For many of us, heading into the backcountry for a multi-day trip means that we’re carrying more than just a loaded backpack. The monkey of caffeine addiction rides along as well, and you’ve got to feed it or face the logy, headpounding consequences. And, hey, coffee tastes good anyway. So what’s the best way to…

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The final miles of the Appalachian Trail weave through a wild landscape flush with the diversity of northern Maine. Here, along the longest stretch of trail that doesn’t cross a paved road, intrepid hikers can visit sluicing rivers, sheening lakes, monster trees, and airy viewpoints. Two nearby mountains await as well, surveying the entire region. But be aware:…

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Love the beach but hate crowds, traffic, and the oiled masses? In the Northeast, summer mania regularly inundates coastal destinations with sand-loving hordes, making it difficult to quietly commune with the sea. Consider opting instead for these peaceful strands, which offer long stretches of lesser-traveled oceanfront for hiking, exploring, and simply soaking it all in….

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In 1946, the U.S. Army created N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. Commonly known as DEET, it is the most widely used insect repellent in the world today. It’s also caustic enough to melt plastic, a concern for many outdoor enthusiasts who regularly slather it on their skin. A variety of alternatives are available, including several natural compounds, but how…

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For years, hikers only had three real options when it came to treating water in the backcountry: boil it, filter it, or add iodine. Now a broad array of weaponry is available to exterminate all the aquatic baddies looking to take up residence in your gut: bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidia, and especially parasitic enemy number one,…

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May is the best month of the year for wildflowers in the Northeast. As forests awaken from their winter slumber, the ground explodes with spring ephemerals blooming in the brief sunny window before the trees leaf out and seal the woods in deep shade. Explore these choice destinations to see them in their greatest riots,…

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If you were on the trail for hundreds of days and thousands of miles, what would be your most cherished piece of gear? To help answer this question of packing priorities, we queried dozens of AT thru-hikers for their hard-won thoughts on the matter. Some answers you’d expect. Others may surprise you. Light is right…

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The Appalachian Trail travels through the Northeast for 1,166 miles, from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., to the summit of Katahdin, in Maine. Along the way, it journeys through profound natural diversity, pauses at mind-bending views, and spans the breadth of Northeast hiking experiences. You may never hike the entire AT, but you can still revel…

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AMC Outdoors, July/August 2005 Ah, a sock’s life. Absorber of sweat, keeper of odor, it lives entombed within the dark abyss of your shoes. Toenails prod it, footfalls pound it, and friction slowly wears it away as it dutifully protects your foot from blisters and abuse. Socks definitely take one for the team—and yet when…

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AMC Outdoors, April 2005 A pair of trekking poles can transform you into a fleet-footed, four-legged, full-body hiking machine. Or a brush-snagging, rock-scarring, hand-encumbered trail beast, depending on your point of view. In most situations, trekking poles improve your balance, and make crossing rushing streams, walking on slippery surfaces, and hiking over loose rocks both…

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