The Best of AMC’s Equipped: 2015

December 27, 2015
Franconica Ridge
The best Equipped posts of 2015 included a mention of National Geographic’s Top 20 hikes. Photo: Marc Chalufour

Another year full of gear. Here’s my annual round-up of the top posts from the past year, both by traffic and by personal favorites.

Most popular posts from 2015

6. The Blizzard is Here! Don’t Just Shovel It—Build a Quinzee!
A quinzee is a giant pile of snow that you then hollow out to create a shelter—essentially it’s a build-it-yourself snow cave. Knowing how to construct one is a useful winter survival skill, a fun activity to do with kids, and a potential use for mountains of post-blizzard snow.

5. Like to Kill Ticks? Put Them in the Dryer
I hate ticks and their quest to find a blood meal from my succulent flesh. If you’re like me, you probably prefer to keep your blood to yourself—and to avoid potential exposure to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Fortunately, there’s one sure-fire way to kill any ticks that might have hitched a ride on your clothing.

4. 2015 Foliage Update—Late but Likely to Be Spectacular
Warm fall weather delayed the onset of peak foliage by several weeks in 2015, as this series of foliage maps illustrate.

3. National Geographic: New Hampshire Hike One of Top 20 in the World
National Geographic Adventure published a round-up of the world’s best hikes, based on the recommendations of 20 accomplished outdoor adventurers. The globe-spanning collection includes trails in Iceland, Uganda, Newfoundland, and New Zealand, among other places—as well as a classic adventure right here in New Hampshire.

2. Use Hand Warmers? One Simple Trick Makes Them Last Longer. A Lot Longer.
Most disposable hand warmers provide several hours of quality heat, but what if you only need warmth for a limited time? Don’t waste perfectly good heat by throwing out a hand warmer after only a short use! Save it for when you need it with this über-simple technique.

1. Forget the Apple Watch. Put a Multi-Tool on Your Wrist Instead
This latest creation from Leatherman is the Tread, a bracelet composed of interconnected steel links, each one featuring a different set of tools, including multiple screwdrivers, hex wrenches, a small cutting hook, and more. All told, the Tread contains 25 individual tools and weighs in at 5.3 ounces.

Author’s Favorites

And here are my personal three favorite posts from 2015.

3. The World’s Wooliest Sheep: Average Sweater Output per Shearing
Meet Chris. He is an Australian Merino sheep who wandered from his flock and roamed on his own for six years. When he was finally found and sheared, Chris was toting nearly 90 pounds of wool–enough to knit an estimated 30 sweaters and set an unofficial world record.

2. If 8 Feet of Snow Instantly Melts, How Deep Is the Puddle?
If there’s one map that captures the magnitude of last winter’s snowfall, it’s this one.

1. Best Backpack Ever Made? The Whipsnake 37 Trillion
No post made me laugh harder in 2015. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.