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Help Maintain New England Hiking Trails

Live in New England or plan on visiting soon? Here are 5 volunteer opportunities to help keep trails in tip-top shape! Hiking trails don’t maintain themselves. Whether you’re a backpacker who has traversed the trails of New England, an avid hiker, or someone who’s just plain passionate about the outdoors, volunteering with one of these organizations is a great way to give back to the places you love, and to make sure trails are in good shape for others to enjoy. New England Forestry Foundation The New England Forestry Foundation uses Forest Stewards to protect and maintain trails weaving through … Continue reading

Prepping for Severe Weather Around the Country

Prepping for Severe Weather Around the Country The United States is home to some of the most violent weather in the world, and the potential for heavy-duty atmospheric upheaval exists year-round: from lightning-spitting thunderstorms to bellowing blizzards. In this blogpost, we’ll cover the basics of how to prepare for severe weather and also the main sorts that the country experiences. Preparing for Severe Weather Pay close attention to weather forecasts, and key into any advisories, watches, warnings, and alerts. The National Weather Service can send out Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) to mobile devices in the event severe conditions are expected … Continue reading

Bear Country 101

For more than a few hikers and campers in Canada and the USA, there’s no greater fear than an encounter with a bear. Bears are the classic bogeymen of the North American wilds: the go-to explanation for any thump in the night outside the tent or crash in the underbrush along the trail. The danger they pose, however, is vastly overrated, and every outdoorsperson should appreciate the ecological value and brawny spirit represented by these intelligent, resourceful beasts. Your average bear will normally go out of its way to avoid a run-in with a human being. Many bad bear/human encounters … Continue reading

Ice Climbing: What You Need to Know

Ice climbing is not for the faint of heart. Not only does it require physical finesse, but a clear headspace when swinging around ice axes and crampons. If you’ve never been ice climbing, but want to learn, below are a few quick tips, with links to climbing festivals at the end. The Grade System Ice climbs are measured by a “WI” or “Water Ice” grade. A WI1 is the easiest type of ice climbing where technically no tools are required. The slope angle is 60-degrees or less, and is fairly straightforward, solid ice. From there, the grades progress up to … Continue reading

Traveling Over Snow: Tips on Safe Snow Travel

Snow can be both boon and bane for outdoor travelers. When nice and firm, it can be a pleasure to scuff along, above all the terra firma messiness of brush, gravel, or deadfall. When soft and powdery, it invites long cross-country ski or snowshoe outings. But then there’s the flipside: the half-melted slush absolutely exhausting to traverse for long distances, the rock-hard, ice-glazed slopes, the deep, brittle-crusted drifts you maddeningly posthole your way through. Not to mention, of course, all the outright hazards of the snowscape: crevasses, cornices, avalanches, weakly frozen-over bodies of water, etc. Here we’ve rounded up a … Continue reading