Manual

Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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  Every day, the average American family uses 300 gallons of drinking water, for consumption, bathing, cooking, laundry, and other household chores, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Where that water originates and how it is cleaned are questions we rarely consider, though, and we forget that much of the process starts at the…

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Dr. Tom: How do I prevent getting caught in a lightning storm? What if a member of my party is struck by lightning?   If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. The absence of clouds overhead or rain does not mean you are safe. The…

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With the summer air warm and the water cool, it’s always tempting to jump in for a swim in a river. Swimming in rivers can be great fun, but before you take the plunge, pause to consider the nature of flowing water. LEARN MORE: Read how to run a rapid, whether you’re an expert or…

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  Dr. Tom: How do I recognize and treat waterborne illness in the backcountry? Safe drinking water is a vital component of any successful outdoor trip for proper hydration. While it may be necessary at times, anyone who drinks surface water in the backcountry is at risk to develop a waterborne illness, regardless of how…

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  During a vigorous day hike, an adult may burn as many as 6,600 calories—but not all calories are created equal. Our bodies require a scientific combination of hard-working nutrients to sustain normal function. What’s the secret recipe? We asked Nicole Cormier, a registered dietitian whose clients include backpackers and athletes, to share what our…

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Humans replenish glycogen—which stores energy and builds endurance—by consuming carbohydrates, ideally from whole-food sources, according to registered dietitian Nicole Cormier. Cormier’s Super Cookies provide plenty of carbs, as well as protein and good fat, to keep you nourished on the trail. Plus, you can pronounce all of the ingredients. Ingredients: 2 cups oats 3 ripe…

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Dr. Tom: If I encounter someone in the backcountry showing signs of hypothermia, what should I do? Anyone who enjoys the Northeastern outdoors should possess basic knowledge in recognizing and treating hypothermia. While we sometimes think about hypothermia as a winter problem, it can set in any time of the year. There have been documented…

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Winter transforms a trail. The hiking is beautiful, and snow can cover and even out rocky, rooty paths, sometimes making them easier than in the other seasons. At the same time, deep drifts make some areas impassible without snowshoes, and steep slopes can become icy slides. Hikers should venture out with the season’s beauty, and its…

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Obtaining an accurate measurement of a mountain’s elevation has become something of an obsession among hikers. Whether you’re tagging New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, the 46 4,000-footers in New York’s Adirondacks, or each state’s high point, your list is ultimately determined by elevation. But how, exactly, do geodesists­—scientists who measure and monitor Earth…

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