Outdoor Skills and Safety

Picaridin hit the U.S. market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s…

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EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: The Unlikely Thru-Hiker The following excerpt, about a next-generation trailblazer, comes from Derick Lugo’s new memoir, The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, available now. We’ve been hiking for more than three hours, and I’m still trying to figure out how to swing my poles when we arrive. I see Josh staring at the distant mountains that…

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Well, we did it. On Friday, August 23, two friends and I finished the adventure for which we’d been training for more than a year: we completed a single-day Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, running as much of it as we could. I’ll save the more harrowing tales for the magazine feature, scheduled for…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia. Dan McGinness is among the hiker elite in New England, where many of us admire his exploits. Four years ago, he endured a scary, unplanned overnight in mid-December. He agreed to show me where he’d hunkered down that night so that I could…

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Solo hiking in the wilderness can intimidate anyone. If you get lost or injure yourself, help could be hours, or even days away. If you find yourself underprepared in bad weather, there’s no one to turn to for extra gear or shelter. But for female hikers, there are often additional mental hurdles to overcome on…

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Obtaining an accurate measurement of a mountain’s elevation has become something of an obsession among hikers. Whether you’re tagging New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, the 46 4,000-footers in New York’s Adirondacks, or each state’s high point, your list is ultimately determined by elevation. But how, exactly, do geodesists­—scientists who measure and monitor Earth…

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Terri Werning’s biggest fear while hiking isn’t elevation, bears, or losing the trail. It’s men. Werning, 47, who has completed several sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) over the past four years, says that were she to be attacked by a man while hiking in a remote area, she easily could be overpowered. It’s why,…

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If a hiker, skier, or cyclist is seriously injured in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Western Maine, there’s a good chance they’ll be cared for by Dr. Thomas Trimarco. An attending emergency department physician, Trimarco is the emergency medical services director for Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.—the North Country’s only level 1 trauma center. He…

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Whether you’re taking a walk in your local park or you’re hiking in the mountains, nature can offer solace when things feel overwhelming. For those on the autism spectrum—almost 2 percent of American children, who struggle to communicate and are extra-sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, and new places and people—a nature path provides especially…

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After nearly a year of planning and training, the big day is almost here: In a few weeks, two friends and I will wake up early and make our way to the Appalachia trailhead for the beginning of our attempt at the Presidential Traverse. The Presidential Traverse (or Presi) is a roughly 20-mile journey that…

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