May/June 2013

The Trans Adirondack Route runs for 236.4 miles across the length of New York’s Adirondack Park from its northern to southern borders. It was first hiked by outdoor adventurer Erik Schlimmer in 2010 and established as a formal long-distance route this year with the publication of Schlimmer’s guidebook, Blue Line to Blue Line: The Official…

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Part 24 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Peterboro Basket Company uses white ash harvested in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to produce a vast array of baskets designed to meet nearly every basket need you can imagine, and then some. For more than 150 years, this small family-owned and operated business has…

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A colleague of mine recently had the misfortune of having her bike stolen. Was it locked up? Yes. So what happened? Unfortunately she had chosen to use a cable lock, which is one of the least secure options available—it can be snipped in seconds with a bolt cutter, as hers was. In researching a replacement…

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Yes and no. It depends on the concentration. Here’s the important thing to understand: Essentially all insect repellents effectively keep mosquitoes at bay. They just vary in how long they work before they must be reapplied. And therein lies the rub. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a naturally occurring chemical, unlike DEET and picaridin, which…

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Its name is Earl, an 11-ounce, $299 tablet designed specifically for the challenges and abuses of the outdoors. Here’s a quick round-up of Earl’s key features: A burly case that fully protects the electronics from dust, mud, and water. You can safely submerge it in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Solar panels laminated…

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There’s the 10 essentials—and then there’s the 13 essentials for dealing with the walking undead. This entertaining infographic from REI (below) is part of the company’s large and growing collection of infographics that, in general, provide much more practical advice and insights than how to deal with zombies. They’re just not nearly as amusing. Consider,…

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Ever hear that an extra pound on your feet is equivalent to 5 pounds on your back? Whether or not that oft-quoted piece of backcountry wisdom is exactly right, one thing is definitely true: Hiking requires less effort in lightweight footwear. And therein lies the allure of wearing trail running shoes instead of heavier hiking…

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When hiking with kids, it’s always good to have a payoff to reward their effort, whether you’re offering a mountain view or a chocolate bar from your backpack—or maybe both. One of the best attractions to keep kids going on the trail is water, whether it’s burbling brooks, flowing waterfalls, or swimmable lakes. Here are…

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A new study out in the Journal of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine found that a mere 18 percent of hikers carry all 10 essentials—and that two of the most commonly forgotten items are perhaps the most crucial in a survival situation. The study surveyed 199 hikers in summer 2011 at three White Mountain National Forest…

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Few things are more demoralizing on a backpacking trip than multiple days of sustained rain. No matter what you do, you’re going to get wet. Your boots and socks will get wet. More and more of your gear will get wet. And, quite likely, your mood will start to get a bit wet as well….

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