May/June 2011

Standard bike saddles are bad for you. The protruding front piece, or nose, compresses against your perineum, that small section between your, ahem, front and back equipment. This reduces blood flow to your genitals and can cause decreased sexual function and sensation in both men and women, especially if you spend a lot of time…

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A friend planned a girls-only vacation with her pre-teen daughter. She booked them a night at a historic Cape Cod inn, rented bicycles, and made a reservation for two at a restaurant she thought her daughter would enjoy. It had been a busy school year, and she liked the idea of walking along the beach…

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Mmmmmm, coffee. In this new video, I explain how to make cowboy coffee, a powerfully delicious cup of caffeination brewed using only coffee grounds and a pot of boiling water. At the end, I’ve added several more details that didn’t make the final editing cut. Pouring off Cowboy Coffee In the video, I show my…

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Before the school year ended, Virgil’s third-grade class visited the Montshire Museum in Norwich, Vermont. For their final science unit of the year, they were studying astronomy, and their teacher had some surprises for them. I went along as a chaperone. We started our visit inside an inflatable planetarium called Star Lab, crawling into the…

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The nights can be warm during the dog days of summer, which means you need only the bare minimum of insulation to keep you comfortable while sleeping in the backcountry. It also means that you can save some serious ounces by investing in an ultralight sleeping bag. Here are the lightest of the light, five…

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I’ve never been a big fan of flip flops, those ubiquitous summer sandals that attach with little more than a foot-tickling piece of material between your big and second toes. One of the main reasons is that they are terrible for your feet and lower legs. Now Superfeet has attempted to address this problem with…

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Outside magazine is not normally a place I turn to for parenting advice. So I was intrigued when a link to a Father’s Day-themed series in the magazine came across my desktop. Some of Outside‘s macho attitude came across with it: The text to the link asked, “Are You Raising a Wimp?” and offered “Essential…

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The Environmental Working Group recently released its 2011 Sunscreen Guide, a comprehensive round-up of 1,700 sunscreens and SPF-rated lip balms, moisturizers, and make-ups. The guide reviews them all, including their effectiveness against both UVB (which causes sunburn) and UVA (which causes wrinkles, premature skin aging, and increased cancer risk). Here’s a list of their Top…

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Last week’s steamy weather reminded me of a hiking trip our family took last summer. Shortly after noon on a blisteringly hot, windless, and humid July day, we pulled into a trailhead parking lot for an overnight hut hike we’d planned for months. We started sweating as soon as we stepped out of the car,…

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When you’re shopping for an overnight backpack, the single-most important feature to look for is a good fit. And when it comes to fit, the most important element to get right is the waistbelt. If, however, you’ve got no hips, no outward curvature around your waist, then you may have a problem. I certainly do….

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