January/February 2016

If Willy Wonka were a hiker, imagine what kind of backcountry food he might dream up. Self-contained meals in edible packages? Dissolvable, single-serve coffee balls? Those fantastical-sounding products soon could be a reality. Several companies are developing packaging that eliminates waste—a possible boon for backpackers seeking lightweight, eco-conscious products. “Sustainable design that is both smart…

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When it comes to biking, you can never be too apparent to drivers on the road, especially at night.Reflectors, bike lights, and bright, high-visibility colors should all be no-brainers, but what if you want to announce your presence with an even more striking display? Here are three options to consider. Spin hypnotic color There’s one…

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Based in Kittery, Maine, Good To-Go produces one of the best-tasting dehydrated meals I’ve yet tried. And unlike the gazillion-ingredient sodium bombs that have long dominated the ‘meal-in-a-bag’ backpacking market, Good To-Go focuses instead on simple ingredients (you can pronounce and recognize all of them) and uses far less salt. To prepare the meals, you…

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A growing trend is on full, balloon-tire display in northern Maine this season. The fat bikes are rolling, lodge-to-lodge and in between, on AMC’s extensive trail network east of Moosehead Lake in northern Maine. For those who haven’t yet seen this new species of bicycle, fat bikes feature super-sized 3- to 4-inch wide tires that…

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From the heart of Philadelphia to the woods of Maine, fat tire-biking has made a name for itself due to its appeal to riders of all abilities, in all seasons. Tom Stuessy, executive director of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, has seen the pastime boom in the last two to three years in both sales…

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Think of it as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for forests. That’s the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) certification for well-managed woodlands, and AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative (MWI) lands recently attained that coveted distinction. That means wood harvested from MWI land can now carry the FSC label— a sign that AMC’s forest management practices conform…

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If you’re planning on heading up to Tuckerman or Huntington Ravine, always check the latest avalanche advisory from the Mount Washington Avalanche Center, which posts daily updates throughout the winter season. And if you’re hitting the slopes, make sure that everybody in your group carries the avalanche safety essentials—shovel, probe, and beacon—and knows how to…

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Logan Maestri wears a huge grin. Seated on a couch in AMC’s Highland Center, the 30-year-old ex-Marine is recounting the day’s exploits of skiing at nearby Bretton Woods, in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. “I never skied before, but I kicked ass,” he says. “I had an instructor with me, and he asked, ‘You’ve…

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I’ve covered a lot of ground on snowshoes, both in the snowy backcountry and in many an article over the years. Snow is falling even as I write this, conditions in New Hampshire and Maine are prime for some quality stomping, and further inspiration awaits on the National Weather Service’sin-depth snow information page for the…

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I love pyramid tents. They are lightweight, compact, simple to pitch, bomber in weather, and spacious with headroom to spare. They do have one big drawback, of course. There is no floor, so you’ll be setting up shop directly on the ground or snow. You’ll need to select your site carefully in rainy weather to…

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