2015

As soon as her 2014 hut-to-hut hike was over, Becky Fullerton began brainstorming her next White Mountain trek. For the 2015 centennial of AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut, she wanted something different. Something special. And then she had it: She would hike in 1915 period garb, knickers and all. As AMC’s archivist, Fullerton is…

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Comprising more than 36,000 acres across four New England States, the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was authorized by Congress in 1991 and officially established in 1997 to conserve the 7.2 million acres of forests, wetlands, wildlife, and fish habitat in the watershed of the 410-mile-long Connecticut River. To help stay on…

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The writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau famously mourned how tame the wilderness of his day had become. On his rambles in mid-19th century Massachusetts, he saw no cougar, wolf, bear, moose, deer, beaver, or turkey. These and other animals had been displaced or killed outright, their forested habitats transformed into active farmland. Now, as…

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“Sharp crampons are like sharp knives: They are safer and work best when sharp,” says Steve House, a climber and the author of Training for the New Alpinism. Trekking on ice, snow, and especially rock will eventually dull crampons and make them less effective— particularly early in the season, when ice and snow are light….

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Don’t wait for the first snowfall. Trek down into the basement, out into the garage, or deep into the closet and pull out all of your winter gear—tonight. A thorough preseason evaluation of everything from clothes to skis to crampons will help preserve your gear, keep you safe, and prevent problems once you do head…

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Anyone who has ever played capture the flag knows the thrill of grabbing the opposing team’s pennant and running like crazy. All you need are a couple of bandanas, some open space, and a few friends. But if this and other classic outdoor games—red rover, kick the can, red light green light— are so easy…

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Are you prepared to handle a survival situation in the backcountry? You may think so. You probably even carry some basic survival gear. It’s likely, however, that you are also packing some significant misconceptions about what a survival scenario actually looks like. THE DEADLY DISCONNECT Here’s the fundamental thing to understand: Survival situations typically occur…

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The Appalachian Trail (AT) beckons every month of the year: Once the thru-hikers have completed their journeys and the day-hikers have dispersed, the winter warriors break out their snowshoes. These eight hikes on America’s most famous trail are even more spectacular when the powder begins to pile up. 1. Gulf Hagas |  Piscataquis County, Maine…

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One essential item in any backcountry survival kit? A heavy-duty garbage bag, which you can quickly and easily transform into a potentially life-saving shelter. Here’s how to use a garbage bag for survival: Holding the bag sealed end up, cut a slit no longer than your face along one side seam, starting about 8 inches down…

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I detail the realities of survival situations in the current issue of AMC Outdoors—Are Your Survival Skills Ready for Real Life?—including the essential gear that I recommend carrying to deal with a potential life-or-death scenario in the backcountry. These include a large, heavy-duty garbage bag for making an emergency survival poncho; fire-making equipment, including a…

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