Safety and Preparation

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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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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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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On a recent trail run in the Middlesex Fells with my two training partners, two of us ran into a bit of unexpected trouble. We were attempting to complete the technical and hilly Skyline Trail, which clocks in at around 8 miles, and we had time constraints. One in our group became a bit sluggish…

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In August 2010, AMC Director of Huts and Pinkham James Wrigley received a call that a young hiker was in critical condition after falling hundreds of feet down steep sloping rock. The teen had been hiking on the Huntington Ravine Trail of Mount Washington, one of the most challenging and dangerous trails in the White…

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» CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When AMC’s Mountain Leadership Committee (MLC) was established in 1958, it came with a clear agenda: a multifaceted campaign “in response to the growing need for action in the field of mountain safety,” as announced in Appalachia. Although the backpacking boom wouldn’t fully hit for another decade,…

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A dead tick can’t bite you—and the single-best way to terminate them in the field is to treat your shoes and clothing with permethrin, which will kill ticks rapidly on contact. (Once you’re back home, you can also crisp ticks to death with a quick spin in the dryer.) A variety of permethrin-based products are available…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When a Boston medical-supply company introduced The Appalachian Emergency Outfit at $2.50 apiece, circa 1920, initial sales were slow. Manufactured by Boylston Street’s E.F. Mahady Co. specifically for AMC, the backcountry first-aid kit failed to entice club members because, as a 1921 AMC report claimed, “so confident…

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