Manual

As everybody knows, blisters are annoying. At best, they’re a painful inconvenience. At worst, they’re de­bilitating, trip-breaking agony. And when you’re hik­ing or playing outdoors, your feet are ground zero for blister formation. So rather than suffer through the unpleasantries of puffy pain, learn how to prevent it in the first place. ANTI-FRICTION DEVICES  Blisters…

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Want to learn about local trees? For starters, stop worrying about their names. So says Nancy Ritger, AMC’s senior interpretive naturalist, who advises hundreds of budding tree aficionados at AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center each year. “It’s much more important to learn the patterns.” With that in mind, here are a few of her favorite…

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Learn about the tools professional and volunteer trail crews use by trying to match the image with the clue. The answers are at the bottom of the page. A One of the world’s oldest tools, this implement comes in different sizes, which can be selected based upon the preference of its user. Older, handmade versions…

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A tree’s loss is a hiker’s gain. The transition of a leaf’s green color to an array of vibrant hues signifies its impending demise. As summer turns to fall, sunlight begins to diminish, which triggers a slowing down—and eventual halting—of a leaf’s chlorophyll production (the process that gives leaves their green shade). Pigments once masked…

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Do you have what it takes to become an outdoor detective? Some animals brave winter atop a blanket of snow—and leave behind roadmaps to where they’ve headed and clues to what they’ve been doing. It’s up to you to decipher the signs and piece together their story. According to AMC Senior Interpretive Naturalist Nicky Pizzo,…

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On the first day of a glacial ski traverse I did recently in Alaska’s Chugach Range, I forgot to turn on my avalanche beacon. I should have known better. Last March, I took the National Ski Patrol’s (NSP) Level I Avalanche course at AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch. Taught by NSP-certified instructors who…

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If your image of a backcountry camping kitchen in winter is a stove leaning precariously on a snowbank, think again. Outdoor overnighters have the luxury of using snow to build cubbies, counters, and other structures that can offset the rigors of cold weather. Some hikers, like Lucas St. Clair and Yemaya Maurer, the husband-and-wife team…

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In the last few years, GPS technology has grown by leaps and bounds. An increasing array of units is specifically designed for forays deep into the wilderness. Nevertheless, one time-honored rule remains in effect. When headed into a remote area—or afloat in a small boat such as a kayak—GPS alone will not cut it. Why?…

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Nature is once again beckoning us to romp in its springtime magnificence. As you get ready to respond to the invitation, assess the stockpile of outdoor gear taking up space in your home or garage. Before kicking old items to the curb, consider this: Numerous organizations offer innovative recycling programs that give your goods a…

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AMC Outdoors, July/August 2003 In the 20th century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf… I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never…

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