January/February 2011

Cold feet are a plague that can infect winter fun with soul-sapping discomfort and pain. Nobody likes their toes whimpering, shrieking, and then silently suffering in cold, vasoconstricted agony. If only you had feet heaters that worked via remote control! Enter Thermo Soles. Touted as “the world’s first wire-free rechargeable heated insoles,” these red radiators…

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How do you dress a kid for 20 below? That’s been the question around here the last couple of days. Even though the temperature is heading back into the teens (“practically a heat wave,” said one dry wit at carpool this morning), it’s a good time to consider how to dress children for warmth and…

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If you’ve ever backpacked with a bear canister to protect your food from ursine consumption, you know this: Bear cans are bulky. They are heavy. They are awkward to pack. But there are backcountry destinations that require them, either by law (several national parks, including Yosemite) or common sense (remote bear-central backcountry, like Alaska and…

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The first of several posts highlighting cool new gear introduced at Winter Outdoor Retailer 2011—the industry’s biggest gathering of gear manufacturers, retailers, and outdoor media. The event took place January 20-23 in Salt Lake City. Touch-screen technology is awesome. Except when it’s not. Like when it’s cold out and the only way to operate your…

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Walk into any outdoor shop and you’re immediately awash in a sea of synthetic materials. Nylon and polyester are everywhere, their virtues—Lightweight! Durable! Fast drying!—extolled in everything from tents to fleece to rain jackets. But when it comes to insulation, one natural material radically outperforms the best synthetic alternatives: goose down. This is its story….

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Teachers and parents alike know how hard it can be to motivate kids after a snow day. We had a snow day here last week, and my children definitely would have stayed home to work on their snow fort or gone snowboarding instead of going to school the next day, given the choice. Ken Brummel,…

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Each year The Outdoor Foundation produces its annual Outdoor Recreation Report, which details participation trends for Americans in a range of outdoor activities. After browsing through the entire 68-page 2010 report, here are some of the more interesting factoids that jumped out. Two of the top four fastest growing outdoor activities in 2009 were snow-related:…

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Ursula made me promise that I would start the story of last weekend’s “snowshoe misadventure” by telling you I made a ton of mistakes. Boy, did I. As I’ve written here, I’ve spoken recently with a whole cadre of “kids and snowshoes” experts — including AMC’s Adventure Programs Manager Sara DeLucia, NH Chapter trip leader…

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“Liquid Mountaineering” is the term given to a new sport introduced in 2010: Running on Water. Not running through a puddle or on a soaking sidewalk. We’re talking about running on top of a pond or lake without falling in. Here’s the YouTube video demonstrating the pioneering athletes behind this new endeavor: Turns out the…

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It’s the rare movie premiere that occurs in Hanover, New Hampshire. So I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that the Loew Theater at Dartmouth’s Hood Museum was full to capacity last Wednesday night for the first screening of “Mother Nature’s Child: Growing up in the Media Age,” a documentary by filmmakers Camilla Rockwell and Wendy…

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