Welcome to “Equipped,” a new blog from AMC Outdoors. Beginning in June, columnist Matt Heid will be writing bi-weekly posts about all things gear-related. Please check back soon for his first piece, and frequently thereafter as this blog develops. You can stay up-to-date by signing up for an RSS feed, and feedback is welcomed so…

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Photograph by iStock. Family tents see some serious traffic. Big feet, little feet, even dog paws routinely traipse through. Endless rummaging for items of fun occurs. Moisture invades. To keep your tent neat and organized, try the following: Bring a small whisk broom and dustpan for clearing out leaves and dirt. Place an old towel,…

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I’m a map junkie, always looking for my next cartograph­ic fix. To me, maps are more than just drawings—they’re adventures waiting to happen, gateways to exciting new worlds. And for backcountry travel, I crave the best topograph­ic maps I can get. The U.S. Geological Survey publishes topos for the con­tiguous U.S. at a scale of…

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In 1955, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood became the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. She was 67 years old and walked the entire route in a pair of Keds sneakers, carrying only an army blanket, a change of clothes, and a shower curtain for shelter. Her pack was a strapless handmade denim sack toted atop…

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Outdoor gear has a rough life. Thrown in the dirt. Tossed on the rocks. Snagged by branches. Nicked by knives, crampons, and other unfriendly objects. The rigors of the trail inevitably take a toll on your equipment, leading to minor rips, gaping tears, and the occasional calamity. Don’t let a gear problem slow you down…

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We know there’s no such thing as a healthy tan, so we dutifully apply sunscreen before we head out. But is there more to it than that? Are we using enough of the right product to ward off premature aging and skin cancer? This summer, protect your youthful looks, maintain your winter pale, and shield…

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When I was a kid, my family camped with a monster. Its name was Big Blue. A sail-sized swath of azure fabric, this beast of a tent demanded serious attention. Upon arriving at camp, we meticulously assembled dozens of separate pole sections that had to be attached in a very particular (and never remembered) order….

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Crowbars, hacksaws, bolt cutters, and Bic pens…life can be tough for a bike lock. As the spiraling price of oil entices more and more people to trade gas pedals for bike pedals, the pickings are getting rich for savvy bike thieves, especially if new riders aren’t taking proper precautions against theft. So lock and load…

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It’s ironic that outdoor enthusiasts—a generally eco-conscious bunch—clothe and outfit themselves extensively with petroleum-based products like polyester and nylon. The reason is simple. Compared to natural alternatives, the advantages of synthetic materials—lightweight, fast-drying, durable—are usually more desirable, at least when it comes to outdoor activities. So how can you reduce your gear’s carbon footprint without…

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A knife is considered one of the 10 essentials, a critical piece of outdoor gear for safety, convenience, and whittling your marshmallow stick. There is a vast universe of knife styles and models out there, however, ranging in price from $25 to $100 and beyond. So how do you hone in on the right edge?…

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