During most every Tuesday meeting, a program is featured immediately
following the discussion of upcoming events and other announcements. Programs range from multimedia
presentations and informative discussions on topics such as past trips, wilderness preservation,
equipment demonstrations — to tips & techniques such as bicycle maintenance, backpacking
for beginners, how to hang a bear bag, wild flower identification, and other outdoors-related
If you would like to schedule a program/presentation or have ideas/requests for a future Rovers
program, contact Tom J.
If you have any other questions about Minnesota Rovers, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Upcoming Programs & Presentations
- December 10: Hiking High in the Colorado Rockies. Colorado is a mecca for hiking high peaks. There are over 600 ranked peaks above 13,000 feet! Come & see photos from high vistas while hiking 11,000 - 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado. We'll share information about acclimatizing, resources, training, routes, and what happens when you don't follow your map and compass. Presented by Randy Donelson & Christy James
- December 17: Planning a Through Hike of the BRT. After my through hike of the Kekekabic Trail several years ago, I naturally have been dreaming ever since of a BRT follow up. I finally decided this past summer to just do it. I will go into details about all of the planning process that I went through to make my five day trip a success and I will share photos and highlights of the trip. This is a great trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys backpacking. Presented by Patrick Elliot.
- December 24: No meeting/program!
- December 31: No meeting/program!
Past Programs & Presentations
The list below shows programs and presentations from past meetings. Use it as a reference for
programs you might be interested in presenting or suggesting.
- December 3: Traditional Kayaks. A little kayak history, plus examples of home made handcrafted skin on frame boats and other gear. Kayaking has a long interesting history spanning many cultures. For Inuit in Greenland and Alaska, it was a way of getting food, hunting seals and fishing. The history and culture has inspired the design of modern sea kayaks. Some use the traditional models to build their own kayaks, paddles, and other paddle gear. Tony Schmitz of Frogtown Kayaks (yes, Frogtown) has built 20 kayaks, mostly “skin on frame” boats modeled after traditional Greenland kayaks or Aleutian baidarkas. A full-sized kayak like this can be built for about $100 in materials, weighs about 30 pounds and is quite durable. Tony also builds paddles and makes other gear. Tony will bring examples of boats, paddles and other gear and discuss traditional paddling. He is an entertaining speaker and has a wealth of information. Tony is a boat builder, author and consultant who lives in Frogtown.
- November 26: Protecting the Places We Love. For the past 60 years the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota has worked alongside the Minnesota Rovers to uphold the spirit of outdoors preservation that has made Minnesota great. And together, we have pulled off incredible projects to safeguard our state’s natural legacy. Projects with tangible and transformative benefits for us today and for generations to come. Parks & Trails Council Executive Director Brett Feldman will share stories of how conservation-minded, Great Outdoors loving people have created new trails and new parks while expanding our state's opportunities for outdoor recreation. From the ski trails at Afton to the Boulders at Banning, from mountain biking at Cuyuna to the soon-to-be new Lake Byllesby to Cannon Valley Trail connection, this presentation aims to further your appreciation for Minnesota's most special places.
- November 19: Ice Climbing. Winter is coming! Looking for more ways to shake off that case of cabin fever? How about Ice Climbing? If you are already a climber, you have a chance to expand your climbing season. If you have never climbed before, there is nothing to stop you from jumping right in. Chris Hesselbein from Climb Smart MN will explain what you need to know to get started in the surprisingly vibrant ice climbing community in the Twin Cities. This presentation will introduce you to some of the local organizations, concepts, gear, and beautiful locations that make this sport so easy to love.
- November 12: Speed Talks. Everyone has a story to tell, and a picture to share. Now it's your turn! Speed talks are 1-5 minute presentations that feature a photograph and short discussion on a topic that you would like to share with your fellow Rovers. Do you have a cautionary tale about the importance of bear bags? Did you take a trip this summer that you think everyone should take? Do you have a favorite place to watch the sun rise in the backcountry? Share it! If you would like to participate or have questions, email your photo to Tom. You can also bring it to the meeting on a CD or USB drive.
- November 5: Canadian Rockies Sampler. Please join me as I present some slides from my recent road trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies. Highlights includes the Icefields Parkway, featuring some of the most stunning roadside scenery in the world; hanging out on the Athabasca Glacier; waterfalls and emerald-colored lakes at every turn; great hiking, mountain biking, and a bit of wildlife. Learn about the Burgess Shale, one of the most productive and important fossil beds in the world. We had drinks at a German-like castle, tea and biscuits served to us right off a high trail 2+ miles from anything, and enjoyed some time at a geothermal spa nestled in the mountains. Presented by Jack Gleason.
- October 29: Triathlons, Ironman, and More! What does it take to get started? What type of gear do you need? What type of training schedule is needed to prepare for a triathlon? What groups are doing triathlons? Jennifer has been competing in triathlons since 2006, varying from sprint to ironman races. She became a USAT certified coach is 2009 and can answer questions related to training, getting involved in the sport, gear, volunteering, doing your first ironman, etc. Come & learn about triathlons, all distances, types, and things related to this sport and how you can get involved! Presented by Jennifer Grant.
- October 22: Dog Lovers 4 Safe Trapping MN. Dog loving hikers know the joy that comes with having your 4-legged friend by your side. However, there is hidden peril in our fields and forests. Every year, dogs are killed by body grip traps used by trappers in the state. John Reynolds of Dog Lovers 4 Safe Trapping MN will join us to speak about these traps, and the regulatory changes that could allow our furry friends and trappers to safely coexist.
- October 15: Three Rivers Volunteering. Help Three Rivers Parks achieve its mission to promote environmental stewardship through recreation and education in a natural resources-based park system. Share your passion for outdoor sports like slacklining, stand up paddle boarding or logrolling with youth and families. Patrol park trails and help injured cross-country skiers and bikers. Beat back invasive exotic plants. Monitor Ospreys. Volunteer and have fun doing it. Three Rivers Parks owns and operates over 27,000 acres in the west suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and serves 9.5 million visitors a year. Presented by Deb Vosler. Presented by Alex McKinney.
- October 8: Kayaking and Sightseeing in South Florida. There is more to see in Florida than Disney World and sandy beaches. Join us as we describe our alternate approach to spending a week in South Florida, from Fort Myers and the Everglades, to the fabulous Florida Keys. We’ll discuss several parks that are “must sees”, hidden treasures where nature abounds, photos of beautiful birds and other wildlife, and options to make your stay more affordable for that winter get-away. We will also show some photos of a less known oasis that can only be visited by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortugas National Park. Presented by Mike S. and Shelly G.
- October 1: Camp Gear Show & Tell. Learn and share about great gear finds and inventions. Every trip, while camping with others, we learn about the cool gear they bring to camp that they've invented from everyday life tools, to great finds, to some great Goodwill score! Bring your favorite innovative gear to share the story, show and tell. We all have a story of a cool little gear gadget we love to share and tell about! What's yours? A group activity, presented by Kathy L.
- September 17: Bicycle Commuting. We all have heard of, or can attest to the benefits of commuting by bicycle...Now there is one more. ZAP Twin Cities is a free program designed to promote and reward bicycle commuting in downtown Minneapolis. The ZAP system logs cyclists as they pass by its network of RFID sensors, allowing participants to track their progress towards milestones and rewards, including bicycle-related freebies. Presented by Bill Andre.
- September 10: The Seven Summits & Beyond. A multimedia presentation by mountaineer Brian Block that incorporates key photos and video from each of the Seven Summits. The "Beyond" — well that is just about everything else. From mixed climbing in Ouray, to taking on some of the great peaks of the world like K2, Mt. Logan, and new route attempts on Denali & Mt. Kenya! Presented by Brian B.
- September 3: Fall Intro Show. Featuring a digital slide show set to music and club representatives available to answer questions about the club. This is a great way to find out more about Minnesota Rovers, all the activities, and the people. Held at the Bloomington REI. Check the Special Events page for more details.
- August 27: Gear Swap. Bring out that old gear you're no longer using, and help someone else get the tools for their next trip! Everyone is looking for some new winter gear, but you might find a taker for that tent that just wasn't the right color!
- August 20: Backpacking 101. Some seeking solitude like to get off the beaten path and into the backcountry. Others prefer the camaraderie of group trips. Either way, backpacking gives you access to some of the best remote viewpoints Mother Nature has to offer. Whether you are a first time backpacker or interested in refreshing your skills, come and join us for Backpacking 101. Paul Jensen, Camping & Backpacking Specialist from Midwest Mountaineering, will be sharing techniques about trip planning, safety, selecting gear, and how to leave the backcountry just the way you found it. Presented by Paul J. from Midwest Mountaineering
- August 13: Picnic in the Park. Pack up your blanket, picnic basket, and head for Como Park; we're having a BBQ! Join your fellow Rovers and bring a friend for some story sharing, lawn games, and grilling! We'll have the hot dogs cooking by 7:30, because the days are getting shorter, and sunset is at 8:22. Please bring your own mess kit (plate and utensils), and something to share. If you're not fond of hot dogs, we'll make some space on the grill for whatever you bring.\
- August 6: Your favorite Rovers trip. Take a moment and think about your favorite Rovers trip. Join us for a bit of crowdsourcing, as we share tales of our favorite adventures. Bring your favorite adventure, and perhaps discover your next.
- July 30: Trip Planning Ideas. Rovers happens because people — like you — are willing to step forward and coordinate trips. If you have never coordinated a Rover trip, or are new to it and want to learn more —HAVE NO FEAR! This Tuesday program is for you! We can help ensure that you have what it takes to successfully coordinate a Rover outing! Learn tips to make trip coordinating easy; Explore ideas about potential trips; Find out what resources are available to help you; Team up with an experienced trip coordinator Day trips, overnight trips, small groups, large groups, near or far — there is a large range of options! We'll have tips, planning resources, fun conversation, and stories. Join us to learn more! New Rovers welcome! Experienced trip coordinators are wanted to share their experiences, knowledge, and stories. Presented by Sue W. & Stacey G.
- July 23: Geocaching. Did you know hidden treasure still exists? Even as you stand in this park, you are surrounded by over eight geocaches. Dig out your orienteering skills, your compass, GPS or Smartphone and find out how you can join over 5 million geocachers worldwide in hiding and finding a cache. This is an all ages activity! Eagle eyes and a sense of humor, required. No experience necessary. Presented by Holly B.
- July 16: Rovers Cage. Ever wonder what the Rovers gear cage is, what is in it, how to use it, or how to get something added to it? Now is your chance to find out! Our Cage Coordinator will be answering all of your questions about the cage.
- July 9: Slacklining. Slacklining is a balance sport similar to tightrope walking using 1" climbing webbing instead of metal cable. A slackline has less tension than a tightrope, so it bounces and sways in response to the person walking on it. Once standing and walking on the line have been mastered, there is no limit to the tricks that can be devised. A simple method to set up a slackline using minimal gear will be demonstrated, and there will be a chance for everyone to try to walk the line. Presented by Brian P. & Jane P.
- July 2: Paddling to Hudson Bay. Hear local celebrity Natalie Warren, one of the first two women to paddle from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay, describe her 85 day journey. Following Eric Sevaried's route from Canoeing with the Cree, Warren experienced small towns, big lakes, friendly people, and changing landscapes. This trip has led her to her next adventure: starting a non-profit that leads canoe trips on the Minnesota River, teaching participants about local issues along the route.
- June 25: Backcountry Cookoff. Celebrate last week's Summer Solstice by cooking in the park! Show off an old favorite, or try an interesting new recipe before you take it out on the trail. Recipes should be suitable for backpacking, take 20 min or less to prepare, and be able to be made using a single burner stove. If you don't want to cook, bring a fork to sample the goodies and find some new meal ideas for your next trip! Contact Tom by June 18 to participate in the cookoff. Sunset is at 9:04 p.m., so we'll have plenty of light.
- June 18: Trail-side Flat Repair. Flat bike tires can ruin a beautiful ride, if you don't remember how to fix them. Join us for a demonstration on how to repair a flat, and be back on the road in no time. Bring a wheel and your toolkit if you want to practice, before you actually need to know! Presented by Tom H.
- June 11: Knots Workshop. If the only knot you know is the "Knife" knot, this is the workshop for you. The Rovers Climb Tech Leaders will be teaching knots for the crag, knots for your tent fly, and knots for your hammock. Bring a bit of rope to practice with, and leave the knife at home.
- June 4: Transporting Boats. Learn the basic features of canoes and kayaks to pick the right boat for the right occasion. Then learn how to lift and carry a boat and ways to safely tie it to your vehicle (including the Rovers' loaner tie down kits). This will be a hands-on presentation that welcomes input from all attending. Presented by Rob C. and Dann H.
- May 28: Lyme Disease. What you don't know about Lyme disease could kill you. Lyme disease cases have skyrocketed in Minnesota, particularly in Pine County. Learn why we don't hear more about this disease, and what you should know to protect yourself and loved ones. Ann Marie Cosgrove will give a personal account of her present battle with Late Stage Neurological Lyme disease, and what she is doing to fight it. Presented by Ann Marie Cosgrove.
- May 14: Gear Swap. Bring out that old gear you're no longer using, and help
- May 21: Mud Runs. We are heading into the mud run/obstacle season, and MN Rovers has two mud runs coming up: June 8th, and June 29th. Come get a flavor for some of the obstacles (no mud) you may encounter and discover a fun way to train for them. Bring shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes, and be prepared for some fun! Presented by Cheryl B.
someone else get the tools for their next trip! Any gear is welcome!
- May 7: Watercraft safety on MN Rivers. Paddling Minnesota rivers is a lovely way to spend a Saturday, but how much do you know about staying safe? Hint, there's more to it than than having a PFD in your boat. Eric Crist from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department will be sharing his insight on the unique challenges we face while navigating our busy rivers. Included is a brief discussion on aquatic invasive species and what you're required to do for their prevention. Come for a refresher, come with a question, but make sure that you come home safe from your next excursion! Presented by Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.
- April 30: Backpacking in the Sierras. Backpacking in Yosemite National Park: 8 Rovers hiked 60 mile loop with beautiful alpine scenery. Slides include Yosemite Valley, Toulumne Meadows, lakes, vistas and good fun! Hear bear stories and see the "Butt Tree" discovered by Rovers in 1998! Presented by Mike H.
- April 23: Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day. Presented by Andrea Reynolds.
- April 9: Cave Diving. Drawn to search the unplumbed depths of sunken caves, a Rover ventures to the Riviera Maya for cave diver training. Find out what is involved in learning to safely dive in Mexico's beautiful cenotes. Presented by Sarah K.
- April 16: Spring Intro Show. Featuring a digital slide show set to music and club representatives available to answer questions about the club. This is a great way to find out more about Minnesota Rovers, all the activities, and the people. Held at the Bloomington REI. Check the Special Events page for more details.
- April 2: Pow-Wow Trail. Join others like you on a virtual trip on BWCA wilderness hiking trails. Martin Kubik tells about the less know side of BWAC and the 200 miles of backpacking trails. He will focus on how volunteers are working with the USFS to bring back 30-mile long BWCA Pow Wow Trail burned in the Pagami Creek Fire. Listen to a volunteer's vision about we must do to bring this magnificent trail back. Presented by Martin K.
- March 26: Outdoor School classes with REI. REI's Outdoor School will present on the history of REI as a co-operative and what new offerings are available here in the Twin Cities. Matt will cover REI's commitment to stewardship and ways to volunteer locally was well as classes and outings that REI provides to introduce new sports to people. Presented by Matt P.
- March 19: The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Presented by Clayton D.
- March 12: 3-day Bike Ride Across Minnesota. See an account of a bike ride all the way across Minnesota, west to east, in three days. Beautiful scenery, good trails/roads; camping/lodging spots noted. NOT just for bicycling enthusiasts; most anyone in reasonably good shape can do it. Presented by Steve R.
- March 5: Cycling the Way of St James. A month after Don & Lori walked the Camino, Julie & I biked it. About a fifth of pilgrims are on bikes; some stick to paved roads, but with mountain bikes we often went off-road on the heavily-used Camino. You don't have to be Catholic to be a pilgrim. | BLOG |. Presented by David B.
- February 26: Volunteering with Great River Greening. Volunteer Manager Josh Kriz will discuss the importance of volunteerism in regards to restoring our natural landscapes. The presentation will also highlight successful projects and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Presented by Josh K.
- February 19: Canyoneering in Utah. Put simply, Canyoneering is the sport of descending a canyon. A route consists of navigating to the upper end of a canyon, dropping in where possible, following the canyon to the lower end (or suitable exit point) then navigating back to civilization. Last fall 7 Rovers joined a former Rover and his canyoneering friends for an adevnture in the beautifully carved sandstone canyons of Utah's North Wash area. Come join us as we share information, show photos, and tell stories. We think after you see this - you will want to go experience it yourself! Presented by Deb G.
- February 12: Hiking Scotland's West Highland Way. Learn about hiking 95 miles of beautiful scenery on Scotland's West Highland Way. It is a great hike that can accommodate a wide range people whether you new or experienced backpacker and whether you like to camp or prefer staying in hotels. Presented by Betsy S.
- February 5: Boating up the Lower Danube. Boating up the lower Danube, with side trips in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia. Presented by John E.
- January 29: Ice Age Trail. Presented by Rin N.
- January 22: Birdfeeders. Interested in attracting more birds to your back yard? Liz will share tips and tricks that she has accumulated over the last 8 years of bird feeding in her Bloomington back yard, where she's attracted over 80 species. Presented by Liz S.
- January 15: Tuscany in Black and White. Come see the beauty of Tuscany through black and white photography. Trip images include the renovated olive and grain mill where we stayed in the hills above Lucca, hiking along the Cinque Terre, and visits to the Pinocchio Park of Collodi, Ponte del Diavolo, Siena, and Venice. Presented by Deb M.
- January 8: Animal Tracking. Winter is a wonderful time to learn about animal behavior since the animals leave behind tracks for us to follow. Find out how to identify tracks and other animal signs and what that tells you about what's happening in the forest. Wanda worked for 10 years at an Audubon Center teaching a wide variety of classes. Presented by Wanda D.