Last fall, National Geographic introduced a free, user-friendly web tool that automatically breaks up USGS topographic maps to fit onto standard 8.5 inch x 11 inch printer paper. If you’ve ever used any standard-sized USGS topographic map, you are well aware of the over-sized dimensions that such maps typically come in. That means that if you download one in its entirety—and you can…

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Got trees? In the wooded backcountry of the Northeast, the appeal of hammock camping is obvious—you can pitch a comfortable, sleep-worthy hammock in far more places than a tent. But hammock camping has its challenges as well, from learning to pitch one appropriately (and with minimal impact) to protecting yourself from rain and weather. For me personally, one of the…

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The past two weeks have featured some bitter face-burning winds, Arctic temperatures, and a full dose of extreme winter weather. And when I think of extreme winter weather, the observatory atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire usually jumps to mind. Few places on Earth can rival it for atmospheric intensity and the fury of raw…

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There are myriad ways to celebrate the iconic list that is the 4,000-footers of New Hampshire. Now a whole new batch of T-shirts, posters, and other items are available to help capture the obsession, fascination, and dedication these mountains inspire. These 48 peaks, each of which rises to a height above 4,000 feet, have been represented in many a product…

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Few things pack as much nutritional and go-power punch as seeds. Loaded with fat, carbs, and protein, they provide sustained energy for minimal weight and should be considered any time you’re looking for maximum calories per ounce of food. But many popular seeds (chia, poppy, hemp, etc.) are also tiny and hard to eat on the trail, which…

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Stepping into the backcountry means leaving behind your cushy standards for immaculate hygiene. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice health or basic cleanliness while camping or backpacking. It just means you need to understand what really matters—and how to stay clean in the most eco-friendly way possible. Handy Tips Dirty hands are a primary cause…

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A backcountry adventure probably means leaving the deodorant at home and embracing your natural self. Follow these steps to remain safe, sanitary, and to control B.O. Turn your undies inside out to extend their life. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer clipped to your pack for easy access and regular cleansing. Carry a set…

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You can strap a lot of different gear to your feet for winter adventure. But do you really need to? There are obvious benefits to avoiding the hassle and weight of equipment like snowshoes, gaiters, and crampons—so here’s my advice for evaluating whether you need them in the first place. For this exercise, I’m going to…

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Deep snow, cold temperatures, and slick conditions are upon us throughout much of the Northeast. If you’re headed outside for winter adventure, that means it’s time to strap some extra gear to your feet. I’ve written extensively over the past few winters about the myriad options available for winter traction, from the latest no-slip winter boots to…

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A sufficiently warm sleeping bag is one of the most important items you can buy for a winter camping adventure. But this crucial piece of gear doesn’t come cheap, with many high-end models running well north of $500. If you are thinking about expanding your outdoor overnight adventures to include the winter season—or are just interested…

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