Winter Hiking

Magnetic declination refers to the angle between the geographic North Pole and the magnetic pole located in the Arctic Ocean. You will discover that good hiking and topographic maps always indicate the local magnetic declination via a declination diagram, which includes one arrow pointing to geographic north (commonly labeled as True North, or TN) and…

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You can strap a lot of different gear to your feet for winter adventure. But do you really need to? There are obvious benefits to avoiding the hassle and weight of equipment like snowshoes, gaiters, and crampons—so here’s my advice for evaluating whether you need them in the first place. For this exercise, I’m going to…

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Deep snow, cold temperatures, and slick conditions are upon us throughout much of the Northeast. If you’re headed outside for winter adventure, that means it’s time to strap some extra gear to your feet. I’ve written extensively over the past few winters about the myriad options available for winter traction, from the latest no-slip winter boots to…

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My first ascent of the season – Friday January 20, 2017 To all the winter lovers & adventure seekers… Winter is here and for all of us winter fanatics, it’s our favorite time of the year. I spent all of Thursday monitoring the forecast. I kept the Mount Washington Observatory’s weather report tab up on…

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The following simple items can help rescuers find you in the event of a backcountry emergency. A whistle. Shouts for help can only be heard a few hundred yards away, at best. The piercing sound of a loud whistle carries more than a mile away. What’s more, you can blow a whistle in regular bursts…

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The Appalachian Trail (AT) cuts an iconic, white-blazed path along the eastern United States, but did you know those 2,190 miles are the spine of a far more complex trail system? Thousands of miles of blue-blazed side trails add to a network offering some of the region’s best hiking in any season. Strap on your…

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Whether you’re on a snow-covered hiking trail or bushwhacking through the woods, at some point on a snowshoe trek, you’re bound to come to a stream without a bridge. Whether the water is frozen or not, even a small stream can pose a slippery challenge. And if there’s ice, will it support the weight of…

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We broke trail into the fading light of dusk. Just as we thought to grab our headlamps, our destination’s soft outline materialized in the falling snow. We had made it. The cabin door was partially sealed by rime ice and snow—nothing a good shove couldn’t handle—and after passing through it and dropping our packs, we…

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Most people have never even heard of qiviut, the astonishingly warm undercoat of the musk ox. It’s so warm, in fact, that it successfully insulates these Arctic creatures from the howling winds and sub-zero temperatures that descend upon the Far North each winter. And if you’ve got some (serious) money to spend, it’s remarkable properties can…

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Temperatures are set to plummet later this week in the Northeast, with lows in the single digits or even below zero across much of the region. All that bitter air doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside—it just means that you need to dress appropriately to stay comfortable (and safe) in winter’s icy embrace….

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