March/April 2011

School here was canceled yet again on Monday – not because of snow, but because of rain and sleet that built up ice on power lines, parked cars, and roadways. You can tell that winter has gone on long enough when yet another snow day is met with groans instead of grins. One reason: The…

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Walk into any outdoor shop and you’re immediately awash in a sea of synthetic materials. Nylon and polyester are everywhere, their virtues—Lightweight! Durable! Fast drying!—extolled in everything from tents to fleece to rain jackets. But when it comes to insulation, one natural material radically outperforms the best synthetic alternatives: goose down. This is its story…This…

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Friends visited us during their winter break last weekend. Their two daughters, Sarah and Rita, are close in age to Ursula, and, also like Ursula, generally enjoy being outdoors. But the plans the adults made, for long snowshoes and cross-country skiing, met with unexpected resistance from the girls. Maybe it was because Ursula and Rita…

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It may not be spring yet, but it’s not too soon for parents to look ahead to summer, and to outdoor programs for their kids. Choosing the right program or experience—and making the most of it—often begins with asking the right questions. Andrea Muller, AMC’s North Country youth education director, offers the following list, along…

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It’s summertime at the lake. The family clan gathers. It’s a paddle-happy reunion—and everybody wants to go canoeing. There’s only one problem. A flotilla of different canoes is stored in the shed. Some family members even brought their own boats! How will they decide which to use? Their choices will help guide you to the…

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There’s something satisfying about the J stroke. The subtle nature of it, how just a small turn of your wrist can provide gentle course correction and keep the boat pointed in the right direction. It’s efficient too, and that can help ensure long, enjoyable days on the water. The J, and four other strokes outlined…

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Allen Chamberlain was a man of focused passion, fighting—on several fronts—for the protection of forests across the United States. Chamberlain joined AMC in 1897, and by 1900 had revamped the organization’s Department of Exploration. As councillor, he renamed it the Department of Exploration and Forestry, positioning AMC to better engage in the effort to protect…

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