In exactly one month Amy and I will hike into Lost Brook Tract laden with food and supplies for a few weeks of glorious wilderness living. Our initial pack loads will be heavy and the four-mile ascent will be a beautiful toil. At about the halfway point we will reach Lost Brook for the first time, crossing it just before we begin the steep part of the ascent. There we will refill our bottles and drink the glorious, bracing water of a perfect Adirondack stream, a pleasure every back country hiker knows.
Posts Tagged ‘camping’
Water is everywhere in the Adirondack backcountry; swinging a dead blackfly is impossible without getting wet. Unfortunately, it is not clear how much of this water is safe to drink. For that reason, most backcountry enthusiasts treat their water, thus avoiding the possibility of bringing home a unfriendly aquatic pathogen surprise that could unwrap itself as a putrid rear-end explosion days after returning home.
There are many different ways of treating questionable water sources, the most common being boiling, adding a chemical or filtering it through a permeable membrane. These days most backcountry explorers go the filter route, as it is often the cheapest, most practical and convenient way to ensure safe drinking water.
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Guiding is a time-honored occupation in the Adirondack region and beyond. Guides, with their vast backcountry skills and knowledge, can safely navigate others through remote areas, saving the time and expensive of learning through trial and error. Years ago, guides were highly prized by the urban elite wishing to experience the wilderness on its own term, albeit with many of the luxuries of the day. The advent of guidebooks, like the Adirondack Mountain Club’s series, greatly diminished the importance of personal guides as they allowed many to go it alone in the most remote areas.
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Trails and vegetation at higher elevations are most vulnerable at this time of year as snow-melt saturates thin soils where vegetation is already surviving on the edge of existence. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation and are also more likely to slip and injure themselves on steep, wet and muddy trails. » Continue Reading.
The canoe is pulled up on the shore for the night, its glistening black hull reflecting the fading light. The double-bladed paddle has been taken apart, and its two lengths now lay side-by-side underneath. My boots sit in front of the tent, open to the cool evening air. The sleeping bag is laid out inside, and Lexie is pursuing sleep on top of it.
A fire crackles inside the stone corral, hungrily feeding on the pine boughs and needles like a bear that has just awaken from a long winter nap, eating for the first time in months. It nearly exploded like something wild and vicious when I first lit the piece of birch bark and wad of dead ferns I used for kindling. The pine is dry. The snow is long gone from this side of the lake, and it has not rained. The wood wants to burn and each piece lasts only a few minutes in the fire. » Continue Reading.
I read with pleasure Dan Crane’s recent post “The Anxiety Of An Empty Backpack.” I always thought it was only women who had problems deciding what, and how to pack. Friends have told me that my motto is to “Make every trip an expedition!”
Many women have anxiety about traveling alone, but filling a 40-50 lb pack with gear and going out into the “howling wilderness” by themselves can be another matter altogether. Since packing for a backpack can seem so onerous, time-consuming, and just plain confusing, I came up with short-cuts over the years to save time, and to lessen the ever-present fear of leaving something important behind. » Continue Reading.
Spring is the season of rebirth, but as any mother can tell you, birthing comes at a painful and messy cost. Although slightly warmer temperatures, longer days and the return of some feathered friends occur early on, the potential of the season unfolds slowly. Yet, the spring remains the harbinger of summer and for most a more active backcountry exploring season.
Spring is a chaotic month with many extreme conditions, as waning winter and waxing summer fight for dominance, a battle that summer has historically never lost (except on the backend, where it has never won). The uncertain weather conditions make it a challenging season to pack for any backcountry adventure, as one day requires shorts and the next a parka and hat. Too bad no outdoor manufacturer has created a line of clothing with modular amounts of insulation for such occasions.
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Just up the road from Powley Place is a tree which is occasionally blazed with a ribbon. This is the start of the Goldmine Trail in the 147,000-acre Ferris Lake Wild Forest. The unmarked trail starts wide and broad and then narrows. The trail squeezes among the spruce, which scratch at my thighs and try to tear the backpack from my back. (Is this the price of admission?) Finally, after a thrash up the trail, I reach the vicinity of the Goldmine Falls, and set up my tent.
I’m camped near Goldmine Creek. I checked the high water mark on the rocks and shore. What if something bursts upstream? This stream is draining such a wide area. It drains Morehouse Lake, and the Coon Vly, and half a dozen little wetlands spread out like little beads on a silken necklace of streams in the aerial photo I’ve brought along. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame (NYSOHOF) has announced that seven new members will be inducted for 2013. Among those being honored is Greg O’Hara of Inlet, a licensed guide who has been involved in search and rescue in the Adirondacks for many years.
In 2003 O’Hara founded Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team (CASART) which involved recruiting volunteers, fund raising efforts to provide necessary equipment, and training in many skills necessary for this mission. In the past 10 years they have been involved in nearly 40 missions. Greg has been a licensed hiking and camping guide for over 20 years and has presented many seminars on his “Hiking Safely” program to schools, camps, and the visitors to the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
Tourism in the Adirondack Park is all the rage today. From the approval of the Adirondack Club & Resort in Tupper Lake to the governor’s proposed Adirondack Challenge, there is no shortage of ideas to promote the Adirondacks. The ultimate hope presumably being that people will flock to the area to experience the unique opportunities the Adirondacks provides.
They had just better bring their wallets.
In the race for the almighty dollar, it appears few are stopping to ponder whether increased tourism is a good idea for the Adirondacks. How will increased tourism change the nature of the Park? Will more people turn off those who already loyally visit the Park and favor its plentiful opportunities for solitude? Are hikers prepared for crowded trailheads and busy trails, muddied by the increased traffic and littered with rubbish from uncaring or careless hikers?
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