March/April 2013

Short answer: A lot. Long answer: It depends on a multitude of factors, including body weight, pack weight, elevation gain/loss, terrain, and more. Here’s a quick round-up of a few online estimates (and guesstimates), plus some useful tools, for gauging your total caloric burn on your next backpacking adventure: Backpacker Magazine suggests a simple calorie…

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Yes and no, but mostly no. A tent footprint protects the underside of the tent from abrasion and moisture, helping to extend the lifespan of the tent and keep it drier on the inside. Footprints exactly match the shape of the tent, which minimizes the amount of fabric required for full coverage, and feature corner…

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DEET and picaridin are both effective mosquito repellents. As I detailed in Picaridin vs. DEET, several scientific studies have demonstrated their efficacy against this most common insect bane. However, little to no studies have been done comparing the effectiveness of the two repellents on other biting insect pests, including black flies, no-see-ums, sand flies, and…

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It’s inevitable. Whether you like it or not, consumers will soon be selecting from a wide range of products that provide real-time, internet-connected information directly in their field of vision. The Oakley Airwave, $599 The soon-to-be-released Google Glass has garnered most of the attention, but similar concepts and technologies are increasingly popping up in ski…

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A quick round-up of the best online resources. Weather does whatever it wants in the Whites, so it’s essential to have a good sense of current conditions before heading out on your next outdoor adventure. Here are the sites I look to for evaluating current weather, snowpack, and trail conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains….

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Grab one end. Roll it up. Twice. Ever done battle trying to get an inflatable sleeping pad back into its stuff sack? The usual reason for the struggle is residual air trapped inside the pad, which you can essentially eliminate using this basic double-roll technique: Open the valve and roll the pad firmly for its…

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It’s inevitable. If you use your outdoor gear long enough, you’ll eventually experience small tears, puncture holes, loose seams, or any other number of issues that require a small patch to restore your gear’s integrity. Over the years, I’ve needed to patch everything from tents to sleeping bags to down jackets. And my go-to fix-it…

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Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach. The deep blue sea extends before you, its surface rippled by waves and a growing breeze. A small enchanting island breaks the horizon a few miles offshore, crowned by a lighthouse and an idyllic camping area. Behind you a protected lagoon lies calm and still, connected to the sea…

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Gore-Tex hiking boots are supposed to be waterproof, right? Well, they are—except when they’re not. My standard hiking footwear is a pair of Vasque Sundowner Classics, which include a Gore-Tex liner. I’ve worn them in nearly every outdoor condition imaginable and most of the time they have effectively kept my feet dry, yet I’ve found…

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Last Easter, I decided to take my toddler on an adventure. No basket filled with fake grass and chocolate bunnies for her. We would keep the Sabbath Emily Dickinson–style, in the natural world. We would visit Walden Pond.   Going to Walden is not, for us, the pilgrimage it is for many visitors. As a local,…

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