Walks

  From his backyard in Augusta, Maine, astronomer Jon Silverman can look into the night sky and see light emitted from stars hundreds, thousands, even millions of years ago. Anyone can. All it takes to see light coming from, say, the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor at 2.5 million light-years away, is a simple pair…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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With COVID-19 still at the forefront of our thoughts, there’s another health hazard to keep an eye out for this spring and summer—ticks. While it’s important to continue to follow CDC guidelines when heading outdoors, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between you and another person, its also important to…

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Adhering to physical distancing and stay-at-home advisories means we’ve hopefully all postponed the weekend day hikes along a popular route or even the afternoon escapes to crowded local parks, farms, and nature preserves. While we know we’re doing the right thing and that this quarantine won’t last forever, we still sometimes feel cooped up and…

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‘Tis the season to strap on giant snow-stomping footwear and take on the wintry backcountry. If you’re buying a new pair—or upgrading or adding to your existing collection—here are two excellent snowshoes from MSR to consider. (If you’re new to snowshoeing, it can be useful to first brush up on the basics, including snowshoe terminology…

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When Itzamary and Noe Caban attended their first Outdoors Rx event three years ago in Chelsea, Mass., they assumed the AMC program’s primary beneficiary would be their young daughter, Khalani. After all, it was Khalani’s pediatrician who’d referred the family to Outdoors Rx—which organizes free, structured outdoor experiences for families living in several under-resourced Greater…

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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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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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Oceans, glaciers, rivers, lakes, and streams cover 71 percent of our planet. The 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule ensures protection of these water sources from pollution and other exploitation. For now. Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have moved to rescind the rule and return to previous…

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Getting the kids outdoors might be as easy as heading into the backyard or down the block to the neighborhood park. But once you’re outside, keeping kids engaged for an hour or two can be challenging. For a list of cheap and simple outdoor activities kids can do anywhere, we turned to Angel Santos Burres,…

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