All Levels

Think of it as a sign of progress rather than failure: Falling on snowshoes or cross-country skis is part of learning a new skill. Although it’s never enjoyable to fall, practice makes perfect. Try righting yourself on varying grades and standing up from both your right and left sides. Working on these skills in a…

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Who is the mentor?                                                               Halfway through the two-week outdoor leader training, Keer, the course manager responsible for leading the training, called us together to…

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A trusted knot in a backpacker’s repertoire, the taut-line hitch is hard to forget and a lot easier to learn than the trucker’s hitch. The taut-line is so named for its adjustability, slipping when loose but holding tight under a load, making it the perfect knot for securing a tarp or tent. (It’s important to…

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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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Road cyclists: Want to log longer rides, get stronger, avoid injury, and have more fun on your bike? Linda Freeman, a Vermont-based personal trainer who specializes in cycling, says mastering your pedaling technique will help you get the most out of your rides and reduce your risk of getting hurt. She sees three elements as…

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Hikers in the Northeast rarely plan to ford a stream deeper than their boot-tops, but bridges wash out, and spring runoff or a recent storm can swell a normally mellow brook into a treacherous torrent. Moving water is a risky challenge, but with the right technique, you’ll keep yourself upright and dry on your next…

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Anyone who has ridden a chairlift to the top of a windswept ski area, snowshoed down a snow-covered trail, or traveled into the backcountry by any means when all is white has imagined a cold, lonely night in the woods. Some people get lost. Others get stuck, stranded, or injured. It happens to even the…

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A few summers ago I found myself fly fishing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania as a thunderstorm approached. I was standing on the forested bank of a creek, casting downstream, careful not to snag my fly in the surrounding trees. As the sky grew darker overhead and rain began to fall, I kept fishing, not…

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Lightweight. Low-impact. Usable almost anywhere trees grow. Hammock camping has a lot of advantages over tents and shelters—but what do you need to know before stashing one in your pack and heading for the backcountry? First, you want to make sure that a hammock is right for you, and that you’re comfortable with each piece…

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The only interesting fact that I recall from high school physics is that black bears can run up to 30 mph. My teacher, an avid outdoorsman, included this detail in one of many stories told to engage a senior class focused on nothing but graduation. I’ve since learned that the American black bear, which averages…

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