Planning

  According to Leave No Trace principles, anything that does not belong in nature in the first place should be carried out. This “pack in, pack out” philosophy applies to trash and food waste, human and domesticated animal waste, soaps, lotions, and other products. “Human waste is a hazard to public health and also attracts…

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The following is an excerpt from the 2017 book, Blazing Ahead, by Jeffery H. Ryan. Chapter 7: A Bold, New Plan In the aftermath of the unexpected loss of his wife, Benton MacKaye moved in with his brother Hal and Hal’s family in Yonkers. Soon thereafter, Benton received an invitation from his close friend and…

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The lure of the Presidential Range caused many trail builders to look for new ways to access peaks, and 2020 marks the 100th year of two of these routes. The first, Lion Head Trail, was cut following the U.S. Forest Service’s acquisition of the land in early 1920. The trail begins and ends on the…

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AMC’S century-plus commitment to maintaining hundreds of miles of recreational trails in the East has received a big boost with the renovation of the Camp Dodge Trails Training Center, which closed in 2017. Located four miles north of Pinkham Notch Visitor Center on Route 16 in New Hampshire, Camp Dodge has been a hive of…

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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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