January/February 2015

Whether you’ve been outside for five minutes or the whole day, frostbite—which occurs when blood flow is restricted due to severe cold and can cause tissue damage if untreated—has little sympathy for the body. Those parts of your body farthest from your heart, such as your fingers, toes, and face, are especially at risk. Frostbite…

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Winter coats the Northeast landscape with glorious adventure, opening doors of opportunity that can only be experienced during this magical season. Here are eight exceptional outings, from easy to epic, to consider adding to your life-long agenda. 1) Visit a frozen waterfall Summer spray transforms into crystal sculpture at the Northeast’s greatest winter waterfalls. The…

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Sure, you can don any number of winter traction systems, from Yaktrax to crampons, microspikes to Stabilicers. But none of them have the built-in convenience of Icebug footwear. Sweden-based Icebug produces a line of footwear with steel carbide studs integrated directly into the sole, which provides excellent traction underfoot when walking on ice and snow….

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Your face is at risk for frostbite in bitter cold and freezing wind, especially in above-treeline winter conditions. To fully protect it, you need two things: a facemask and goggles. A good mask fits snug against your face and nose with no gaps whatsoever; the smallest exposed sliver will rapidly frostbite in severe winter conditions….

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Things you think about while shoveling out more than a foot of snow. (Again.) How high can I consistently throw snow while shoveling? Will it clear the summit of Snow Planet, the mountainous pile next to my driveway? And if all this snow around me instantly melted, how much water would I be standing in?…

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Flipping pancakes with my 11-year old daughter Tasha on a cold December morning recently, we saw a group of wild turkeys outside pecking at the bittersweet berries along our stone wall. I grabbed my cup of coffee after breakfast and we headed out to watch them. We quickly found their three-toed tracks in the driveway,…

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It’s been snowing a bit in New England lately, a slow-motion avalanche from the sky that has buried the entire region under feet of snow. It’s been a remarkable, fascinating, and exhausting spell of weather. So take a break from shoveling out for the umpteenth time and dig instead into a trove of map-based data…

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Studded bike tires provide remarkable traction on snow and ice but don’t fully replicate the regular all-rubber grip you experience on dry asphalt. Think of riding with studs as the biking equivalent of walking on sand-covered ice. You can walk or bike as you normally would, but any abrupt or sharp turn can cause you…

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Warmth in sheep’s clothing. Photo: WoolX Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. Turns out there’s more than one company in the Northeast specializing in merino wool garments. WoolX joins Minus33 in the cadre of regional merino wool proselytizers. And, after testing out one of their midweight tops, I would say my conversion…

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February is National Bird Feeding Month, and naturally Mass Audubon is a place I look to for ideas and activities to help celebrate our feathered friends, from bird-feeder workshops to the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Mass Audubon formerly ran a program called Focus on Feeders, but this year it phased that independent project out…

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