Before heading out the door to punish yourself in the cold for eight hours, doing whatever it is you like to do when most of the country is watching football and drinking beer, you throw a couple of cheap steaks, half a bottle of red wine, and some root vegetables into a Crock-Pot on the counter. You turn the dial to low. In a tumbler, muddle a raw sugar cube, a destemmed cherry, an orange slice, and four dashes of Angostura bitters. Add a dash of Sprite and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add a chunk of ice and two ounces of Korbel brandy. Garnish with another cherry and orange slice and serve.
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Those crappy slip-ons you got for Christmas a few years ago that get clammy and make you look like Archie Bunker? You can do better. As for layering up top: Before there were fancy fleeces and merino midlayers, there were turtlenecks and heavy-knit wool sweaters. While the former are mostly extinct, the latter continue to evolve. And now that the whole lumbersexual look has become a hipster uniform, how about slipping into something more comfortable than grandpa's scratchy wool jacket? Our favorite is the privately run Opus hut , a stone chalet fashioned from a reconstituted year-old Wisconsin barn.
The best way to do Opus is to find 15 friends and fill the thing. The only downside? Creating one requires a bit of know-how. Igloo Ed. Essentially a plastic mold attached to a telescoping pole, the sub-five-pound Icebox makes it easier to form perfect blocks and erect a dome that sleeps five and is tall enough to stand up in. Start by staking the pivoting base of the Icebox pole in the center of your planned igloo, extending it to the maximum length, and clipping it to the mold.
To create a block, dump snow into the mold and pack it down. For each new block, lift and pivot the mold. At the start of each new level, shorten the pole one setting. After five levels, carve a tunnel-like entrance, with the top edge just above floor level.
This will help keep the igloo warm, too. Near the top, remove the outside panel and pile snow onto the open mold. To make the roof, remove the side of the mold so it becomes a flat tray, then pile and pack snow on top. The walls are already free-standing—they freeze themselves in place. The sport is famous for being difficult, but when played properly—on a frozen pond during the coldest days of the year—hockey rewards anyone who shows up.
Even a first-timer feels the thrill of speed. And with the sun just over the horizon all day, the light is always perfect. Little is required other than skates, sticks, and a puck. And you can make do without any of that: broom ball, the equipment for which is self explanatory, is a worthy Plan B. Boots placed a few feet apart work for goals, but if you want to get fancy, put a board over a couple of paint cans.
That keeps the puck down and your teeth where they belong: chattering in your mouth.
As for the ice, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is one of many agencies that publish a safety guide. It recommends four clear inches of ice for walking around on or fishing. That should suffice for a game. Got a foot of ice? You can drive your pickup on it and tailgate. Like most worthwhile adventures, pond hockey has you enjoying what would otherwise be miserable conditions.
Nature tries to freeze your ass off. Instead, you laugh, thank her for it, and keep on playing until the light fades and you can barely see the puck. In , Canadian backcountry skier Greg Hill climbed and carved two million vertical feet over days. On most of them, he powered up in the morning with two servings of this simple concoction, which he calls Bird in the Nest. Cut a hole in the center of the bread and place in the pan.
Crack the egg and pour into the hole. Sprinkle the cheese over the egg.
Fry until the yolk is no longer runny. Just cut the hole bigger first. For a number of years, I found myself getting a little less excited about the arrival of winter. Recently, though, I discovered a secret weapon. On a backcountry ski outing with a group of friends, it was four degrees when we started out from the trailhead.
By the time we finished our first climb, my hands and toes were gone and all my energy had been used to heat my body. We stopped in a grove of trees to strip off our climbing skins, and I wondered if I could handle the moderate, powdery pitch below. A few sips of vacuum-sealed joe later, warmth was emanating from my core.
Forget heated boots and chemical hand warmers—a hot drink is the ultimate cold-weather equalizer. His go-to backcountry recovery tool? A makeshift sauna. Stick both ends of a long, supple branch willows work best in the ground to form an arch. Repeat with more branches until you have a dome. Dig a pit in the center, then drape a tent fly or a plastic sheet over the branches.
Gather several large stones and heat them over a fire outside the sauna for about 20 minutes. Seller: Book Depository US. Other Sellers.
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