Health & Safety

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

If you’re a regular REI shopper, you’re almost certainly familiar with the company’s regular “garage sales.” At these one-day events, individual stores clear out—for cheap—all of the returned gear that has accumulated since the previous garage sale. They’re hugely popular, with dozens of people typically lining up before the doors open. So it’s no surprise that REI has now…

Read More....

On the last day of September, the summit observatory atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington recorded sub-freezing temperatures (27 degrees Fahrenheit) and 0.3 inches of snow. It wasn’t the season’s first snow atop the Northeast’s highest point—that actually occurred a month earlier, on September 1—but it was a telling reminder that the creeping fingers of Old Man Winter have…

Read More....

Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. There was a period in my life when I sold sunglasses. I helped hundreds of people try on thousands of different pairs of shades to find the best-fitting options and styles for their face. Which in turn required carefully phrased feedback to help them find the…

Read More....