Winter Camping

This summer I introduced my two boys, age 4 and 6, to the fun and excitement of backpacking. After several long and squiggly nights over the course of two trips, here is one of the most important things I learned. Based on my highly unscientific sample size of two, it’s clear that young sleepers move…

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Cold weather arrived over the weekend in the Northeast. The season’s first frost crisped many an area in northern and interior New England. On the high peaks of the White Mountains, temperatures on Sunday didn’t even crack 30 degrees. If you’re out camping or backpacking in this shoulder season, you need to prepare for some…

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Consider this an adventure into the extremes of ultralight backpacking gear. It’s a place you go once you’ve moved beyond cutting ounces and entered the sub-ounce realm of counting grams. And in this realm lies the genre of ultralight toothbrushes. Here are some of the options. The Toob It’s the “fun go-anywhere refillable toothbrush!” The…

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If Willy Wonka were a hiker, imagine what kind of backcountry food he might dream up. Self-contained meals in edible packages? Dissolvable, single-serve coffee balls? Those fantastical-sounding products soon could be a reality. Several companies are developing packaging that eliminates waste—a possible boon for backpackers seeking lightweight, eco-conscious products. “Sustainable design that is both smart…

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Based in Kittery, Maine, Good To-Go produces one of the best-tasting dehydrated meals I’ve yet tried. And unlike the gazillion-ingredient sodium bombs that have long dominated the ‘meal-in-a-bag’ backpacking market, Good To-Go focuses instead on simple ingredients (you can pronounce and recognize all of them) and uses far less salt. To prepare the meals, you…

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Oooh baby it was cold outside this past weekend, with temperatures dropping deep into the sub-zero range across New England. Add in some stiff northwest winds and you had the ingredients for severe wind chill and rapid frostbite on any exposed skin. How fast can you get frostbite? This handy wind chill chart from NOAA…

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This holiday season, give a gift to your loved ones and your local economy at the same time. Dozens of outdoor gear companies, large and small, call the Northeast home. Many of them manufacture at least some of their products in the region, while others produce their entire collections locally. If you’ve got an outdoor…

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Don’t let the heat coursing through your neck and head escape into the cold clutches of winter. Keep it close instead with the help of an ultralight, ultra-compact, and inexpensive clothing accessory that should be in every cold-weather adventurer’s wardrobe: A liner balaclava. Your carotid arteries and jugular veins lie close to the surface on…

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Most people have no idea how to properly size and fit gloves, but finding the perfect pair can have a huge effect on how warm and toasty your fingers are (or aren’t) in winter’s chill. Here’s what to look for. Glove fit basics First and most importantly, your fingers should almost, but not quite, touch…

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AMC Outdoors, November/December 2015 Was the down in your jacket or sleeping bag stripped from a live animal? Maybe. Maybe not. Until recently, it was impossible to know. That’s changing, however, as a small but growing number of outdoor companies institutes standards designed to ensure none of their down comes from live-plucked birds. Goose and…

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