With COVID-19 still at the forefront of our thoughts, there’s another health hazard to keep an eye out for this spring and summer—ticks. While it’s important to continue to follow CDC guidelines when heading outdoors, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between you and another person, its also important to…

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ripple across the country, we’re all thinking about how we can best support efforts to limit the spread of the virus and to help protect the frontline workers most at risk, from health care workers to grocery store clerks, first responders to public transportation operators. In the outdoor gear…

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Bears aren’t the only threat to your food in the backcountry. Mice, squirrels, and other small critters are also known to ransack camper food supplies, especially in and around trail shelters. To protect your food, you can hang it on one of the ubiquitous “mouse mobiles” that hang in shelters (typically a threaded can on…

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They’re out there in the Northeast: black bears. Lots of them, including in popular outdoor destinations like the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where an uptick of bear activity has led to multiple campground closures and posted trail warnings over the past few years. Thing is, it’s not the bears that are the problem—it’s the…

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Hanging your food is a classic bearproofing technique, though it can be difficult to do correctly. Food must be suspended at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet from the trunk or nearest weight-bearing branch. To accomplish this, you’ll need 50 to 100 feet of cord and two stuff sacks for your food….

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Mud season in the mountains of the Northeast begins as the snow melts and the landscape and trails turn soggy. Depending on the elevation, weather, snowpack, and region, it can stretch anywhere from March through June, with the greater heights of northern New England and New York experiencing the worst of it in May and…

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‘Tis the season to strap on giant snow-stomping footwear and take on the wintry backcountry. If you’re buying a new pair—or upgrading or adding to your existing collection—here are two excellent snowshoes from MSR to consider. (If you’re new to snowshoeing, it can be useful to first brush up on the basics, including snowshoe terminology…

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Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

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Aerogel is a nearly weightless super-insulator, used by NASA in satellites and other space technology. A commercial version, Primaloft Gold Aerogel, first hit the outdoor gear market in 2017 as a synthetic and ultra-warm insulation. L.L.Bean had exclusive rights to use it during its first year of release, notably in the company’s Packaway Jacket ($169,…

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Properly layering your clothing is essential to staying warm and comfortable in the cold. A simple mnemonic device can help you remember the basics of dressing for winter activities outdoors. W is for Wicking. First you’ll want a (non-cotton!) next-to-skin base layer that is both warm and effective at moving body-chilling moisture (a.k.a. your sweat)…

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