Hiking/Camping Gear

Hiking and backpacking in the Northeast means that, sooner or later, you’re going to get rained on. So how do you stay dry in the rain? To help keep you a bit less wet than you might otherwise get, here are some simple tips and tricks, organized by type of gear. Rain jacket Look for wrist cuffs…

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There are many ways you can make backcountry water sources safe to drink, from chemical treatments to pump filters to UV light emitters, but these days it appears that one particular variety of water filtration system is cleaning up the competition: the Sawyer Squeeze and Squeeze Mini. (Both are essentially the same; the Mini is just…

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They’re baaaaaack… Deer ticks. Scourge of the Northeast. Micro-demons of disease. All-around nasty bloodsuckers. I hate them. So I’m always on the watch for a tick defense that can stop them before they sink their gnarly little mouth bits into my flesh. Now I’ve written extensively about the risks of tick bites (see What It’s Like to Get Lyme Disease….

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For the past six years, as I parented two young boys from babyhood to kindergarten, I have pushed some rugged, fully loaded strollers over the trails of the Northeast. Now, after countless miles of roots, rocks, and radical stroller techniques, here’s what I’ve learned—and what you should look for when gearing up for your own…

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Saddle up, little pardners! If you’re traveling long distances or over steep, rocky terrain, you’ll want to tote your kid in a child carrier instead of a stroller. Here are some important tips: The most important feature of any child carrier is a good fit. Adjust and evaluate it, like you would any backpack. Position…

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Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. I first profiled Good To-Go last February, back when the small, Maine-based producer of dehydrated meals offered just four options, including one of the best-tasting dehydrated meal options (Thai Curry) I have ever tried. Now the company has expanded its offerings to include six new dishes, each of which hews closely to…

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Last fall, National Geographic introduced a free, user-friendly web tool that automatically breaks up USGS topographic maps to fit onto standard 8.5 inch x 11 inch printer paper. If you’ve ever used any standard-sized USGS topographic map, you are well aware of the over-sized dimensions that such maps typically come in. That means that if you download one in its entirety—and you can…

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Got trees? In the wooded backcountry of the Northeast, the appeal of hammock camping is obvious—you can pitch a comfortable, sleep-worthy hammock in far more places than a tent. But hammock camping has its challenges as well, from learning to pitch one appropriately (and with minimal impact) to protecting yourself from rain and weather. For me personally, one of the…

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ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING GEAR might seem like a modern phenomenon, featuring the latest and lights high-tech materials, but the idea dates back to the very beginning of organized hiking in New England. More than two dozen outdoors organizations attended the first meeting of the New England Trail Conference (NETC) in 1916. These college outing clubs, hiking…

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Stepping into the backcountry means leaving behind your cushy standards for immaculate hygiene. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice health or basic cleanliness while camping or backpacking. It just means you need to understand what really matters—and how to stay clean in the most eco-friendly way possible. Handy Tips Dirty hands are a primary cause…

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