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Go outside in January and like it

Happy 2008! I inaugurated the new year with a snowy hike and fly fishing in Colorado's Cheeseman Canyon. Although the river's huge trout proved uncatchable, it was amazing just to be on the South Platte in the quiet of winter. But how did I stay in 20-degree weather without freezing my patoods off?

Here are a few of my time-tested secrets...

----Anything is possible when you have a thermos full of hot chocolate (make sure your thermos is big enough for your entire group--my 1-quart Stanley is enough for three people).

----A nip of bourbon never hurts. Just one medium-sized gulp before leaving the care is plenty.

----I couldn't do without my EMS hoodie: Thumb holes mean its sleeves never ride up; a head-hugging hood keeps foreheads and necks dry and warm; and it's slim enough to fit under a down jacket.

----Toe warmers. These packets heat up as soon as they are exposed to air, and according to the company, they are environmentally safe. Just make sure you keep them outside your sock--they get steamy!

----Good polarized sunglasses and sunscreen. Duh.

----Merino long underwear. I wear two layers in the winter.

----A good attitude and a buddy. I probably wouldn't go too far without someone else making sure I wasn't getting into trouble.

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