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Skiing and Snowboarding : Travel

The Ultimate Ultralight Sleeping Kit

Light-is-right fanatics take heed: don’t bother cutting the handle off of your toothbrush just yet. If you’re going on a multi-day trip, look to your sleeping system to shave some serious weight.

After 2,700 miles on the road, our cross-country walking tester Andrew Forsthoefel gave us the scoop on his setup. It kept him warm and comfy in conditions down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and it weighs in at a mere 3lbs 1oz.

ThermaRest_NeoAirXLite

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Upload a Photo to Protect the Places You Love to Play

Clif

Give money to your favorite environment-protecting non-profit without spending a dime.

Clif Bar is inviting outdoor enthusiasts to protect the places we play by sharing photos and stories of our adventures on MeettheMoment.com. (Clif Bar's Meet the Moment is also sponsoring Outside's So There I Was tool, which allows you to upload and share photos of your favorite outdoor moments.)

Upload a captioned photo of a great outdoor experience you recently had and Clif will reward you by donating $5—up to $100,000 for the campaign—to your pick of five outdoors-protecting non-profits: Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Leave No Trace, Surfrider Foundation or Winter Wildlands Alliance.

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The Buy One Give One Model Comes to Bicycles

Source2

This September, Specialized Bicycles will release a limited edition Source Two WBR. It’s not a bike for winning high speed road races or for hurling yourself down rocky outcroppings. It’s a metro-styled urban cruiser that won a host of design awards in Europe last year.

But the best thing about this limited edition bike is that when you buy one, Specialized will donate a Buffalo Bicycle to World Bicycle Relief (WBR), an organization that distributes culturally appropriate bicycles in rural sub-Saharan Africa, where the bike is the single most important tool to achieve independence.

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Flying Pigs and Penguins at 51 Degrees South

To get things between the 740 islands of the Falklands, a lot of flying is needed. Much of it is done by one of the four pilots in the Falkland Islands Government Air Service. Pilot Troyd Bowles delivers everything from tourists to remote lodges to farm animals to remote pastures to penguins to the vet—and sometimes all of those things somewhere at the same time. Such a delivery might require him to cover up a penguin's bottom with a bag to help prevent any stench from bothering tourists during a long flight.

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Shhh: The Best Performance-Enhancing Drug Is Legal and Free

IMG_360010 p.m., summer solstice; Villefavard, France. Photo: Katie Arnold

I’m walking slowly through a bucolic farming village in the French countryside, gawking at a cluster of 100-year-old stone houses with blue shutters and window boxes spilling over with orange geraniums. It’s nearly 10:30 p.m. on the summer solstice, the sun has just set, and a farmer, finished cutting his hay for the day, is driving his tractor down the middle of the road. The magenta hollyhocks are in full bloom, and in this golden light, even the cows—the fattest, healthiest I’ve ever seen, with cinnamon hides and newborn calves—are exquisite. I’ve left my own little ones at home for 10 days, the longest and farthest I’ve been away since they were born. I should be relaxed, but I’m not. All I want to do is write, run, walk, and swim. I’m hungry all the time, and buzzing with so much energy I can barely sleep.

Is it jet lag or insomnia? Separation anxiety? Nope. It’s the quiet. I’m here at La Ferme de Villefavard on a six-day silent writing retreat, no talking allowed. Before I arrived, I worried that the hush would freak me out or hobble me with homesickness, but the opposite is true: Silence is addictive. It’s a performance-enhancing drug. From writing to running, it makes me better at everything I do.

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