Camping

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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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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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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It’s one of the most useful and versatile items I throw in my pack: a length of lightweight, all-purpose cord. From guylines to clotheslines, shoe laces to dog leashes, it’s remarkable how many different uses you can find for this simple, inexpensive item. Also amazing is the number of different types of cord available. Here’s…

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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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Across the nation, outdoor recreation generates more than $59 billion in local and state tax revenues each year. When we buy a lift ticket, purchase new boots, or spend the night in a hotel before a big hike, tax revenues flow to towns and states. But some states benefit more, proportionally, from these revenues than…

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Ultralight backpacking quilts have been around for years. Now they are one of the leading items of gear used by Appalachian trail thru-hikers. One company in particular, Minnesota-based Enlightened Equipment, has become a go-to for ultralight hikers. What is a backpacking quilt? Backpacking quilts are essentially down blankets that have been modified to perform in…

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A sleeping bag is a voluminous piece of gear that requires large swaths of polyester or nylon. If it contains synthetic insulation as well, you’re talking about snuggling in a substantial amount of man-made material. Which is fine, but better if it comes from recycled sources. That can really narrow your search if you’re looking…

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