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If you’re a paddler with a yen for fast-moving water, chances are you’re familiar with a throw bag. But do you know how to use one correctly? Here’s how to help ensure a successful whitewater rescue, should you or a companion go for an unexpected swim. What You Need Knowing your gear is critical to…

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A trusted knot in a backpacker’s repertoire, the taut-line hitch is hard to forget and a lot easier to learn than the trucker’s hitch. The taut-line is so named for its adjustability, slipping when loose but holding tight under a load, making it the perfect knot for securing a tarp or tent. (It’s important to…

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Want to ski faster and help your gear last longer in one fell swoop? Wax your skis and snowboard on a regular basis. Nate Harvey, the retail manager at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Gorham, N.H., likens waxing to getting regular car tune-ups. “You’re enhancing performance today and preserving your investment,” he says. Wax…

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“Sharp crampons are like sharp knives: They are safer and work best when sharp,” says Steve House, a climber and the author of Training for the New Alpinism. Trekking on ice, snow, and especially rock will eventually dull crampons and make them less effective— particularly early in the season, when ice and snow are light….

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Don’t wait for the first snowfall. Trek down into the basement, out into the garage, or deep into the closet and pull out all of your winter gear—tonight. A thorough preseason evaluation of everything from clothes to skis to crampons will help preserve your gear, keep you safe, and prevent problems once you do head…

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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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Flat tires can happen on any surface, to any type of bike. If you ride, you have to be ready with the tools and knowledge necessary for a roadside repair. With practice, the right equipment, and a little baby powder, you’ll be back on the road or the trail in no time. BEFORE YOU HEAD…

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We’ve all done it: felt that first inkling of discomfort—a growing warmth on our heel or at the base of our toes—and kept right on hiking. “It’s nothing,” we tell ourselves. “It won’t get much worse.” Distracted by the trail ahead and the promise of future vistas, we trek on, ignoring our tender skin until…

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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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