Equipped

Frigid fingers are unpleasant. Numb wooden hands are far worse, and potentially dangerous in the chilly backcountry. Prevent the fingertip blues this season and keep your dexterity, enjoyment, and digits intact with these handy tips. IF THE GLOVE FITS In a properly fitting glove, your fingers should almost, but not quite, touch the tips. The…

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You are stranded, injured and alone. Night is falling, conditions are deteriorating, and there is no way out until the next day. Or longer. Are you equipped to survive? Your chances will be vastly improved if you carry these essential items and know how to use them. STAY DRY AND WARM Hypothermia will kill you…

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Sure, headlamps make you look like some sort of cyclopean beambrain. But it’s a small price to pay for the convenience of hands-free lighting, whether in camp, on the trail, or in the depths of your gear closet. Headlamp design has made a quantum leap in recent years, incorporating bulbs and battery-sipping LEDs into an…

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For many of us, heading into the backcountry for a multi-day trip means that we’re carrying more than just a loaded backpack. The monkey of caffeine addiction rides along as well, and you’ve got to feed it or face the logy, headpounding consequences. And, hey, coffee tastes good anyway. So what’s the best way to…

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A long-distance journey by bicycle slows the hyperactive human experience, allowing you time to investigate the places and cultures that surround you. It demands a certain level of fitness, but keeps you active, energized, and refreshingly alive. And when planned well, a multi-day bicycle trip even provides a good deal of leisure time. So what’s…

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In 1946, the U.S. Army created N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. Commonly known as DEET, it is the most widely used insect repellent in the world today. It’s also caustic enough to melt plastic, a concern for many outdoor enthusiasts who regularly slather it on their skin. A variety of alternatives are available, including several natural compounds, but how…

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For years, hikers only had three real options when it came to treating water in the backcountry: boil it, filter it, or add iodine. Now a broad array of weaponry is available to exterminate all the aquatic baddies looking to take up residence in your gut: bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidia, and especially parasitic enemy number one,…

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If you were on the trail for hundreds of days and thousands of miles, what would be your most cherished piece of gear? To help answer this question of packing priorities, we queried dozens of AT thru-hikers for their hard-won thoughts on the matter. Some answers you’d expect. Others may surprise you. Light is right…

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AMC Outdoors, March 2006 The first time you get into a canoe, it’s like the beginning of a love affair. Everything is exciting and new. You can’t get enough time together. All you want is to be alone on the water with your floating friend. But after a while the novelty begins to wear. You…

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AMC Outdoors, July/August 2005 Ah, a sock’s life. Absorber of sweat, keeper of odor, it lives entombed within the dark abyss of your shoes. Toenails prod it, footfalls pound it, and friction slowly wears it away as it dutifully protects your foot from blisters and abuse. Socks definitely take one for the team—and yet when…

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