Hiking

  From his backyard in Augusta, Maine, astronomer Jon Silverman can look into the night sky and see light emitted from stars hundreds, thousands, even millions of years ago. Anyone can. All it takes to see light coming from, say, the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor at 2.5 million light-years away, is a simple pair…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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  I’m standing in the dining room at AMC’s Madison Spring Hut, and even though it’s late August, I can’t get warm. Two friends and I have just returned from Mount Madison’s 5,366-foot summit, where a sturdy gale-force wind battered our sweat-soaked bodies already weary from a climb that covered 3,500 feet of elevation in…

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Hispanics enjoy regular time outdoors at nearly twice the rate they did a decade ago—and population changes aren’t the only reason why. Moderate outdoor participation—defined as happening about once a month—occurred among 10.3 percent of self-identified Hispanics in 2018, up from 5.3 percent in 2008, according to the 2019 Outdoor Participation Report, an annual survey…

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  Seeing animals in the wild is thrilling. Whether you’ve spotted a common merganser hen swimming with her ducklings trailing behind, a five-lined skink basking on a rock, or—if you’re lucky—an ambling moose in the woods, you know that the encounter is a rarity. Experts encourage tracking for its own sake—even if the animal itself…

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Dr. Tom: How do I prevent getting caught in a lightning storm? What if a member of my party is struck by lightning?   If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. The absence of clouds overhead or rain does not mean you are safe. The…

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Badger—based in Gilsum, N.H.—produces a range of mineral sunscreens formulated with pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide, like the Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream ($16.99, 2.9 ounce bottle). In addition to being environmentally friendly, Badger products do not contain parabens, sulfates, or other synthetic chemicals that have been linked to potentially negative health effects…

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When researching new trails, you often find results for hikes that, while beautiful, are sure to draw a crowd. You may find yourself sharing trails with too many hikers or fighting for parking spaces at trailheads—annoyances in the best of times, let alone an era of physical distancing. Thankfully, alternatives to these popular trails exist…

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The lure of the Presidential Range caused many trail builders to look for new ways to access peaks, and 2020 marks the 100th year of two of these routes. The first, Lion Head Trail, was cut following the U.S. Forest Service’s acquisition of the land in early 1920. The trail begins and ends on the…

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With the summer air warm and the water cool, it’s always tempting to jump in for a swim in a river. Swimming in rivers can be great fun, but before you take the plunge, pause to consider the nature of flowing water. LEARN MORE: Read how to run a rapid, whether you’re an expert or…

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