Outdoor Skills and Safety

AMC’s Shelters Department loves that so many people want to experience the wilderness, recreate outdoors, and embrace travel by foot. Last year, we recorded more than 18,000 campers who visited one of nine staffed AMC campsites in the White Mountain National Forest over a five-month period alone. However, we can’t ignore the negative effects of…

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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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Whether it’s a bag stuck in a tree or a bottle floating in a pond or stream, litter of single-use plastics is not only an eyesore; it is damaging to the natural environment, endangering our trails and waterways. Each year, the nonprofit Break Free from Plastic—a “global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good”—sets…

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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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Protecting your skin from the sun is a no-brainer when it comes to the outdoors. The easiest method, sunscreen, is a top health tip for any activity, but new research connecting coral reef deterioration and water pollution to elevated levels of chemicals commonly found in sunscreens is presenting a challenge for consumers. But what exactly…

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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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With COVID-19 still at the forefront of our thoughts, there’s another health hazard to keep an eye out for this spring and summer—ticks. While it’s important to continue to follow CDC guidelines when heading outdoors, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between you and another person, its also important to…

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The following is an excerpt from AMC’s Mountain Skills Manual. Once you have found the perfect site for your camp, you have the task of putting together your tent or sleeping shelter. Before you set up, it is essential to know a few knot-tying skills that will help you when you’re getting your camp ready….

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