March/April 2014

The soles of your shoes can tell you a lot about how you walk. Take a well-worn shoe and examine the wear pattern on the sole. This will quickly indicate how your feet strike the ground and how your feet move as you complete each step. Shoes with some tread (hiking boots, running shoes) are…

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A selection of fun, odd, and useful jargon for canoe parts and paddling: Air Lock: What happens if you try to lift a capsized canoe straight up. Bang Plate/Stem Band: A piece of reinforcement on the bow for extra protection against impacts and abrasion. Broach: Turn broadside to an obstacle, such as waves, wind, or…

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If you’re looking for the lightest weight shelter possible, a tarp is the way to go—and these days you can find a range of ultralight options that easily weigh under a pound. Here’s a quick review of some of the available options. Before we get there, however, it’s worth noting that such radical weight savings…

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In a bit of spring cleaning, I recently realized that I didn’t share the top posts of the past year as I usually do in January. It’s an interesting list, so even though it’s belated, here are the family outdoors highlights of 2013: the posts that were read and shared most widely. Top 10 posts…

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Thinking about your summer outdoor adventures? If you’re interested in spending the night at one of New England’s most iconic destinations, now is the time to make reservations. Here’s what you need to know. Baxter State Park: Chimney Pond Home to mile-high Katahdin and its airy Knife Edge—New England’s only true mountain arête—Baxter State Park is…

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You don’t have to stand on your head facing the sun, mouth agape, to accomplish this unusual (and highly undesirable) feat. You just have to spend enough time huffing and puffing in blistering sunshine on one of Nature’s most reflective surfaces: snow. Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV radiation, which means that you’re…

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With the epic winter of 2013-14 finally behind us, who isn’t thrilled to swap sleds, skates, and snowshoes for hiking boots, paddles, and sleeping bags? Living in New York City, the Catskill Mountain Preserve is our go-to destination for all of our weekend getaway needs. During the spring thaw, we plan trips to the nearby…

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It’s raining, it’s pouring, and despite your best efforts water is leaking into your tent. To keep you and your gear dry, you need to get it out. And the only way to do that is to mop it up. You could use a camp towel, sock, T-shirt, or bandana—and I’ve used them all over…

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For more than two decades Alpine Stewards have roamed Franconia Ridge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. These volunteers, representing AMC, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, educate hikers about the ridge’s fragile environment, Leave No Trace ethics, and hiking safety. Learn more about the Alpine Steward program and how you can get…

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Leave it to the treacherous roads and drivers of Boston to inspire somebody to create a bicycle horn that sounds like a car horn—and is just as loud. The Loud Bicycle Horn That somebody is Jonathan Lansey, who invented the Loud Bicycle Horn, a 23-ounce decibel-pumping unit that mounts to your bike tube just below…

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