Denise Bornhausen

Denise Bornhausen is a volunteer instructor with Becoming an Outdoors Woman in Minnesota and is raising a hunting and fishing kid.

Posts about Equipment

The 12 Days of Christmas - Days 2 and 3

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: December 15, 2009 - 5:43 AM
With more fresh snow, day 2 brings a gift idea for the whole family. 
While down hill and cross country skiing are popular, they can be expensive sports for a family - not to mention that it often involves travel to participate. A more affordable way to play on the snow is snowshoes. They can be used anywhere from the backyard to the woods. These are "out of the package" gifts - no complex instruction manual or batteries needed - just strap onto your boots and go. Today's modern metals and plastics mean that there are price entry points for all budgets. Plus snowshoeing is a great low impact aerobic excercise that burns more calories than running or walking at the same speed. Many park districts and nature centers have rental snowshoes and you can purchase children and adult sizes at local retailers including REI and Sports Authority

Day 3 brings gifts that keep on giving. 
For teens and adults that cross country ski - a MN Ski Pass gives them acess to miles of groomed trails in state parks and forests. At just $15 for the season a MN Ski Pass is a great stocking stuffer! Passes can be purchased anywhere that offers electronic license purchase, online at the DNR website or at State Parks. A three year pass is also available. 

For kids a membership to the local nature center gives them opportunities to explore nature all year. A membership paired with a field guide or flashlight is a great stocking stuffer. Staffed by naturalists and volunteers who love the outdoors these local treasures are the the forefront of the no child left inside movement. They offer trails for walking and hiking, educational classes and more. Many are preserving nature and wetlands with in an urban setting. Just a sampling in the metro include Woodlake Nature Center in Richfield, Dodge Nature Center in South St. Paul, Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings and Westwood Hills in St. Louis Park. 

Tomorrow - Shopping the bookshelf.

12 Gifts of Christmas for Your Favorite Outdoor Women and Children

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: December 12, 2009 - 10:46 PM
This week's snow has finally put me in the holiday spirit and looking at the calendar it's less than two short weeks until Christmas. If you put off your shopping or are looking for creative ideas for the outdoor woman or child in your life - I'll be posting two ideas a day up until Dec. 24th!

With apologies to Frederic Austin, composer of The Twelve Days of Christmas, here's my Christmas list.....

For the outdoor kid - Smartwool socks 
If you family is anything like mine - socks are always under the tree. As adults we always put on performance socks for outdoor activities, but think nothing of sending our kids out with cotton socks in their snow boots. And unlike most of us - kids spend far more time outside in the winter than we do. Fill their stockings with a a pair or two of Smartwool socks. They'll keep their feet warm and dry and they come in lots of fun designs and colors for even the most descrimating kid. 

For the outdoor woman - Smartwool sweater
Smartwool has applied their "woolology" technology to performance clothing and sweaters. I find myself fondling these lightweight, washable, "no itch" sweaters everytime I'm in a sporting goods store. Their clean, classic designs mean these functional sweaters will also be fashionable for years to come. Santa - Snowflake Full Zip size large, please. 

You can still place orders on line at and receive before Christmas or stop by a local dealer including Gander Mountain, Joe's Sporting Goods, Dick's, Sports Authority, Hoigaards, Nokomis Shoes or Midwest Mountaineering to make your holiday purchase. 

Tomorrow - snowshoes for the entire family.

Mother's Day gifts for an Outdoors Mom

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: May 10, 2009 - 12:04 AM


While I love flowers and manicures as much as the next mom, below are a few items that I’d love to receive this Mother’s Day and I’m betting may some other outdoor moms wouldn’t mind getting, too.

MN State Parks Annual Pass

For just $25, this is the gift that last until next Mother’s Day. Vehicle permits are good for a full year from the month of purchase and give access to a whole roster of outdoor activities and fun at Minnesota’s 72 state parks and recreation areas. Annual permits can be purchased at state parks, the DNR License Center, REI metro locations or by calling the DNR information center at 1-888-MINNDNR. The family vehicle needs one of these pronto!

Keen Waterfront Sandals

You would think after all my years of fishing; I’d have a good pair of non-slip, waterproof shoes. With my Canadian fishing trip coming up later this summer, I’d love to get a pair of Keen Waterfront sandals. I love their closed toe design, lug soles and quick dry features. Plus they look good après fishing, too! Nokomis Shoes in South Minneapolis and Crystal carry a nice selection and their personal service is some of the best in the metro.

Fishing with Bluegill “Bro”

I met Brian Brosdahl while working in the outdoor field and his panfish prowess is legendary. Time spent with a guide is always money well spent – not only will you learn tips and tricks, you’ll usually bring home a limit of fish. Bro guides around the Walker and Bemidji area and you’ll have a trip filled with fast action. Just be prepared to sign a blood oath not to tell what lake you were on.

Rapala Wear

I never go fishing with out a sweatshirt or jacket close at hand for those early mornings or windy days. I’ve always loved Rapala’s classic logo and their witty advertising slogans like “cast it out – fish bring it back.” I’ll take anything from – I especially like the soft green classic sweatshirt. 

MN BOW Workshop or Beyond BOW Event

As a mom so much of our outdoor time is spent watching over and taking care of our families, that we don’t get work on our own skills. A weekend workshop or Beyond BOW event is a way to try out a new activity or improve skills in a fun, supportive atmosphere. The fall weekend workshop is September 11-13 at Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro. Or register mom for one of these upcoming Beyond BOW events. June 27-28 is the Women’s Fishing weekend at the Baker Near Wilderness Settlement in the west metro and Introduction to Fly Fishing at Glendalough State Park is on June 13th.

No matter what my family gives me for Mother’s Day, the best days are ones spent together creating memories. One of my favorites is an early summer fishing trip where we spent the afternoon sight fishing for sunnies and going through a whole package for red licorice as bait!

To all of the outdoor mom’s out there – I wish you a happy day today and all of the days you spend afield with your family!





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