November/December 2012

Here are the top 10 most viewed 2012 posts from the AMC Equipped gear blog, as tracked by Google Analytics. This is part one of a look at the 100-plus posts from 2012—stay tuned tomorrow when I feature my personal favorite posts from the past year. #10—Best New Gear from Winter Outdoor RetailerFold-up sandals, an…

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Every year on Christmas, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus with its cutting-edge surveillance technology and then shares this crucial information in real-time via the NORAD Santa Tracker. You can follow his location via a constantly updated map, keep track of the number of gifts delivered (2.35 billion and counting as…

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The Wölvhammer Boot from 45North is like a winter mountaineering boot transformed into cycling footwear, rather than a traditional cycling shoe beefed up for cold-weather use. The SPD-compatible cleat nests in the middle of a stiff and aggressive Vibram sole, which is topped by a waterproof rubber rand that encircles the lower boot. A heavy-duty…

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A few times recently, my daughter has corrected me when I have referred to the winter weather. She knows it’s still autumn, although it doesn’t always feel like it. But on Friday, the seasons will officially change. It is the winter solstice, the shortest day—and longest night—of the year. We mark this day as the…

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Traction is on my mind this morning after a slip-sliding adventure to the bus stop over ice-glazed sidewalks so slick they might as well have been Zamboni’d for a hockey game. To prevent a tail bone-cracking, face-planting splat of pain and ignominy, here’s a quick round-up of the grippiest, most durable traction systems for your…

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Brightness is typically indicated in lumens, a measure of the total output of a light source. A classic Mini Maglite flashlight peaks at around 15 lumens. A typical LED headlamp puts out roughly 50 to 100 lumens. A 100-watt light bulb clocks in at around 1,750 lumens. The Torch Flashlight from Wicked Lasers, touted as…

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Autumn is the showy time for many trees, when kids, teachers, and parents talk about and collect their bright leaves. But what about winter? You can keep the tree conversation going through the colder season by making observations on walks and other outings. Follow your budding naturalist’s lead when you can, but bring a few…

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One key feature distinguishes a jacket from a parka—and it can make a tremendous difference in warmth, especially if you’re tall. The terms “jacket” and “parka” get thrown around a lot in product names, catalogs, and other marketing literature. Though there are no hard-and-fast definitions of the two terms, the primary difference usually boils down…

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Did you know that you can overlay every available USGS topo map on Google Earth for free? And that you can set it up in a matter of minutes? Here’s how: 1) Install Google Earth if you haven’t already. 2) Download the Google Earth topo map layer from the ArcGIS Services Directory (it’s the NGS…

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In the current din of parenting advice—from tiger moms and drinking mommies, hipster daddies and tool-belt fathers—parents looking for advice on raising outdoor children may not realize how much their corner of the parenting bookshelf has grown over the past decade. Books for outdoor parents now go beyond guidebooks to include manifestos; new research in…

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