July/August 2012

Think of it as a lightweight disposable French press. Each Coffeebrewer from Grower’s Cup contains about an ounce (26 grams) of ground coffee inside a slickly engineered pouch. Open the top, pour in half a liter of hot water, and let it sit for five minutes or so. The hot water steeps in the coffee…

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If you carry any rechargeable electronic gadgets into the backcountry, they won’t do you any good if they run out of batteries. Now you can choose from two different cook systems that generate electricity from the heat of your camp stove and can recharge any USB-compatible device. The PowerPot The PowerPot is an anodized aluminum…

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I’m a big proponent of trekking poles. As I detailed in “The pros, cons, and uses of trekking poles,” they significantly reduce the impact forces on your knees, as well as provide greater improved stability when traveling over uneven terrain. But trekking poles can be relatively bulky and difficult to carry when not in use,…

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Do YouTube videos of baby pandas help kids care more about the environment, or keep them feeling disconnected? What’s the happy mix between watching Jacques Cousteau and exploring nature firsthand? And can digital tools help inspire kids to get outside and learn more about their world? Since I write this blog, I certainly hope that…

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Put the business end of the Therapik on an offending mosquito bite and push the button. A nine-volt battery delivers focused heat to the targeted area. The chemicals causing the itch are neutralized after 30 to 60 seconds of applied heat due to the fact that most insect venom is “thermolabile,” or sensitive to heat….

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The Alpine Hammock can be used as either a traditional hammock or as a waterproof bivy sack. The brainchild of Mike Brown and Ryan Stolp, two recent engineering graduates from Tufts University, the bug-proof, waterproof Alpine Hammock offers a potentially ideal go-anywhere shelter solution for the Northeast backcountry. The design features a layer of waterproof…

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Alchemy Goods of Seattle takes used bike tubes and turns them into shoulder bags, backpacks, tablet covers, and other products. They then accessorize their unique gear with recycled—or “upcycled” as the company like to call it—seatbelts (for shoulder straps) and bike valves (zipper pulls). For cyclists who like to wear their passion on their sleeve…

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Little Shop of Horrors meets the trail—or should I say the boardwalk?—when you visit a bog and its carnivorous inhabitants. Are you ready to watch a beautiful but deadly sundew trap its prey? Learn about the Northeast’s wacky wetlands and plan your next visit with these tips from AMC. Discover five swamps and bogs you…

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Outdoor Retailer, the twice-a-year bonanza of outdoor gear, wrapped up this past weekend in Salt Lake City. This summer’s event brought together more than 1,000 outdoor equipment brands and showcased the latest and greatest gear for the upcoming season. Here’s what caught my attention from this year’s show. MontBell Tachyon WindshellHow light can you make…

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I thought I was helping my toddler when I rode down a playground slide with her, but a recent study suggests I may have increased the chances that she’d break a bone. Ditto when I let her join her older cousins on a backyard trampoline (albeit one that was enclosed so no one would fall…

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