Instruction (Skills)

In the event of a backcountry emergency—such as a debilitating injury, unexpected night out, or severe weather event—a simple lightweight tarp can provide crucial protection from the elements, if you know how to use it. Covering the Basics Tarps come in a variety of dimensions. An 8-by-10 foot tarp can provide full coverage for up…

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Logan Maestri wears a huge grin. Seated on a couch in AMC’s Highland Center, the 30-year-old ex-Marine is recounting the day’s exploits of skiing at nearby Bretton Woods, in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. “I never skied before, but I kicked ass,” he says. “I had an instructor with me, and he asked, ‘You’ve…

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“Sharp crampons are like sharp knives: They are safer and work best when sharp,” says Steve House, a climber and the author of Training for the New Alpinism. Trekking on ice, snow, and especially rock will eventually dull crampons and make them less effective— particularly early in the season, when ice and snow are light….

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Don’t wait for the first snowfall. Trek down into the basement, out into the garage, or deep into the closet and pull out all of your winter gear—tonight. A thorough preseason evaluation of everything from clothes to skis to crampons will help preserve your gear, keep you safe, and prevent problems once you do head…

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One essential item in any backcountry survival kit? A heavy-duty garbage bag, which you can quickly and easily transform into a potentially life-saving shelter. Here’s how to use a garbage bag for survival: Holding the bag sealed end up, cut a slit no longer than your face along one side seam, starting about 8 inches down…

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In the past, getting city school kids outdoors meant playing handball in a brick courtyard. These days, more and more educators are finding creative ways to integrate outdoor learning into their curricula, with efforts ranging from planting rooftop gardens to transforming parking lots into outdoor labs. One such initiative is New York City’s The Natural…

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If you’re able to recognize only one plant, it better be poison ivy. Memorize these helpful hints to identify it in any season.  “Leaves of three, leave them be.” Poison ivy leaves always occur in clusters of three. “Longer middle stem, don’t touch them.” The middle leaflet of the trio will have a longer stem…

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Do you know a kid who’s out of shape, overweight, or more likely to hang around the house than run around outside? There’s a prescription for that. Thanks to AMC and a growing number of partners, Boston-area families are spending more time outside together exploring, exercising, and having fun—doctors’ orders. In an effort to help…

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Road cyclists: Want to log longer rides, get stronger, avoid injury, and have more fun on your bike? Linda Freeman, a Vermont-based personal trainer who specializes in cycling, says mastering your pedaling technique will help you get the most out of your rides and reduce your risk of getting hurt. She sees three elements as…

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Maine’s “Vacationland” appeal isn’t limited to out-of-state visitors. Head out to the state’s parks, trailheads, or trout streams in late September, and you’re likely to see great gatherings of Mainers enjoying their favorite pursuits. Building on that homegrown passion for the outdoors, the eighth biannual Great Maine Outdoor Weekend (GMOW) returns to the Pine Tree…

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