Hiking

When it comes to choosing a multiday backpack, forget about pockets, zippers, ventilation, access panels, materials, color, and any other number of design elements. Focus instead on the single most important feature: a good fit. Figuring out how to fit a backpack isn’t difficult, yet it may be one of the most crucial gear skills…

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Typically we seek nature to get away from human development. But in the case of the Northeast’s abandoned stone quarries, a past industrial age has left us with especially dramatic landscapes: sheer cliffs, jagged rock piles, deep pools. Not all quarries are open to the public, so before exploring one, make sure that it’s legal…

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With the epic winter of 2013-14 finally behind us, who isn’t thrilled to swap sleds, skates, and snowshoes for hiking boots, paddles, and sleeping bags? Living in New York City, the Catskill Mountain Preserve is our go-to destination for all of our weekend getaway needs. During the spring thaw, we plan trips to the nearby…

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Perhaps you’ve noticed. It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter in the Northeast. And following yet another significant snowfall in northern New England last week, the effects of this Arctic season are clearly apparent in Sunday’s snow depth map: I keep regular tabs on this map throughout the winter (which is updated daily by NOAA…

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The difference between true north and magnetic north is known as the magnetic declination or variation. If magnetic north is west of true north—as is the case throughout the Northeast—it’s a west declination. If east, then it’s an east declination. To convert from a true bearing (one determined from a map, for example) to a magnetic…

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When spring arrives after a Northeast winter, seeing colorful wildflowers poking out of the newly thawed earth can be a joyful experience. So put away your heavy boots, hang up your winter coat, and try any of these spring nature walks. Wildflowers appear earlier in some locations than in others. These hikes are listed chronologically,…

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About 1,800 miles into their thru-hike of the 2,186-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), northbounders encounter a place where weather, terrain, and hiker services differ markedly from what they’ve come to know from miles and miles and months in the woods. The skies throw in a wild card, what with the trail’s proximity to fabled…

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Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. have a bunion on one or both feet. Located at the base of the big toe on the side of the foot, this bony protrusion is often at particular risk for blisters. Here’s what you can do about it:  Purchase sufficiently wide hiking boots. They should not feel…

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Don’t sweat. You may have heard this basic adage of winter adventure, which in my experience is all but impossible to achieve. But there are some simple things you can do to minimize the amount you sweat, which is still a very worthwhile goal. Why not sweat? It’s simple. If you sweat, your base layer…

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It’s a face-off (hand-off?) between two winter options, with a quick review of the pros and cons of each, as well as my personal preferences and recommendations. In This Corner: Gloves!  Gloves provide you with maximum dexterity, which is crucial if you’re doing anything that requires some degree of coordination. For day-to-day around-town winter handwear,…

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