Backpacking

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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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A man stands at the edge of the campfire, illuminated by the orange glow of an ever-growing flame as it licks the rock ring surrounding it. I’m nervous for his safety. He has been drinking for some time now, and one wrong step could result in injury. But he maintains his balance, cupping his hands…

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One of the most frequently visited shelters in the White Mountain National Forest will be out of commission this September. Guyot Shelter, which housed 3,513 guest overnights in 2018 alone, will be razed and rebuilt following years of accumulated damage from rain and snowstorms. With construction planned for the busy fall hiking season, the closure…

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With nearly 400 miles of coastline, it’s easy to understand how Rhode Island got its nickname, “the Ocean State.” Horseshoeing around Narragansett Bay, the U.S.’s smallest state provides plenty of places to explore, both on land and sea. Whether it’s hiking, biking, or paddling you’re looking for, Rhode Island has you covered. Add one or…

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