Equipped

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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AMC Outdoors, March 2002 By Michael Lanza There was a time in the not-so-distant past when buying a whitewater kayak was as simple as, at other times in history, buying a car (“Young man, picture yourself behind the wheel of this shiny new Model T”) or a facial tissue (“Excuse me, do you have a…

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Nothing compares to the crisp, clean air of winter and the magnificent view of a snowy landscape. But any trip into the outdoors, even a day hike, requires careful planning and the right gear. Always check the weather and trail conditions and prepare for the worst conditions; make plans with your group’s abilities in mind…

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AMC Outdoors, July/August 2001 Reaching the landmark age of 40 this spring impressed two lessons upon me: that certain old things stand the test of time, and that some things, sadly, just don’t work as well as the years roll by. What is true of human anatomy is also true of outdoor gear. Just as…

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  As an experiment, I once left an old tent rainfly out in my yard for several months, exposed to all manner of weather, temps above and below freezing — and, most important, thousands of hours of ultraviolet (UV) rays. I decided the experiment was over when lifting the rainfly from the ground caused it…

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