Outdoor Skills and Safety

  For those who prefer the warmer weather, it’s coming – really! And longer days mean more time to play outside. In addition to trading in your snowshoes for hiking boots, why not dust off your wilderness first aid knowledge too? Below are a couple of scenarios to help: Playtime in the park It’s a…

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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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Few things pack as much nutritional and go-power punch as seeds. Loaded with fat, carbs, and protein, they provide sustained energy for minimal weight and should be considered any time you’re looking for maximum calories per ounce of food. But many popular seeds (chia, poppy, hemp, etc.) are also tiny and hard to eat on the trail, which…

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We’ve all been there: You’re opening a can of baked beans when—bam—you cut your finger. Fortunately, a good backcountry first-aid kit comes stocked with the necessary supplies to treat a small cut or abrasion: adhesive bandages, occlusive dressing, gauze, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly, tweezers, a syringe, and nonlatex gloves. By knowing how to…

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Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill. Wet Trails are Fragile “More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people…

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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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A backcountry adventure probably means leaving the deodorant at home and embracing your natural self. Follow these steps to remain safe, sanitary, and to control B.O. Turn your undies inside out to extend their life. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer clipped to your pack for easy access and regular cleansing. Carry a set…

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Given their trailside access in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), AMC’s high-mountain huts staff are often the first responders to backcountry emergencies. Along with cooking, cleaning, and providing trail information, hut croo also serve as volunteers in search-and-rescue incidents. Virtually all AMC backcountry staff—hut croo, caretakers, and trail crew members—are certified in Wilderness First…

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Written by Christian Bisson and Jamie Hannon $21.95 (Print) • $9.99 (e-book) Paperback • 320 pp • 6″x 9″ 978-1-62842-025-8 (Print) 978-1-62842-026-5 (iBooks and Nook) 978-1-62842-027-2 (Kindle) Appalachian Mountain Club Books is pleased to announce the release of AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual: The Essential Hiking and Backpacking Guide. This comprehensive guide, from the nation’s oldest…

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You’re at the put-in.  You have your leadership team, and the rest of the group is assembling.  All of the participants have been screened, but some you have not paddled with.  How do you assess their abilities?  How do you know how they will react if the environment presents a challenge?  How do you assess…

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