Gear

  Thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail face many challenges while striving for their goal. Just ask the Crawfords, a family of eight from Bellevue, Ky., who in 2018 became the biggest family to complete a thru-hike of the 2,192-mile trail. Sure, there’s the elevation gain over rocky paths, whining kids on the trail, and even…

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The return of AMC’s photo contest to the pages of our magazine is such a welcome sight during this in-between season of ice and mud. Not that joy isn’t present in either element, but it’s nice to be warmed by the views, the stories, the adventures, and the humanity that this event—and these nature photos—calls…

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We’re thrilled to welcome back the AMC Photo Contest after a hiatus of two years. Replatformed and rejiggered for its 23rd installment, the contest this year was open to non-AMC members for the first time, capturing vibrant, new perspectives and yielding a record high number of submissions over the course of its six-week run. Here…

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Mud season in the mountains of the Northeast begins as the snow melts and the landscape and trails turn soggy. Depending on the elevation, weather, snowpack, and region, it can stretch anywhere from March through June, with the greater heights of northern New England and New York experiencing the worst of it in May and…

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Outdoor recreationalists first began to sample the sport (a combination of hiking and backcountry camping) in the late 19th century. Backpacking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the world today, with more than 4,000 people attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trails each year….

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‘Tis the season to strap on giant snow-stomping footwear and take on the wintry backcountry. If you’re buying a new pair—or upgrading or adding to your existing collection—here are two excellent snowshoes from MSR to consider. (If you’re new to snowshoeing, it can be useful to first brush up on the basics, including snowshoe terminology…

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Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

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Winter poses an annual dilemma for many outdoor adventurers in the winter months: Do I need some form of traction gear? And if so, what kind? Whether you run, hike, snowshoe, ice climb, or simply want to make it home safely on a slippery sidewalk, a little extra grip can go a long way. And…

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Aerogel is a nearly weightless super-insulator, used by NASA in satellites and other space technology. A commercial version, Primaloft Gold Aerogel, first hit the outdoor gear market in 2017 as a synthetic and ultra-warm insulation. L.L.Bean had exclusive rights to use it during its first year of release, notably in the company’s Packaway Jacket ($169,…

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Properly layering your clothing is essential to staying warm and comfortable in the cold. A simple mnemonic device can help you remember the basics of dressing for winter activities outdoors. W is for Wicking. First you’ll want a (non-cotton!) next-to-skin base layer that is both warm and effective at moving body-chilling moisture (a.k.a. your sweat)…

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