September/October 2016

Fall equinox is this Thursday, September 22. It occurs precisely at 10:21 a.m. EDT.  And it continues a current and rapid trend of diminishing daylight. So…all you hikers out there…it’s time for a friendly reminder to always hike with a light, no matter what time you head out. Remember, it only takes a small miscalculation or mishap—a wrong turn,…

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It’s been an abnormally dry summer in the Northeast, especially in southern New England. Will the lack of moisture affect the upcoming fall foliage season? Probably not as much as you think. It’s true that large portions of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire are currently in a state of either severe or extreme drought, per…

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On a rugged Allegheny mountainside in south-central Pennsylvania winds a ribbon of pavement that’s stuck in time. Shielded as much by a canopy of trees as an eerie mystique, the road is slowly yielding to nature’s reclamation. Grassy medians long ago spilled their banks, and oaks and maples have gained a firm foothold, interrupting the…

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1. Utility cord. Also known as parachute cord, paracord, or p-cord, this essential and inexpensive item typically comes in 50-foot lengths and runs 3 millimeters in diameter. Its uses are almost endless: shoelaces, tent and tarp guylines, clothesline, food hanging, gear lashing, dog leashing, and the list goes on. 2. Duct tape. Create or buy…

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Take a step outdoors. What do you see? Hear? Feel? What do you seek by taking that next step? These simple questions can have complex answers. Nature means many things to many people—and many things for the same person. It can satisfy our curiosity and spirituality, challenge us intellectually and physically. As a writer, photographer,…

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Months before our 25th anniversary, my wife and I vowed to do something special. But as the date drew closer, it seemed unlikely we would do much beside work. We couldn’t even go home from our jobs, since we lived above the front office of the Maine oceanfront campground where we work as sea-kayaking guides,…

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» CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When AMC’s Mountain Leadership Committee (MLC) was established in 1958, it came with a clear agenda: a multifaceted campaign “in response to the growing need for action in the field of mountain safety,” as announced in Appalachia. Although the backpacking boom wouldn’t fully hit for another decade,…

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Fairies, unicorns, and butterflies are staples of childhood folklore, but while the first two are hard to come by, butterflies aren’t. What parent hasn’t seen a kid gazing in wonder at the tiny creatures? People of all ages appreciate butterflies without knowing anything beyond the critters’ caterpillar origin story, but the monarch, in particular, provides…

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The best defense against tick-borne disease is a good offense. Here’s how to avoid ticks in the first place. 1. Treat Your Shoes and Clothes with Permethrin Ticks die quickly when they come into contact with this powerful toxin. You can apply it yourself with over-the-counter sprays and washin treatments (be sure to closely follow application…

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There’s a moment of horror when you discover a tick has sunk its bloodsucking bits into you, followed by the immediate need to get it out. Pronto. Here’s how. Anatomy of a Bite How did it come to this? Your role as a food source began when a tick found purchase on your skin or…

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