September/October 2014

A cockeyed old post holding a series of signs marks a junction 1.8 miles onto the Great Gulf Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. The top sign, a slab of bare wood, has text carved deep into its surface: “Entering Great Gulf Wilderness.” To the west lie 5,500 acres of federal Wilderness—the first…

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One of AMC’s founding goals was to produce a White Mountains map—and AMC member Louis Fayerweather Cutter (1864-1945) was one of the first to do so. The MIT-educated civil engineer spent a lot of time in Randolph, N.H. From there, he launched his extensive explorations of the White Mountains. He painstakingly measured trails with a bicycle…

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Astronauts select specially formulated foods that meet their nutritional needs and hold up to the rigors of space travel. Their food is nutritionally balanced and easy to store, consume, and digest. Energy bars also come in specialized formulas, giving hikers—and other athletes—access to their own version of space food. Energy bars are portable, easily digestible,…

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For those of us who live in the Northeast, it may seem obvious that many birds migrate to avoid cold winters. But that’s not the case. “It’s not because of the cold,” says Christopher W. Leahy, the Gerard A. Bertrand chair of natural history and field ornithology at Mass Audubon. “Birds are among the best-insulated…

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As a hiker and road cyclist I saw mountain biking as a potentially perfect combination of the two, allowing me to cover more miles of swoopy single-track trail in less time than it takes to hike. The problem was, I fell a lot. And I couldn’t keep up with my friends, which led to stress…

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As a general rule, most outdoor equipment is built to survive significant use and abuse over many years and adventures. By using these five simple tips, however, you can quickly and easily damage your equipment to the point of near uselessness. With a little additional effort, you can then resuscitate it for more abuse in the…

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Fifty years after the passage of the federal Wilderness Act, officials have designated more than 109 million acres nationwide as Wilderness Areas. Nature takes its course in these areas, signs of human impact are few, and visitors can enjoy a uniquely remote experience. Here are hikes in seven of the more pristine landscapes in the…

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To paraphrase Barbra Streisand, on a clear day, you can see—well, if not forever, certainly a lot farther than you once could. And hikers in the White Mountains and elsewhere in the Northeast are seeing more occasions of clear skies than was the case a few years ago. That’s according to AMC Air Quality Scientist…

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Russ Cohen has been foraging in the Northeast for four decades. Shagbark hickory nuts, Cohen’s favorite foraged food, can be used in numerous cookie and pie recipes. Here’s his recipe for a wafer cookie. Ingredients 1 cup dark brown sugar (or maple sugar) 6 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 eggs,…

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What’s up with the weather? If you’ve been noticing the same things I have, you’ve probably asked that question a few times recently. But it’s not a rhetorical question. Near and far, extreme weather incidents are becoming more frequent, and that points to climate change, a real phenomenon to which we all contribute. And we…

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