2009 Archives - Page 3 of 17 - Appalachian Mountain Club

2009

We spent Thanksgiving in western New York, where my father and stepmother live. Each time we visit, especially at this time of year, a song by Dar Williams plays on repeat in my head: “There’s another part of the country with a land that gently creaks and thudsWhere the heavy snows make faucets leak in…

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Are your feet cold-blooded, susceptible to even the slightest chill? A walking ice cube of screaming toe pain when the mercury really drops? Then you might be interested in some of the battery-powered heat found in these two new footwear products from Columbia. Columbia BugathermoThis winter, Columbia has introduced its first battery-heated boot: the Bugathermo….

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In my most recent “Equipped” article, I highlighted some of the most expensive, high-end outdoor gear on the market. (Check it out here.) There’s one area that I didn’t touch on, however: luxury multi-tools. I’m a big fan of Leatherman. This small company, based in Oregon, is owned by its founder (Tim Leatherman—now you know…

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In the current November/December issue of AMC Outdoors, I wrote a basic primer on what it takes to keep cycling through the winter. (Read the full article here.) Personally, of all the pieces of winter biking gear, the part that I find most challenging is handwear. My hands stay comfortable down to about 25 degrees…

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A flock of wild turkeys has been eating the dropped apples under the ancient apple trees in the field behind our house. At least once a day, they emerge single-file from the woods in back. They feast companionably on the fermenting fruit. Then they parade off in a line, crossing the road by the mailbox…

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As part of this month’s theme of winter travel accessories for your feet, let’s next take a look at aluminum crampons. They have some significant advantages over their steel counterparts, though also have some significant drawbacks. Aluminum’s biggest advantage over steel is weight. Most aluminum crampons hover somewhere between 18-24 ounces per pair, while most…

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A couple of years ago, Jim picked up a book he thought I’d like at a library sale. It was a thick old book, stained and worn. At the time, I barely glanced at it as he put it on my shelf. Over time, though, its title caught my eye: Handbook of Nature-Study. Above the…

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Top-end gear manufacturers love to push the limits of outdoor adventure—and stretch the boundaries of consumers’ wallets as well. Even in these times of economic malaise, there’s no shortage of budget-blowing options for the most expensive, highest-end outdoor gear on the market. As winter swirls in, do you ever fantasize that Santa might bring you…

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“Magical power,marvelous action!Chopping wood,carrying water….” These lines from a 1,000-year-old Zen Buddhist poem came to me last Sunday while Virgil and I stacked wood. I handed him a chunk of wood from a wheelbarrow and he flung it onto a growing stack along the side of the garage. We emptied the wheelbarrow and pushed it…

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A colleague recently asked me where she could find a zero-degree (or warmer) sleeping bag for her two youngsters (ages 2 & 5). I was stumped. There are lots of 15- through 40-degree versions of kids’ bags, but none that I knew of that are warmer than that. So I spent some time researching the…

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