Summer Staycation Series: Madeline Island


Summer is slowly beginning to wind down, and I’m sure there were many more adventures and road trips planned than actually occurred. We’re launching a short summer series of ideas designed to help you take the most of the weekends that are left! When was the last time you took a local adventure? Simply going to a familiar place with a different lens or purpose can make it feel new. Get dressed up for dinner, walk or bike instead of drive, go to a different beach than usual. To see the first installment of a local highlight, scroll on. 

Madeline Island: A place known and visited by many, but always worth the trip. Estimated budget for 1: $60/person or less for a day. $15 round trip for an individual on the ferry, and the rest for fun, games, and food!

Get prepared! A trip to the island means you want to look your best, so stop by the store to see our summer-wear options, from button-downs to wicking dresses to sandals. We’ve got great hiking-appropriate clothes that can take you from trail to meal. Recommended items would be a sling bag (like the ones by Patagonia or Kavu), Chaco sandals, Kavu or Patagonia synthetic dresses, and Outdoor Research men’s shorts with a Kavu button-down.

A trip to the island is perfect to get new family, couple, or Instagram photos, so make sure to bring a camera or clear some space on your phone!

Time needed: 5+ hours total.

Time to go: wake up early, grab a cup of coffee in Ashland at The Sandbar, and hit the road! Driving along the coast is beautiful in the early morning, and there’s less traffic. During the week, the first ferry leaves Bayfield at 6:30am, and while I recommend the one at 7:30am or 8:45am, if you want to get a start on the day, go for it! Getting to the island on the ferry takes 20+ minutes, and bring a sweater--the wind gets cold! Enjoy the stillness of the morning, birdsong, and the pastel colors. 

On the island: we recommend coming hungry! The island is home to some fabulous eats, including Farmhouse Restaurant, Cafe Sieche, Jody’s Foodtruck, and the Beach Club. Come for breakfast or lunch, and there will be something delicious available. Getting a breakfast or brunch bite and then hitting the trail or beach is our ideal day.

Once happy hour hits, Tom’s Burned Down Cafe is, of course, the quirky place for drinks and photos! 

Before heading to Tom’s, why not go by Big Bay State Park, which boasts one of the nicest selfie spots in Wisconsin. Enjoy over 10 miles of hiking trails, a beautiful shoreline, and beach relaxing. See what Travel Wisconsin has to say about Big Bay here:

Big Bay Town Park is equally nice for beach relaxing, and without the entrance fee, which definitely helps keep the cost of the day lower. 


Simply taking a few hours to relax on the island, or in any new setting, can be as rejuvenating and as fun as an out-of-town vacation. We hope this first post inspires you to take a mini-vacation of your own! Check back in a few weeks for more ideas.

Hiring Great People...

We’re hiring a couple great staffers to join our crew. Positions are minimum of 20-35 hours a week. If you love talking to people, enjoy sharing your knowledge of outdoor clothing and gear this is the job for you. We’d love to talk with you. Please email a resume to katie at or stop in the shop to complete an application.

How to recycle fuel canisters


Ever wonder how to recycle those empty fuel canisters? This primer from MSR walks you through the four easy steps…

  1. Make sure the canister is totally empty. You should use all the gas for cooking – it’s better to burn the hydrocarbons than release them.

  2. If you think there could be some gas left you can purge it by attaching your stove, inverting it, and opening the valve. This will allow any remaining gas to leave the canister. Make sure you’re clear of any potential flame or source of sparks while doing this.

  3. Once you’re sure the canister is empty, you need to puncture it so it meets recycling requirements. You don’t need a special tool to do this just puncture it with a can opener or a sharp object like a screwdriver or an ice axe. Don’t use a saw because it can create sparks that will ignite remaining fuel. You don’t need to remove the valve to meet mixed metal requirements.

  4. Now, deposit your canister where mixed metals are accepted.

Join our team!

We’re hiring an Assistant Store Manager to assist the owners with the overall operation of established outdoor store including, sales, staff training, inventory, rental program, programming and outreach. The ideal candidate must have direct customer service/management experience. Must be an active outdoor oriented person with an interest in and experience with quality clothing and gear. If you love to hike, bike, ski and enjoy working in a retail environment we encourage you to apply. Stop in or send a resume to katie at

Gifts He'll Dig!

Favorite three things in shop: Oboz insulated boots, Black Diamond backcountry skis, Fisher ski poles.

Black Diamond Glidelite , Darn Tough, Oboz are all things he’ll dig.

Black Diamond Glidelite , Darn Tough, Oboz are all things he’ll dig.

Why? Oboz boots are awesome! They have amazing grip and traction. I have the non-insulated Bridgers and they're really warm, so I can only imagine how warm the insulated ones are! Perfect for a winter up here. The skis and poles because I really like backcountry skiing, and these Black Diamond skis are a fun new way to experience the outdoors. The poles are really complementary to the skis. We have two pairs in our rental fleet for anyone looking to try before they buy.

Staff Holiday Picks


Areas of expertise/interest:Traveling, backpacking. Her three favorite things in shop: Osprey Tempest 20, North Face Novelty Glacier Pullover, Gibbon Slackline.

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Why? Osprey packs are my favorite packs out there! This one has great versatility-- it's the perfect size for textbooks or a day hike. The North Face pullover I love! It's so comfy and warm, great as a layer or on it's own. If you haven't tried slacklining, you should! It's a great way to improve your balance, and is super fun to do with friends and family.

Skhoop, Osprey, Smartwool...just a few of our favorite things

This holiday season we’ll be featuring our staff’s favorite items (hint they make great gifts). Kyleleen’s areas of expertise: Skijouring (skiing with dogs) and alpine skiing

Favorite 3 things in the shop: Osprey, Smartwool, Skhoop skirts

Favorite 3 things in the shop: Osprey, Smartwool, Skhoop skirts

Osprey Daylite Plus, Smartwool 250 Baselayers, Skhoop Insulated skirts


Why are they favorities? Smartwool baselayers because they're the best for outdoor layering, and provide a ton of warmth. They're also comfy against skin, which is key! The Daylite because it's the perfect size and has a great amount of compartments for dog treats, snacks, and water. Skhoop skirts because you can throw one on over some baselayers and go out for a pint! Kyleleen recommends South Shore Brewery.

Our next big ADVENTURE

Dave and I super excited to announce that beginning May 15th we will be your new hosts for the Blue Wave Inn and a new restaurant located right next door opening around June 15th. Our vision is to offer a full service destination on Lake Superior with unmatched service and hospitality.

We are hiring full-time and part-time positions. Join our team!

Cook/Chef/Culiinary Coach (Full-time)

Applicants must possess the ability to work as a team with owners and staff to design recipes and menus with the following qualifications:

  • Associate Degree in Culinary Arts required (Bachelor’s preferred)
  • 2+ years’ experience in a full-service restaurant and ideally 2+ supervisory experience
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Dedicated to food quality and control
  • Strong knowledge of proper food handling and sanitation standards
  • Food preparation and cooking, plating, presentation
  • Kitchen maintenance and cleaning
  • Maintaining and ordering stocks and supplies
  • Computer skills menu costing required

Full time salaried position commensurate with experience. Submit resume to

Hospitality Manager (Full-time)

Seeking optimistic and genuinely  happy person to lead a team and over see new start up opportunity with great growth potential; boutique hotel and casual, fun restaurant. Responsible for overall hotel guest experience, oversee housekeeping staff, barista and waitstaff duties. FT salaried position commensurate with experience. Submit resume to

Cooks/Kitchen Staff & Baristas/Waitstaff (Full-time & Part-Time)

Bring your energy and culinary skills to a new casual and fun restaurant on the south shore of Lake Superior. Support the team in the preparation and delivery of food while following all recipes, direction and standards expected. Submit employment application. Click here or stop in for an application.

  • Participate in the guest experience while maintaining a safe and clean environment.
  • Work as a team to deliver a high level guest experience.
  • Possess creative ability
  • Uses time efficiently.
  • Ability to accept constructive criticism while dealing calmly and effectively in high-stress situations.
  • Adhere to safe and sanitation standards.
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written and oral form.
  • Must be available to work days, weekends, and evening shifts.
  • One year of restaurant experience preferred. We will train the right candidate

Spring. Coming soon.

This past weekend Phoebes were chirping while we were out putting in maple syrup taps. Surely, it’s a sign of spring. The sun is warmer, the days are longer but the snow and ice still remain. This time of year we anxiously await the melting of winter and the departure of ice in Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay which makes way for spring rains and mud season. Mud season could at times be considered the fifth season in the northern Wisconsin where the transition from winter to spring is often times drawn out. Some years there’s still a few chunks of ice floating in the bay around mid may. Will this year be the same?

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Although we love winter it’s time to think spring and everything that follows. Waves. Smelting. Migration. Fishing. Paddling. Sailing. Beach combing and days spent experiencing Lake Superior, the great inland sea,  transform from a solid mass of ice to a vast playground.

This year we’re going to track the ice out conditions and have a little fun while we’re at it!  

Think you know when the ice will go out and make way for open water in the Bay? Stop in to the shop and put your guess into our Yeti Hopper cooler or comment on our Facebook and Instagram pages with the date you think the ice will move out and we will have open water in front of the shop.

When the ice goes out and the waves are crashing on the beach, we will draw a random winner from all of the comments and entries. The lucky winner will be sporting a new Yeti Hopper!

Layering 101

The key to outdoor cold weather comfort is layers. Consider your activity level and length you'll be outside to determine the weight of insulation needed. The best of of layering is the ability to add and remove layers to regulate your temperature for the duration of your activity.

Base Layer, insulation and weather protection are the three keys to layering effectively. You'll be ready to get out there!


5 Reasons Shopping Local is the Best

With two locally owned shops in Ashland we have unique gifts and fun items for everyone on your list this holiday. Check out our women's clothing boutique, Solstice, on Main Street in downtown Ashland for inspired, fashionable and unique clothing and accessories. Looking for something a little more sporty and active head down to our gear store, Solstice Outdoors to find your favorite outdoor brands. Here's why we think shopping with us is awesome!

  1. Extended holiday hours at both locations
  2. Free gift wrapping
  3. Helpful personal shoppers that will help you select awesome gifts
  4. Easy parking
  5. Two great stores filled with unique gift

Gifts for the Active Adventurer

Looking for the pefect gift for the person always on the go. You can't go wrong with a Hydroflask flip mug, BUFF and Petzl pocket knife. If they dig the white stuff give them a pair of Tubbs snowshoes, a Swix waxing iron or wax. It's always wonderful to get something you will actually use!

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Amazing Gal Gifts

Our picks for all those amazing gals on your list. She's love to rock in style with a Duluth Pack Shell bag. Kick back and relax with a good bottle of wine, an Opinel knife and cork screw combo and GSI collapsible wine glass and bag. Can't decide what to get? A Solstice and Solstice Outdoors gift card is always perfect.

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Ho Ho Ho....A Solstice we will go for the best gifts!

The countdown to Santa coming down the chimney is on! Only 27 days to go. Time to get gifting. We're like Santa's little elves this time of year spreading holiday cheer with our handpicked selection of some of our favorite items throughout the shop for everyone on your list. Who better to start with than those outdoorsy kiddos.

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Check out the Nalgene Lunch Buddy, Big Agnes Little Red, Smartwool socks, Tubbs sno glow snowshoes and Opinel junior knife and more in the shop.

Gearing Up for Fall


A slight chill in the air and the fact that October is just around the corner is triggering thoughts of autumn. It's the most wonder time of they year in the shop.  We've got new clothing and gear arriving daily for hiking in the woods, late season camping and preparing for hunting season. We're excited to announce that we will be one of only a few dealers in Wisconsin carrying Sitka Gear. Sitka has turned clothing into gear that works, lasts and is so versatile you'll want to wear camo everyday! Join us for a special brand launch on Thursday, October 5th to view the waterfowl and whitetail collections. As we continue to innovate and bring new products into the store, we will continue to stock a variety of products that a essential for outdoor active endeavors such as Petzl headlamps, Yeti Tundra Coolers and the all new Load us it's more than just a bucket. Stop in and see all the new colors of the season in the shop.


Prepping like a Pro

Be a pro and check that stove before you go. No amount of packing, repacking and planning matters more than having a way to cook that coffee and food at camp. Start your packing by testing out that old or new stove before you go. A simple check to make sure it lights and is running well at home will save you a lot of headaches on the trail. Take a few minutes to test, check fuel and clean it. Not sure how to do it. Check with your manufacturer and find easy how to videos like this one from our friends at MSR.