January/February 2012

Snow conditions at the Highland Center were perfect last weekend for kids to sled and play in the fort outside the lodge, and perfect for parents and older children to snowshoe Mount Willard and cross-country ski at nearby Bretton Woods. But the icing on the cake for me was a 50-minute massage (on a heated…

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My daughter first visited an AMC hut when she was in the womb, prompting slightly nervous questions from the croo about my due date. Now that she can hike in on her own two feet, we’ve revisited that hut—the family-friendly Lonesome Lake—and we’re eager to explore new options. AMC offers many opportunities to arrange your…

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Goose down is the ultimate insulation, providing an unparalleled warmth-to-weight ratio. It just has one fatal flaw: If it gets wet, it loses all of its insulating ability. Enter a new species of treated, highly water-resistant down. The idea is simple. Coat each individual down cluster, plumule, and feather with a thin layer of water-repellent,…

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Summer may seem a lifetime away, but super-organized parents are reserving camp spots already. If you’re like me and still wondering what you’ll do this weekend, though, don’t worry; there’s time to make a plan. But more options are available if you start soon. Here are a few resources to help you: · find summer…

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Sometimes the most essential piece of gear for a big adventure is something completely intangible: a camping, hut, or cabin reservation. If you hope to visit some of New England’s most iconic destinations this summer—including Baxter State Park (and Katahdin, pictured), Acadia National Park, and AMC huts atop the Presidential Range—consider booking your trip now….

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Looking for a quick idea for an outing around Boston this weekend? Last Sunday, my family took advantage of the current discounted rates at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln and spent a great morning wandering the grounds. And the previous weekend, we saw lots of signs of beaver at the Punkatasset conservation land…

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Thousands of people have climbed all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers. Very few have tagged them all in one single continuous hike. In a recent post on SectionHiker.com, Philip Werner muses on the “White Mountain Direttissima.” The premise is simple: Summit all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks in one continuous hike without outside support….

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If you’ve packed up your tent until next spring, you might want to reconsider. Winter offers families another season — and another world — to explore through camping. Children may enjoy the wonderfully paradoxical nature of winter camping even more than most adults. It’s cold, but you are warm. There’s the immensity of the world…

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And you thought titanium was lightweight. If a new patent-pending design from Hexa Pot becomes a commercial reality, you may soon be able to boil water in a half-ounce container made from paper. Constructed from a “special non-toxic waterproofing multi-ply paper material,” the Hexa Pot is named for its six-sided, hexagonal design and is capable…

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Kristen Laine has been writing this blog since May 2009, and I’ve been happily editing it. Behind the scenes, we have enjoyed long conversations about raising kids, but readers have heard only her voice. This year, Kristen and I have decided to share the blog, alternating posts from our somewhat different perspectives—Kristen living in a…

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