Backpacking

AMC’s Shelters Department loves that so many people want to experience the wilderness, recreate outdoors, and embrace travel by foot. Last year, we recorded more than 18,000 campers who visited one of nine staffed AMC campsites in the White Mountain National Forest over a five-month period alone. However, we can’t ignore the negative effects of…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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Hispanics enjoy regular time outdoors at nearly twice the rate they did a decade ago—and population changes aren’t the only reason why. Moderate outdoor participation—defined as happening about once a month—occurred among 10.3 percent of self-identified Hispanics in 2018, up from 5.3 percent in 2008, according to the 2019 Outdoor Participation Report, an annual survey…

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Dr. Tom: How do I prevent getting caught in a lightning storm? What if a member of my party is struck by lightning?   If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. The absence of clouds overhead or rain does not mean you are safe. The…

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The lure of the Presidential Range caused many trail builders to look for new ways to access peaks, and 2020 marks the 100th year of two of these routes. The first, Lion Head Trail, was cut following the U.S. Forest Service’s acquisition of the land in early 1920. The trail begins and ends on the…

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Peakbagging is the concept in which hikers and climbers attempt to reach a specific set of summits as defined by a list or a set of criteria. Some peakbaggers, known as “highpointers,” try to reach the highest point in every state, country, continent, or national park, while other peakbaggers attempt to climb all summits over…

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With COVID-19 still at the forefront of our thoughts, there’s another health hazard to keep an eye out for this spring and summer—ticks. While it’s important to continue to follow CDC guidelines when heading outdoors, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between you and another person, its also important to…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2017 issue of Appalachia. When you have been indoors all winter, the first hike of spring can tax self-esteem severely. Small August slopes rise into April peaks, as if some great ladder had hoisted them hundreds of feet higher on purpose. Our first hike was a starter,…

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The following is an excerpt from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual. To reduce shoulder and hip discomfort, as well as to better organize and care for your equipment, it is best to load your pack by following some basic packing principles. We call these principles the ABCDs of packing. In this mnemonic, “A” stands for accessibility,…

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In the first half of the 19th century, mountaineering in the Western world was largely dominated by male naturalists and explorers. Women were excluded from the sport primarily because they were believed to be too fragile for outdoor activities. Over time, a number of women broke these gender norms and began mountain climbing. Through hiking,…

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