January/February 2014

Don’t sweat. You may have heard this basic adage of winter adventure, which in my experience is all but impossible to achieve. But there are some simple things you can do to minimize the amount you sweat, which is still a very worthwhile goal. Why not sweat? It’s simple. If you sweat, your base layer…

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After a fluffy snowfall earlier this winter, my husband and our 4-year-old went out in the backyard to play. They came back at dinnertime with a project that intrigued me: They had packed a glass jar full of clean snow and screwed the lid tight. My husband asked: How long would it take for the…

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It’s a face-off (hand-off?) between two winter options, with a quick review of the pros and cons of each, as well as my personal preferences and recommendations. In This Corner: Gloves!  Gloves provide you with maximum dexterity, which is crucial if you’re doing anything that requires some degree of coordination. For day-to-day around-town winter handwear,…

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Don’t overlayer. You generate substantial body heat even in the coldest and windiest conditions, especially if you’re powering up a mountainside.  Leash your mittens or gloves to your wrists to prevent strong winds from blasting away these critical items. Secure loose straps on the outside of your pack or clothing to prevent them from flapping wildly in the…

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A series of telltale consequences begin to unfold as core temperature drops and hypothermia sets in. Knowing your “umbles” will help you recognize them—and take preventative actions before it’s too late. The “Fumbles”  Approximate Core Temperature: 98.6 to 95 degrees Condition: Mild Hypothermia One of the first signs of hypothermia is an inability to perform…

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You can easily burn 4,000 calories a day or more on a cold-weather adventure, which makes it crucial to consume sufficient high-energy food for body heat and go-power. Carbohydrates, especially simple sugars, provide the fastest energy and should be your primary source of daytime calories. Energy bars and candy bars turn into rock-hard bricks in…

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In a large fenced park in Finland, Christine Gross-Loh was surprised that mothers were not concerned when their toddlers wandered far away; none chased their kids as American parents would. In Germany, she was astounded to see a 5-year-old boy using a pocketknife to whittle a piece of wood. And when she enrolled her own…

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The cost of high-quality goose down for puffy jackets and sleeping bags has more than doubled since 2009. This recent Wall Street Journal article tells the story, but it basically boils down to increasing demand meets decreasing supply. Most goose down comes from China and is essentially a byproduct of producing geese for food. But…

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The number one mistake made by novice cross-country skiers: overlayering. You generate a lot of body heat as you ski. Here’s what to wear for cross-country skiing. A warm base layer is sufficient to keep you comfortable in all but the most arctic conditions.  Heat-stealing wind is a major concern. Wear a lightweight, wind-resistant top and…

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Carter Notch Hut—the oldest of AMC’s eight high-mountain huts—is a destination fit for all walks of life. For the past 100 years Carter Notch Hut has seen it all: family traditions spanning generations; first-time overnight visitors eager for a taste of the wild; ambitious peak-baggers seeking claim to the nearby Wildcat and Carter Ranges. This…

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