Outdoor Activities

Your feet are your most important piece of hiking equipment. Keep them happy and you will be even more so. Displease them and you will suffer their bruised and blistered malice. Their fate rests in your hands—and it all starts with a proper fit for your hiking footwear. Boot Basics When shopping for hiking boots,…

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Fit is paramount when selecting a PFD. Consider these other features next: Bright colors, especially orange and red, make you more visible in the water. Ventilated mesh panels on the back and sides make hot-weather boating more pleasant. Neoprene linings are more comfortable against skin, especially around the shoulders and neck. Lots of pockets are…

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Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2009 Will northeastern alpine ecosystems be survivors or victims of ongoing climate and geologic change? Pick your answer and it could be true, unless the appropriate time-scale is defined. In geologic time scales, the answer is “victims.” Mountains are constantly forming and then eroding away. Even the Earth with its associated climate has…

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Excerpt from Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2008 This isn’t a story about skiing the Tenth Mountain Division huts or the Chic-Chocs, or trekking in New Zealand or Nepal, or about hiking the John Muir Trail, or ridgerunning on the Appalachian Trail, or working with Appalachian Mountain Club volunteers to maintain trails on Mount Greylock. This is a…

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Appalachia, Winter/Spring 2008 Forty years later, an imperfect but noble document presses humans to practice restraint. All of us have a different idea of what wilderness is or what it means to be “wild.” For some, wilderness is an urban park; for others, wilderness means big, untouched by human hands, and potentially dangerous. We all…

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Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2007 The problem of time is not time itself, but how we fracture it and stuff it with distractions As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. —Henry David Thoreau For five glorious years, Guy and I penned a monthly column for a magazine called New England Outdoors. In the November 1978…

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The Appalachian Trail travels through the Northeast for 1,166 miles, from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., to the summit of Katahdin, in Maine. Along the way, it journeys through profound natural diversity, pauses at mind-bending views, and spans the breadth of Northeast hiking experiences. You may never hike the entire AT, but you can still revel…

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Roughly hewn paddles slide silently through the water. Deer graze on the banks, unaware of approaching danger. Two slender, tanned youths with long, raven hair stay low in the handsomely crafted canoe, letting the boat glide into the reeds along the edges of Maine’s Moose River. They reach for their flint arrows and creep towards…

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Appalachia, June 2005 At the start of the twentieth century, early leaders of the Appalachian Mountain Club saw the need for large-scale conservation efforts to keep their beloved White Mountains from succumbing to rampant timber harvesting. The work they did, in collaboration with many other like-minded citizens, led to the creation of the White Mountain…

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