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Down is amazing stuff, a natural miracle material that we strive, in vain, to replicate using synthetic materials and insulation. I’ve written before about its incredibly intricate structure, but one of its other remarkable qualities is its longevity. Properly cared for, down will last for decades without losing much of its loft or insulating powers….

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A sleeping bag is a voluminous piece of gear that requires large swaths of polyester or nylon. If it contains synthetic insulation as well, you’re talking about snuggling in a substantial amount of man-made material. Which is fine, but better if it comes from recycled sources. That can really narrow your search if you’re looking…

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Dress in layers. It’s a mantra repeated ad nauseam whenever the temperature plunges. In general, it’s good advice. But it’s also easy to take it too far and cause yourself more sweat and irritation than fun. Here are two key recommendations to keep your layering under control. Three Long-sleeve Layers, Max First, don’t try and put on…

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1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

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Climbing, descending, or traversing snow-covered slopes requires an ice ax that’s not just sturdy, but lightweight. But with so many ice axes on the market, it can be difficult to choosing one that fits your winter expedition needs. Here’s a rundown of some of your best options. Black Diamond Raven Pro If you’re looking for…

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Merino wool comes from a particular variety of sheep that produces extra fine and soft wool. In the outdoor world, it is commonly used in socks and long underwear, among other uses. A natural fiber, it is warm and comfortable against the skin and a popular alternative to synthetic options like polyester or polypropylene. Smartwool may…

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We’ve finally moved past the swelter of summer and into the glorious days of autumn. That means crisp days, cool nights, and brain-popping foliage all around. It also means darkness comes earlier with each passing day. As you head outdoors on your next autumnal adventure, keep these two tips for safe fall hikes top of…

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Let me start by saying, “You gotta go.” If you’re a new Education or Leadership Chair who needs some help in organizing trainings for your Chapter, you gotta go; If you’re an experienced leader who will be teaching (or are interested in teaching) leader-candidates soon, you gotta go; or If you’re an experienced leader trainer…

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6 months down, 6 to go! Meet some of the hikers who have completed the Hike50 New England Trail Challenge. Are you next? The Hike50 New England Trail challenge is well underway with over 1,000 participants coming from 16 states and 4 countries! For some, the trail winds through their backyards, but for others, the…

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The very first Maine Mountain Guide, a svelte sky-blue volume, appeared in 1961 as a spinoff of AMC’s longstanding Katahdin Guide, itself an offshoot of the original White Mountain Guide. At a scant 190 pages, the book was hardly the definitive compendium we rely on today. Nonetheless, each of the Maine Mountain Guide hikes below…

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