November/December 2011

Before I was married, I liked being out in the mountains on New Year’s Eve, dug into the snow up high, stepping out of the tent and looking at the stars in the winter sky, musing on the year just past, thinking about the year to come. I made lists in my mind of things…

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Altimeter watches are incredibly useful, but they haven’t been cheap—until now. The Casio SGW300H-1AV multifunction watch ($65) is one of the first altimeter watches to break the $100 price point, making this the most affordable wrist-top option for measuring your elevation. To achieve this price point, Casio has made some significant trade-offs. First, there is…

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“I am 16 years old and live in Harrisburg, Virginia,” the legal document starts. Grant Serrels, the young Virginian, goes on to describe what it’s like to be a 21st-century kid growing up on the Shenandoah River: When we moved to Timberville, Virginia almost six years ago, our family lived in a house located on…

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If you have a new pair of hiking or winter boots, make sure they fit properly. If they don’t, return them immediately for a better fitting alternative. Here’s what to look for. Check the LengthFirst, don whichever socks you expect to wear with your new boots. Next, identify your longer foot (most people have one…

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Wooden skis, leather lace-up boots, cable bindings. Space-age skis, plastic boots, step-in bindings. Stretch ski pants and anoraks. Jean overalls and down jackets. These are details that bring back a flood of memories from a childhood spent on skis — details shown to great effect in a “Vintage Skiing” photo archive on Boston.com. If you…

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The New York Times Book Review last Sunday contained a small feature, “Bookshelf: Snow,” a round-up of picture books about life in the cold. If you want to bring the pleasures of winter to a young child on your holiday gift list, take a look at the 5 recently published books in that article. Or…

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GPS watches measure your speed and distance, providing detailed stats about a given workout, whether running, walking, biking, or any other motion-based activity. But how accurate are they? Not very, according to a recent New York Times article. The piece cites several personal tests by the author, as well as some good interviews with race…

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It’s the final countdown. Here’s a quick round-up of week-before-Christmas deals (and shipping speed) from major online outdoor retailers. Cabela’sCabela’s has their “Christmas Hot Buys: 25 Days of Deals,” which features a variety of heavily discounted items at 20 to 50 percent off. To get it there by Christmas, Cabela’s is offering a free upgrade…

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“Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To see his woods fill up with snow.” These lines from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and other poems by Robert Frost decorate an unusual literary trail. During the years the…

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Raven MapsRaven makes the most beautiful wall maps. Period. For big-picture dreaming, check out their North America Map ($40 paper, $60 laminated), one of the few maps I’ve seen that portrays the continent in its entirety. For more local dreaming, Raven produces a striking series of State Maps ($30 paper, $50 laminated). AMC White Mountain…

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