September/October 2009

As part of my ongoing series of Northeast-based outdoor gear companies, I wanted to highlight New England Ropes. Based in Massachusetts since its founding in 1967, New England Ropes today produces the vast majority of its product line at their company headquarters and manufacturing facility in Fall River, Mass. New England Ropes produces a wide…

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Hello again from Northern California, where I spent the last three days paddling on Tomales Bay along the Point Reyes National Seashore. My brother and I spent the night on a couple of the beaches along the way, where he pioneered his innovative pillow cage. Finding a good pillow for the backcountry can be challenging….

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On Saturday, we’re going to hike the Appalachian Trail in a day. Well, not exactly. But we are going to help the Dartmouth Outing Club celebrate its centennial by joining nearly 1,000 other hikers to cover the entire 2,176-mile trail in 24 hours. Full disclosure here: I am married to a Dartmouth alum. Jim arrived…

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We caught our first leaves of the season yesterday. The conditions, as they say, were perfect: trees at the first peak of color, a good breeze, flat and easy terrain, and three children (and a mom) with a few minutes to spare. On Wednesdays, I pick up the kids at school and bring Ursula and…

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As months go, October may best illustrate the ever-turning cycle of seasons in the Northeast, as the last summerlike warmth flares, foliage reaches its annual peak, and summits acquire their first dustings of snow. Two-wheeled family adventures turn the seasonal cycle to advantage. AMC authors and bicycling trip leaders offer three simple tips for family-friendly…

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Hello from Northern California, where I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area updating one of my hiking guidebooks for a new edition. While here, I’m also taking advantage of the opportunity to go surfing with my brother, a lifer Californian who spends tons of time on or near water, either surfing, fishing, boating, or some…

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We’ve had an explosion of nuts around our house! Oak nuts, that is, more commonly known as acorns. We can’t walk down the road right now without hearing the crack! and thunk! of acorns dropping nearly a hundred feet from the sky. If we didn’t know before that many of the trees lining our road…

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We don’t have TV in our house — the satellite we have is for Internet access, not cable — and normally I don’t miss it. But every once in a while a TV program comes along that I wish I could see along with everyone else. “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” the six-part series…

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Many gear manufacturers consider PrimaLoft to be the best synthetic insulation available, especially for clothing. A number of high-end gear companies like Wild Things of New Hampshire (See my August 13 post) extensively use PrimaLoft in their product line. (You can check out the full line-up of PrimaLoft-using gear companies here.) Like other popular synthetic…

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This is the final post in a series on great fall hikes with children around the Northeast. In most years, the change in the season arrives last along New England’s southern coastline, so with this post I am paying special attention to walks with a salt-water view, although I also include some inland highlights. The…

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