September/October 2011

Like most of New England, I spent the morning shoveling snow. Wet, heavy, sloppy snow. My muscles, joints, and lower back weren’t too happy about it. So I wanted to share a quick refresher on ways you (and I!) can minimize the chances for a snow-shoveling injury this winter season. First of all, invest in…

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The first snow of the season arrived in a flurry earlier this week, here and around northern New England. The higher peaks had already received dustings, of course, and Mount Washington is nestled once again under the first layer of what will become its heavy winter blanket of snow. Even more modest changes in elevation…

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It’s almost Halloween, which means that construction-paper bats and pipe-wire spiders are going up in classrooms and on windows, and soon kids in all manner of frightening costumes will be going batty. It’s a good time to look at one of the things that go bump in our night. – Bats are the only mammals…

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Face it. No matter how much you love outdoor adventure, you spend many of your days, if not most of them, in a much more civilized setting. At home, at work, around town, whatever. Life calls. And for most of it, you wear casual clothes. My world is the same. So now that the first…

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We’ve relied heavily on hand-me-down gear to outfit our children over the years. Uncle Rik and Aunt Susan from Washington State have kept the kids in fleece jackets and snowpants. Whenever we see friends Chris and Patty, they pass along cross-country ski gear that their girls have outgrown. Ursula’s downhill ski boots have another kid’s…

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We are once again in the thick of the tick. Late October and early November are the most active period of the year for adult deer ticks, the species primarily responsible for the spread of Lyme disease. If you spend time in the woods and fields of the Northeast, here are some useful tips for…

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How much exercise do children get in school? As schools have focused on core academic subjects and on testing, have recesses and physical education classes been cut back, or cut altogether? How have tightening budgets in school districts across the country affected school-day exercise? How do the practices in my school district or in my…

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We started seeing cars on both sides of the road more than a mile from the trailhead. “This doesn’t look good,” I said to Ursula. In the other car, behind us, Jim was saying to our friend Andrea, “I’ve never seen it this crowded on Cardigan.” But then, maybe we’d never tried to hike up…

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Jetboil was the first company I profiled in my ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies (see the complete list below). It’s still one of my favorites. Here’s the latest on this great company, plus a personal rave experience with their customer service folks. Nearly a decade ago, Jetboil pioneered a hyper-efficient integrated stove and cooking…

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The ground is your cold, hard nemesis. You need a good sleeping pad to protect against it. With the right one beneath you, you’ll keep heat loss at bay and sleep in dreamy comfort ’til the sun rises again. The trick is to figure out how much padding and warmth you really need… This column…

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