Backpacking Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Backpacking

And then there’s everything else. In rough priority order, below are additional bells and whistles to consider when choosing a headlamp.  Comfort. Wide elastic headbands are more comfortable and secure than the thin, stringlike bands found on some ultralight options.  Tilt. You’ll want to be able to swivel your headlamp, adjusting the beam up and…

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Have you ever met a Ridgerunner while hiking on the Appalachian Trail? For the AT’s entire 60 miles in Connecticut and its first 17 in Massachusetts, these AMC staffers serve as the trail’s eyes and ears: talking to the public about Leave No Trace principles, taking care of blown-down trees, gathering statistics on trail use,…

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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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Are you ready to try fastpacking? For ultralight backpackers and trail runners, the answer might be a speedy: ‘YES!’ Kristina Folcik didn’t know she was about to have her world rocked. A 40-year-old ultrarunner from Tamworth, N.H., she has been zipping up and down trails in the White Mountains for nearly 20 years. In fact,…

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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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Crowds can be intensely heavy on the trails of the White Mountains. Or not, depending on where you go. If you’re looking for solitude and tranquility on your next hike, here are some of my go-to locations, based on my experience researching AMC’s Best Backpacking Trips in New England. Where NOT to go First, though,…

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The very first Maine Mountain Guide, a svelte sky-blue volume, appeared in 1961 as a spinoff of AMC’s longstanding Katahdin Guide, itself an offshoot of the original White Mountain Guide. At a scant 190 pages, the book was hardly the definitive compendium we rely on today. Nonetheless, each of the Maine Mountain Guide hikes below…

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Carrying a chair with you into the backcountry isn’t exactly an ultralight essential, but it is a delightful luxury after a long hard day on the trail. If you’re willing to pack in a bit more weight for a comfortable seat around camp, here are some of the current best backpacking chairs. Helinox Chair Zero…

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If you’re planning on backpacking with young kids, you really want them to enjoy the experience so they’ll keep coming back for more. After multiple trips taking my two young backpackers into the woods over the past two years (when they were between the ages of 4 and 8), here are a few key tips…

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National forests are like the multitool of the public land system, open to a wide, if carefully monitored, array of uses: hiking, fishing, timber harvesting, and conservation among them. And then there’s forest bathing—the new trend of immersing yourself in nature as a remedy for the stress and anxiety of everyday life. Whether you dip…

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