Planning

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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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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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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You’ve likely heard of New Hampshire’s 4000-footers, those  peaks in the White Mountains with summits cresting 4,000 feet in elevation. Thousands of hikers flock to them each year in search of a challenge. For some, the goal is to complete all 48. For others, it might be a single mountaintop. But where to start if…

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A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019. Here are the milestones that have helped grow the AMC trail crew from a rag-tag band of volunteers into one of the preeminent maintainers in the Northeast. 1819 Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen cut Crawford Path—considered the oldest U.S. recreational trail,…

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  AMC’s trail-blazing legacy extends back to its founding, in 1876. One of the organization’s first White Mountain projects, constructing Lowe’s Path, involved installing signs on 400 trees. The crew hung a small board every 100 meters (yes, they originally used the metric system) and painted the same information on flat stones, from treeline to…

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The following excerpt has been abridged and condensed from Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery, and the Rivalry That Built the Appalachian Trail, by Jeffrey H. Ryan (AMC Books, 2017), available now from AMC, as well as from other online and retail locations. The decade since Benton MacKaye had first proposed the Appalachian Trail (AT)…

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A successful day hike begins long before you set foot on the trail. Careful advance preparation helps ensure comfort, fun, and safety outdoors. In this outdoor skills video, AMC experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to plan a memorable day hike, step by step. THE EXPERTS Eboni Cooper is the New York/New Jersey…

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