September/October 2009

In today’s post, we have a quick round-up of some new and updated gear that has caught my attention: Jet Boil Flash Jet Boil has released an updated version of their Personal Cooking System, which I discussed in depth in my June 14 post. It’s essentially the same set-up, with a few upgrades: 1) They’ve…

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This fourth in a series of posts about great hikes with children around the Northeast explores the landscape of the Hudson River Valley, where so much of the hiking is colored by the region’s especially vivid history. Four hundred years ago this month, Henry Hudson of the Dutch East India Company sailed up the river…

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If you have an iPhone or other smartphone, you may be holding the future of hiking guides in your hand. The iPhone 3GS includes a built-in GPS that will display your latitude and longitude coordinates even when you’re outside cell or WiFi range. Imagine you’re disoriented or lost on a hike. Simply turn on your…

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Back to the science of measuring brightness! (and comparing headlamps!) As we discussed in the previous post, lumens are a measure of the total brightness emitted by a light source. It can be a useful number when comparing headlamps, as when stacking up the new and old Petzl headlamp series highlighted in my September 13…

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For most people, one of the most important features of a headlamp or flashlight is its brightness. This can be a surprisingly difficult thing to compare, since headlamp manufacturers and retailers often list brightness according to several different measures: candlepower, lumens, lux, and watts. Today’s entry explores the first two. CandlepowerThese days, candlepower is a…

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School’s in. Summer’s out. The days are getting shorter. Homework routines and after-school activities are getting started. In the busyness of a new school year, one thing that can disappear from a child’s calendar is simple playtime outside. When today’s parents and grandparents were children, most of them spent their free time playing outdoors. Today’s…

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With this third in a series of posts about great hikes with children around the Northeast, we travel to Connecticut. The 4 walks described here include a classic summit, child-friendly geology field trips, and uncrowded walks along Long Island Sound. Each hike offers an enjoyable and educational outdoor adventure for children and adults alike. Mount…

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A couple new items of gear caught my attention this weekend: an updated version of Petzl’s best-selling Tikka headlamp series and a pair of new wrist-top GPS units from Garmin. New Petzl HeadlampsIn the late 1990s, Petzl introduced its Tikka headlamp, the first to use LEDs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs ($25 in 2009). (Nowadays,…

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This is the second in a series of posts about great hikes with children around the Northeast, describing accessible summits, classic fall hikes, and rambles to remember. I started in the north country with 8 kid-friendly hikes in the White Mountains. This post takes us south into Massachusetts, to the celebrated Berkshires. One of the…

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I’m a map junkie. Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few maps of the New England backcountry. But there’s only one series of maps that decorate my walls: Raven Maps.Raven Maps produce the finest wall maps. Period. They are works of art as much as they are trip planning resources. The terrain leaps off…

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