Explore the world from an AMC lodge
Visit Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch and get a taste of Egypt, Iceland, Argentina, and other global destinations. The Appalachian Mountain Club’s International Dinner and Adventure Series takes place each Wednesday through March 15 (except Feb. 22), and includes cuisine from and presentations on Jordan and Egypt (Jan. 25), Iceland (Feb. 1), Wales (Feb. 8), Argentina (Feb. 15), Switzerland (March 1), Bhutan (March 8), and Tanzania (March 15). The full package includes a night’s stay, four-course dinner, breakfast, Great Glen Trails pass for skiing, fat biking, or tubing, and the presentation for $49 plus tax for AMC members, $59 for non-members. Or just do dinner and the presentation for $21 for members, $24 non-members. 603-466-2727, www.outdoors.org/internationaldinner.
Artists create masterpieces out of snow
Teams from across the Northeast will create fantastic sculptures out of snow at Black Mountain in Jackson starting at noon Jan. 27 during the 16th New Hampshire Sanctioned and Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition. Watch as each sculptor takes an 8-foot-tall by 4-foot round cylinder of compacted snow and turns it into a work of art. Artists will work on their sculptures until noon on Jan. 29, when their creations are judged on their originality of expression, technique, and message. The sculptures will be lit up at night and should last about a week, weather permitting. Don’t miss the marshmallow roasting, scavenger hunt, and torch-light parade throughout the weekend. Free, but donations welcome. 603-383-9356, www.jacksonnh.com.
Explore Toronto by foot and two skates
Celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a trip to Toronto, where you can strap on ice skates and glide around more than 60 indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, trails, and ponds. Skate around The Natrel Rink (and enjoy the heated indoor changing rooms), in front of City Hall in Nathan Phillips Square; at Mel Lastman Square, where you can join pickup hockey sessions; and at Greenwood Park, home to Toronto’s first covered outdoor artificial rink, where there’s a 700-foot skating path. Stay in one of the city’s two new luxury hotels (Hotel X and Bisha), slated to open this spring. Come fall, you can visit the reopened Museum of Contemporary Art this fall, and stroll along the revitalized waterfront. 416-203-2600, www.torcvb.com.
Marvel at and help protect
the world’s cheetahs
See cheetahs and help protect these endangered animals during two new Cheetah Watch Namibia Safari Tours, run by Marcy Mendelson, a conservation photographer and filmmaker whose goal is to raise awareness on issues facing these amazing creatures. The trips include luxury accommodations, game drives on private land and national reserves with rangers, and lectures and hands-on experiences with cheetah experts. Depending on the trip, you may climb high dunes, soar over shipwrecks, meet the Himba people, and camp under some of the world’s most starry skies. The Cheetah Watch Namibia Luxe Off-the-Beaten-Path Safari runs June 14-26 (starting rate: $7,200 based on double occupancy, not including international flights), while the Cheetah Watch Namibia Classic Safari runs July 2-14 (starting at $4,875). www.cheetah-watch.com.
A trail game for travelers
Boost your backpacking and wilderness knowledge with a clever game that takes you on a fictitious adventure along the Appalachian Trail, a 2,180-mile-long hiking-only trail that stretches between Maine and Georgia. The AT Game, produced by Outdoor Edutainment, comes in a car camping-size board version and a handy backpack- and suitcase-compatible version for travel. The small one comes with a foldable and water-resistant map of the AT, while both versions include plant and animal ID cards, and gear, trivia, and information cards. Answer trivia questions, “select” gear in your pack to tackle tricky situations and overcome challenges, and identify plants and animals to earn points and inch your way along the route. $19.95-$29.95. 828-318-6380, www.theatgame.com.
A burly little data storage device
Lacie’s latest portable hard drive can withstand being driven over by a 1-ton car, dropped from up to 4 feet, rained on, and taken into dusty environments. That means no need to worry about packing this tough little device in your checked luggage or taking it on all your travel adventures. With 1TB to 4TB of capacity, you’ll have plenty of space to store travel photos and videos. The Lacie Rugged USB-C hard drive comes with an orange rubber bumper that helps protect the hard disk drive (it is not a solid-state drive), and built-in password protection in case the drive gets lost. It also comes with USB-C and USB-A cables, so you can connect to newer and older devices, and transfers data at up to 130MB per second. Other features: 128MB of cache, and 5400RPM spin rate. $139.99 (1TB) to $249.99 (4TB). www.lacie.com.