Flashback

The shiny brass theodolite in AMC’s Library & Archives was built by a British firm, likely in the late 1800s, but its exact provenance and its path to AMC remain unknown. Artifacts make up a small portion of AMC’s collection, but the theodolite’s relationship to AMC’s own history of cartography and trail building is strong…

Read More....

Months after forming AMC in 1876, club officials entered the publishing world with the first edition of Appalachia. The journal, which remains in print today, featured mountaineering narratives, conservation stories, and club news. Despite that success, more than a decade passed before AMC published its first book. AMC’s inaugural title, Mountaineering in Colorado, was published…

Read More....

ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING GEAR might seem like a modern phenomenon, featuring the latest and lights high-tech materials, but the idea dates back to the very beginning of organized hiking in New England. More than two dozen outdoors organizations attended the first meeting of the New England Trail Conference (NETC) in 1916. These college outing clubs, hiking…

Read More....

The 75th anniversary of AMC’s first bike trip got us thinking about how the second World War changed outdoor recreation. While WWII unfolded overseas, a host of challenges faced those on the home front, from a gas shortage to a depleted workforce. Although recreation was far from a priority, the war did much to shape…

Read More....

Humans have hiked and paddled and climbed for centuries, but specialized outdoor-recreation gear is a relatively new invention. Advertisements in Appalachia, AMC’s member-publication-turned-journal, mirror the evolution of this industry across the decades. Clothing and equipment ads started appearing in Appalachia in the 1930s, as interest in skiing spread. Early ads featured fur-trimmed snowsuits and parkas,…

Read More....

» CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When AMC’s Mountain Leadership Committee (MLC) was established in 1958, it came with a clear agenda: a multifaceted campaign “in response to the growing need for action in the field of mountain safety,” as announced in Appalachia. Although the backpacking boom wouldn’t fully hit for another decade,…

Read More....

» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW On July 8, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson dedicated 5,000 acres on Maine’s Mount Desert Island as Sieur de Monts National Monument. The National Park Service (NPS) was founded later that summer and, in 1919, Sieur de Monts was redesignated and renamed Lafayette National Park. Doesn’t sound familiar? A…

Read More....

» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When a Boston medical-supply company introduced The Appalachian Emergency Outfit at $2.50 apiece, circa 1920, initial sales were slow. Manufactured by Boylston Street’s E.F. Mahady Co. specifically for AMC, the backcountry first-aid kit failed to entice club members because, as a 1921 AMC report claimed, “so confident…

Read More....

In AMC’s early years of trail work, members concentrated on building new trails in the White Mountains. The organization oversaw the construction of iconic routes through King Ravine, the Great Gulf, and Tuckerman Ravine, along with many other trails that remain in use today. But as trail mileage grew, so did the need for regular maintenance. At first, AMC hired local woodsmen to occasionally clear trails. Then, in…

Read More....

Many history books have a limited shelf life, but Chronicles of the White Mountains, written by Frederick W. Kilbourne and published in 1916, remains in print a century later. The massive typed and handwritten manuscript of what was the most comprehensive history of the region to date now resides in AMC’s Library & Archives, along…

Read More....

Search AMC Outdoors and Blogs


Search for:

By Issue