During the Tuesday program, a presentation is featured following the discussion of upcoming activities and other announcements. Presentations range from multimedia 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 topics.
If you would like to schedule a presentation or have ideas/requests for a future Minnesota Rovers presentation, contact Barry S.
If you have any other questions about Minnesota Rovers, please e-mail us at email@example.com
Upcoming Programs & Presentations
- May 31: Encourage Bluebirds & Chickadees to Nest in Your Yard and Elsewhere
Do you enjoy the sight and sounds of bluebirds and chickadees in your backyard or local parks? Learn about what bird boxes to use, where to put them and how to maintain them if you would like to help bluebirds and chickadees.
Presented by Barry Shillingford
- June 7: Different Techniques to Load a Boat on Your Vehicle
Learn various ways to haul canoes & kayaks on your vehicle. Included the ‘hullavator’ (which does the high lifting for you), and the options the Rover Gear Locker offers.
Presented by: Rob, Dann, Fran & Stephanie
- June 14: Goats - Minnesota’s most misunderstood and underused workforce!
Jake Langeslag, The goat wrangling pondologist, will explain how he uses goats to manage some of the area’s most difficult invasive and undesirable vegetation, like buckthorn. He will also give an update on his quest to get goats working in more metro and urban areas and information on his goat grazing research.
- June 21: Tent Maintenance
Rovers owns about a dozen tents that need to be set up and inspected. I’m asking for your help. We’ll break up into small groups and each group will set up a tent and inspect it against a check list. You’ll hopefully learn something about differing tent designs and we’ll demonstrate how to apply water-proofing and seam sealing.
I’m also hoping people will bring their favorite tenting ‘hacks’ to share with the group.
What do you get for your labor? A warm feeling in your heart, a cookie or both!
Organized by Rob Chase, Equipment Director.
- June 28: Backcountry cook-off
Celebrate the longest days of summer with a cook-off in the park. Show off an old favorite, try an interesting new recipe before you take it on the trail . . . and win prizes! Recipes should be suitable for backpacking, take no more than 20 minutes to prepare and use a single-burner stove. We’ll need lots of yummy entries, so please plan to enter. We’ll also need tasters, so bring plates/bowls and utensils to sample the goodies, find new ideas for Rovers trips and vote for your favorite entry.
Volunteer to cook by contacting Monika K.
- July 5: CPR and Defibrillators
Could you save a life if you had to? Many of us have had CPR training, but a long time ago. Learn the best current techniques from retired teachers and cardiac-arrest survivors Larry Matthews, Bruce Wizik and Rover, Fran Lesicko. They (half) jokingly call themselves “the walking dead”.
They will also show us how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which is actually very easy to use.
- July 12: Blast Buckthorn out of the Twin Cities metro!
Learn how to identify buckthorn, the various ways to get rid of it and the best time to do it. Also learn what other invasive species are associated in areas where buckthorn is established and how to eradicate those too. And, as with anything important in life, learn why we should bother getting this out of our parks and our yards and how not to accidentally get rid of a look-a-like instead of the real bad guy!
Presented by Cheryl B.
- July 26: Yoga for active people
Yoga is a great way to take a break and get energized for the next leg of a long hike, bike ride or paddle. It can be done in the outdoors without any equipment - a mat is truly optional. You probably know that yoga increases balance, flexibility, and strength, but did you also know it protects the spine, cartilage and joints so we can continue to pursue an active lifestyle?
Bring a mat or blanket for extra comfort and Tammy N. (3 year Rover member) will lead us in some yoga poses and stretches.
- August 2: National Night Out
There will be no presentation tonight because many people go to their neighborhood gatherings. If you do want to meet with Rovers there will be the usual discussion about trips and socializing. If you do go to your neighborhood gathering maybe you can chat to people about Rovers and get some Rover business cards to hand out.
- August 9: Finding Your Way in the Wilderness
Effectively using a map and compass is an important, but too often neglected, wilderness skill. Whether dealing with the expected – locating the next portage, getting back to your car after collecting morels, kayaking in dense fog – or the completely unexpected, having a map and compass, and knowing how to use them can be essential.
Robert Quinn of Midwest Mountaineering will show us basic navigation skills.
- August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
This date is National Toasted Marshmallow Day so how can we celebrate it…hmm…how about we set up a couple of fires, get some bags of marshmallows, get some toasting sticks and start toasting! This will be a great event as our summer season draws to a close.
- September 13: What it takes to Thru Hike the Appalachian Trail
An AT thru-hike doesn’t take any specialized outdoor skills. Over 16,000 people have done it. With the release of “Wild” and “A Walk in the Woods”, more people are trying it.
This presentation is based on observations from my 2015 AT thru hike. I claim there are six requirements you need to successfully thru-hike the AT. They are: Time, Energy, Money, Motivation, Knowledge, and a final item to be divulged last to give this presentation some suspense.
By Paul “Good Enough” Ebert
- September 27: International Travel Safety
Are you planning a vacation outside the U.S.? Will it be done safely?
This discussion will cover how to dress, act in public, restaurant visits, hotel stays, where to sit on a bus and plane in order to minimize yourself to crime and other threatening situations.
Presented by Mark Dugger
Past Programs & Presentations
- May 24: Bikepacking 101
You may know what to take on a backpacking trip, but how about a bikepacking trip? Long-distance bicyclist extraordinaire David Byrne, who has cycled around the world twice, will show us what he’s putting in his panniers for his upcoming trip to Trempealeau County, WI (And if you want to go on the trip, places are still available) David is also featured in this Bikepacking Experts infographic by Mads Phikamphon in Denmark.
- May 17: Backpacking 101
If you’re interested in trying out backpacking or improving your skills, this presentation is for you. Learn what to take, how to pack it and how to secure your pack.
Presented by Mike H.
- May 10: Gear Swap
Quality Gear from people who know their stuff. Got Gear? Spring cleaning? Unused gear cluttering your house? Sell it at the Swap! Need Gear? Trying a new sport? Looking for advice? Find it at the Swap! Set up starts at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public, feel free to bring friends and family.
This is the first outdoor meeting of the season at Como Park. Please check here for directions.
- May 3: MN Rovers Spring Intro Show - REI
This event will be at REI in Bloomington.
For more information go here.
- April 26: Easy Kayak Building
Three sheets of plywood and a plank of wood…. Christopher Crowhurst will be talking about how to simply create a beautiful kayak using basic tools and a small amount of skill. The Shrike kayak is an open source project Christopher started with his father to help spread the love of kayaking, and put it within reach of everyone. A light weight kayak, weighing in at about 25 pounds, that can be adapted to suit the use and body weight of the paddler the Shrike is inspired by the Inuit hunters kayaks of West Greenland. Christopher will be bring several examples for you to touch hold and covet.
- April 19: Destination Utah (with a few stops in between)
Join us Tuesday evening for an exploration of some of the Southwest’s most iconic destinations. A day of traveling brings us to Hoover Dam, Lake Mead Recreation Area and Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. Then we’re off to Zion National Park for a hike up the West Rim Trail where we’ll squiggle up the fittingly named Walter’s Wiggles and marvel at the bird’s eye vistas from the top of Angels Landing. Enjoy a wade up the Virgin River Narrows where the sun reflects erratically off canyon walls that tower above us as high as 2,000 ft. Discover dinosaur tracks in the Kolob Canyon area of the park after rappelling boulders and swimming the chilly waters of the 9.5 mile Subway trek. The grand finale of this most remarkable expedition brings us to the inspirational hoodoos of Bryce canyon and the stunning views from sunset and sunrise pass.
Presented by Dori H., Stephanie S. and Sue W.
- April 12: Hiking to Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida
On the northern coast of Colombia, the jungles and mountains that separate Ciudad Perdida — the Lost City — from civilization make getting there a hike worthy of Indiana Jones!
Rover Doug Johnson completed the five-day hike to these fantastic ruins, which predate Macchu Pichu by 600 years, just this January. He will illustrate his presentation with photographs and maps of the hike and give details about transportation, costs and tour groups.
- April 5: Preparing for 24 Hour World’s Toughest Mudder
Learn how to prepare your body, mind, and heart for a 24 hour endurance event. The presentation will be told through the eyes of the speaker’s preparation and participation in this event where she completed 50 miles. Topics covered:
- Planning out your training calendar
- Simulating the event
- How to get your mind ready
- Determining your expectations - what’s realistic and what possible
- Questions about preparing for a 24 hour event
Presented by: Lindsey H.
- March 29: Adventure, Nature and Camaraderie on the Border Route Trail (BRT)
The 65-mile Border Route is a crown jewel of the North Country Trail. It is part of the Minnesota Rovers identity. The Border Route Trail Association (BRTA) and Rovers maintain the legacy of wilderness adventure. Past and future trail building, 25 day hikes, and wilderness camping.
Presented by Ed Solstad and Bob Jarvis.
- March 22: 28 Days of (Mis)adventure in the BWCA and Quetico
Enjoy pictures, planning tips and highlights of a 28-day, no-resupply trip to the BWCA and Quetico, featuring Mooserider, Cap’n E and the intrepid J! Our trip took some unexpected twists and turns as we paddled from Tofte to the border and into central Quetico!
Learn the thrilling details at this talk! Was cannibalism necessary? How could we possibly live without Internet access for a month? What were the locals like? Which portage has most definitely NOT been improved by new maintenance? Is it possible to eat too many blueberries?
Presented by Elisha Polomski.
- March 15: Las Vegas’ Big Secret
Not how to beat the slots or the blackjack dealer, but how to find a great wilderness hiking experience nearby. Less than an hour from the Vegas strip are the Spring Mountains with a lot of hiking trails and the highest peak, Charleston Peak, rising to 11,900 feet. This is a picturesque but harsh environment with a giant mummy and gnarly zombie trees! We have pictures from trips in 2010, 2013, 2014 & 2015.
Presented by Jen Oberg and Barry Shillingford
- March 8: Everything you need to know about ticks (and how to avoid them)
Regular ticks are bad enough, scuttling into hidden niches on the human body and gorging themselves on blood. But their ick factor pales next to the danger posed by deer ticks, which can transmit Lyme and other diseases — and not just in late spring and summer.
Don’t stop hiking in the woods, but find out what you need to know to prevent infection: when and where you’re most at risk, how to identify nymph and adult deer ticks, symptoms of tick-borne diseases and what to do to protect yourself. Presented by Franny Dorr, epidemiologist for the Vectorborne Disease Unit for the Minnesota Department of Health.
- February 23: Mother-Daughter Adventures in the North and South Islands of New Zealand
Join us for a presentation that will highlight our adventures in the air, water and below ground. Learn about Maori culture, the 2015 World Cup champion rugby team (go All Blacks!), glowworms, glaciers, mining and much more. Presented by Darcy Amnuel.
- February 16: Hiking in the Sierra Nevadas
Between wildfires and heavy rain, four Rovers squeezed in a week of hiking and camping in California’s Sierra Nevada Range, John Muir Wilderness and King’s Canyon National Park in August 2015. Presented by Joe Bornong.
- February 9: Hiking in Western Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known more for beaches and bird-watching than for hiking, and for good reason: Only some of its many national parks have trails worth hiking.
But a few are spectacular. Rovers Torsten Muller and Beth Gauper will tell you where to find them, how to make your way around the country and how not to end up on the wrong side of the volcano.
- February 9: Annual Meeting
Before the presentation (below) vote in the 2016 Board of Directors.