Friday, July 7, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (7/7): Knowing signs of heat stroke, exhaustion

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


  • Sable Highlands Conservation Easement and Cobble Hill Public Use Area – The bridge across Ouleout Creek is CLOSED TO ALL, including pedestrians.

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 7/06):

  • Adirondack Park – Low
  • Champlain Region – Low
  • Southern Tier – Low
  • Check the fire rating map for daily updates.

Temperatures & Conditions: These are forecast temperatures for base elevations throughout the region.

Temperatures in the region will reach highs in the 80’s with lows in the low-60’s at night. High humidity will continue throughout the weekend with chances of thunderstorms scattered throughout. Pack the appropriate layers and gear in case your trip goes longer than planned or an unexpected overnight occurs. Remember – hypothermia is always a risk in wet conditions, even when it’s warm outside. Be prepared with extra dry layers and keep an eye on the weather.

Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms can pop up even if they are not forecast. Watch for darkening skies, increased winds, lightning flashes, and the rumble of thunder. Avoid summits and other open areas during thunderstorms. As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations and seek shelter. If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees, and crouch down away from tree trunks. Make yourself as short as possible by:

  • Sitting on your pack or sleeping pad with your knees flexed; and
  • Hugging your knees to keep your feet together to minimize the ground effect of a nearby lightning strike.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke occur when your body’s cooling mechanisms are overcome by heat, causing a dangerously high body temperature.

  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Slow your pace.
  • Drink water and rest more often.
  • Seek shade and avoid long periods in direct sunlight.
  • Do not hike in extremely hot weather

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:17 a.m.; Sunset = 8:40 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack at least one headlamp (two headlamps recommended) even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.

Mount Colden Trapdike: The trapdike is considered a technical climb and not a hike. Climbers should be prepared with helmets, ropes, and climbing gear to ascend this route. Hikers looking to summit Mount Colden should do so via the hiking routes. Attempting to climb the trapdike unprepared can result in a rescue operation, serious injury, or death.

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.

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.

General Notices

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

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.

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: Overnight camping is not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes individuals sleeping in cars, vans, and campers. Campers should seek out designated roadside campsites marked with a “camp here” disc or campgrounds. When camping, always carry out what you carry in and dispose of trash properly. Use designated bathroom facilities, pack out human and pet waste, or dig a cat hole.

Hiker Information Stations: Environmental Educators will be stationed at the following locations this weekend to assist with planning, preparation, and answering questions.

Friday – July 77am-3pmHigh Peaks Rest Area – Route 87 Northbound
Saturday – July 87am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge
Sunday – July 97am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge
Sunday – July 97am-3pmGarden Trailhead – Keene Valley
Monday – July 107am-3pmCascade Mountain Trailhead

Travel: 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 recent notices for road closure announcements.

Water Crossings: Water levels are around average for this time of year in the Adirondack region. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended.

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.

Safety & Education

Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, or out 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.


Stay Hydrated!

  • Drink more than necessary the week leading up to your hiking trip.
  • Drink 1-2 cups of water or a sports drink before beginning your hike.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine drinks. Caffeine increases fluid loss and can dehydrate you faster.
  • During the hike, drink at least 1 qt. of water per hour.
  • Alternate between water and electrolytes or sports beverage. Sports drinks or electrolyte tabs help retain fluids and maintain energy.
  • Drink more than you think is necessary.
  • Assess your hydration along your hike by looking for signs of:
    • low volumes of dark urine.
    • rapid heart rate.
    • weakness.
    • excessive fatigue.
    • dizziness.
  • Continuing to hike in a dehydrated state can lead to serious consequences, including heat stroke, muscle breakdown, and kidney failure.

Leave No Trace™

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No TraceTM 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!

Carry out what you carry in!

It’s easy to think that throwing your apple core or banana peel into the woods won’t have lasting effects but imagine; you aren’t the only one to think this way. How many apple cores and banana peels are scattered throughout our trails and forests?

It takes months for an apple core to decompose and up to 2 years for a banana peel to decompose. It may not have a visual impact but in that time of decomposition, it has attracted wildlife and permanently impacted their survival patterns.

Carrying out all trash and scraps will protect our wildlife from negative impacts, reduce wildlife encounters, and preserve the pristine beauty of our forests.

Trash Timeline:

Aluminum Can——————-80 to 100 years

Plastic 6-pack Holder———-100 years

Orange or Banana Peel——-Up to 2 years

Plastic Film Container———20 to 30 years

Plastic Bags———————-10 to 20 years

Glass Bottles———————1,000,000 years

Plastic Coated Paper———-5 years

Nylon Fabric———————30 to 40 years

Leather———————–—–1 to 5 years

Wool Socks———————-1 to 5 years

Tin Cans————————–50 years

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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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