July/August 2011

Have you noticed that your camera sometimes takes pictures that are overexposed and overbright, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of bright sky? Or that the pictures are underexposed and inappropriately dark? There’s a simple way to address this problem: exposure compensation. Every digital camera, even the simplest point-and-shoot will give you the option…

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A is for apple. Considering how easy the apple is — to pick and to eat — it makes sense that so many kids start the alphabet with it. Around the AMC region, apple-growers are readying for this year’s harvest. Local apples are already showing up in grocery stores in the north country. The apple…

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The T-shirts were hard to miss. AMC regional director Ruth “Sam” Jamke was volunteering at Madison Spring Hut last weekend when she noticed a man wearing a T-shirt with a map of the Presidential Range on the back. The map was marked by a long, winding route along the range. She saw that a boy…

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Got a camera? Want to take better pictures? Then read on. This is part 1 of a series that will discuss several simple things you can do to improve your photos. Understanding White Balance Consider this. If you take the color white and put it in a precarious situation, say on a tightrope over the…

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“One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” The last line in Robert Frost’s poem, “Birches,” came to me yesterday as I watched Ursula climb the trees down by the pond — two trees, actually, side by side at the water’s edge and not more than two feet apart at the base. They’re…

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The outdoor industry has done a good job stressing the importance of water treatment in the backcountry, primarily to eliminate giardia—a nasty intestinal parasite—from your drinking sources. But the evidence is mixed, at best, as to how real the risk actually is. The most comprehensive study I was able to locate comes from the International…

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“You’ll probably want to drive with your windows down,” one of the instructors called after us with a laugh. We’d just picked up Ursula at the conclusion of her Teen Wilderness Adventure and had turned to walk back to our car. Our friends Chris and Patty were with us; their daughters Sarah and Rita had…

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Here’s part 2 of the latest and greatest gear from the recent Outdoor Retailer convention in Salt Lake City, culled from a variety of online blogs and other sources. Watch for these new products in late 2011 and 2012. Gerber Steady Multi-Tool Shutterbugs no longer need to carry a separate tripod on backcountry excursions. The…

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The outdoor gear universe gathers twice a year in Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer, where manufacturers showcase all the latest and greatest in the world of gear. Over the next two posts, I’ll highlight some of the most interesting items, culled from a variety of online blogs and other sources. Watch for these new…

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Virgil has made a leap this summer — literally, and, for me, somewhat frighteningly. Just shy of his ninth birthday, he has improved enough as a swimmer that we’ve allowed him to jump by himself into deep water. It’s a moment that comes sooner or later to every parent when, despite your fears and concerns,…

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