March/April 2016

Wildflowers flourish in late spring throughout the New England woods, nurtured by abundant sunshine that pours through a still-bare forest canopy. Once the leaves emerge overhead, however, these so-called spring ephemerals soon fade away within the forest shade. So, enjoy peak wildflower season while it’s here! To help you do so, definitely check out these…

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I ran into some puffed-out traffic on my bike commute recently. A tom turkey was owning the bike path, strutting his stuff to woo females in the adjacent woods. Among his assets: a fanned-out tail, a plumped-up chest, and a monstrous snood. For those who don’t know, a turkey’s snood is that fleshy, dangly bit…

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Waterproof-breathable materials like Gore-Tex sound great in theory. But the marketing hype obscures the damp realities of it all, especially the inevitable loss of a jacket’s durable water repellency, or DWR. DWR is the chemical treatment applied to a fabric that causes water to bead up and roll off. It is essential for maintaining a…

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In 1916, the Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary was established in Sharon, Mass., after Dr. George W. Field gave his estate to Mass Audubon with the goal of attracting birds and people interested in them. Today there are 56 Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries located around the state—and spring is a great time to introduce, or reintroduce,…

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I’m a caffeine-swilling coffee junkie. Coffee in the backcountry is a must. Espresso packs a powerful punch, so I’m intrigued by a new product on the market: The Wacaco Minipresso is a hand-operated design that can generate average pressure of 116 psi. It has a much more elegant design than the Mini Expresso (see below) and would pack…

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Let’s face it: Sometimes kids just don’t want to hike. They may be tired; the hill might be steep; the weather may be hot. Remember that, for kids, hiking can be hard work and downright unenjoyable if they feel like they’re on a forced march. On occasion, the kids. Will. Just. Stop. That’s when you…

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Your backpack is one of the most important items of gear you own. A quality ultralight pack will not only eliminate several pounds from your back, it will also ensure a comfortable ride for many miles and days. As we rapidly march into hiking season in the Northeast, here are three styles worth considering for…

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With the December 2015 installation of a 240-panel solar array, AMC’s Cardigan Lodge and Three Mile Island Camp have gone solar, capturing power to serve electrical needs at both New Hampshire locations. In this way, Cardigan, in Alexandria, and Three Mile, in Meredith, are doing their part to help AMC achieve its goal of cutting…

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From time to time, many of us find ourselves taking a step back and admiring the handiwork of our fellow lovers of the outdoors—those volunteers who devote time and elbow grease to trail work. We can think about it a bit differently, too, considering not just what we do for the trails, but what trail…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW Hoof prints in the mud, scat beside the trail, hoots and howls from deep in the woods. Signs of wildlife are so intriguing, they leave us wishing we could see more of the actual animals that share our world. Wild creatures prefer—wisely—to avoid us, and since many are…

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