Editorials

Digital Life Continuity Planning

Digital Life Continuity Planning

When my father died eight years ago, we didn’t know the password for his laptop. It was a problem because he kept some of his and my mom’s financial information on his hard drive and we couldn’t retrieve it. It took months of phone calls and thousands of dollars of …

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Fear Management in Fearful Times

Fear management in fearful times

The past few weeks have been frightening. There’s the fear that we or our loved ones will get sick and require hospitalization or die. There’s the fear that everything we’ve worked for all of our lives is forever gone, that we will run out of money to pay for food …

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Backpacking During the Pandemic? Is that a Good Idea?

Backpacking during the Pandemic

Many backpackers think that “the trail” is probably the best place to avoid the coronavirus pandemic and they’re heading for the hills. But how much of this is wishful thinking, when many of the local services in rural communities that hikers take for granted may disappear? I’m not trying to …

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Is Drop Outdoors Dead?

Is Drop Outdoors Dead?

Is the Outdoor Community on Drop.com (formerly MassDrop) dead? It’d be a shame because it is the ONLY PLACE to buy really high-quality lightweight backpacking gear at heavily discounted prices. For example, Dan Durston X-Mid-1 Tent for $200 Granite Gear X60 Backpack for $120 Fizan Trekking Poles for $60/pair But …

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Trekking Pole Tent Reliability and Risks

Trekking pole tents use hiking poles for setup instead of dedicated tent poles. While this saves weight, it also introduces an element of risk that is worth considering if one of your trekking poles were to break during a trip. Trekking poles are pretty easy to replace in the Continental …

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National Forest Firewood Harvesting Permits

national forest firewood permits

Most US National Forests allow people to harvest firewood for personal use, but you must have a Forest Service-issued permit and you must follow specific guidelines, which can vary from forest to forest (The BLM sells similar permits for the land they manage.) In my neck of the woods, you can harvest up to 5 cords of …

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The Trail Magic Dollmaker: Arlette Laan’s Fiber Arts

Arlette Laan or ‘Apple Pie’ as she’s known in New Hampshire’s close-knit White Mountain hiking community, is one of the region’s most accomplished hikers. A triple crown hiker who’s completed the AT, CDT, and PCT, among other long trails, she’s the first woman to complete a White Mountain Direttissima, a continuous unsupported …

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How to Tip a Mountain Guide

Mountain guiding is a service industry, and a mountain guide is really no different from your taxi driver, your waitress, your hairstylist, or any other person or company catering to your wants and needs in the provision of a particular service. In the case of the mountain guide, their service …

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My Independence Day

Philip Werner on Mt Chocorua

I quit my corporate job six years ago today. Up till then I’d told myself that I could put up with all the bullshit “for the money,” but it was eroding my soul. I needed to hike my own hike and follow own my moral compass instead of killing myself to …

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Mouse Mobiles

Mouse-Proof Food Hangs at Moose Mountain Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail-

When I was a kid, my mom got me interested in making mobiles, you know, kinetic hanging art. To this day, that’s what I think about whenever I see mouse hangs, or whatever they’re called, in Appalachian Trail Shelters. First the basics: It’s spring and the mice are hungry. If …

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The History of Section Hiker

I started writing Section Hiker in 2007 because blogging helps me learn and retain new skills and information. At the time, I was just getting back into hiking and backpacking after a long hiatus. Writing about Section Hiking the Long Trail and my preparation for it gave me a way …

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Bitten By the Car Camping Bug

Car Camping in the White Mountains

I didn’t see it coming. My wife and I have been bitten by the car camping bug. It all started last winter when my wife wanted to camp out in the mountains so we could get a clear view of the Geminids meteor shower without any urban light pollution. We …

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