November/December 2010

Ever fantasize about wearing your sleeping bag like a giant puff suit of warmth? Turns out you can with the Selk’bag 3G, a full-body sleep system complete with arms, legs, and hood. The Selk’bag is essentially a big, puffy, head-to-toe body suit. Filled with polyester insulation, the Selk’bag is rated to 35 degrees and features…

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The juvenile loon that we rescued from our pond last week spent four days with a wildlife rehabilitator. His home during that time was a six-foot-by-six-foot pool filled with water. The wildlife rehabilitator pumped air into previously frozen capelin to make them float — and therefore more palatable to a bird that expects to chase…

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If you go to AMC’s Highland Center at Crawford Notch next summer, you’ll find a new attraction, created especially for families and children — a natural playground. The same landscape architects who helped design the center are now working with AMC to create a natural “play scape” on the lawn to the west of the…

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Last summer, for the first time in anyone’s memory, a baby loon was born on the small pond that borders our property. Over the course of the summer, I watched the chick’s parents feed it and protect it, and felt a kinship. I recognized their care and their devotion — even their child-rearing issues. When…

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The rap on cross-country skiing is that it’s a sport for grown-ups. Cross-country skiing is hard, a workout — “skiing uphill” instead of downhill. All this hard work makes cross-country skiing unappealing to kids, the story goes, and not worth the hassle of teaching them to balance and glide on skinny skis. In certain communities…

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This weekend I bought a replacement pair of Black Diamond Midweight Gloves, the best pair of liner gloves I’ve ever owned. Made from Polartec Power Stretch, they have proved to be the most durable pair of liner gloves I’ve yet encountered. My current pair has survived two winters of regular use, including multiple winter camping…

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Happy December everybody! Today’s post is a triple hit of gear nuggets for your edification and amusement. Let’s start with the “Are you serious?” part of the line-up. Pole-Climbing Bike StorageWith this system, would-be bike snatchers need to be 20 feet tall to swipe your precious wheels. All you need is a lot of heavy…

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In my previous post, I described an emerging trend in “adventure playgrounds.” We’ve had our own playground adventure here in rural New Hampshire. The small school that Ursula and Virgil attend, Crossroads Academy in Lyme, decided last year to dismantle its playground. Out would go the slide, the jungle gym, and the monkey bars that…

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In this shoulder season, when the leaves are down and hiking trails no longer call, but before we have enough snow on the ground to play in or ice on the pond to skate on, my thoughts have turned to playgrounds. We explored the neighborhood park and playground while we visited Grandpa over Thanksgiving. It…

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Cold braces, cold bites, cold is your enemy on long winter nights. When late-night temperatures plummet and warmth is precious for sleep, a good winter sleeping system cocoons you in comfy dreamland no matter what the conditions. It’s in the BagFor winter camping adventures, you need a winter sleeping bag. Choose a model rated to…

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