Friday, June 24, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/24):Customizing a first aid kit

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

New This Week:

High Peaks Wilderness: Expect muddy conditions above 3,000 feet in elevation. Expect poor traction and slow progress on steep sections of trail with wet rock. Due to recent rains, high elevation water sources are available to replenish water supplies – bring and use proper filtration devices. Water crossings may be high and fast-moving.

Silver Lake Wilderness: Working with our partners at the Adirondack Mtn Club, a volunteer trail crew recently helped close and relocate two primitive tent sites from the south shore of Woods Lake to the north shore. The objective of the project was to spread out use and improve camping opportunities for NPT thru-hikers. This project was part of a larger trail work effort that ADK Mtn Club organized on June 4, National Trails Day.

Last Week:

Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is open. All washouts have been repaired.
Speculator Tree Farm and Perkins Clearing: All roads and campsites are now open to the public. Old Military Road has been repaired and the Pillsbury Mountain Fire Tower parking area is open.

Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement: The area south of Flatrock Mountain, including the gated logging road, will be temporarily closed to public access for timber harvesting by the landowner.

General Notices

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources.

Know Before You Go (06/23):

  • Temperatures: Be prepared for hotter temperatures this weekend. Daytime highs on Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach the mid to upper 80s in places, with lows in the low 60s to upper 50s. Temperatures on mountain summits will be significantly warmer than last week, but still as much as 20 degrees cooler than at base elevations. Bring extra layers as well as rain and wind gear.
  • Water crossings: Following recent rains, stream, river, and other water crossings may be high.
  • Biting insects: It’s black fly season! Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protecting from bites.
  • Heat safety: Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. Bring plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and eat salty foods to help with water retention and electrolyte balance. For their safety, leave pets at home.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:12a.m., Sunset = 8:42 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Busy trails: Friday is a holiday in Quebec, so trails are expected to be busy. Plan on arriving at your destination early and have several back-up plans in place in case parking at your desired location is full. Check @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates on parking lot status.

Hiker Information Stations: Stop by a Hiker Information Station for information about parking, alternative hiking locations, local land use rules and regulations, safety and preparedness, and Leave No TraceTM. Please visit us at the following locations this weekend:

  • Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
    • High Peaks Rest Area, Northbound on Route 87, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Beekmantown Rest Area, Southbound on Route 87, starting at 7 a.m.
  • Additional stations this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday at Garden Trailhead, Keene Valley, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Friday – Sunday at Lake Placid Visitors Bureau, Lake Placid, starting at 7 a.m.

Check the Weather: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select summit forecasts. Check both daytime and nighttime temperatures and remember that temperatures will drop as you gain elevation.

Fire Danger: As of 06/23, fire danger is low. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to significantly above average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn.

Hiking with Dogs: Dogs hiking in warm temperatures are at risk of experiencing heat exhaustion and death. If your dog does collapse, quickly move to create shade for the dog and cool their feet and stomach – this is the most effective way to help an overheated dog. The best way to protect your pet is to leave them at home.

Ticks: Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails and walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas. Additional tips for tick prevention.

Bear Canisters Required: NYSDEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondack backcountry. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food garbage, toiletries, and other items with a scent. Canisters should be stored a minimum of 100ft from tents, lean-tos and cooking sites and kept closed whenever they are not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and avoiding human-bear conflicts.

Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, visit Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Parking reservations will be required May 1 through Oct. 31 for single-day and overnight access to the parking lot, trailheads, and trails located on the privately owned, 7,000-acre AMR property in the town of Keene in the High Peaks region. For a list of frequently asked questions and to register, visit AMR’s website.


Lifeguard Job Fair in Lake George, today from 1 to 5 p.m.

On Friday, June 24, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., DEC is holding a lifeguard recruiting event at the Lake George Beach Day Use Area, known as Million Dollar Beach. Interested applicants can learn more about the free training and certifications provided. More than 500 seasonal employees are hired by DEC annually to provide a variety of services throughout the summer season. All applicants must be willing to work weekends and holidays throughout the summer. For staffing opportunities at DEC campgrounds and beaches, visit DEC’s website, call (518) 457-2500 Ext. #1, or email


Safety & Education

Summer is here! Whether you’re going for a hike, a bike, a paddle, or fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

Customizing a First Aid Kit

Packing a first aid kit, especially one tailored to your personal needs, could be the difference between life and death if an emergency occurs while out in the wilderness. A pre-packaged first aid kit will provide you with an excellent foundation. Create an even more effective and personalized kit using the acronym “STARS”:

  • S – Size of the Group: Consider how many people are in your group and make sure you have enough supplies for everyone.
  • T – Trip Length: This will also determine the amount of supplies you bring with you, as a longer trip (such as a backpacking trip where you won’t have access to a pharmacy for multiple days) will require of you to bring more supplies, in case you need to reapply bandaging or administer multiple doses of medication.
  • A – Activity: The beautiful thing about hiking is that every hike is different and can involve very different challenges. However, it is important that those challenges are recognized and accounted for with your first aid kid. For example, a Sam Splint is a good precaution for a longer hike.
  • R – Risk: This category overlaps with activity but is more focused on the environmental factors of your hike, such as poison ivy and ticks.
  • S – Special Needs: Pack any personal medications for all members of the group, whether it’s for emergency use or a daily medication (and it’s a never bad idea to bring extra).

In addition to packing a quality first-aid kit and handbook, consider some basic medical training in order to be better prepared for any incident that may occur.


Leave No Trace

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others and tread lightly!

A Visitor in Wildlife’s Home

Whether you are hiking, camping, paddling or engaging in any other outdoor activity that brings you into the backcountry, remember that you are out enjoying the home of the wild. The sixth Leave No Trace™ principle, Respect Wildlife, helps us to understand what this means and teaches us how to be a good visitor. Here are a few key things to remember:

  • Stay far enough away as to not scare wildlife. They should not be forced to leave the area.
  • Smaller groups create less damage to wildlife habitat.
  • Keep quiet around wildlife to avoid scaring or stressing them.
  • Do not touch or feed wild animals. If animals get used to being fed, they will have a harder time surviving on their own. Be sure to keep food and garbage stored properly.

The next time you are out in wildlife’s home, pack a pair of binoculars and enjoy seeing the wonders of wildlife while respecting their space and home.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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