Hike Safe

Well, we did it. On Friday, August 23, two friends and I finished the adventure for which we’d been training for more than a year: we completed a single-day Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, running as much of it as we could. I’ll save the more harrowing tales for the magazine feature, scheduled for…

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Terri Werning’s biggest fear while hiking isn’t elevation, bears, or losing the trail. It’s men. Werning, 47, who has completed several sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) over the past four years, says that were she to be attacked by a man while hiking in a remote area, she easily could be overpowered. It’s why,…

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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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On a recent trail run in the Middlesex Fells with my two training partners, two of us ran into a bit of unexpected trouble. We were attempting to complete the technical and hilly Skyline Trail, which clocks in at around 8 miles, and we had time constraints. One in our group became a bit sluggish…

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A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Appalachia Journal. Pam Bales left the firm pavement of the Base Road and stepped onto the snow-covered Jewell Trail to begin her mid-October climb. She planned a six-hour loop hike by herself. She had packed for almost every contingency and intended to walk alone….

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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…

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Fall equinox is this Thursday, September 22. It occurs precisely at 10:21 a.m. EDT.  And it continues a current and rapid trend of diminishing daylight. So…all you hikers out there…it’s time for a friendly reminder to always hike with a light, no matter what time you head out. Remember, it only takes a small miscalculation or mishap—a wrong turn,…

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What follows is an excerpt from Desperate Steps: Life, Death, and Choices Made in the Mountains of the Northeast, available now from  AMC Books. The screen door on the ranger’s cabin slammed hard in the wind. Baxter State Park Ranger Ralph Heath rose stiffly from the supper table to secure the latch, uneasy over the…

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The 10 Essentials are more than just a list. They are the basics of survival. Carry them and you will always be equipped for the unexpected. First developed in the 1930s by the Mountaineers, a Seattle-based nonprofit, the original 10 Essentials consisted of a list of specific items—knife, map, compass, matches, etc. Today, several different…

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