Outdoor Skills and Safety Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Outdoor Skills and Safety

Just inside the door to AMC’s trails workshop in Pinkham Notch, N.H., there’s a battered wood tool bench with a faded logo spray-painted on its side: a pair of double-bit axes forming a cross. Actual axes and ax heads cover the bench’s surface. Many are rusted and missing handles; others feature jagged shards of wood…

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Before I could say, “Yip yip,” Togo dashed down the trail, plunging through half a foot of fresh powder and pulling me along behind her. As we made our way into the woods, my grin increased in keeping with our pace. The switchback mountain-bike trail outside Northampton, Mass., descended slightly but consistently, with gravity giving…

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If you are a trip leader for the AMC, you probably started your journey as a participant as its one-of-a-kind leadership training experience.  Hopefully, this prepared you well for leading trips in your favorite outdoor activity.  If you are not yet a leader, perhaps you have attended an AMC outing, focused on safety & fun,…

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Like paddling a canoe or pedaling a bike, splitting wood is a rhythmic outdoor activity that can feel downright meditative when done correctly.  Swinging an ax, however, is a little more difficult (and dangerous) than biking or boating, so it takes time and practice to become a master of this useful art form. To get…

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No winter trip to AMC’s Maine Wilderness Lodges would be complete without spending an evening huddled around the wood stove, warming chilly toes and sipping hot chocolate. JP Krol, a longtime winter caretaker for both AMC and Randolph Mountain Club, has spent many a night doing just this. “Caretakers wear many hats, but one of…

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Monday Oct. 30th, 2017. The rain gauge filled for the second time in 24 hours. With relentless howling, the 60 mph gusts of wind find their way through the cracks of windows and doors. The lamp flickers one last gasp of light before fading to dark. My phone, which is perpetually on silent, grabs my attention with…

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If you’re out adventuring in cold weather, you need extra calories to feed the internal furnace of body heat production. To help  you meet this need—and find the most calories contained in a single energy bar wrapper—here are three high-calorie energy bars to add to the list I first put together back in 2010. First,…

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If you love exploring the outdoors, you depend on a strong back. Whether you’re skiing through deep powder, hiking to a mountaintop, or paddling around the next inlet, back pain can seriously hinder your plans. But with proper preparation, it’s possible to recover from pain or, better yet, to avoid it entirely. We asked two…

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Moose roam more widely than usual beneath the colorful leaves of fall. It’s the period known as the rut, when male moose travel far and wide in search of a mate. So if you’re out leaf-peeping this season in New England, you’ve got a better than usual chance at spotting one. To help gauge your odds, here’s…

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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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