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Katie Vaughn

Kamik winter boots

Kamik -25ºF Enchant Front-Zip Winter Pac Boots are rated for comfort in temperatures as low as negative 25 degrees.

A waterproof lower foot section with flexible lug sole is coupled with a three-layer liner made from moisture-wicking material. Women’s boots feature a front zipper. Medium-width boots come in three colors — sage, light blue and light purple.

The boots cost $60 per pair and are available at, and

Lightning ice rod

The solid pultruded fiberglass blank of Berkley’s Lighting Rod Ice fishing pole is flexible yet durable, according to the company.

Designed for cold-weather fishing, the rod’s grips are warm and comfortable, and its oversized stainless-steel guides inserts are smooth, light and strong, and will not freeze in tough conditions.

The rod comes in lengths of 24, 28 and 30 inches, and costs $10.95.

For more information, visit

Heated headwear

A range of hats, beanies, berets and headbands by Heat Factory feature secret pockets over the ears designed to hold small disposable warmers.

The soft, lightweight pouches activate when exposed to air and can generate their own heat for more than eight hours. Available in a range of colors, headwear comes in both junior and adult styles.

Price varies by design. For more information, visit


It has become a summertime necessity to apply sunscreen. But those spending time outdoors during winter also must protect their skin and eyes from sun damage.

While ultraviolet, or UV, radiation is somewhat weaker this time of year, winter conditions can increase the risk of sunburn and “snow blindness.”

Snow and ice, for example, reflect the sun’s rays more than most materials. And the sun’s rays are dangerous, even in cloudy or hazy weather.

Overexposure and continued exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Sun exposure during winter can harm the eyes temporarily by causing snow blindness. Symptoms of the condition, which typically do not appear until six to 12 hours after exposure, can include eye pain, extreme sensitivity to light and the sensation of having sand in the eyes.

To avoid these problems, take the following precautions:

* Limit time spent in the sun, particularly when rays are the strongest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher when spending 20 minutes or more outdoors. Reapply every two hours.

* Regularly apply lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher.

* Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun and glare. 

* Wear a hat or clothing that covers or protects eyes, ears, face and back of neck – areas prone to overexposure.