Equipped

Consider this question. What’s more important to you: warm and dry feet, a comfortable pack, a breathable rain jacket, or your eyesight? Not a difficult decision, is it. So why do so many of us gladly dish out for the best shells, packs, and boots, only to put little or no thought into our eyewear?…

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Move over Gore-Tex AMC Outdoors, January/February 2004 By Michael Lanza I remember my thoughts upon getting my first waterproof-breathable jacket: This shell was going to show me new horizons. Hope does spring eternal. Sure, it worked great in downpours, snowstorms, and cold wind. But it tended to get so steamy when I was going uphill…

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  If you’re itching to explore snow-covered forest and mountain trails this winter, there are two nonmotorized modes of transporting yourself, and only one of them is really easy: snowshoes. In fact, in the Northeast mountains, where trails tend to go straight up and down too steeply for skis, the only way to get around…

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AMC Outdoors, March 2003 By Michael Lanza Dick Coveny followed a circuitous route into sea kayaking. Thirty years ago he started out with a whitewater boat, spent a winter perfecting one roll in a pool, then, in his words, “damn near drowned” on a spring weekend trip on which three other participants did drown. As…

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AMC Outdoors, December 2003 By Michael Lanza We who love the outdoors have a fickle relationship with technology in the backcountry. We tend to look down our noses at the latest gadgets. Remember when some climbers considered camming devices “cheating” (as only climbers, it seems, can perceive an ethical and aesthetic compromise in being safer)…

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AMC Outdoors, June 2003 By Michael Lanza Whoever made the first pemmican was more than two centuries ahead of the market. Composed of meat paste, fat, berries, and dried fruit, pemmican bars were a staple of the Lewis and Clark expedition and munched by Native Americans for who knows how long before that. But it…

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In short, yes. Although you’ll always get more support from heavier, stiffer boots, outdoor footwear is getting lighter thanks to innovative designs and materials. Peek into this manufacturers’ bag of tricks and you’ll see: Designs that emphasize support where needed while reducing material elsewhere. Combinations of nylon (which can reduce the weight of a pair…

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AMC Outdoors, October 2003 By Michael Lanza Like many people, there are facts from my past that I know to be true, and yet that seem so unbelievable, so incomprehensible, that I find it hard to reconcile that bit of personal history with the person I am today. I know you know what I mean….

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AMC Outdoors, December 2002 By Michael Lanza So, you want to dive feet first into winter, but can’t decide whether to strap on snowshoes or skis? Each has advantages and disadvantages. Snowshoes are preferred by many winter novices because they can step into them and go, whereas skiing requires some practice. Snowshoes are more “agile”…

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AMC Outdoors, June 2002 By Michael Lanza When you decide to buy a pack, plan to try on several models to find the one you like best. When trying one on, fill it with the stuff you’ll carry on the trail (it’s OK to bring your gear to the store with you)—no more than one…

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