Backpacking

Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

Read More....

EDNA SAYS: When I graduated high school, I didn’t want to be a nurse. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I wanted to go to college for forestry, but women didn’t do that then. So I took a train from Buffalo to Ellicottville, N.Y.—what’s now Holiday Valley Ski Resort. I could stay and ski…

Read More....

This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of Appalachia. Fifteen people had crammed sleeping bags onto the floor of the Guyot Shelter deep in the White Mountains that wet August night. The structure’s open front faced rows of dark pines. I stood on the platform edge, staring into the light curtain of…

Read More....

Picaridin hit the U.S. market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s…

Read More....

Solo hiking in the wilderness can intimidate anyone. If you get lost or injure yourself, help could be hours, or even days away. If you find yourself underprepared in bad weather, there’s no one to turn to for extra gear or shelter. But for female hikers, there are often additional mental hurdles to overcome on…

Read More....

I step out of my car, gravel crunching underfoot. The warm September afternoon is filled with the aroma of sun-baked pine and fern, and I breathe it in deeply. As I stretch my legs, my mind wanders ahead of me, into the wilderness. I’ve driven more than two hours from my home in northeastern Pennsylvania…

Read More....

Terri Werning’s biggest fear while hiking isn’t elevation, bears, or losing the trail. It’s men. Werning, 47, who has completed several sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) over the past four years, says that were she to be attacked by a man while hiking in a remote area, she easily could be overpowered. It’s why,…

Read More....

If a hiker, skier, or cyclist is seriously injured in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Western Maine, there’s a good chance they’ll be cared for by Dr. Thomas Trimarco. An attending emergency department physician, Trimarco is the emergency medical services director for Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.—the North Country’s only level 1 trauma center. He…

Read More....

As J.R. Harris likes to tell it today, the first time he saw grass, he tried to smoke it. He’s joking, of course, but the rib illustrates how shocking an introduction to the backcountry can be for a 14-year-old city kid. Climbing off the bus at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, N.Y., Harris…

Read More....

Only one in four hikers who start the Appalachian Trail will finish it, yet more report completing the iconic 2,190-mile trek today than ever. Who are these hardy hikers, and how do they do it? AT hiking completion data from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 2,000-miler list provide a fascinating snapshot of who’s conquering America’s most…

Read More....