"Courage is resistance to fear...not absence of fear." --Mark Twain
Five months before the publication of Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent, the story of Freya Hoffmeister’s 332-day paddle around Australia, the big, bold Woman in Black headed south from Buenos Aires on the first of three, eight-month legs of what she hopes will be the first circumnavigation of South America by kayak.
Hiking in and around Springfield, Illinois, undeservedly gets a bad rap. Situated between the Appalachians to the east and the Rockies to the west, most outdoor enthusiasts imagine walking through endless flat cornfields.
Au contraire mon frère. Hiking within the sphere of Illinois capital city presents trails among glacial carved lands, across wildflower laden prairies, within the rocky depths of the Sangamon River Valley and back into history, to walk where Lincoln did.
Dehydrophobia is the irrational and debilitating fear of dehydrating your food.
This phobia came to my attention after the publication of "Lipsmackin' Backpackin’." This book, designed for backpackers, regularly called for the use of a dehydrator. Despite the book’s popularity, there were a few readers that had an odd negative reaction to the suggestion of drying their food.
Their reaction was so extreme in fact that I, a trained psychotherapist, couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t something more insidious lying beneath the surface. What would cause this? An incident from their childhood? A genetic disorder? A bad case of giardia? And more importantly, what would Freud say?
And then one day it came to me! These people were consumed by a fear, a fear so debilitating that it might forever keep them from discovering the joys of dehydration! They were suffering from a new psychiatric disorder: dehydrophobia.
If you are suffering from dehydyrophobia, take heart! By following my four-week program, you CAN beat this.
Although it depends on the dog, some breeds take to the water as instinctively as Michael Phelps. Newfoundlands, Labs, and poodles typically enjoy doggy paddling, as do Portugese Water Dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Irish Water Spaniels, as their names suggest. Other breeds, however, like Jack Russells and Shiba Inus, aren’t swimmers, and some don’t even like to get wet. But whether your pooch is an old sea dog or a landlubber, any dog can get distressed in the water, so if you’re planning to take Fido rafting, kayaking, boating, or paddleboarding, it’s a good idea to outfit him with a life jacket first.
No stretch of water on the planet is as feared as the legendary passage around Cape Horn, where gale-force winds, rogue waves, icebergs, and summertime blizzards have sunk more than 800 ships. Freya Hoffmeister intended to paddle around it.
Our national parks are full of wonderful hiking opportunities. The Adventures with the Parkers series, which features a fictitious family of four—a mom and dad and their two children, twins Morgan and James who are going into 5th grade—follows this family as it spends a week or so in a famous national park and has adventures derived from trails, campgrounds, tours, or other experiences our best national parks have to offer.
You don’t have to be an avid mountaineer or a member of the ski patrol to appreciate the cool factor of this piece of avalanche protection gear. In the event of a massive snowslide, the North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest’s two airbags can be deployed by pulling an activation handle, much like a parachute. As the airbags inflate, they help protect your head and cause you to rise to the top of tumbling waves of snow, making you more visible and easier to reach by a rescue party. Because the ABS system has all the gee-whiz appeal of a James Bond gadget, it’s easy to forget that this baby is also a functional vest, complete with eight zippered front pockets and internal goggle and stash storage spaces. Thenorthface.com; $1,199.
Text-Friendly Gloves If you’re like me, when you’re off skiing or snowshoeing across a glorious winterscape, you don’t want to be simply gulping fresh air and developing a case of delayed onset muscle soreness. No, no—you also want to be shooting video, flipping through your iPod playlists, checking your friends’ status updates, and harvesting crops on FarmVille. And the last thing you want is to have to remove your gloves for any of this—particularly if you’re on the lift and it’s 20 below...