July/August 2013

Annette LeBlanc Cate is not an “expert” birdwatcher. As she says in her new book for kids, titled Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, “not a single pair of my binoculars even work properly! I just really love birds.” It’s that amateur’s fascination with birds that makes this new book so fun—and inviting. Cate,…

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What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at an AMC hut? How many pounds of food and supplies do croo members pack in? What’s your favorite hut meal? Can you name all eight AMC Huts? In celebration of 125 years of high mountain hospitality in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, we hit the trails…

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eBird enables professional and recreational birders to submit their bird sightings to an online database. Launched in 2002, it is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society and has become a significant source of real-time data about current bird locations and numbers. As an example, in March 2012 alone…

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How on Earth do you make sunglasses from cotton? That’s the real mystery behind the release of the Ace, which Zeal Optics announced last week. Their press release and video are pretty scant on details, besides a fleeting reference to “cotton resins.” And they also don’t address other important details like “Will they shrink if…

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Tent zippers can be tricky to repair, yet are crucial for maintaining a bug-free tent environment. The big repair challenge with tents is that the doors almost always feature “closed-end” zippers on the doors; the two ends are sealed closed and, unlike a jacket or sleeping bag zipper, you cannot open either end to thread…

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Here’s the scenario. Police lock up a high-value bicycle in a location where thefts have been known to occur. Thieves make their move, cut the lock, and soon the purloined bicycle is on the move as well. Unbeknownst to the thieves, however, the bike has been equipped with a hidden GPS tracker and alert system…

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I recently returned from a much-needed vacation on a beautiful island with sandy beaches, extensive bike trails, and the world’s best milkshakes. But what was I focused on? The bathrooms. The stalls at the campground where we stayed were way too small for a parent and child to squeeze into, so I had to squat…

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Anti-mosquito apps emit a high-frequency sound designed to keep mosquitoes away. Produced by your smartphone or tablet once you activate the app in mosquito country, the sound is inaudible to humans but not to mosquitoes, who—according to the theory here—interpret it as coming from a potential mosquito predator and therefore avoid it. The most popular…

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Is the GoStak system better than zip-lock bags for storing your trail grub? In some ways, yes. In other ways, definitely not. Regardless, it’s an intriguing new take on food storage systems for the backcountry. Produced by  BlenderBottle and released earlier this year, the GoStak system features a collection of four different sized hard plastic…

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Watch a time-lapse video shot on Franconia Ridge and from AMC’s nearby Greenleaf Hut on the shoulder of Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains. You can find more of the Time-Lapse series and browse all AMC videos on YouTube.

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