March/April 2013

Gore-Tex hiking boots are supposed to be waterproof, right? Well, they are—except when they’re not. My standard hiking footwear is a pair of Vasque Sundowner Classics, which include a Gore-Tex liner. I’ve worn them in nearly every outdoor condition imaginable and most of the time they have effectively kept my feet dry, yet I’ve found…

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Last Easter, I decided to take my toddler on an adventure. No basket filled with fake grass and chocolate bunnies for her. We would keep the Sabbath Emily Dickinson–style, in the natural world. We would visit Walden Pond.   Going to Walden is not, for us, the pilgrimage it is for many visitors. As a local,…

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Sometimes a picture says it all:   The Solo Super-Ultralight Camping & Survival Tarp/Tent is the creation of David Gardner, owner of Gardner Outdoor Lightweight Designs, aka GOLD Gear. Why am I writing about it? Isn’t it obvious, er, transparent? I love the idea that you can be safe and secure from wind and rain,…

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What are the lightest tents and tarps currently in existence? Ones made from cuben fiber. For all the gory details on this megalight super fabric (including its outrageous cost), you can check out my recent post What Is Cuben Fiber? To find out which cuben fiber shelters are currently available (or will be soon), read…

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Part 23 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Ever wonder how Princeton Tec—manufacturer of high-quality headlamps, flashlights, bike lights, and other portable lighting accessories—got its name? Turns out the company was founded in 1975 in Princeton, New Jersey. Originally named Princeton Tectonics, the fledgling firm initially specialized in scuba and diving accessories. In…

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This is National Wildlife Week, and this year’s theme is trees—planting them, exploring them, learning about them, and appreciating them for how they help wild animals thrive. The nonprofit National Wildlife Federation, which organizes the week, provides fun educational materials and activities for educators and caregivers to use with kids. You can download and print:…

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I hate static cling—and fleece jackets are particularly prone to it during the cold dry months of winter. You can largely eliminate it by adding a dryer sheet to your laundry, but it’s not a good idea. You can learn everything you wanted to know about dryer sheets in this lengthy article, but the key…

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Sure, cycling in winter requires a bit more commitment, fortitude, and gear than the balmy days of summer. But turns out that cold-weather riding also requires more effort, even if you’re riding the same bike on the same roads you do in summer. Why? Physics are working against you. Cold air is denser than warm…

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Join AMC Research Assistant Mac Griffin on a nature walk to explore the flora near AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. Learn more about White Mountains flora and fauna in AMC’s Nature Guide to the Northern Forest, and the AMC Field Guide to New England Alpine Summits. View other videos in this…

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I want kids to get out in nature so they can enjoy all its benefits. Not so they will suffer extra lung damage. But the truth is, in our polluted world, even the air we breathe can contain invisible dangers. And activities like hiking, which should be healthy, can actually make the problem worse. The…

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