September/October 2009

I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about ultralight down jackets, tents, and shell jackets. In these ultralight categories, one of the elements that makes a significant difference in weight is the weight of the threads being used to create the fabric. The weight of a thread is measured according to denier, a spec that…

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Later today, a ninja warrior and a king with a cape will leave our house and walk from door to door with friends who may have reinvented themselves as witches or a ghosts for a night. On this last evening before the time changes, we’ll start our journey as daylight fades. But soon the edges…

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A lot of new gear is arriving in time for the holiday season. Three items caught my attention this week: Seirus Combodana Face MaskI’ve had a basic Seirus face mask (or “Masque” as their brand name goes) for many years. It works great for wind and winter, and has handled a lot of time above…

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Back in August, I made a family appointment. We’d just seen the Perseids, the annual mid-August meteor shower, on our summer vacation. Writing about them here, I learned about other annual showers, like the Orionids, which appear to originate from within the Orion constellation on their annual late-fall swing past Earth. We wrote “meteor showers”…

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We had a guest last weekend – Uncle Rik, who came all the way from Washington State to hang out with Ursula and Virgil, and maybe also squeeze in a few moments with their parents. We had big plans for his visit: Ursula, who has just started fencing lessons, wanted to take him to a…

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Cooler weather is already here—and winter is just around the corner. In preparation for the upcoming chill, I have been keeping my eye out for the perfect ultralight down jacket. Warm enough to work well as a stand-alone piece in cool weather. Form-fitting enough to function as a layering piece in colder conditions. Small enough…

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Does the number 350 mean anything to you? It didn’t to me until earlier this week. Matt Dahlhausen, the Dartmouth student who directed the Dartmouth Outing Club’s effort to hike the Appalachian Trail in a day (“AT in a Day“), signed his emails with an oversize “350” and a link to 350.org. Spam? Money scheme?…

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Earlier this month I posted information about a crazy idea: hiking the Appalachian Trail in one day. That’s right — 2,176 miles in 24 hours. If you imagine one hiker attempting such a feat, that person would need to hike — fly, really — more than 90 miles an hour. That idea, of course, flies…

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Garmin has released its long-awaited nüvifone, the first dedicated GPS navigation device that integrates phone technology. Think of it as an excellent street-navigation unit that also includes a phone—as opposed to a software platform (iPhone) that can run navigation applications and also includes a phone. The iPhone currently includes an inferior GPS receiver when compared…

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Did you walk to school when you were growing up? I did, and so did my husband, Jim. I remember shuffling through leaves, splashing in puddles, and the coolness of leafy shade. Jim’s route to school in Walpole, New Hampshire, took him one mile along town-maintained sidewalks. Jim recalls those 20 minutes as a sociable…

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