Health & Safety

Summertime, skin damage time. If you spend any significant time outdoors in the blazing sun, you should be wearing sunscreen to protect yourself from skin damage and increased skin cancer risk. These days, a range of sunscreens are available touting SPF protection levels of 50 or more, with some options going as high as 100-plus….

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A heavy-duty garbage bag should be a core item of any survival kit. In a backcountry emergency or survival situation—especially in cold, rainy, and/or windy conditions—a garbage bag can quickly and easily be used as an outer layer for both protection and warmth. A 55-gallon contractor bag in action. To do so, cut a slit…

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There’s ultralight backpacking, and then there’s hyperlight. It’s possible for all your backpacking gear to weigh less than 10 pounds (excluding food, water, and the clothes you’re wearing) but accomplishing it requires some notable sacrifices and expense. Here’s what it takes to experience the lightest, rightest, fastest backpacking experience of your life. Shelter: 0 to…

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Spring is the time of year when adult ticks that have overwintered underground emerge for one last attempt at a succulent blood feast. If you find one attached to yourself or your pet, I highly recommend using the Pro-Tick Remedy to remove the nasty little blood-sucker—it’s been my go-to tick removal device for years. This…

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In more than 90 percent of bicycle fatalities, the rider was not wearing a helmet. Don’t become part of this statistic! Make sure your bike helmet fit is optimized to your noggin. It should feel snug but not uncomfortably tight and sit level on your head. The front should rest no more than one inch above…

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You don’t have to stand on your head facing the sun, mouth agape, to accomplish this unusual (and highly undesirable) feat. You just have to spend enough time huffing and puffing in blistering sunshine on one of Nature’s most reflective surfaces: snow. Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV radiation, which means that you’re…

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Gliding through open water in a kayak can be a blissful experience, an exhilarating adventure far from the confines of the terrestrial world. But that same waterscape also presents unique risks that paddlers must be prepared to deal with. Understanding common scenarios of potential danger, and carrying the essential gear to deal with it, will…

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Yesterday I rounded up the top 7 most viewed posts from 2013. Useful and interesting? Sure. But they weren’t my personal favorites from the past year. These were. Why? In researching each of these posts, I discovered something unexpected, something fun, and/or something particularly useful for my personal outdoor pursuits. I hope you do too!…

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Appalachian Mountain Club volunteers and staff assist with dozens of search and rescue operations in the White Mountains every year. See what’s involved in providing this valuable service. Watch more AMC videos on YouTube.  

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Deer ticks are pernicious, nasty little critters. Common throughout the Northeast, these parasitic bloodsuckers are the primary vector for Lyme disease, an unpleasant and potentially serious illness that is well worth avoiding. Your goal is to prevent deer ticks from enjoying their sanguineous feast and possibly transmitting the disease-causing bacterium. Here are the best, most…

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