10 things to do on Black Friday instead of shopping

10. Make cookies for friends and family.

9. Change the diaper. Feed. Burp. Tummy time. Nap. Repeat.

8. Read a book about suffering and happiness in the cold, at altitude.

7. Write a poem: Roses are red / Violets are blue / What ever shall we do? / Let’s try the zoo!

6. Go to the zoo.

5. Take down the Halloween decorations.

4. Plan your next trip.

3. Pull out your gear box and randomly weigh items.

2. Watch Patagonia’s Worn Wear video. Then attend a screening party at a Patagonia shop. Learn how to fix your gear instead of buying new stuff.

1. Get outside in the sun, snow, rain, fog, mountains, canyons, sands, plains.

Two ways to see the outdoors

The New York Times and Sotheby’s, via a link on the Times website, offer up two ways to get outdoors:

1. Buy the $3,575,000 Snowmass, Colo., Lazy O Ranch:

(via sothebysrealty.com)

(via sothebysrealty.com)

Enjoy panoramic views from this dramatic, fully remodeled home on 3.56 acres overlooking the majestic 1,400 acres of Lazy O Ranch! Features include 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 half baths, 9307 square feet, spacious floor plan, top of the line finishes, striking log accents, ample master suite, wine room, theater, recreation room, air conditioning, two car garage, mature landscaping, pond/water feature and privacy. The ranch amenities include common horse pastures, barn, tennis courts, fishing ponds, hiking/riding trails and a manager on site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Just 16 miles to the center of Aspen, and 6 miles to the quaint town of Basalt with specialty shops, restaurants, and renowned Gold Medal fishing in the Frying Pan River. Seller will consider a trade for a U.S. commercial income property of equal or greater value. Flexible and Creative Owner Financing Available. Originally $7,450,000 Now $3,575,000

(Hey, it’s reduced!)

2. Head out into our national parks and forests.

From Times columnist Nicholas Kristof:

During an August vacation with my family, I enjoyed lodgings so spectacular that not even Bill Gates or Warren Buffett could ever buy or rent them.

The scenery was some of America’s finest: snowcapped mountains, alpine lakes, babbling brooks. The cost? It was free.

We were enjoying some of America’s public lands, backpacking through our national patrimony. No billionaire can acquire these lands because they remain — even in a nation where economic disparities have soared — a rare democratic space. The only one who could pull rank on you at a camping spot is a grizzly bear.

One of the greatest things about heading into the outdoors is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong, you can spend a fortune outfitting yourself with all the latest gear and creature comforts, but you don’t need to do so in order to have a good time. Also, once you do have the gear your need — bargain basement or high end — the cost-per-day of being outdoors is not very high. Campgrounds are cheap. The miles you hike vs. the cost of food produces a nice return. Even a plane ticket, if planned out in advance, isn’t horrible when stacked up against vistas, rocks and waves. A bundle of wood may cost $5, but you get a couple of hours of enjoyment out of it while sitting around a fire. And, inexpensive beer and wine taste pretty good under the stars.

Think I’ll stick with the second option…

Could this sticker defeat mosquitoes?

Kite Patch from SPARKHOUSE on Vimeo.

The Kite Patch is designed to emit a mix of chemicals that makes us (humans) invisible to them (mosquitoes). Designed as an alternative to the sprays and lotions containing DEET and other compounds, the Kite Patch is meant to be worn on a piece of clothing and to provide 48 hours of protection.

From Wired.com:

Olfactor’s non-toxic compounds work against mosquitoes’ long-range abilities to detect humans through CO2, as well as dampening the insect’s short-range ability to sense us from our basic human odors. These chemicals, which give off a “faint pleasant smell,” will be applied to a small sticker, which [Grey] Frandsen [vice president at ieCrowd] notes is the cheapest, easiest, and most adaptable way to design a spatial insect repellant. The patches will then be shipped off to Uganda for field testing, which should begin before the end of the year. “Really, what we’re doing is creating a rapid scientific development process, a rapid prototyping process and then a very aggressive go to market strategy,” Frandsen says of ieCrowd’s method.

If this patch is successful in the real world, it will have a tremendous effect on the continuing fight against malaria. According to the World Health Organization, in 2010 there were approximately 660,000 malaria deaths worldwide and about half of the world’s population is at risk from the disease.

The patch sounds like it could become a great option for those of us who love the outdoors, too.

You can donate to the Kite Patch campaign on Indiegogo for a few more days.

Related:

Can you actually outrun a mosquito? Outside Magazine has the answer.

Have you ever wondered what it looked like on the inside when a mosquito gets you? A French study used a microscope to see how mosquitos feeds on blood. Let’s just say they have a very long and very determined snout.

Follow @mountainscallme on Twitter.

Sell it all; hit the road

A nice video from Dark Rye, an online magazine from Whole Foods.

Joss and Jessa Works, and their son Jack, decided to sell everything and hit the open road in an Airstream trailer, “launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering.” Working and staying connected with friends and family remotely, the Works talk about the decision to upend their lives and one of their most important early lessons — slow down.

Tomorrow Somewhere New from Dark Rye on Vimeo.

Ever consider this?

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Ouch: Photography not all fun and games

Being an outdoor photographer sounds like a ton of fun — travel, take images of amazing places, follow incredible wildlife and get to watch amazing athletes do their thing.

Well, it isn’t all fun and games. For all the upsides, it is still a job with myriad problems, headaches both figurative and, as photographer Dawn Kish shows us, literal.

Image

Photo courtesy of Dawn Kish via Arizona Highways

From Arizona Highways:

You’ve seen photographer Dawn Kish’s work in our magazine. She’s a fantastically talented photographer, always willing (and ready) to do what it takes to get the shot. In this case, she may have gone a little too far. Find out what happened to her below:

Wow, those are some shiners! What happened?
I smashed my face with my camera in a big ol’ Grand Canyon rapid. I just got a new underwater housing for my camera and was so excited to shoot in the rapids. I was too busy trying to get the shot and didn’t hold on tight. We hit a big hole, and wham. I hit the cooler with my camera in front of my face. Ouch!

Full disclosure: My wife is a professional photographer, and I wish I had 1/10th her talent with a camera.

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