Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekend of dirty plaid renaissance piggies...

This last weekend was full of excitement.   We participated in the Dirty Dash and the Billings Renaissance Festival!  It was fun and we stayed super active all weekend.  We recommend both events to everyone.
The renaissance festival was awesome.  It was only their second annual so its just getting established but they had a large variety of booths and musical acts.  Emily and I got a 3 day pass and went Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.   Mostly we just walked the loop and watched some performances on stage.  We did get our fortune told as a couple which was amazing.  Only good things to come!

Sorry we didn't get any pictures of this festival but here's a pic of me with my kilt on at the renaissance festival in Minnesota last year.

Before we partook in the awesomeness that is kilts and corsets, we did the Dirty Dash. The Dirty Dash is a 5K that travels around the country and and fund raises in different cities. This last weekend it came to Billings. Ryan and I had signed up a while ago and recruited some friends to make up Team Venture! (After the The Venture Bros.) My best friend Katy made us some pretty sweet character t-shirts. I went as Doctor Orpheus, Ryan went as Doctor Henry Killenger, Katy went as number 23 and Kris went as Hank. The dash started out pretty standard with few obstacles but once you got about 1/2 mile in the fin begins. The first "dirty" obstacle was a waist high water trench that you had to wade through. Not too dirty but definitely wet. After that the dirty was on! through the 3.1 miles we encountered blow up obstacles, mud mountains, mud pits, mud slides, mud tunnels, climbing walls, net climbs and even a beer chug. I managed to get a vinyl burn on my elbow diving down the slide and eat it hurdling over an inflatable tube, but at the end of the day, I was mostly unscathed. At the end of the race we took some team victory photos, and donated our shoes to Eco kicks which is a charity that donates shoes to the less fortunate and those in developing countries. So all and all, we got exercise, had fun, and did some good! The next day I was definitely sore but satisfied.
This has motivated Ryan and I to start training for the Color Me Rad 5k. I participated in the color me Rad last year with my mom (Ryan was working in North Dakota). Today Ryan and I downloaded an app on his phone called Couch to 5K, and did Week 1, Day 1 which consisted of alternating walking and jogging. Turns out we're in worse shape than we thought but we made it through and managed to go 2.15 miles.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Small DIY camp stove!

Today I built a small DIY camping stove that uses alcohol.

I used this video to build it.  So the credit goes to him.
There are a lot of videos on building "penny" stoves and you can use almost anything to build one.

I used a cheap dollar store aluminum nalgine bottle.

I was able to boil water in 3.5 minutes and only 1 tablespoon burns for 3 minutes.
Remember, If you build one only use denatured alcohol so that it burns clean and doesn't leave a residue.

We almost have everything we need for our first camping trip!  Coming soon.....


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Short afternoon hike.

Today we decided to go for a short hike around the rims at Zimmerman Park when we got off work.  It was a little shorter than we hoped due to rain but it went really well!

 I got to try to my new hiking shoes out and wear them in a little.  They are a pair of Merrell mid height hikers.  On sale at Cabela's, and you can't beat that.  They were extremely comfortable and gripped the sandstone wonderfully.  Hopefully they stay as comfortable when they get to experience a longer hike. I also got a chance to sport my new shorts and The North Face shirt Emily got me for my birthday yesterday.  I LOVE them.  Best birthday ever.  I love you babe!

We have decided to post every time we go out hiking, biking, walking, dog parking, or anything else that is outdoors and good for us.  So be ready for a lot of posts!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Birthday Gear

Today is Ryan's 24th Birthday! He is finally older than me as I have been turning 23 for the last 3 years in a row (no snide comments please). So in going along with our theme of going outdoors to lose weight I got Ryan some sweet hiking gear for the special occasion. In doing some research and using my sneaky ninja skills, I was able to creepily get Ryan's measurements and get (what I hope to be) appropriately fitting gear.
First I started off with his hiking backpack, the Kelty Coyote 80 in forest green. I bought this at the local Cabela's rather than online as I wanted to be able to see it in person. I probably could have purchased his backpack online for much cheaper but as I really know nothing about backpacks, buying in store rather than online also gave me the piece of mind that if it wasn't the right size or if he didn't like it, he would be able to take it back. The nice thing about this bag is that it has the adjustable torso range of 17.5-21" so it was a pretty safe guess that it would fit. The backpack holds 80 liters which 4900 inches cubed. It is medium weight at 5.5oz, so it's not the lightest pack in the world but it's not the heaviest either. It also has a ton of compartments/pockets to hold our various things. I don't yet know what these things will be as neither of us has backpacked before but I'm making an educated guess that they will come in handy. The other nice thing about this backpack is that is hydration compatible which leads me into Ryan's next sweet item, his Camelbak Antidote Reservoir.
I just started off with the bladder or reservoir so that when backpacking, we won't have to carry an additional backpack for the bladder specifically. I chose Camelbak over a cheaper version because I have used a hydration pack before and with the cheaper versions, there tends to be the icky plastic taste when you drink the water and even after time, it never seems to disappear. The reservoir is 3 Liters or 100 oz. It is very lightweight and has a nice wide 1/4 turn open/close system, and has an integrated dryer system and not that I am necessarily concerned, but it is also made from BPA-free materials. You can get hydration reservoirs at any outdoors or sporting goods store. I happened to buy this one from Scheels only because at the time Cabela's was sold out. 
While perusing Scheels, I wandered into the camping section and picked up some random things that I figured would be useful when backpacking. I grabbed him a set of 3 diddy bags, a nylon repair kit for the hammocks, a little metal canister for matches, and a bear bell. 
To round his backpacking gear out, I got him a Hiking Montana book from Hastings, a nice orange The North Face pull over and some Cabela's brand hiking shorts, because after all, how are you supposed to project being a good outdoorsmen that goes on many adventures if you don't have the appropriate clothing? Plus he just looks so darn handsome in it. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Welcome! First post ever.

             Hi!  Ryan and Emily here. We are here to share our experiences while “going outdoors to lose weight”.  We have tried many times to get with diet plans and other routines before but we decided it was time to keep it simple.  We thought of something that we enjoyed doing that was good for us and made a pledge to do it more and more often.  Our hope is by doing more fun outdoor activities that the pounds will start to come off and our motivation will keep increasing.
            Our interest in the outdoors is in our blood.  Being born and raised in the majestic state of Montana, we knew that this was our ticket to skinny town.  Camping as children and every now and again while growing up was a special and memorable experience for both of us.
            Expect many pictures of us out and about camping or with our dogs.  We will share what we learn with you all and hopefully motivate others to get out there and get healthy.  Our next post will be of our adventure in making our own hammock for camping and the gear we choose to use. 


Ps.   We will both be posting, so expect some posts to be wonderfully worded and others not to be (like this one by me, Ryan). We hope the two writing styles will not be confusing or seem disconnected.