Whither the Weather

I would argue that to really love the outdoors, nature, life beyond the comfy confines of a house with a thermostat set to something above 60º, a person has got to love weather.  Real weather- not just blue sky, sun’s rays on the shoulders, balmy T-shirty stuff.  Or maybe what I’m getting at is that to truly love the outdoors, the untamed world, the realm that scalds, freezes and wind whips-  a person has got to love clothing…

In any case in seeking to enjoy life beyond the built world its best that a person know how to dress.

Here’s a list of my favorite essentials in order of affection (but then again I’m fickle):

1. Long johns (preferably silk or woolen)… photo courtesy of underwear expert

LongJohns

2. Earflap hat (makes your head feel snug as a hibernating bear)

3. Insulated socks (don’t even think cotton or synthetic)

4. Camisole or undershirt (wicks off sweat, gives you something to strip down to)

5. Vest (with dip in the back to warm the kidneys)

6. Wind pants (like having a portable house, something like a hermit crab)

7. Gators (keeps the snow out of that vulnerable gap between ankle and pant cuff)Isadora duncan

8. Cowl (better than a scarf because it won’t commit murder like Isadora Duncan’s did)

9. Wool sweater naturally waterproofed with lanolin smallSheep (I like the smell as well as the  look)

10. Mittens (superior to gloves- or to have it all- woolen half gloves worn inside mittens)

(Joking..)  HalfGlove    Bonus Item: Ice grippers,

         there’s a zillion kindsSnowGrip

BigGrip

icegrippermain

So embrace the weather, love it, romp with it, get down and dirty with it.

And for another little nudge of inspiration here are a couple books:

Chasing The Monsoon by Alexander Frater

&

The Future of Ice by Gretel Ehrlich

I love them both

Posted in Adventure, Alexander Frater, Climate Change, clothing, danger, Depression, exhilaration, Footwear, Gretel Ehrlich, Happiness, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neil Young: MY HERO

Who’s Going To Save the Earth?

Who’s Going to stand Up to the

Big Machine?

Join me in answering with one Voice:

ME!

Posted in Africa, Apathy, Australia, China, Climate Change, danger, Depression, exhilaration, Gobi Desert, Happiness, Lapland, Mexico, Mt. Washington, mushrooms, Music, Neil Young, Nepal, Serengeti, South America, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Tuckerman's Ravine, Viggo Mortesen, Walking, weather, Wild | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Night Hike

There’s something uncanny about Labor Day, at least here on the East Coast of North America.  The day before Labor Day you can strip, don your bathing suit, head for a body of water, dive in and swim, re-emerge, remain scantily clad while going to get an ice cream cone still dripping from your plunge, and not see one goose pimple.

Not so the day after Labor Day.  Forget your damp bathing suit.  Grab a sweater and restock your cabinets with cocoa  and scotch (preferably Chocolate Mamas chocolate and Oban…).

hot-chocolate_article_banner_imgOn the East Coast of America where I hail from, the day after Labor Day (post-Labor Day: PLD) means summer is done.  Dead.  It means winter is descending faster with each breath exhaled.

Pull a sweater over arms and long underwear over chilled gams, a plunge in temperature is not a problem; what is a problem post Labor Day is a sudden absence of LIGHT.  Daylight. Come noon PLD you should be looking for your flashlight.

 To hikers what this means is PLD you now have stark choices; get up at 5:00 AM to get a jump on the sun as it makes an arrival, forego breakfast altogether or eat nuts and berries from a Scotchpocket on the trail.  That or sleep in and after dragging out of bed attach a headlamp to your dome to keep the oncoming shadows at bay.

 (Excuse me while I pause to pull at my hair and growl a the dimming sky seen out my window at 5 past 1:00 PM.  This typed in werewolf blood…) 

Point is, to deal with miserly PLD daylight you can either cut down on your activities and pleasures- hiking say- or embrace your inner werewolf and celebrate the dark.  I recommend the latter…

This said, a few days back when faced with a restless dog, legs itching to move and a darker shade of grey settling all around, I lace up my boots, dressed my dog in her orange reflective coat, reached for my newly purchased LED lantern and took to the trail.

NightWalk1

Posted in Adventure, danger, Depression, exhilaration, Happiness, Hot chocolate, Night, Scotch, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to be Happy?

picker

British and American scientists have published new research showing that group nature walks help us combat stress while boosting mental well-being.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and Edge Hill University in England evaluated 1,991 participants in England’s Walking for Health program, which hosts nearly 3,000 walks per week for more than 70,000 regular participants. They found that the nature walks were associated with significantly less depression in addition to mitigating the negative effects of stressful life events and perceived stress. The findings were published in the September issue of Ecopsychology.

Excerpted from Lauren Steele’s article for Outside Magazine

Posted in Depression, Happiness, hiking boots, Walking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

There is a Goddess: Sarah Marquis

I wish this were me,  This could be me.  And this could be you.  But this is Sarah Marquis.  Sarah is Swiss and she has been pursuing adventure for 20 years.  She walked 10,000 miles in three years.

Sarah says,

“Let your soul touch the earth… go walking!”

Sarah_Marquis_Basse_5.jpg

Here’s a link to more about Sarah: http://www..ch/pg/pages/view/163/bio

femina_44_sarah_marquis_13_0.jpg

Posted in Altitude, Australia, China, danger, exhilaration, Gobi Desert, Mexico, South America, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jon Henrik Fjällgren: Colombian Laplander, Singer!

Words not needed… Enjoy!

And another performance, this one in Stockholm, without reindeer alas

Posted in Jon Henrik Fjällgre, Lapland, Music, Reindeer, Sweden | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildebeest Dream

I will one day soon go to Africa to see this incredible scene for myself.  Meanwhile I’d love to hear from any of you out there who have heard the snorts of wildebeests and felt the thundering beat of their hooves as they gallop across the Serengeti.

May the wild remain wild forever!

Posted in Africa, exhilaration, Serengeti, Tanzania, trip planning, Wild | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment