July/August 2017

A brand-new shelter along the Appalachian Trail (AT) has an unusual trait in common with its predecessor. For both, AMC helicoptered in prefabricated components that were then assembled on site, at AMC’s Speck Pond Campsite in Maine’s Mahoosuc Range. Last fall, AMC staff dismantled the old Speck Pond AT shelter, which had stood for 49…

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Lightweight, compressible, and long-lasting, a down-filled sleeping bag is a delightful addition to any camper’s or backpacker’s gear locker. The problem is that down-filled bags are almost always more expensive (sometimes way more expensive) than synthetic-fill options, a trend that has only gotten worse in recent years. Indeed, these days you can easily spend north of $400…

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There’s a general truism when it comes to ultralight tents. As manufacturers shave down the ounces, they often shave inches off the tent’s length. Which is fine if you’re less than 6 feet tall. But if you’re tall like me (6 feet 5 inches), there’s nothing fine about having your head and/or feet pushing directly against…

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Adapted from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual If you’re lost in the woods, one not-so-well-known approach to locating a more familiar area is the find-me cross. This technique is quite effective, but you have to be self-disciplined to use it. After admitting that you’re lost, mark your location by building an obvious landmark using rocks or…

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Spend a night at one of AMC’s lodges, huts, or full-service camps and you’ll quickly discover a common theme: delicious, homemade food. AMC chefs bring their passion for the outdoors to the kitchen every day, creating wholesome meals that keep hikers, paddlers, cyclists, and climbers fueled up for adventure. Cooking for hundreds of people can…

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New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced a bold outdoor-recreation project in his January State of the State address. The Empire State Trail, which he hopes will be completed by 2020, will create a 750-mile trail network—the largest multiuse state trail in the nation and an economic driver for the region. The $200 million state-funded project…

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Beside a board, there are two critical items you’ll need for stand-up paddleboarding: a paddle and a PFD. From there, the accessories are endless. A paddle should be 8 to 12 inches longer than you are tall. A longer paddle provides more power and control in rough conditions but requires more effort. A shorter paddle…

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I used to teach people how to stand-up paddleboard, and it remains one of the most satisfying classes I’ve ever led. Why? Most first-timers are anxious about staying upright on the board. Here’s the thing, though: It’s surprisingly easy to balance on most paddleboards—a fact that produced near-instant confidence, enthusiasm, and a sense of empowerment…

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Twenty-seven men and women stand in a rigid line, backs straight and eyes ahead, attuned to the instructor up front. As she calls out directions, the line begins to dissolve. “If it’s most important for you to reach your goal in the outdoors, step to the left,” she tells them. “If it’s most important that…

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Sometimes, escaping to the mountains isn’t enough to get away from summer’s steamiest weather. What’s a hiker to do? Get creative, seek some shade, and plan a victory dip. Here are eight hikes to get you through the heat. 1. FERRY BEACH Saco, Maine Steady breezes roll off the ocean across all of Ferry Beach…

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