Friday, July 1, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (7/1): Campers encouraged to use bear-resistant canisters

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.

Last Week:

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.


General Notices

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

Know Before You Go (06/30):

  • Temperatures: Be prepared for hotter temperatures this weekend. Friday is expected to reach 86 degrees in some places. Daytime highs on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are expected to reach the mid to upper 70s, with lows in the mid 60s to upper 50s. Temperatures on mountain summits will still be significantly cooler than at base elevations, so bring extra layers as well as rain and wind gear.
  • Water crossings: Water levels are slightly elevated in some areas. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving water.
  • Biting insects: Black flies, mosquitos, and deer flies – oh my! 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 = 5:17 a.m., Sunset = 8:45 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Busy trails: It is a holiday weekend, so expect trails 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 Marcy Field, Keene Valley, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Friday – Sunday at Frontier Town Gateway, North Hudson, 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 06/30, fire danger is low for much of the Adirondacks with areas on the eastern, western, and southern borders rising to moderate. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to 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:

NYS DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYS DEC 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.


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.

Save a Bear – Store Your Food

The best way to keep yourself, your food, and our resident bears safe is to keep your food (and everything with a scent) stored safely and securely while camping.

When a bear – or any other animal – is able to repeatedly get a “food reward” from people, whether that be from intentional feeding or poor food storage, they begin to rely on humans for all their meals. Not only does that make it harder for those animals to survive on their own, but it can also lead to them being unafraid of people and aggressive when it comes to getting food. In short, nobody likes a pushy bear.

One of the best ways to store your food while camping in the backcountry is in a bear-resistant canister. Bear-resistant canisters are cylindrical and made of hard, smooth plastic, making it hard for the bear to grab hold with its claws or teeth. They have a locking lid and many come with carrying cases for easy transportation. They are required to be used by campers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30 and are recommended throughout the Adirondack backcountry.

To use your bear canister effectively:

  • Put all scented items, including food, toiletries and garbage, in the can.
  • Choose your food wisely. Opt for small, high calorie foods.
  • Prep fresh meals ahead of time to minimize waste.
  • Repackage bulky items. Put all food and toiletries into resealable bags.
  • Check that everything fits before you hit the trail.
  • Never leave food unattended when removed from the bear canister.
  • Whenever you are not using your canister, lock it and store it.

Your canister should be stored on level ground and at least 100 feet from both where you sleep and where you cook and eat. It should be placed on its own and out of sight from a passing animal. For more information on reducing human-bear conflict and bear resistant canisters, visit the DEC webpages.


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!

Geo-tagging Social Media Posts – The 8th Principle

Geo-tagging remains one of the easiest ways of sharing outdoor adventures with your friends and followers on social media. Quickly providing a location by geo-tagging allows the bulk of the post to focus on anything from diving into a locale’s past and culture, highlighting new happenings, or simply letting people know where you’ve been.

However, with the ability to reach potentially millions of users, posting responsibly is key to protecting natural resource and other visitors who might wish to duplicate your experience.

Consider the followings:

  • Many in your audience may be unfamiliar with the location and could use your post to determine what to expect during a visit. For that reason, share content that depicts all participants demonstrating safe actions and following legal regulations.
  • Before you post, consider if the people shown in your photos are setting a good example by practicing the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.
  • Would the place you are geo-tagging withstand the added traffic your post might attract? If not, consider leaving the geo-tag off. If the area is designed for sustainable recreation, perhaps that’s a great location to make more people aware of.
  • Is there important information people should know about that specific location, or an issue you are trying to draw attention to? If so, geo-tagging can be helpful. If the location is unimportant to the rest of your message, consider leaving it off.

Your posts have the power to inspire the change you wish to see. As you venture into the comments, remember that everyone that ventures into the great outdoors has a different experience. Be considerate of other users – bullying and shaming have no place in the Leave No Trace™ community!

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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.

One Response

  1. Mike Douglass says:

    I certainly agree with using bear proof canisters but you should remind folks to take the cover off when not transporting it , bears can carry the canister away if it is in the carry case . They won’t be able to open it but you may not find it either , also put reflective tape on it to make it easier to find at nite.

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