July/August 2012

A man in a scuba suit is found dead in a forest. What happened? I recently found myself trying to solve this puzzle while riding in a van driven by Joanna Lemmon, who works with AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program (YOP). We were on a trip with some colleagues, who immediately rose to the bait when…

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There’s hammocks…and then there’s hammocks so big they become “portable suspended habitation units” large enough to accommodate two, four, or even eight people and their gear. Tentsile is the English company that offers such massive free-hanging shelters, or as the company dubs it, “the world’s most versatile tent.” Alex Shirley-Smith, an architect and treehouse designer,…

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Helicopter parents who hover over their kids are easy to caricature. But every parent makes decisions every day that affect children’s safety, and those judgment calls aren’t always easy. Is your child ready to handle a sharp knife? Will you let her bike around the neighborhood alone? How about allowing him and his friends to…

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Searing heat has been scorching the nation over the past few weeks, including the Northeast. If you’re outside in the swelter, a few clothing tips and accessories can help keep you just a little more comfortable. Cotton Cools! Cotton Cools!In baking heat, cotton doesn’t kill. It helps keep you cool. Why? The same reason that…

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Don’t get me wrong. Some bike locks are better and more theft-resistant than others. But no bike lock is truly theft-proof—and you may be surprised at how quickly a bike thief can cut open even the strongest U-locks using one simple, inexpensive tool.As I detailed in my AMC Outdoors article, It’s a Lock: Invest in…

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Back in the day, we didn’t think twice before eating a trout caught on a camping trip. But pollutants that permeate our environment collect in the bodies of fish, making some of them dangerous to eat, particularly for children and pregnant women. To keep brain-damaging mercury and cancer-causing PCBs out of your camp cooking, check…

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“Barefoot” shoes are designed to replicate the experience—and potential benefits—of running or walking barefoot. If you’re interested in buying a pair, or are just curious why anybody would want to go barefoot in the first place, here’s what you need to know… This column originally appeared in the June online edition of AMC Outdoors. You…

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Animals have a long history at AMC’s huts. Longtime Huts Manager Joe Dodge famously employed burros to haul building supplies into the mountains. And for two years in the early 1950s, a croo member’s two ducks summered at Greenleaf. They spent most of their time in Eagle Lake, and waddled up to the hut at…

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For more than 50 years, DEET has reigned as the undisputed champion of insect repellents. No longer. There’s now a potentially better alternative on the market: picaridin. Both DEET and picaridin are proven to be effective at fending off mosquitoes—and are superior to other repellents when it comes to protection time. But which one is…

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Alternative Repellents  DEET and picaridin are synthetic chemicals that are not generally recommended for use on children under the age of 2. Several natural alternatives are available, all of which work—just not for as long as DEET or picaridin before they must be reapplied. Oil of eucalyptus offers the longest-lasting protection (up to two hours),…

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