Health & Safety

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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If you’re hiking with kids, the single most important thing you can do is ensure they have fun, enjoy the experience, and continue on a path of  loving the outdoors. Having a few key items of gear can help with that goal, while keeping them safe at the same time. Here are seven things I…

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After nearly a year of planning and training, the big day is almost here: In a few weeks, two friends and I will wake up early and make our way to the Appalachia trailhead for the beginning of our attempt at the Presidential Traverse. The Presidential Traverse (or Presi) is a roughly 20-mile journey that…

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Having the means and ability to make an emergency fire is an essential survival skill. It requires two key items: something that generates a spark or flame, and tinder to catch the spark or flame and start your fire. For the latter, I have long recommended Vaseline-coated cotton balls (though a variety of other pre-made…

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There comes a point when insect repellent just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the biting bugs are just too thick and ferocious to deal with, whether it’s a swarm of black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, or some other collection of flying blood-sucking micro-monsters. Even if you’re using enough insect repellent to keep them from biting, it can…

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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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Say you take a bad tumble on the trail and end up with a nasty scrape or cut. Even worse, dirt and debris are ground into the wound. To minimize the risk of infection, you need to thoroughly clean the injury site and get all of that debris out of there, especially if you are…

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Protecting your brain should seem like a no-brainer. According to the Federal Highway Administration, bike helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective at preventing head and brain injuries. But “helmets are very similar to seatbelts,” says Erik daSilva, the education and outreach coordinator for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. A helmet won’t help you in…

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Winter snow lingers into spring in locations across the Northeast. The sun rises higher in the sky with each passing day. And if you’re outside reveling in it all, the underside of your face is about to get some serious UV exposure. Time to slather up with some quality sunscreen—and make sure you apply it to…

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I love high-visibility gear for cycling. I also support cycling advocacy efforts that make streets and roads safer for all users. A new set of products from Respect My Lane does both at the same time. Respect My Lane is a small local operation based in Boston (the same traffic-tough cycling area that brought you one of…

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