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Category Archives: Experience

Summer Hiking Pack

During the latter part of the spring season and through most of the fall — meaning the time of year when the vast majority of hikers are hitting the trails — a “three-season” or “summer” hiking pack will be used. This said, we’re reluctant to use the term “three-season” because a true “three-season” pack needs to include winter hiking essentials such as heavy layers, traction devices […]

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Familiar Old Friends

There is a lesson to be learned. Accomplishment leads to confidence, and that leads to greater comfort, and from there complacency is a close neighbor. It’s a neighbor we can stumble onto quite easily if we’re not careful. We want to respect this neighbor and give complacency a wide berth. To remain aware of ourselves and the fragility of human life. The story below was penned […]

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Smart Hikers Aren’t Lonely

We’ll call him John because, well, that’s his name. John is a Class 1 or All-Season Trip Leader for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) distinguished New Hampshire Chapter. It’s a hard-earned and respected position, to be sure. John is also a “Gridder” — meaning he is hiking all of the 4000-footers of NH in every month of the year (48×12=576) — so, at being nearly 500 […]

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Sensing the Whites

People who don’t get up-close and personal or tramp upon our mountains — or any mountains, really — will probably lack understanding. Understanding, for instance, that moutain weather is usually temperamental, colder, windier, and can even more dangerous. Or understanding of how it feels to exert oneself step after step for thousands of steps, digging deep within, then reaping the reward of the joy of arrival. […]

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Hiking NH’s 52 With A View

If you are looking for something less, something different, something under four-thousand feet in elevation, look no further. Though trust us when we add that sometimes less is actually more. In other words, some of the mountains on this list, while under 4000-feet, are really quite challenging featuring long hikes on tough trails — some terrifying — through wild, untamed forests. Some of the NH 48 […]

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Not Here, Not Now

The Epic of Dan McGinness… a True Story The following is a story of self-rescue. A tale of being involuntarily stranded overnight; forced to bivouac. A situation resulting not from injury, but from an unrecoverable navigational challenge. The time and place is near-winter on the Presidential Range — which is like real-winter everywhere else. It’s a tale of preparation, sound thinking, and courage spelling the difference […]

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Anatomy of a Rescue

If you’re injured in the backcountry there are possible many scenarios with many outcomes, but most have one thing in common: Rescue will take longer than one may expect. To give a clearer understanding of why, this fictional tale describes a typical rescue from start to finish. Chapter 1: The Situation To begin our story, let’s consider this: It is early June and you’re hiking a […]

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Metamorphosis of a Hike

It is here that I think of hiking as an almost religious experience. What follows is a 2013 article reprint by Mike Cherim detailing the various stages hikers often go through as they put mountains behind them. Aside from the never added “mindlessly driving there for hours on end” stage, you should be able to relate to at least some of this. After all, hiking is […]

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A Healthy Fear

Have you ever been scared on a mountain? Frightened for your life — or for your fingers or toes? Have you ever wondered frantically which way to run from an alpine thunderstorm? Have the winds ever knocked you flat? Has the cold ever invaded your body so deeply that you had extraordinary difficulty with the most mundane tasks? These conditions and more can consume your mind […]

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Three Systems for Hikers

Somewhere near the beginning of our Winter Skills course we discuss the “three systems” we rely on as hikers, backcountry skiers, climbers, and mountaineers. This triad of systems of which we speak refers to us, what we wear, and what we carry. Let’s discuss these systems, starting with the one we should know best: us. System One: We The Hiker… US This is the most important […]

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