Decision Making

In the late 1970s and early ’80s AMC’s Cardigan Lodge was my wife Joyce’s and my favorite place to spend a couple weeks every summer. We were drawn to its rustic and intimate atmosphere, the camaraderie of a shared interest in the outdoors, and of course the hiking. We had developed a proprietary feeling about…

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  Sarah Goodnow says she was lucky the first time she saw a natural avalanche. Lucky, as in she and others around her were in a safe place, allowing them to witness the phenomenon without fear.“It was after a snowstorm and there wasn’t much wind,” she recalls. “I could see Hillman’s Highway (a ski route…

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Being outdoors in the winter—especially in the backcountry—presents a different and more complex set of safety challenges. Extreme cold and wind can render a person immobile—or worse—within minutes, complicating any additional injuries one has sustained. Here are several of the most common winter injuries, how to prevent them, and what to do if you or…

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  New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Lt. Jim Kneeland doesn’t go anywhere without his phone these days. Or his maps. Kneeland oversees Fish and Game operations in the western White Mountains and since the beginning of summer, he’s been on the receiving end of a seemingly endless torrent of calls for help. Not just search…

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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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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2011 issue of Appalachia. The summer I turned 18, I lived on a glacier, it was a broad slanted finger of snow, a home I shared with 200 huskies and a dozen people. From above, the camp was smudges on the white, pressed against the base of…

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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Early fall is a beautiful time of year for paddling. The water is warm, the days sunny, and leaf peeping, from your kayak, canoe or SUP (stand up paddle board), is a ton of fun.  Before your next trip, take a few minutes to think about what your group needs when getting on, and off,…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia. Dan McGinness is among the hiker elite in New England, where many of us admire his exploits. Four years ago, he endured a scary, unplanned overnight in mid-December. He agreed to show me where he’d hunkered down that night so that I could…

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Using resources from the Outdoor Leader Handbook, you and your co-Leader planned an activity and posted it on outdoors.org. The trip is full and you know it’s going to be great! The day of the trip arrives. You & your co-Leader meet the group at the designated spot. Before getting underway, you provide introductions, share the…

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