Thursday, July 30, 2020

Backpacking during a pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted just about every aspect of life in recent months, including backpacking.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay home. Ask writer Betsy Kepes. She spent a few days with a small group this spring on a trip on the Cranberry 50, a hiking route in the northwestern Adirondacks.

Kepes found the trip enjoyable, but it wasn’t without challenges. For instance, what do you do about sharing a lean-to or camping site with others during a pandemic? What happens when you make hot water? Should you share it?

If you’re curious about her experience on her hiking journey, you can read about it on our website. Here is a link to her story: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/hiking-the-cranberry-50-during-the-covid-19-crisis

Hiking the Cranberry Lake 50 during the Covid-19 pandemic are writer Betsy Kepes (greenish/blue shirt, off-white mask), husband Tom Vandewater (black shirt,off-white mask), and friends Amanda Oldacre (white shirt, black patterned mask) and Jim Burdick (gray/blue shirt black patterned mask). Social distancing and wearing face masks were suggested. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.

Editor’s note: This originally appeared in Mike’s weekly “Backcountry Journal” newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues.

Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine.

From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.

Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at [email protected]




One Response

  1. JT says:

    My son and I hiked Giant/Rocky Peak two weeks ago, then backpacked to Sand Lake last weekend. Next week is the NPT. I think overall risk is minimal in the wilderness.
    Perhaps more risk on Giant/Rocky peak because there were many more hikers there.
    Sand Lake nobody there but us. I think NPT will be similar.
    We usually try to get a leanto but have tents. In fact, we had the leanto but slept in our tents because of the mosquitoes. I would offer the leanto to someone else if they wanted it but would like to use the picnic table if one is present. Makes life so much easier cooking dinner. Would not be hard to practice social distancing.
    Overall, there will be less risk backpacking than staying home, going to work and going to the grocery store.

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