Trail Skills

  To slow the spread of COVID-19, countries around the world now require citizens to practice “social distancing.” Many are confined to their homes for most of the day, with offices, schools, gyms, bars, restaurants, and public spaces closing for weeks. Daily lives and routines have been upended, and we seek creative ways to stay…

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The past few years, as AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew ventured out to chain saw blown-down trees, clean up eroded footpaths, and repair steps and ladders, the 101-year-old team—which maintains 360 miles of trails in New Hampshire and western Maine—featured as many women as men. This certainly wasn’t always the case. AMC’s trail crew…

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  1. Let’s Come Together AMC’s 144th Annual Summit will take place Saturday, January 25, 2020, at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Norwood, Mass. The event celebrates the hardworking volunteers who power AMC’s conservation mission, with a full day of interactive workshops and presentations. Register here. 2. Climate in the…

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Imagine a perfect cross-country ski trail. The snow underfoot is firm but not icy, forming a wide, clear, white path. It takes you over frozen creeks and under tall pines. There are no branches in your way, no potholes to hinder your progress. You can glide, swiftly and surely, through the winter woods. These trail…

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The trail to Pennsylvania’s Glen Onoko Falls became a victim of its own success. Widely considered one of the best waterfall hikes in the East, this short, steep trail leading to a series of falls—including the namesake Glen Onoko—is now closed to visitors. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, which manages the land on which the trail…

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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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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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