Outdoor Skills and Safety

Getting home safely while winter hiking means knowing when to call it quits. The mountain, the trail, the journey: They’ll all still be there another day. A responsible hiker sets a turnaround time before hitting the trail, especially in winter, when daylight fades much earlier than other times of the year. But there are also…

Read More....

Many American families approach the snow and cold of winter as something to be endured, even feared. Scandinavian families, on the other hand, approach the cold as something to be embraced and enjoyed, and they even have vocabulary for it. The Danish word hygge, pronounced hoo-guh, describes the pursuit of joy and coziness, even when…

Read More....

Not confident in how to winter camp? We’ve got you covered with these tips for setting up your tent in the snow and cold—and loving it. Vibrant. When picking a tent, go with a yellow or orange fabric over green or gray. Research shows cheerier colors are friendlier to your psyche if you’re tent-bound for…

Read More....

Sometimes, warm is worse when hiking on ice. Greg Maino won’t forget one mild winter day, when melting ice made for a treacherous hike up Hunger Mountain in Vermont’s Worcester Range north of Montpelier. Maino, an experienced Vermont hiker and skiier, and his friends, all of whom were new to the area, struggled over slippery…

Read More....

Spending a night outside in winter requires a different shelter than in warmer seasons. To stay safe and comfortable when the wind howls and the snow piles up, you’ll want to choose a tent that’s as tough as the conditions. But what makes a tent truly winter-worthy? A reliable four-season tent is built to withstand…

Read More....

1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

Read More....

Ripped tent? Don’t trash it! Give your old tent a second life with our step-by-step instructions. Repurposing gear is a fun and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and to show off your upcycling skills. So dig out those busted tents, grab your sewing kit, and learn how to make a stuff sack! MATERIALS:…

Read More....

We’ve finally moved past the swelter of summer and into the glorious days of autumn. That means crisp days, cool nights, and brain-popping foliage all around. It also means darkness comes earlier with each passing day. As you head outdoors on your next autumnal adventure, keep these two tips for safe fall hikes top of…

Read More....

If you’ve ever noticed a swath of trees in an otherwise healthy forest flattened like matchsticks scattered by a giant, you were probably seeing the effects of a microburst or a macroburst. These downward explosions of cold air, which form during severe thunderstorms, leave noticeable changes in woodlands for years to come. “The trees will…

Read More....

The Swiss Miss Fire started on a hot August day in 2017. Deep in the 100-Mile Wilderness, 300 feet from the Appalachian Trail, someone had stopped to make cocoa on Columbus Mountain. “It was in one of those high, dry areas where you get deep layers of decayed leaf matter and moss,” explains Steve Tatko,…

Read More....