AMC Mountain Skills Manual

Magnetic declination refers to the angle between the geographic North Pole and the magnetic pole located in the Arctic Ocean. You will discover that good hiking and topographic maps always indicate the local magnetic declination via a declination diagram, which includes one arrow pointing to geographic north (commonly labeled as True North, or TN) and…

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A map and compass make up two of the 10 essentials recommended for safe backcountry travel, but they’ll do little good if you don’t know how to use them. Misuse could even turn a situation in which you’re simply confused into one in which you’re totally lost. The bottom line? Learn proper technique before your…

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A successful day hike begins long before you set foot on the trail. Careful advance preparation helps ensure comfort, fun, and safety outdoors. In this outdoor skills video, AMC experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to plan a memorable day hike, step by step. THE EXPERTS Eboni Cooper is the New York/New Jersey…

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Regardless of the length of your trip, from a three-hour hike to a three-day or three-week expedition, all hikers should carry the 10 essentials—a list developed by the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, the public agency responsible for the majority of search and rescue operations in New Hampshire. In this outdoor skills video, AMC…

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On almost any hike, you’re likely to encounter other people on the trail. Good trail etiquette helps ensure that everyone enjoys their experience outdoors and that the trail is left in good condition for its next visitors. In this outdoor skills video, AMC experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to be a good…

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Leadership Case Study: Group Management in the Alpine This case study was featured at Mountain Leadership School’s annual Instructor Post School Debrief in September 2016.  A vigorous discussion produced the conclusion points illuminated below. Join these experienced volunteer instructors at the oldest leadership training program in the nation for the 59th annual Mountain Leadership School in…

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I had the biggest wildlife encounter of my life last winter on the cross-country ski trails of Anchorage, Alaska. I skied by a moose calmly browsing in the willows near the trail. As I passed behind, it suddenly whirled without warning. Within a ski stride, the moose advanced almost close enough to stomp me with…

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