March/April 2015

My 16-year-old daughter takes pride in pitching her tent in the dark faster than her dad and I can get ours set up (Hey, ours is much larger!), but she didn’t come by that skill overnight. It took time and practice, which she’s gained over years of camping trips. While her outdoors abilities seem second…

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Kayak paddles come in a bewildering array of lengths, styles, and prices. Here are some shopping tips: To quickly gauge the right length for you, center and balance the paddle on your head, parallel to your shoulders. With your elbows bent at right angles, grasp the shaft with both hands. Your hands should be approximately…

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It’s simple. Rain gear should keep you dry. The best rain gear keeps water out while allowing moisture on the inside (read: your sweat) to escape. The former is straightforward. The latter is often difficult to nearly impossible, a fact obscured by the marketing hype that surrounds many waterproof-breathable materials. Understanding both features is essential…

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COVER PHOTO: RYAN SMITH AMC OUTDOORS MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2015 TABLE OF CONTENTS FEATURES Taking Care: A Weekend with AMC Caretakers Paddling for Turns: Backcountry Skiing by Canoe Browse all features VIEW FROM AMC Training the Next Generation of Trail Stewards Browse all View from AMC CURRENTS Hollywood Comes to the Appalachian Trail Flight Control: FAA…

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AMC staff monitors energy development proposals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to assess impacts on conservation lands and other ecologically significant areas. Among the many projects currently under consideration are industrial-scale wind farms, power lines, and pipelines that would cut across the Appalachian Trail, fragment National Forests, and further develop critical areas like the Mid-Atlantic…

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Deep within New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, a rocky cascade of a spur path descends from the Bondcliff Trail to the Guyot Campsite. Hikers arrive here from all directions: Some trek along Garfield Ridge and the Twinway; others hike past iconic Zeacliff; still others climb up out of the Pemigewasset Wilderness and pass over…

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In the two years following the 1998 publication of Bill Bryson’s best-selling book A Walk in the Woods, in which he recounted his comical, mostly ill-fated attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail (AT), the number of thru-hikers who embarked on the northbound route from Georgia to Maine spiked by 60 percent. Fifteen years later, effects…

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Talk with Alex DeLucia, AMC’s Trails Volunteer Program manager, and you’ll quickly discover how helping young people learn the techniques of trail work can not only benefit them, but their communities too. And development of those stewardship skills can change lives. DeLucia has worked with local youth through the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program…

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While strapping our skis to the thwarts of our adventure-worn 16-foot canoe, we notice a raft of small ice chunks floating downstream—remnants of a recent thaw. The ice catches a gentle eddy in the river and gathers into a broad swirl that fills the entire river channel. The call of chickadees, the rustle of beech…

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Long before the backpacking boom of the 1960s and 1970s spurred the creation of new campsites and a caretaker program, visitors to the White Mountains built an informal series of crude backcountry shelters using bark and boughs. Lean-tos and more complex structures followed. Once upon a time, hikers camped in shelters in the Great Gulf,…

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