Whether you’re on a snow-covered hiking trail or bushwhacking through the woods, at some point on a snowshoe trek, you’re bound to come to a stream without a bridge. Whether the water is frozen or not, even a small stream can pose a slippery challenge. And if there’s ice, will it support the weight of…

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My first visit to the alpine zone in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was on Mount Washington. I was 15 years old, surviving day three of a high school orientation camping trip. The challenge of climbing several thousand feet to stand atop an iconic peak filled me with a sense of accomplishment. While the summit view…

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Hikers in the Northeast rarely plan to ford a stream deeper than their boot-tops, but bridges wash out, and spring runoff or a recent storm can swell a normally mellow brook into a treacherous torrent. Moving water is a risky challenge, but with the right technique, you’ll keep yourself upright and dry on your next…

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Anyone who has ridden a chairlift to the top of a windswept ski area, snowshoed down a snow-covered trail, or traveled into the backcountry by any means when all is white has imagined a cold, lonely night in the woods. Some people get lost. Others get stuck, stranded, or injured. It happens to even the…

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Federal and state agencies have rules for hiking with dogs in backcountry areas. Here are the key ones to keep in mind in the Northeast, followed by some AMC-specific regulations: National Parks Dogs are not allowed on many hiking trails on National Park Service lands, and those that do allow them typically require dogs to…

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When my dog Bravo sees me carrying hiking boots or a daypack, he races to the door. As soon as it swings wide enough, he squeezes through and plants himself behind the car, quivering with anticipation. As the tailgate drops, he leaps gleefully inside. Once in the car, Bravo rides unobtrusively, no matter the distance,…

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Hidden damages below Prince William Sound Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2013 My whole body trembled as the shadows darkened over our campsite beside Shoup Glacier near Valdez, Alaska. Sea kayaking in the rain on a 40-degree day on 35-degree water induced the chill. As night closed in, the wind picked up, and the rain came in horizontal…

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Retracing an ancient Incan trade route Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2009 I suppose it’s sacrilegious for an intrepid hiker to go to Peru for the first time and not trek the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, but it was a conscious decision that I don’t regret. Hike the famous Inca Trail to a world heritage site with…

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