make Red River cereal for ten on a one burner trail stove without burning the porridge?

Learn how to modify cookware from home so you can use it afield.  Discover clever ways to keep your stove in tip-top shape (did you know that carburetor cleaner unclogs stove valves?).

Based on Cliff's book:  Basic Illustrated Cooking.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

Packing and Portaging

Learn how to pack efficiently for a canoe trip and waterproof your gear without relying on expensive technology.

Probe the pro's and con's of various packs and wanigans (dry boxes) and learn how each is best utilized on a canoe trip.

Adventurous participants may try double-packing a heavy load with a tumpline.  We'll check out portage yokes, canoe tumplines and canoe lift-and-carry procedures.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Cliff Jacobson, Peter Marshall, Jonathan Ringdahl, and Tom Watson, moderated by Steve Schreader
Cliff Jacobson

Cliff Jacobson is one of North America's most respected outdoors writers and wilderness paddlers.  He is a retired environmental science teacher, an outdoors skills instructor, a canoeing and camping consultant, and the author of more than a dozen top-selling books and a popular video on canoeing and camping.  His flagship book, Canoeing Wild Rivers, 5th Edition is the premier text for canoeing wilderness rivers.  Cliff is a distinguished Eagle Scout, a recipient of the American Canoe Association’s prestigious Legends of Paddling Award and a member of the ACA Hall of Fame.

Pete Marshall

Pete Marshall is the Director of Communications at Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (friends-bwca.org).  He has canoed more than 8,000 miles through remote regions, written for a number of publications and produced the documentary film Labrador Passage (pbs.org) for Twin Cites Public Television.

Jon Ringdahl

Jonathan Ringdahl has been an ACA certified instructor for 5 years.  Jonathan resides in Galesville, Wisconsin - where he has been guiding trips on the rivers and lakes of the Driftless Region for 7 years.  He has experience teaching adults and kids.  Jonathan has taught at sea kayak symposiums and loves paddling the Great Lakes.  When he is not out exploring, Jonathan is working with kids with autism.

Tom Watson

Tom Watson is a contributor to paddling.com’s series “Safety Tips by Tom Watson” (paddling.com) and other outdoor topics.  His books include Kids Gone Paddlin, How to Think Like a Survivor.  He has written numerous articles on kayak safety, is the past president of the Trade Association of Sea Kayaking and a former kayak tour operator from Kodiak, Alaska.  He specializes in all aspects of traditional sea kayaking as well as topics on being a self-reliant outdoors enthusiast.

Paddling Safety Panel Discussion

There’s a lot of water in our state and a long summer a head to go and get lost exploring rivers and lakes.

To get ready, be sure to attend this audience-driven question and answer session on a variety of safety issues and priorities for both canoeists and kayakers.

Featuring experienced panelists from their respected fields of paddling interest, this panel will cover topics you’ll want to hear about no matter your skill level.  The range of safety topics will include an awareness of what critical safety issues are, the reasoning behind safety procedures and other topical safety concerns.

The panel will respond to topics initiated by the audience.  To send your questions ahead of time, email them to Pete Marshall:  [email protected]

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Zach Johns, Nick Perronteau, and Mark Spagnolo

Zach Johns is an avid hiker, backpacker and trail volunteer.  He spends most of his free time on the Superior Hiking Trail, which he has section hiked in its entirety and has also completed many other trails in the region including the Kekekabic (twice), Border Route, Sioux-Hustler, Angleworm and Isle Royale’s Greenstone Ridge.

Nick Perronteau, Johns’ son, has joined his dad in volunteering on the SHT his entire life and with his dad and brother hiked the Hiking Club trail in every state park in Minnesota from 2006 to 2011.  He is currently studying Graphic Design-Media at Mesabi Range College and has a great interest in adventure filmmaking.  The Kek was his first multi-night backpack trip.

Mark Spagnolo is Johns’ co-worker and fellow SHT volunteer.  He has joined Johns on numerous hikes over the years including the Border Route, Sioux-Hustler and Greenstone Ridge.

“We Got Kek’d!” The Current State of Minnesota’s Most Infamous Trail
Nick Perronteau, Zach Johns, and Mark Spagnolo

The Kekekabic Trail, which runs 42 miles across the BWCA has a reputation as one of the most difficult backpacking trips in Minnesota due to its remoteness and usual lack of maintenance.

Last October five hikers including Zach Johns, Nick Perronteau, and Mark Spagnolo hit the Kek to assess conditions and create a film promoting the trail.

They will discuss the conditions they discovered and present the film they made while on the trail.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Rod and Sharon Johnson
Sharon and Rod Johnson

Rod Johnson is the owner and 1970 founder of Midwest Mountaineering, your locally owned outdoor adventure outfitter.  With his wife, Sharon, Rod has traveled the globe in search of great outdoor adventures which can be shared with you each Outdoor Adventure Expo!

Their programs provide resource sheets giving you the information you will need for planning your own adventure:  how to prepare, where to go, what to bring, how to keep your gear weight down, getting visas and permits, and how to keep the cost down.

They truly love helping others have fun and safe outdoor experiences.  Come catch their enthusiasm!

Canadian Rockies Hiking and Backpacking

In August of 2018, Rod and Sharon, along with their dog, Finney, drove to the Canadian Rockies to hike one of the world’s most scenic areas.

They will tell you how to have a Canadian Rockies adventure of your own, as well as provide handout that will include information on permits, bears, what to bring, a few of the many spectacular hikes and advantages and disadvantages of going in the various seasons.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

10 Spectacular North Shore Waterfall Hikes
Rod, Sharon and Finney Johnson on the Split Rock River

Rod and Sharon spend a lot of time on the Lake Superior North Shore.  One of their favorite activities is doing a waterfall hike.

In this talk, they will show show slides and talk about what mile marker the trailhead is at, how long the hike is and what to wear for each season.  They will include all this information and more in their helpful handout.

The waterfalls are:

  • Pigeon River High and Middle Falls
  • Kadunce River (some canyoneering here!)
  • Devil Track River and Devil’s Kettle Falls
  • Gooseberry Falls and Fifth Falls
  • Baptism River
  • Split Rock River loop
  • Temperance River gorge
  • Caribou Falls
  • Cascade River Falls
  • Manitou Falls

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

Utah Hiking and Canyoneering
Rod Johnson - Surfing The Wave

Rod and Sharon Johnson think Utah packs the most bang for your buck for outdoor adventures.  You can make it there in a hard day's drive, camp free on BLM land or take advantage of the many other camping and lodging options.

This presentation will include Zion National Park, the San Rafael Swell, Buckskin Gulch, Little Wild Horse Canyon (a beginner slot canyon), Ding and Dang Canyons (intermediate slot canyons), Pine Creek canyon (a technical slot canyon), a few canyons in the Grand Staircase - Escalante area, the Angels' Landing hike, the Wave hike, the Virgin River Narrows hike and the Subway.

There's lots of fun to be had in Utah – from beginner to veteran adventurers.  Informational resource sheets will be available.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Luke 'Strider' Jordan

Luke Jordan grew up on a farm in central Minnesota and got into backpacking during college and volunteered on trail construction crews for the Superior Hiking Trail.  After graduating from St. Cloud State University with a BS degree in Natural Resources he became the fourth person to complete a thru-hike of the 4,600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail (northcountrytrail.org).

He now resides in West Michigan and works full-time for the North Country Trail, National Park Service office.

A Thru-Hiker’s Journey through the North Country Trail

Come hear a story about a hiker's journey over the nation's longest scenic trail, what he calls the "crown jewel" of the national scenic trail system.  Chronicling a journey of 4,600 miles, it's a story of struggle to overcome obstacles and to continue on in the pursuit of achieving goals and personal growth.


Follow along as he traverses this trail of great diversity from the vast plains of North Dakota to the high peaks of the Adirondacks.

Luke’s first book chronicling the journey over the North Country Trail is available for purchase on Amazon, or from Luke directly.  Search for Thru and Back Again.

Strider's North Country Trail thru-hike website:  stridernct.com

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

Thru-Hiking the Great Plains Trail

Come hear a story about a hiker's journey over the newly established Great Plains Trail.  It's a story of adventure and discovery on the first-ever thru-hike of this newly established resource.

Stretching for 2,200 miles across rolling grasslands, through rocky canyons and over forested ridges, the Great Plains Trail aims to be America’s next great adventure.


Follow along as Strider traverses this trail from the desert of West Texas to the Canadian Border, in an attempt to raise awareness and generate support of this great resource.

Great Plains Trail Alliance:  greatplainstrail.org

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Richard and Rachael Kaufman
Richard Kaufman

Richard & Rachael Kaufman are part of the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society (rockofageslps.org).  They have been going to Isle Royale National Park for over 20 years.

Isle Royale National Park 101

Isle Royale, the least-visited / most-revisited national park lies just off Minnesota’s North Shore.

Get a quick lesson on the area and history of this magnificent park, peek at some of its most famous landmarks, and learn the basics of getting to and around Isle Royale National Park.

We will give you the resources to start your adventure in this pristine wilderness.

Presented by volunteers of the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation society (RoALPS).

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Zack Kruzins and Ken Storm, Jr.
Zack Kruzins

Come join Zack Kruzins as he takes you on a journey into a true paradise of remote islands and coastline along Lake Superior's Canadian north shore.  Hear tales of deeper learning, adventure, history, culture and a new prospective for the future of the region.  Zack has travelled far and wide as an expedition sea kayaker, come find out why this part of the world keeps calling him back.

Ken Storm, Jr.

Ken Storm, Jr. lives in Prior Lake, Minnesota and spends part of the year at his cabin on an island off the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior.  Ken has presented previously at Midwest Mountaineering on his explorations of the Tsangpo Gorges of Tibet.

From the Andes to the Atlantic: Kayaking Across the Patagonian Steppe

Three generations of adventurers came together to paddle one of Argentina’s greatest free flowing waterways.

Beginning in the shadow of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre in the Patatgonian Andes, Zack Kruzins, Ken Storm Jr., and Cole Slusarenko traversed Lago Viedma, Rio La Leona, Lago Argentino and the soon to be dammed Rio Santa Cruz to tide water on the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a 300 mile/500 km journey into a forgotten area of Patagonia along an historic waterway first explored by Charles Darwin and Robert Fitzroy and members of the Beagle Expedition in 1834 and inhabited by the Tehuelche people.

It was also a journey into “Deep Time” as they explored the fossil riches from 70 million year old dinosaurs and petrified forests to the extraordinary fossil remains of 16 million year old mammals.

Zack and Ken hope to raise awareness of the incredibly rich ecosystem along the Santa Cruz River and discuss the dams that will soon destroy the most important free flowing river in Patagonia.  Zack and Ken conceived this expedition from a desire to travel with a deeper attention to the history, landscape, and culture of Patagonia, just as they both have done on the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

Zack Kruzins

Zack is an experienced expedition guide and paddling instructor based seasonally between Thunder Bay Ontario Canada and the Antarctica.

He is the owner and operator of the new business venture:  Such A Nice Day (SAND) Adventures (suchaniceday.com).  He is passionate about all things outdoors and is very excited to share stories from his great adventures in some of the hardest places to get to on the planet.

Journey Into a Northern Island Paradise – Lake Superior’s Canadian North Shore

Come join Zack Kruzins as he takes you on a journey into a true northern island paradise to some of the most beautiful but least travelled part of Lake Superior.  Hear tales of deeper learning, adventure, history, culture and a new prospective for the future of the region.

Zack has travelled far and wide as an expedition sea kayaker, come find out why this part of the world keeps calling him back.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Joe Lee
Joe Lee

Joe Lee founded Quality Adventure Custom Vans (qacustomvans.com) in 2017, a local company that builds custom camper vans.  He is also an AMGA rock climbing guide for Kaf Adventures.

Climbing Evolution: Patent Lawyer to Climbing Guide
Joe Lee on the Becky-Chouinard Route in the Bugaboos

Joe Lee grew up bouldering and sport climbing here in Minnesota.  In 2015 he hired a climbing guide and experienced his first multi-pitch route.

Since then Joe has reorganized his life around climbing.  He will describe his climbing evolution from not being interested in, and not knowing anything about, multi-pitch trad climbing, to successfully scaling the iconic Becky-Chouinard route in the Bugaboos last summer and working as an American Mountain Guide Association (amga.org) trained climbing guide.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Joe Lee and Erik Anderson
Erik Anderson
Joe Lee

Joe Lee founded Quality Adventure Custom Vans (qacustomvans.com) in 2017, a local company that builds custom camper vans.  He is also an AMGA rock climbing guide for Kaf Adventures.

Erik is a certified USA Climbing Level III Route Setter who builds vans for a living.  His climbing adventures have taken him all over the contiguous United States, Canada and to Norway.  If you don’t find him climbing, he’s probably on a dog walk, reading, cooking, playing music or trying to scheme up the next million-dollar idea to fund his next climbing trip.

Best Places in the US for Adventure Climbing
Andrew and Ean on Fine Jade

You live in Minnesota but still want to climb big adventurous rock routes year round.  Don’t worry, there is hope!

This presentation will survey some of the best destination adventure climbing crags in the United States.  It will discuss the logistics of getting to, staying in, and climbing at each location.  It will also include some classic route recommendations and suggestions as to the best time of year to visit these crags.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Joe Lee and David Kolcinski
How to Design and Build Out Your Own Adventure Van

So, you’re interested in trying vanlife, but don’t know where to start?  This presentation will walk you through some of the pros and cons of common van layouts and construction methods, and educate you on the basics of van building.

There are so many decisions to be made:  What kind of insulation?  Fixed or modular layout?  What kind of batteries?  Solar power system?  Heating options?  Composting toilet?  This presentation addresses these and many other common van building related questions.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

What’s the Deal with #vanlife?

You have all probably heard the term “vanlife”, or at least seen pictures on social media tagged with “#vanlife”.  So what’s the draw?

This presentation will discuss what vanlife means to different people, and address some of its pros and cons of this versatile and simple way to travel and live.  It will also address the economics of van ownership, including an introduction to the growing van rental business, which is becoming the new Airbnb.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Greg Lais

Greg Lais is the founder and executive director of Wilderness Inquiry (wildernessinquiry.org), a nonprofit that has directly served more than 415,000 people on outdoor adventures since 1978.  Greg has personally instructed over 300 wilderness experiences throughout the world.

40 Days in the Wilderness
Capitol Reef National Park

In honor of Wilderness Inquiry’s 40th Anniversary, Greg Lais was “banished” for “40 days and 40 nights” on trail.  The intention was to reflect on how travel has helped shaped him in the four decades since he started Wilderness Inquiry.

He eagerly accepted, and set off on adventures to Glacier National Park, Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Apostle Islands, Utah’s Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase, and New Zealand.  Learn about the impact and the experience!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Innocent Lyimo

Born and raised on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Innocent first climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro at the age of 15.  Innocent now has over fifteen years of experience both as mountain and safari guide in Tanzania.  Although he has lost count, he estimates he has climbed Kilimanjaro around 200 times!

Innocent is the founder of Destination Tanzania Safaris (detasa.com), a company based in Tanzania with an office in Minnesota.  He oversees all the operations and marketing for DETASA in the USA and at the same time continues to guide groups on Kilimanjaro and safari in Tanzania.

Alongside his work, Innocent enjoys many other outdoor activities and has a dream of climbing all seven summits in the future.  He and his wife Karen have two young daughters and live in southern Minnesota.

African Wildlife Safaris and Beyond

Come along on this wildlife safari into the animal-rich country of Tanzania.  Experience the endless plains of the Serengeti and the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater.

Go beyond the "typical" safari and visit a local tribe to experience their traditional way of life.  Hop on a canoe and paddle around Lake Momella alongside the hippos and crocodiles.  Break out your hiking shoes for an extended hike in the remote areas among cape buffaloes, bushbucks, baboons and even shy leopards.

Spend time volunteering at a local school or other organization.  And don't forget to spend a few days relaxing on the white sandy beaches and blue waters of Zanzibar.  Innocent will present a safari slideshow and offer advice and suggestions on how to create your own personalized itinerary for the perfect Tanzanian adventure!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Kilimanjaro - The Roof of Africa
Mt. Kilmanjaro Summit

Accessible to beginning trekker/climbers, Kilimanjaro is a must, taking you through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit.

Our ascent of Kilimanjaro can be considered a trek since the terrain, while steep at times, is covered in trail all the way to the summit.  Participants can leave their ice axe and crampons at home; the only ice you will see is the bizarre ice cap that rises abruptly out of the moonscape surrounding the Crater Camp.

From the necessary equipment to physical preparations, Innocent will offer first-hand experiences and expert advice to assist you in planning a successful climb to the "Roof of Africa"!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Mountain Gorilla Treks in Rwanda and Uganda

There can be few experiences in the world more memorable and magical than an encounter with the mountain gorillas in the jungle.

There are thought to be around 800 mountain gorillas left in the world today, all found in a small area of East Africa straddling the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.

Innocent Lyimo, born and raised in Tanzania, has over 2 decades experience of guiding trips in East Africa will be happy to share his experience and help you organize a trip to see these mountain gorillas in the East African Jungles.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Paula Maccabee

Paula Maccabee has served for 9 years as a Counsel / Advocacy Director for WaterLegacy, an award-winning non-profit formed to protect Minnesota’s clean waters and communities.

Paula graduated from Yale Law School in 1981, and has been a public interest lawyer, protecting human rights, clean air, clean water, health and justice for 38 years.


Clear and Present Danger – Call to Protect Minnesota from Sulfide Mining
Sulfide Mining Spill - Gold King Mine - Animas River, Colorado

Minnesota's proposed first sulfide mine, the PolyMet NorthMet copper-nickel mine, has received a number of permits, which are now being challenged in court as illegal and unsafe.

Hear Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy's attorney and advocacy director, explain the latest developments related to the PolyMet mine, the science that makes sulfide mining so dangerous, and the breakdown of regulatory oversight that has put Minnesota's Lake superior watersheds in such jeopardy.

Learn what we can do together to stand up for science and law and protect Minnesota's life-giving waters, our climate, and the health of downstream communities.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Maura and Bobby Marko

Maura and Bobby Marko are parents to two young children, Jack (4-years-old) and Rowan (2-years-old).  The family of four, based in Excelsior, MN, travel around the country experiencing the natural beauty of the landscape by canoe, foot, and bike.

Their travels have been featured in The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Outside Magazine, and The Star Tribune.  Maura and Bobby are passionate about educating and assisting parents in feeling confident and comfortable while preparing for, and having, outstanding experiences in the outdoors with all their children along, no matter how young.

The Markos firmly believe that a child is never too young to begin their explorations in the outdoors.

Boundary Waters with Babies and Kids
Jack Marko

Maura and Bobby Marko have become the voice of canoe camping with babies and toddlers.  Their adventures and words of wisdom have been written about in The Washington Post, Bob Collins’ blog “News Cut” and The Star Tribune.

Come hear stories from their family trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the lessons they’ve learned along the way to becoming a family obsessed with all things canoe camping.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Camping with Babies and Kids
Rowan & Jack Marko

Whether you’re an experienced camper but now parents to a new human being or a new parent with zero camping experience but interested in introducing your tiny human to the great outdoors this is the session for you.

Come learn how to successfully camp with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers from the Marko’s who are experienced explorers and parents to two rowdy, crazy explorers who are obsessed with all things outdoors.

Come prepared to discuss packing, specialized baby gear, meal planning, and parenting hacks when in the woods.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Pete Marshall

Pete Marshall is the communications director for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (friends-bwca.org), as well as the program manager for Midwest Mountaineering.

In his younger days he paddled over 8,000 miles through remote regions of Canada.

Why is the BWCAW so Controversial?
1949 Poster

It's been over 40 years since the creation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

While many know about the current fight over copper mining, many don’t realize the BWCA has been the scene for many conservation battles over the last century.

Pete Marshall from Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness will take you back to some of the earlier battles over dams, logging, flights, motors, and mining and explore how one of our nation’s most beautiful pieces of land is also the most controversial.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Al MacDonald

Al got his start in 2006 guiding for a travel-study company in New Zealand and Australia.  He graduated from Winona State University with a degree in Recreation and Adventure Tourism.  He has a love for all adventures and adventure sports and a belief that being active and pushing your boundaries enhances your life.

The idea for Thrive Adventures came in 2009, in the desert of Iraq while deployed with the Minnesota Army National Guard.  Al decided he wanted to build a company that would offer personalized travel experiences.  A contractor on the Army base mentioned to his wife Jen, “You see, no matter where you are in the world, you gotta’ do more than just live.  You gotta’ thrive.”, and in 2011, Thrive Adventures (thriveadventures.com) was born.

Thrive Adventures has expanded to provide adventure tours in Peru and Costa Rica through its Pilot Series of adventures and has Tanzania, Iceland, Patagonia, and Switzerland on the horizon.  Special projects have included personal and business development and leadership.  With strong ties to his military unit and a passion for fellow soldiers, Al plans to bring Flow Philosophy to struggling veterans across the country.

Thrive Adventures has expanded to provide adventure tours in Peru and Costa Rica through its Pilot Series of adventures and has Japan,Tanzania, Iceland, Patagonia, and Switzerland on the horizon.

Australia:  Island Hopping & Hospitality Down Under

With the Great Barrier Reef, 10,000+ beaches, culture dating back tens of thousands of years, and unique creatures found nowhere else on the globe, Australia is record-breaking magic.

Join us to discover the extraordinary prowess of this island utopia.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu from Machu Picchu Mountain

Take a photographic walk through the Mountains of the Sacred Valley of Peru. Learn about the Inca Ruins and the ancient culture conquered by the Spanish. Do you have what it takes to hike the famous pilgrimage, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? It takes preparation and guts but the ruins along the way that are only accessible via the trail are the best the civilization engineered. Pictures never do justice but over the years Thrive Adventures tour guide Al MacDonald has snapped a fantastic array.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

New Zealand:  An Adventurer's Paradise

Far and wide I've traveled, and New Zealand still holds it's place among my 'best of the best.'

With vistas to stir your soul, culture to awaken your mind, and adventure to challenge your body, it is nothing short of a traveler's paradise.

From north to south, tour the possibilities and begin the difficult process of prioritizing locations and adventures for a trip that will top your personal experience list guaranteed!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Rod Markin
Rod Markin

Rod is a lifelong hiker/backpacker, with treks in New Zealand, Chile, South Korea, and Wrangell Mountains (AK), as well as many mountain states and the BWCA.

He is a volunteer and past president of the Boundary Waters Advisory Committee – a grassroots, volunteer organization that advocates for and clears hiking trails in the BWCA Wilderness.

Rebirth of a Trail

In 2011, the BWCA Wilderness’ 30+ mile Pow Wow Trail was utterly destroyed by the Pagami Creek fire.  Campsites were obliterated; the trail’s tread burned beyond finding.

Since the fire, avid volunteers have been unrelenting in their tireless efforts to re-establish this historic and scenic trail.

Rod will share a photolog of before and after the fire, along with the efforts and successes of re-establishing the trail.

Friday,  Apr. 26th, 7:30p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Midwest Mountaineering
MidwestMtn-Logo.GIF LakesLegends-logo-197x100.png
Beer! and Gear!  Social Night and Raffle

Friday, April 26th,   2:00 to 8:00p.m.

Presented by Midwest Mountaineering
Sponsored by Lakes & Legends Brewing Co.


Beer!  –  $6 gets you a limited edition Expo pint beer glass + one pint of beer or root beer!  FREE raffle card punch, too.

Gear!  –  There will be plenty of manufacturer's reps, exhibitors and employees to talk about gear and adventure opportunities.  Preview all of the gear being donated by exhibitors and manufacturers.

Social Night  –  We will have a tent with raffle prizes on display.  Enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded outdoor friends, exhibitors and Midwest Mountaineering staff.

Raffle and Exhibitors  –  Get a list of participating exhibitors at the Expo entrances.  All are donating raffle prizes.  Visit them and learn an interesting fact to receive a raffle card punch from them.  Visit lots of exhibitors for lots of punches.  Raffle prizes are listed on the Beer! and Gear! Night page.  Submit raffle card (in the Expo tent) by 8:00p.m.

Prize Award Drawing  –  8:30p.m. in the Expo tent (need not be present to win).  Winners announced overhead, via e-mail, and on OutdoorAdventureExpo.com by Saturday at 9:00a.m.  Prizes available for pickup for one week.

Friday,  Apr. 26th, 2:00p.m.,  Exhibitor Booths in the Big-Top Tent

Midwest Mountaineering Staff
Climb in the Bouldering Cave (Free)
Photo:  Jeff Wheeler

Discover the fun rock of climbing in our bouldering cave.  Free climbing (and climbing shoe use) in our climbing cave during the entire Outdoor Adventure Expo!

Cave Rules:

  • All persons in the climbing cave MUST complete and sign a liability waiver.  This includes all supervising adults.
  • All persons in the climbing cave MUST wear orange bracelet.  This verifies that you have signed the liability waiver.
  • Under 18 - Parent must co-sign liability waiver.
  • Under 14 - Parent must co-sign liability waiver.  Must be supervised by parent.
  • NO CHALK allowed in the cave.  Please help us keep the air fresh and our store nice and clean!  Eco-Ball chalk substitute is acceptable and is available for purchase.
  • No climbing on vertical wall (near West stairway).

The bouldering cave is located beneath the paddlesports department.

Climb On !!!

Friday, April 26th, 2:00 – 9:00p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering - Bouldering Cave

Saturday, April 27th, 9:00a.m. – 6:30p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering - Bouldering Cave

Sunday, April 28th, 10:00a.m. – 5:00p.m., Midwest Mountaineering - Bouldering Cave

Midwest Mountaineering Staff and Vendor Representatives
Paddlesports Demo
Try Before You Buy!  Thursday, April 25th from 3:00 to 7:00p.m.

Expo Try Before You Buy Paddlesports Demo!

Absolutely Free!  Most of our paddlesports manufacturers will be there.  Hundreds of canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards to try.  Manufacturer's representatives will answer your questions.  Try paddles, PFDs, spray skirts, and accessories, too.

The first paddlesports demo of the season is at Lake Nokomis.  Factory reps will be on hand with hundreds of canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards – all for you to try.    Would you like to play, but can't on this day?  Take a look at our paddlesports demo schedule.

Details:  Paddlesports Demo Page.

Thursday,  Apr. 25th, 3:00p.m.,  Lake Nokomis - Northwest (main) Beach

Midwest Mountaineering – Venturing Crew 3309
Passport to Adventure Game

Win Free Prizes!

  1. Get your passport form and questions from the Venturing Crew at the popcorn and helium balloon stand.
  2. Visit the many exhibitor booths and other areas of the Expo to answer your passport questions and win free prizes!
  3. Win a flashlight carabiner or a water bottle.

For kids ages 6–12

Friday, April 28th, 2:00 – 9:00p.m.,  Big Top Tent - Popcorn and Balloon Stand

Saturday, April 29th, 9:00a.m. – 6:30p.m.,  Big Top Tent - Popcorn and Balloon Stand

Sunday, April 30th, 10:00a.m. – 5:00p.m., Big Top Tent - Popcorn and Balloon Stand

Larry Mishkar
Larry Mishkar

Larry Mishkar began his traveling life driving Chicago’s Loop at 15, his learner’s permit fresh from the DOT.

Professional work led to camping treks to Svalbard, and a tromp across Iceland got him up close and personal with Eyjafjallajökull.  Ski expeditions and his beloved fat tire are teaching him humility.

His personal mantras remain:  “Not yet …” and “It could be worse …”

Touring Finland on a Fatbike

Imagine the worst time to visit southern Finland (early winter).  Then imagine doing it on a fatbike, with miles of asphalt and hills between you and your basecamp.

After that, you get to enjoy “Every Man’s Right” access and dried firewood waiting for you at the fire ring.

Short, dark days.  Icy gravel.  Dead silence.  Grilled sausages.  Journey along into this country that embraces being outside with free camping, connected trails, and gallons of coffee.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 106

Maria Murillo

Born and raised in Costa Rica, Maria grew up with Costa Rica as her playground.

She is the founder of Costa Rica Authentic (costarica-authentic.com), a company that specializes in customized guided trips to Costa Rica.

Deep knowledge of Costa Rica inspired Maria to create a company that provides an authentic experience to people visiting Costa Rica – helping them create unforgettable memories.

Costa Rica: A Tropical Paradise

Learn about Costa Rica, a small country that makes up 5% of the earth’s biodiversity.  Visitors can enjoy the majestic volcanoes, beaches, cloud forest, rainforest as well as picturesque landscapes.

Costa Rica offers many activities for families, for the adventurous and for those who just want to relax and enjoy nature at a slow pace.  Hiking, bird watching, whale watching, river rafting, kayaking, canopy, rappel and surfing among them.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Hiking in Paradise: Costa Rica

If you love to hike with great nature surrounding you, Costa Rica is the place to visit.  It’s well known for great biodiversity, beautiful mountains, beaches, rainforest, volcanoes, wildlife and lush vegetation.

25% of the country is national parks and biological reserves which provide many trails to hike with family and friends.  There are many options throughout the country for all levels, from beginners to hard core hikers, which allow you to enjoy this beautiful country up-close.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson

Steven Nelson has traveled the BWCA and Quetico Parks for over 40 years.  He and his family own and operate Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters & Outdoor Store in Ely, MN.  He has guided numerous groups focusing on wilderness canoeing and fishing.  His business is noted for providing personal service and introducing groups to the wilderness.

Steve will grab your attention with details and stories that you will use on your next adventure.


Planning & Packing for a BWCA Canoe Trip

You have wanted to experience the Boundary Waters (BWCA) for years, but don’t know where to begin?

Come find out the details of planning your wilderness adventure from an outfitter’s view.

Learn about permits, what to bring, routes, food choices and more. An excellent seminar for first timers as well as seasoned travelers.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Top BWCA Sites You Should Visit

Traveling the BWCA is more than canoeing, hiking or camping.  It is filled with historic, geologic and other points of interests that most people paddle or hike right past.

Steve Nelson will provide map locations, background details, and photos of sites that will spark your curiosity and enhance your wilderness experience.

Join Steve as he provides details on planning your next adventure in the BWCA, unique sites to visit, tips for fishing, along with entertaining stories of the wilderness.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Dale Niggemann

Dale Niggemann is a chemist, mechanical engineer and wood stove designer.  Dale has been developing stoves for over 15 years and enjoys testing them in the outdoors.

Rocket Stove Demonstration

Wood distillation is taking biomass and breaking it down into several chemical substances like tar, bio gas, methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

This program will teach the basic of burning wood to wood gasification and touch on the the basics of wood distillation.  We will discuss how a rocket stoves works and how you some modification can help make it burn cleaner and more efficient.  We will look at all the uses of a wood stove beyond just cooking.

You will get a basic understanding of wood gasification along with how wood gas can be used for different application like running an engine.  Beside this, we will look at the basics of wood distillation.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  Grassy Knoll (across from Expo tent entrance)

Casey O’Connell
Casey O’Connell

Casey O’Connell has lived and worked in Southern and East Africa for over 10 year, with an expertise in safari travel to Tanzania and Rwanda.

Safari Njema - Planning your East African Safari

Access 2 Tanzania and Treks 2 Rwanda will help you make your bucket list safari adventure a reality, answering questions about when to go, what you should see and do, costs, safety, and how to get the most from your experience.

The specific focus will on experiencing the classic 'Big 5' safari in Tanzania and trekking to view mountain gorillas of Rwanda.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Bob O’Hara
Bob O’Hara

Bob O’Hara is member of the Explorers Club of New York and the Midwest Mountaineering’s Minnesota Explorers Hall of Fame.

A long time canoeist, Bob will celebrate 60 consecutive years in the BWCAW / Quetico this year.

60 Consecutive Years in the Boundary Waters

Growing up with a rowboat, Bob was introduced to the canoe at camp – a wood canvas model.  He was immediately hooked.  Couple this with reading Sig Olson in the 50’s and he was moved to explore the area around Ely by canoe.

After high school, Bob and three friends drove to Duluth then took a train to Ely and set out on a 15-day, unguided canoe adventure that started in Moose Lake and ended in Shagwa lake Ely.

Little did he know that this was the beginning of more than 60 years of Boundary Waters adventures.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Expedition Canoe Planning
Bob O'Hara on the Arrowsmith River – Nunavut, Canada   Photo: Lee S.

For over 50 years, Bob O’Hara has led over dozens of canoe expeditions to the far north.  He has explored rivers in Alaska, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and Quebec, making first descents on a number of rivers.

During this time there have been major changes in travel, equipment, communication, maps, clothing and food.

Bob will share with you the essentials of canoe expedition travel, provide a handout on the basics and look at what planning an expedition will look like.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Scott Oeth

Scott is a Registered Maine Guide, an Eagle Scout, and a Minnesota Master Naturalist, who has pursued a lifetime of wilderness adventure.  An avid winter camper, Scott is an Instructor for the Okpik National Cold Weather Leader School, and during the warmer months, a passionate wilderness canoeist.

Scott blogs about his adventures, at Bull Moose Patrol (BullMoosePatrol.com).

By day, Scott is a Certified Financial Planner® with Cahill Financial Advisors.

The Lost Art of Canoe Poling
Scott Oeth poling a canoe on the Machias River.

After becoming fascinated with accounts of the legendary Registered Maine Guide's ability to pole a canoe in whitewater, Scott has made several trips to Maine to learn the skill that has become all but lost in the Midwest.

Scott will share what he's learned, and why he loves having the ability to stop in the middle of whitewater, pole up rapids, explore rivers without the need for a shuttle and travel along dried up creeks that would leave a paddler cursing.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Wilderness Survival Skills

Wilderness can be harsh and the unprepared can get into serious trouble quickly if a vehicle leaves them stranded or a ski, ankle, or the ice breaks!

Many basic survival skills taught are insufficient for the extreme cold that we can experience in this region.  What basic skills should someone have and what gear should someone carry to safely and comfortably head into the wild?

Scott from Bull Moose Patrol will share key techniques and skills for clothing, shelter, fire, and water, as well as how to stay alive and survive!

The secret bonus:  studying survival skills can be a lot of fun!  A way of having deeper and more challenging outdoor experiences without necessarily having to go farther for new excitement.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Serafina Orcoyen
Serafina Orcoyen

Meet Serafina, a member of Parks Canada's Visitor Experience Team at Pukaskwa National Park.  She is enthusiastic about back-country experiences – everything from shore fishing to remote multi-day backpacking.

Pukaskwa National Park
Pukaskwa National Park – Coastal Hiking Trail

At the edge of the world’s largest freshwater lake is Pukaskwa National Park.

Powerful waves, rugged coastlines and endless sunsets make this wild, natural place an adventurer's dream to explore.

Hikers trek through the boundless boreal forest, over canyons above free-flowing rivers; Paddler’s sweep past stony escarpments and flowing waterfalls, all mirrored, by an endless horizon.

Let us share with you some of the many awe-inspiring experience of Lake Superior's coastline at Pukaskwa National Park's.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Bear Paulsen
Bear Paulsen

Bear Paulsen loves canoeing and winter camping because they allow him to take long, extended trips into remote areas.  He’s spent well over three years of his life hiding from the real world in tents and under tarps.  He has paddled extensively in Ontario, Manitoba, and the BWCA, as well as trips in Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Yukon.  Winter camping has taken him to four Canadian provinces and eight states.

Bear is the General Manager of Northstar Canoes.

BWCA: Everything You Need to Know

Find out everything you need to know about paddling in the BWCAW.  Bear Paulsen, General Manager at Northstar Canoes, will share his knowledge of permits, routes and general wilderness tripping techniques.

He'll give you hints on avoiding the crowds whether you're base-camping or traveling daily.  He'll also share ways to avoid the two most threatening parts of canoe country – bugs and bears.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Paddling Minnesota and Wisconsin Rivers

Minnesota and Wisconsin both have an abundance of rivers.  Paddlers can choose from quiet, secluded creeks to exhilarating whitewater runs; quick daytrips to weeklong camping trips.  Our streams and rivers are some of the best and most varied local paddling resources.

Please join Bear Paulsen, General Manager of Northstar Canoes, for an hour of learning about local rivers.  He’ll give information about paddling rivers, share shuttle ideas and other logistical and safety considerations.  Bear has paddled 80 individual rivers in the two states.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Bear Paulsen and Claire Porter
Bear Paulsen

Bear Paulsen loves canoeing and winter camping because they allow him to take long, extended trips into remote areas.  He’s spent well over three years of his life hiding from the real world in tents and under tarps.  He has paddled extensively in Ontario, Manitoba, and the BWCA, as well as trips in Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Yukon.  Winter camping has taken him to four Canadian provinces and eight states.

Bear is the General Manager of Northstar Canoes.

Claire Porter

Claire spent her childhood backpacking with her parents throughout the Rockies.  As a college student she spent summers studying the nomadic Hadza, a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania.  A few years later she solo thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail over five months.  She works at the U of M’s Polar Geospatial Center mapping Polar regions and has spent six seasons in Antarctica.

Canoe Trips at 7 Months Pregnant and with a Newborn

Claire and husband Bear Paulsen paddled 260 miles in 17 days on the Bloodvein River in Ontario and Manitoba, while she was 7 months pregnant.  Then, after welcoming their son, Dashwa, in September, they headed for the BWCA in October, spending 18 days introducing him to the wilderness.

Both seasoned outdoor travelers, they adapted both their gear and expectations so they could thrive in their outdoor adventures together.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Brenda Piekarski

Brenda Piekarski is the founder of Adventure Minnesota Films (adventuremnfilms.com) and producer of the Among the Wild film project – a short film series showcasing outdoor wilderness adventure in Minnesota and athletes in fierce pursuit of the their sport.

Adventure Filmmaking

Join Adventure Minnesota Films and filmmaker Brenda Piekarski to discuss the art of adventure filmmaking.

With three adventure films under her belt, The Arrowhead 135, Jeff’s World, and Waterway Jay, Piekarski has encountered many obstacles to capturing great footage and the heart of a good tale.

This presentation will take a look at what it takes to create a compelling story and strategies to avoid pitfalls and successfully produce a short film in the wild.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Jonathan Ringdahl

Jonathan loves adventure in any season.  This leads to great stories that entertain and teach.  His energy and enthusiasm will inspire you!

Introduction to Sea Kayaking

Sea kayaking offers a freedom to cross boundaries in an amazing way and explore our regions amazing locations.  We will discuss local and regional paddling destinations.

The basics of sea kayaking will be covered.  Learn about and get your journey started on the right foot!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale is the least visited national park and the most returned to national park.

After backpacking the hardest trail in the park, Jonathan knows why it is the most revisited park.  Beauty and solitude are around every corner.  There are hikes for everyone as well.  He will inspire you to visit and give you the knowledge to make the most of your experience.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Hywel Taff Roberts
Hywel Taff Roberts

Hywel Roberts is the Director of Wild Wales Tours & Walkabouts (wildwalestours.com).  He is a storyteller, adventurer, sailor, film director, naturalist and an avid hiker.

One of his most recent documentary films is “Attempting the Northwest Passage”.  He and three friends sought to sail through the Northwest Passage, the fabled route from the Atlantic through Canada's icy maze of arctic islands and into the Pacific Ocean.

Hywel is a native of Wales, speaks fluent Welsh and is passionate about his homeland and the Welsh culture.  He lives in rural Minnesota on the Mississippi River.

Wales: History, Culture and Language

Wales is surrounded on three sides by the sea.  Fiercely independent, culturally rich with song, prose, storytelling and its own ancient Celtic language, Wales is a mystical destination.

Come learn about the 3,000 - year history, culture and language of this ancient land.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Hywel Taff Roberts and Gareth Roberts
Hywel Taff Roberts

Hywel Roberts is the Director of Wild Wales Tours & Walkabouts (wildwalestours.com).  He is a storyteller, adventurer, sailor, film director, naturalist and an avid hiker.

One of his most recent documentary films is “Attempting the Northwest Passage”.  He and three friends sought to sail through the Northwest Passage, the fabled route from the Atlantic through Canada's icy maze of arctic islands and into the Pacific Ocean.

Hywel is a native of Wales, speaks fluent Welsh and is passionate about his homeland and the Welsh culture.  He lives in rural Minnesota on the Mississippi River.

Gareth is a Photographer, Writer, and Storyteller who has published over 50 history maps of Wales.  He also contributes photographs for astronomy magazines and his book of night photography ‘The Stars in their Tenderness’ was published in 2011.  Gareth regularly appears on radio and TV programs in his native Wales.  He and his family live in the midst of Snowdonia National Park.

Hiking Snowdonia National Park and the Welsh Coastal Path

The Snowdonia National Park in North Wales and the Wales Coastal Path are undiscovered destinations for North Americans.

Come join us as we ramble along ancient pathways and scenic mountainsides, staying in historic inns along the way, and learning about this magical land and the culture of its people.  Come meet the locals, on the street and in the pubs, and listen to their music and stories!

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Jonathan Rocket
Jonathan Rocket

Jonathan has been an employee at the Hub Bike Co-op for 6+ years, in Sales and as Marketing Co-Coordinator.  Jonathan's main form of transportation is that of bicycle and he has been a year-round commuter in the Twin Cities for over a decade.

The Ins and Outs of Commuting by Bicycle in the Twin Cities

For those who wish to explore the possibility of commuting to work, this seminar offered by the The Hub Bike Co-op will cover route selection, bicycle choice, dealing with cargo and clothing, bicycle parking, lighting, reflection, and foul weather riding.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 106

Elspeth Ronnander, Erik Pieh, and Friends
Elspeth Ronnander, Erik Pieh

Elspeth and Erik often wander off trail, but have only gotten seriously lost in Venice.  Sarah canoed for 5 weeksin Nunavut and Tiffany lives off the grid in a cabin she built herself.

Backpacking and Packrafting Alaska's Gates of the Arctic National Park
Packrafting Alaska

Gates of the Arctic National Park has no infrastructure:  no roads, trails, campsites, or signs!

Come hear about our 120-mile adventure between the arctic villages of Anuktuvik Pass and Bettles, through the least visited national park.

We backpacked (carrying our rafts and paddling gear) over the Arctic-Pacific divide and then rafted down the North Fork of the Koyukuk River.  We'll discuss logistics and gear for executing a similar trip and share our photos and stories.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Scott Sater
Scott Sater

Scott Sater is a seasoned trekker and group facilitator, as well as a musician and educator in the Twin Cities.

Mindful Journeys to the Source of the Ganges

The Himalayan Sacred River Tour

High Himalayan trekking and cultural immersion combined with yoga, meditation, and journaling throughout.

Scott has been leading students on mindful adventures in the Indian Himalaya for over ten years with remarkable results.

We participate in massive fire ceremonies of Vedic chant and devotional songs to the river goddess, dance to drums by bonfire with Hindu villagers, offer puja in ancient and remote temples, and walk with pilgrims and world-renouncers to the glacial source of the holy river.

Mindful practices open one up fully to the breadth and magnificence of the Himalayas and Hindu culture, and they bring one to those experiences most deeply and individually.

Join Scott as he shares his stories, reflections, and images of The Himalayan Sacred River tour.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Michelle Savoie
Michelle Savoie

Michelle Savoie, of Voyageur Wilderness Programme (vwp.com):  is Indigenous Metis, grew up with paddle in hand, an avid canoeist, a passionate eco-adventure operator with a lifetime of paddling experiences in Quetico.

Explore Indigenous & Voyageur Cultures in Quetico

Explore traditional travel routes in Quetico and connect to nature, culture & heritage by Canoe.  Immerse yourself in the call of majestic lakes, incredible waterfalls and portage trails that link us to the past and celebrates the future.

Discover intriguing history and culture of Indigenous people in Quetico & share in traditional teachings that connect us to nature.  Come and be inspired for your Quetico Eco-Adventure.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Voyageur Wilderness Programme
Voyageur Canoe Outing      © Steve Bruno Photography

Experience the renowned Quetico canoe country through an educational program inspired by indigenous Metis & Voyageur heritage.

Located on a private Voyageur Island that borders Canada’s Historical Canoe Water Routes in Northwestern Ontario and Quetico Park, a specially designated sensitive area where you will enjoy undisturbed, pristine wilderness.

For anyone interested in how people traditionally experienced canoe country, this presentation is not to be missed.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 1:00p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Steve Schreader and Eli Nord
Eli Nord
Steve Schreader

Midwest Mountaineering manager Steve Schreader grew up in the Twin Cities metro area and has been an avid outdoors enthusiast since he was five.  In addition to his love for all things Minnesotan, he has recently entered the world of mountaineering.  Having completed his first 14-er, he has his sights on more 14-ers in Colorado as well as some unclimbed peaks in British Columbia.

Eli Nord is currently the Junior Engineer of research and development for Northstar Canoes.  He has been an avid paddler since 2009 and specializes in canoe repair and restoration.

Ode 2 Minnesota
Ode 2 Minnesota Supporters

In August and September of 2018 two gents from Minnesota embarked on a three-stage trip dubbed, ‘The Ode to MN,’ a tribute to the natural splendor of Minnesota.

Using gear made in Minnesota, the trip began with a bike tour from St. Paul to International Falls, MN.  From here the two canoed the Voyageurs’ Highway through Voyageurs National Park and the BWCAW to Grand Portage State Park, MN.  Upon arriving at Lake Superior, they traded their paddles for backpacks and headed south to Duluth, MN via the Superior Hiking Trail.  The final stretch saw them return to their bikes, cycling back to St. Paul, MN.

Join Steve and Eli as they speak about their trip, their focus, their ups and downs, and what's it’s like to create an expedition right out of their own backyard.  This is a celebration of wilderness, innovation and adventure in our great state.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Michelle Schroeder

Michelle Schroeder, owner of Backpack The Trails LLC and an outdoor enthusiast for 40+ years, was raised by a father who wished to be a mountain man.  She just finished a 21-day solo of the John Muir Trail and counts it amongst her favorites, along with The Grand Canyon, The Wonderland Trail (Mt. Rainier), Mt. Robson (Canada), anywhere New Zealand, and California’s Lost Coast.

She has also kayaked places like the Broken Group Islands (Vancouver Island), Thailand, the Water Trail on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and the Apostle Islands.

Michelle teaches people how to backpack and is a NOLS Wilderness First Responder.

Backpack The Trails LLC:  backpackthetrails.com

Backpacking 101 - How to Keep from Doing Stupid S*** on Trail
Doing Stupid S*** on Trail

Want to learn backpacking basics?  Want to avoid common rookie mistakes?

Michelle will share information about what to bring (and what not to bring), how to pack a backpack, hang bear food, filter water, operate a stove, trail permits and more.

The first 30 people in the door will get a free hard copy of her Company's packing list.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 10:30a.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Grand Canyon’s Remote Side
Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon’s South Rim offers many scenic, uncrowded backpacking options.

The Tonto Trail is one of the only to traverse the Canyon lengthwise.  This route gets you to Phantom Ranch as well as a secluded night on the banks of the Colorado River at stunning Granite Rapids, with giant cliffs towering above.

She will also briefly discuss rim-to-rim hiking.  See tremendous photos, learn about permits, when to go, water access, food storage, and transportation.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Northern California’s Lost Coast Trail

Northern California’s Lost Coast Trail, the most remote western coastline in the Lower 48, features precipitous 4,000-foot mountains dropping straight down to the Pacific Ocean’s crashing waves.  The 55-mile trail encompasses King Range National Conservation Area and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.

Michelle will share information about backpacking the breathtaking, rugged landscape of sea stacks, remote coves, sweeping views, and whether to cross or camp in the “Impassable Zones” using tide charts.  Witness Roosevelt Elk, sea lions and harbor seals, and perhaps migrating whales, sea otters, and bears.

See tremendous photos, learn about permits, drinking water access, food storage, resupply, and transportation.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Harlan Schwartz

With 20 years of wilderness paddling experience across Canada, Harlan Schwartz fell in love with the boreal forest of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and founded Red Lake Outfitters in 2011.


Wilderness Paddling in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

Journey deep into this wild and virtually untouched wilderness of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park as you discover one of Ontario's last paddling frontiers.  A land of wild Caribou and Moose, clear waters, Boreal Forests and World Class Fishing.

A landscape travelled for thousands of years by the local Ojibway people, their Pictographs standing guard throughout the park as a testament to a simpler time.  Journey with us as we explore some of the key opportunities in this wild landscape.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Fred “Jacques” Shermock

Fred “Jacques” Shermock has tripped the Quetico since 1969, with over 30 crews and more than a dozen solo, from each of the six entry points of the Park.  Jacques entertaining and interactive session is sure to assist you with your plans for your next canoeing adventure in the magnificent Quetico Provincial Park!

All About Quetico Provincial Park

Plan your next canoeing adventure in the magnificent Quetico Provincial Park!

Quetico encompasses about 1 million acres of true wilderness canoe country.  A myriad of routes await all levels of canoeing enthusiast.

Six official entry points are strategically located around the periphery of the Park border - Beaverhouse, Atikokan, Dawson, Cache Bay, Prairie Portage and Lac la Croix.

The Park is managed from the headquarters in Atikokan, CA, where permits are issued and staff awaits to help with your trip plan.  Nightly camping fees for youth or adults apply.  Every wilderness experience awaits, from small interlocking lakes; major waterways; rivers and spectacular falls - easy, moderate or challenging … and plenty of fishing!

Friday,  Apr. 26th, 5:00p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Postak Shrestha

Postak Shrestha, a native of Nepal, is the owner of Far & High Adventure Travel (farandhigh.com), which offers custom and small group tours to the Himalayas and Asia!

Bhutan: The Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan: A small Himalayan country in South Asia has become a hugely popular destination in the past several years.

With plenty of videos and photos, this presentation will give an overview of the country, how to get to and from Bhutan, when to travel, passport and visa procedures, major attractions, things to do, some premier off-the-beaten track options, accommodation facilities and other logistics.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Sue Slack
Sue Slack

“For years I have been living vicariously through your travel adventures!”  This is a phrase Sue Slack often heard from her friends.

Now, as the owner of New View Adventures (newviewadventures.com), Sue invites others to join her on exhilarating adventures throughout the world or learn how to travel in a way that is smart, classy and thrifty.

Through her treasure trove of personal stories and vibrant slides, Sue gives you a glimpse into her 50+ years of travel to over 50 countries.  She aims to inspire people to travel so they can have first-hand experience of just how magnificent this world is!

Kickin’ it in Croatia and Slovenia

With over 1000 miles of stunning coastline, vistas of mountain tops and deep, dramatic gorges, the natural playgrounds of Croatia and Slovenia will stretch your body and soul.

Sue Slack will share the pictures and stories she’s collected over the past three years of hiking in the mountains and around the Adriatic Sea, a landscape so stunning, you’ll leave wanting to explore it yourself.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Not a Trust Fund Baby? Travel the World Anyway!

How can 7½ months in 8 countries (including airfare) cost less than living in the US?  Sue will show you how she did it so that you can do it too.  Learn the tricks of the travel trade that Sue has mastered over 50 years of travel to 50+ countries.

She’s not talking about dumpster diving or sleeping in alleys or being a stow-away on a ship (although that did happen once).  Sue’s talking about staying in comfortable clean lodging, eating good food, adventuring in nature, and exploring the sites of the country - in other words having a luscious, rich international travel experience with a minimal amount of money.

Travel smart, travel classy, travel thrifty and see the world!  Because your rich Aunt and Uncle are probably going to live for a long, long time!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Solo Travel - It’s Good for All of Us

Whether taking some solo time on a trip with Sue Slack or planning a solo trip, some of the most memorable experiences occur when you travel solo.

Sue will share her tips on how to invite interaction with other travelers and locals, travel safely (woman or man) and equipment (including apps) to have with you.

Make sure to ask Sue about her heart-warming connection with the two young boys fleeing Syria – Snickers bars and the Pink Panther watch – and the pro basketball player’s jewelry.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Henry Slocum

Henry Slocum is a long-distance adventuring enthusiast.

When he’s not fixing bicycles at the Hub Bike Coop, Henry is often on a trail testing the limits of physical stamina and mental stability.

Bikepacking the American Southwest

Cacti.  Canyons.  THE Canyon.  These are iconic images of the American Southwest, yet the region has much more to offer.

The unique Southwestern landscape is rich in biological and geological diversity.  Making use of huge tracts of protected public lands, bikepackers can cover large amounts of this terrain in a very intimate, educational manner.

Join Henry Slocum, who recently returned from a 1,400 mile survey of the region, to start preparing for your own two-wheeled exploration of what the Southwest has to offer.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Hugh M Smith MD PhD

Hugh Smith is a travel and adventure photographer and has traveled to over 90 countries and photographed wildlife in virtually every ecosystem on the planet.  Hugh trained in photography with the New York Institute of Photography and has had work published by the World Wildlife Fund and Paddler Magazine.

While not behind a camera, Hugh is an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


Photographing Wildlife: The Secret to Stunning Images

From the Amazon to Africa, from Northern to Southern Polar regions, join Hugh Smith as he explores amazing wildlife from around the world while he teaches you how to take better photographs.

Covering fundamental lessons in lighting, composition, exposure and sharpness, Hugh will share the most important photographic techniques for producing stunning images.

Whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced photographer, there is something for everyone in this overview of wildlife photography.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 103

Dr. Jon Solberg
Jon Solberg

Jon S. Solberg, MD Fellow, American College of Emergency Medicine Fellow, Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Jon S. Solberg, MD is a US Military trained emergency medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Emergency and Trauma Center at CHI St Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, ND.  He is an expert in the fields of Emergency, Wilderness, and Expedition Medicine, with a career which has spanned the globe from jungles to battlefields to Arctic environments.

He is the Medical Editor for Overland Journal (overlandjournal.com), the world’s premier publication for environmentally responsible expedition travel.

Ultimate Road-trip: Crossing Greenland’s Long Axis by Motor Vehicle

In April - May, 2018, Dr. Jon Solberg served as expedition doctor during the world’s first longitudinal, vehicular-crossing of Greenland (3,500 miles and one month of off-road travel).  The group of seven men travelled in three specially modified Toyota Hilux trucks and reached 82.5 degrees North, likely the farthest northern dirt ever reached on Planet Earth by motor vehicle.

Greenland is the world’s largest island, lying almost entirely above the Arctic Circle, and except for a few inhabitants in southern and coastal areas, it is almost completely devoid of roads, infrastructure, and inhabitants.  In addition to conducting scientific research, the group stopped at the abandoned DYE-2 radar station, visited the National Science Foundation’s Summit Station at 10,000 ft., and battled epic wind and temperatures as low as -40° F/C to fix countless broken parts, freed stuck vehicles, and surmounted other expedition mishaps.

This expedition gives hope to Greenland’s people that someday they too may be able to economically travel by motor vehicle to neighboring villages for shopping, recreation, worship, and education.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 1:00p.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson is a 9th generation Floridian, a licensed fishing guide on Florida's Big Bend, an outdoor photographer, and an award-winning outdoor writer.  Tommy is a blogger for the Original Florida Tourism Task Force / Visit Natural North Florida, covering fishing & boating, food & dining, events & family activities, outdoors & nature and "off the beaten path".

Paddling Natural North Florida

The multi-county region known as Natural North Florida is a year-round paddler's paradise  Our springs and spring-fed rivers, including the 200-plus mile long Suwannee River, offer paddlers a wide range of opportunities, including day or extended trips.

Our newly-designed 2019 presentation will offer participants a visual tour of the region and will highlight the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail.  We will also present information on our coastal communities and amenities for paddlers and visitors throughout the region.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Steve Tickle

Trekking, climbing, and guiding in Nepal for the last 15 years has made Steve one of the most respected guides in the Nepalese Sherpa community.

Namaste Treks & Expeditions:  namastetrek.com.np

Mount Everest Base Camp - A Route for Everyone
Steve Tickle at Everest Base Camp

Ever wonder what it’s like to hike in the shadow of Mt. Everest?  Join Namaste Treks & Expeditions guide Steve Tickle as he discusses and shows photos from all aspects of the Khumbu (Everest) region and the choices you have in making your way to Mount Everest Base Camp.

There are four distinct valleys that wander through the Khumbu region of Nepal.  With each offering its own special and unique qualities and views different from the others.  From the gold standard route up the Khumbu Valley to the high passes of the Thame and Gokyo valleys, there is a route for all abilities.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Jim Umhoefer
Jim Umhoefer

Jim Umhoefer is a freelance travel/outdoor writer and photographer from Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

He is the author and photographer of four outdoor guidebooks about Minnesota and Wisconsin and the photographer of a coffee-table book on outhouses.  He has written over 300 travel and outdoor articles for newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Magazine, Home and Away, Odyssey and others.

You can see some of his work at candidperceptions.com.

Basics of Outdoor Photography

Photographs preserve the outdoor moments of our lives.

Yet there is often a difference between how we interpret a scene and how the camera sees it literally.  Most times, this difference is due to a need to better understand your camera’s operation and the basics of lighting and composition.

This session will also cover the basics of exposure compensation, bracketing and use of flash as we explore how to become a better outdoor photographer.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Cuba: Its Colors and Culture

Just 90 miles from Florida, Cuba is at once controversial, colorful and comely.  Join Jim on this photographic tour as he walks the streets of Old Havana, explores scenic cities such as Cienfuega and Trinidad, and marvels at the classic 1950s American cars.

A trip to Cuba offers a great chance to tour the tropical countryside, framed by lush mountains and graced by beautiful beaches.

You'll experience the passion that Cubans have for dance, music, art and architecture.  You'll discover, as Jim did, that it's hard to be in a bad mood in Cuba!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Renting Backcountry Cabins and Lookouts
Austin Ridge Lookout, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

Imagine owning your own piece of a national forest in Montana or northern Idaho for a night.  The Northern Region of the U.S. Forest Service can make this dream come true by renting backcountry cabins and fire lookouts in 13 national forests.

Join Jim as he shows off the best rental cabins and lookouts, and tells you how to rent your own piece of heaven.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 102

Traveling to Alaska by Ship, Bus and Train

From a taking a boat up through the Inland Passage, to taking a train through the White Pass on the the Yukon Railway, there are more ways to explore the Last Frontier than you think.

Jim will show you the many affordable and stunning ways to travel through Alaska and experience its countless natural wonders.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but you’ll discover that Alaska is greater and grander than words and images can express.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 11:45a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

Adam 'Chipmunk' Vachon

Adam (known as Chip at the store), is an artist, designer, and avid ultralight adventurer.  Heavily influenced by Taoist philosophy, he tries to approach life with the mantra, “Keep it Simple”.

On his first Appalachian Trail thru-hike attempt in 2010, Chip started with a 55 lbs. total pack weight; when he left the trail 800 miles later he was carrying no more than 30 lbs., and that was just the beginning of an obsession.

In his 2018 AT thru hike attempt, Chip's heaviest carry was closer to 18 lbs., and he made it 1,370 miles in 67 days.  In May he plans to finish his last 830 miles of his Appalachian Trail expedition in 30 days or less, right after Expo closes.

Confessions of an Ultralight Junkie: Tips, Tricks, and Stories

Are you sore after hiking all day because you're hauling around too much weight?  Looking to cover more miles, but you're feet hurt too much?

Join Midwest Mountaineering employee Adam 'Chipmunk' Vachon in a discussion on the basic tenets of ultralight philosophy, what's new on the market for ultralight equipment, strategies for lightening up your packing list, and logistics for planning ultralight adventures.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Carlson School of Mgmt., L-110

John Van Barriger

John Van Barriger is an award-winning writer / photographer and president of The Outdoor Kind, LLC, an organization that supports wildland firefighters, search-and-rescue units and other first responders.

A lifelong outdoors enthusiast, John considers himself outrageously lucky to have paddled, hiked, camped, backpacked, biked, motorcycled or gone scuba diving on five continents.

Packing the Perfect "Oh Sh!t" Kit

Whether you're planning a pond paddle or a multi-week adventure, a solid emergency kit can get you safely back home after trouble arises.

Writer / Photographer Van Barriger will discuss the contents of his oft-used "Oh Sh!t!" emergency bag, as well as critical items that should be added to most first-aid kits.

Van Barriger, who has discovered a multitude of ways to injure himself while paddling and camping, will share Murphy’s Law tales of how these items became necessary kit components.


Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 3:30p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 105

The Yukon River: 10 Secrets for a Better Trip

The Yukon River is a dream destination, with spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and incredible paddling.  What most people don’t realize, however, is how easily this trip can be made.

John Van Barriger, organizer of the 2018 Yukon Journey Canoe and Kayak Charitable Expedition, will not only share stunning videos and photos, but hands-on information you won’t find in books or online.

If you’ve ever dreamed of paddling even a short section of this famed waterway, don’t miss this presentation!

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 9:15a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 111

Tom Watson
Tom Watson

Tom Watson has been a frequent presenter at the Outdoor Adventure Expo for many years.

He is a former member of Kodiak Island Search & Rescue, a former kayak tour operator from Kodiak Island, a past president of the Trade Association of Paddle Sports (TAPS).

He has twenty years of freelance writing experience specializing in self-reliance and outdoor safety; and is an award-winning active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America; an author of four outdoor guides and is currently a contributing editor to “Safety Tips” in Paddling.com (paddling.com) and “Self-Reliance in the Outdoors” column in Midwest Outdoors (midwestoutdoors.com).

Check out his website:  TomOutdoors.com

The Competent Kayaker

An overview covering all aspects of sea kayaking from how to choose the right boat, proper paddle selection, necessary gear and other accessories.

Learn aspects of self and assisted rescues, re-entry tips, proper posture, how to load and trim your kayak, paddling techniques and more … whether you are a beginner or seasoned paddler, Tom’s presentation might help you become an even more competent kayaker.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 107

Competence and Self-Reliance in the Outdoors

How competent are you at being self-reliant in the outdoors?  How would you handle an emergency that could quickly devolve into a “survival” situation?

Learn a range of outdoor skills and tactics that help you gain competence and become more self-reliant when things go wrong.

Tom’s updated presentation shares tips and techniques on being a competent outdoors person, dismissing some myths while stressing the “why” behind many safety procedures.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

Nora Whitmore

Nora is an ACA Level Four Whitewater Kayak instructor and ACA River Rescue Instructor with Rapids Riders Canoe and Kayak Club (rapidsriders.org).

Learn how fun and easy Kayaking and Canoeing through Rapids Riders can be!

Kayak and Whitewater Opportunities in Minnesota

Have you ever watched a person skillfully glide down a whitewater river with a shiver of excitement and thought, “I would love to do that!”?

Rapids Riders is a non-profit organization dedicated to to teaching whitewater kayaking and canoeing.  Our instructors are American Canoe Association Certified Instructors who are dedicated to quality instruction to provide you with the skills to paddle everything from calm easy rivers to the Grand Canyon and beyond.

Learn all about them in this presentation!

Friday,  Apr. 26th, 6:15p.m.,  Midwest Mountaineering – Expedition Stage

Paul Wild

Paul Wild is a teacher, biker and Spain aficionado.

Biking Spain’s Camino de Santiago

One of the most famous, and historically rich trails in world, the Camino de Santiago has been attracting pilgrims for centuries.

More recently it has become a top destination for adventure seekers.

From getting there and back to the sights and adventures along the trail, Paul Wild will take you on one amazing bike tour of this amazing route.

Sunday,  Apr. 28th, 2:15p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 108

Richard Williamson

Rich Williamson, aka ‘Old Salt’ on the internet, has been traveling and fishing Alaska regularly since 2004.  He fell in love with Alaska on his first trip, and has been hooked since.

He has developed a series of Alaska presentations in order to guide others to enjoy their trips to the last frontier.

Alaska DIY: Travel On the Cheap!
Sign Post Forest near Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

Rich Williamson, aka ‘Alaska DIY Guy’, has been traveling and researching Alaska travel since 2004.  He is a member of ATIA (Alaska Travel Industry Association) and is an ‘Alaska Certified Expert’.  He has been talking about travel in Alaska at the Outdoor Adventure Expos for the past several years.  This is one of his passions, to share the adventures of Alaska in a way to enable others to experience their Alaska Dreams.

This presentation shares the basics of how to plan your trip on a budget.  His pictures capture only a small taste of Alaska.

If Alaska is on your radar, you will not want to miss this informative presentation.  He has recently compiled a Guide for free distribution to those attending.

[email protected]

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 10:30a.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 109

Craig Zarley
Craig Zarley

Craig Zarley is the author of Catching Canoe Country Walleyes, Quetico Fall Fishing Legends, and Catching Canoe Country Lake Trout.

Catching Canoe Country Walleyes was named to FishSeekers 2018 list of the 10 Best Walleye Fishing Books.

He lives in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

Catching Canoe Country Walleyes
walleye-300x106.png bookcover-CatchingCanoeCountryWalleyes-133x212.png

Craig Zarley is a popular fishing author who has chased walleyes in Boundary Waters and Quetico for more than 50 years.  He’ll show you where and how to catch canoe country walleyes without using electronic gadgets or expensive tackle.

Discover why walleye fishing success requires paying attention to the wind, season and lake structure.  And see why a simple jig and plastic twister tail trumps more expensive lures as the premier walleye catching bait.

Saturday,  Apr. 27th, 4:45p.m.,  U of M – Hanson Hall, Room 104

80 Speakers listed.

112 Programs listed.

114 Program presentations listed.

Page Updated:  Apr 16, 2019 06:24 pm