May/June 2010

Gore-Tex Paclite is a waterproof-breathable material designed to be a lighter weight alternative to its standard Gore-Tex cousin, a feat made possible by an oleophobic, or oil-hating, coating on its underside that keeps your pore-clogging body oils to yourself. Gore-Tex is a laminate, a solid piece of material that is glued (laminated) to nylon and…

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Are you a bicyclist or runner? Do you want to reduce your chances of being hit by a car? Consider this: The brightest, most visible color you can wear during daylight hours is fluorescent yellow-green. Why? Human eyes are built to be most sensitive to that particular wavelength of light (~550 nanometers), at least during…

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“Strawberry moon” is the name the Algonquin gave the first full moon of summer. Here at Orange Pond, we can see why: The meadow by the pond is full of ripe red berries. These are wild strawberries, not the plump mouthfuls we buy at the store or at pick-your-own places. Even ripe, they’re often no…

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Part 7 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Based in Windsor Locks, Conn., Dermatone Laboratories has been producing its trademark line of sunscreen products for nearly 30 years. Though the company produces a full line of sunscreen and lip balm products, they are best known for their line of waterfree sunscreens for cold…

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I’ve wanted for some time to include other voices in this blog. I wrote here recently about Peter and Caleb Begley and their Father’s Day hike. Peter was a professional photographer and is an enthusiastic hiker and devoted father. It was natural, then, to ask him to share the story of their adventure in both…

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Speaking of summer, it is clearly the summer season throughout all 12 AMC chapters. There are — I counted them — 84 outings for the coming weekend, June 26 or 27, listed online under “current trips.” I found trips being led by hiking, outings, paddling, and biking committees, and by family trips committees as well,…

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Looking for serious adventure fuel? I recently perused the extensive energy bar selection at a local outdoor gear store. My objective: Identify which individually wrapped energy bar contained the most calories. (Note that they do not necessarily provide the highest calories per ounce, just the most calories contained in one package.) Here are the winners:Honey…

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The school year ended last Friday for our children. According to Virgil, summer vacation therefore officially began yesterday. (With the patience that children reserve for their dim-witted elders, he explained that the weekend didn’t count; he’ll start rolling his eyes as he explains such things in about three more years, if he follows his sister’s…

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This Friday, Peter Begley and his remarkable, not-quite-five-year-old son, Caleb, will drive from Boston to the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead, wriggle into their backpacks, and start hiking to Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Peter’s wife Megan, an AMC employee, will already be en route to the same hut, leading a President’s Society hike, and will meet…

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Losing your keys overboard can be a major inconvenience. But not if you’ve equipped them with their own personal emergency rescue gear! The new self-inflating key buoy from Davis Instruments provides a floating margin of safety for your precious keys. How does this nifty little, inexpensive ($7) doo-hickey work? PLUNK! OH, NOOOOOO! There go your…

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