Outdoor Skills Training

Many hikers who complete the 2,000-plus-mile Appalachian Trail say they aren’t the same person as when they began. Talk to any AMC Teen Wilderness Adventures (TWA) participant after they wrap up a trip, and you’re bound to hear the same sentiment. Typically entering the program with little to no outdoor experience, group members, ages 12…

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Road cyclists: Want to log longer rides, get stronger, avoid injury, and have more fun on your bike? Linda Freeman, a Vermont-based personal trainer who specializes in cycling, says mastering your pedaling technique will help you get the most out of your rides and reduce your risk of getting hurt. She sees three elements as…

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After a day on the trail, the thought of building a bright, crackling fire is incredibly appealing: the warmth, the light, the s’mores. Yet a campfire, even a small one, can mar the landscape, so it’s crucial to consider your impact. Whether in front- or backcountry settings, practice Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to minimize campfire…

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Hikers in the Northeast rarely plan to ford a stream deeper than their boot-tops, but bridges wash out, and spring runoff or a recent storm can swell a normally mellow brook into a treacherous torrent. Moving water is a risky challenge, but with the right technique, you’ll keep yourself upright and dry on your next…

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The ice ax is an essential mountaineering tool— arguably the essential tool—when climbing large, glaciated peaks or when ascending steep routes on any mountain in the winter. When exploring peaks like Maine’s Katahdin or New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in winter, using an ice ax—along with crampons—is not only recommended, it’s a necessity. STRUCTURE OF THE…

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Anyone who has ridden a chairlift to the top of a windswept ski area, snowshoed down a snow-covered trail, or traveled into the backcountry by any means when all is white has imagined a cold, lonely night in the woods. Some people get lost. Others get stuck, stranded, or injured. It happens to even the…

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I got my first pair of cross-country skis in elementary school. Winters were cold and snow was deep in Berlin, N.H., just north of Mount Washington, making skiing a popular pastime. By following my aunt around on local trails, I learned the rhythmic motion of the sport and grew to love it. Proficiency came from…

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A few summers ago I found myself fly fishing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania as a thunderstorm approached. I was standing on the forested bank of a creek, casting downstream, careful not to snag my fly in the surrounding trees. As the sky grew darker overhead and rain began to fall, I kept fishing, not…

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As a hiker and road cyclist I saw mountain biking as a potentially perfect combination of the two, allowing me to cover more miles of swoopy single-track trail in less time than it takes to hike. The problem was, I fell a lot. And I couldn’t keep up with my friends, which led to stress…

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Lightweight. Low-impact. Usable almost anywhere trees grow. Hammock camping has a lot of advantages over tents and shelters—but what do you need to know before stashing one in your pack and heading for the backcountry? First, you want to make sure that a hammock is right for you, and that you’re comfortable with each piece…

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