Health & Safety

Cancer came roaring into our lives in the coldest part of the year—a fitting entrance for a brutish disease. My boyfriend, Garrett, was diagnosed with lymphoma in March. Where we live, in Maine, March isn’t even mud season. It’s winter, plain and simple, filled with icicles and hoarfrost and cabin fever. There’s never a good…

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The sun sets before 4:30 p.m. in most of New England for the next two months. This means that if you spend any time out and about in the evening—running, biking, walking—you will be enjoying the cloak of early darkness. And if you happen to be active on the weekdays in the hours immediately after…

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Are you prepared to handle a survival situation in the backcountry? You may think so. You probably even carry some basic survival gear. It’s likely, however, that you are also packing some significant misconceptions about what a survival scenario actually looks like. THE DEADLY DISCONNECT Here’s the fundamental thing to understand: Survival situations typically occur…

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One essential item in any backcountry survival kit? A heavy-duty garbage bag, which you can quickly and easily transform into a potentially life-saving shelter. Here’s how to use a garbage bag for survival: Holding the bag sealed end up, cut a slit no longer than your face along one side seam, starting about 8 inches down…

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I detail the realities of survival situations in the current issue of AMC Outdoors—Are Your Survival Skills Ready for Real Life?—including the essential gear that I recommend carrying to deal with a potential life-or-death scenario in the backcountry. These include a large, heavy-duty garbage bag for making an emergency survival poncho; fire-making equipment, including a…

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Carrying a first-aid kit is more than just a good idea. It’s one of the 10 essential items for safe backcountry travel. All kinds of prepackaged options are available, but do they really contain what you need? To better evaluate ready-made kits or to assemble your own, consider the following supplies. Common Injuries The majority…

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In my mind, it’s pretty much settled: Picaridin is superior to DEET. Consumer Reports essentially just confirmed it. But will an entirely new model of mosquito repellent change the picture? I’ve written a fair bit about the picaridin vs. DEET debate. Now the latest entry is from Consumer Reports, which reviewed 15 common repellents earlier…

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We’ve all done it: felt that first inkling of discomfort—a growing warmth on our heel or at the base of our toes—and kept right on hiking. “It’s nothing,” we tell ourselves. “It won’t get much worse.” Distracted by the trail ahead and the promise of future vistas, we trek on, ignoring our tender skin until…

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It’s that time again. Ticks are back, ready to creepy-crawly their way to a blood meal from your succulent flesh. If you’re like me, however, you probably prefer to keep your blood to yourself — and to avoid potential exposure to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. And there’s one sure-fire way to kill any…

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Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. Hub Powderworks of Boston is now offering the only high-visibility product I’ve ever truly coveted: An ultra-reflective, ultra-durable coating for your entire bike frame. Specifically, the coating is retro-reflective, which means that it reflects light directly back at its source regardless of the angle of the…

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