From the Magazine

David Haskell compares nature observations to breathing.  “With the lungs, you have to both inhale and exhale in order to be healthy. The same is true for the mind,” the Sewanee professor of biology and environmental studies instructs his college students—including me. “We need a process of opening our senses and then of closing….We need…

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If you’ve ever noticed a swath of trees in an otherwise healthy forest flattened like matchsticks scattered by a giant, you were probably seeing the effects of a microburst or a macroburst. These downward explosions of cold air, which form during severe thunderstorms, leave noticeable changes in woodlands for years to come. “The trees will…

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Our son has always been a risk-taker. On a camping trip at 9 months old, he made a beeline for every campfire, trying to crawl right in and reach for the flames. Not yet 3, he ran full tilt into our pond, his legs churning forward even after his head was completely submerged.  My husband…

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As electric bicycles, or e-bikes, have grown in popularity, they’ve encountered pushback from a group that might surprise some: mountain biking enthusiasts. The potential for conflict arises, in part, from e-bikes’ impact on trails but also from mountain bikers’ concerns that their own diligence as good backcountry citizens could be undone by association.  E-bike advocates,…

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Poor Mount Monroe. Despite its stature as the fifth-highest mountain in New Hampshire, it doesn’t crack Instagram’s top 10 of the most-hashtagged 4,000-footers in the state. To conduct our pseudo-scientific popularity poll, we used the same convention for all 48 peaks: “mt” or “mtn” before or after the name, as listed in AMC’s White Mountain…

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Clocking in at less than 1 ounce, the e+LITE has been the ultralight standard for years and a solid weigh-nothing emergency option that you can keep in your pack at all times. Last year Petzl upgraded the model with a noticeably brighter LED bulb—50 lumens, up from 26—which makes it a viable around-camp option, as…

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Have you ever wondered who used a trail before you—or maybe how a trail first came to be? These eight routes were initially traveled by American Indians who created the paths for travel, trade, and spiritual connection long before European settlement. Pick one or several for the chance to walk in the footsteps of this…

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A light is one of the 10 essentials—those crucial pieces of gear you should carry on any hike. This is particularly true in the fall, when daylight fades earlier, and the odds of finding yourself outside after twilight increase.  When it comes to choosing a light, it’s hard to beat a headlamp for convenient, hands-free illumination that…

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The Swiss Miss Fire started on a hot August day in 2017. Deep in the 100-Mile Wilderness, 300 feet from the Appalachian Trail, someone had stopped to make cocoa on Columbus Mountain. “It was in one of those high, dry areas where you get deep layers of decayed leaf matter and moss,” explains Steve Tatko,…

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Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has exploded in popularity, and for good reason: It develops balance, strength, and endurance, without overtaxing a particular muscle or part of the body. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, participation has swelled by nearly 24 percent in the United States in the past five years. “SUP can be a…

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