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  • Raquette River

    April 12-13, 2017 my Outdoor Leadership class of eight people plus a friend decided to go on a over night hiking trip to Axon Landing. The trip started in the morning with a nice long bus ride to our destination with a quick stop to the store. When we arrived the bus parked and we had to walk a mile down the dirt road to the beginning of the trail. The trail was easy but their was still ice and snow on the path so you had to go around it. Also portion of the trail we submerged in water and then you had to make a detour to avoid it. We started hiking on the trail at 10:00 and made it the first lean-to at 12:15 were we took a quick lunch break. After that and your back hurting from carrying your hiking bag we started walking again and made it to the second lean-to in no time. The class took a break there and then our teacher thought it would be better to stay at the third lean-to, so we packed our things and started walking again. To our disappointment the area around the lean-to was muddy which made it impossible to pitch up a tent. Unable to stay at the third lean-to we had to walk back to the second lean-to, but first we regroup at the rangers cabin. After regrouping individual group's started hiking back to the second lean-to taking their time. Making it to the lean-to that we were staying at everyone started relaxing and setting up their tent's. While Randy Savage fixed the firepit and Jesus started gathering firewood with my help and Hillbilly Buck. When the fire was roaring and their was a good set of coal's, Randy Savage cooked hotdog's on a grate that was found at the lean-to hanging on a nail along with three others. We had water drink from the river and Randy Savage brought a steriopen and a thing of pink lemonade. Then laster after letting the steak unthaw Randy Savage cooked steak and hamburgers for the group. After dinner everyone relaxed and went to bed. Even though you were wearing multiple layers of clothes to bed and in a sleeping bag, you were freezing your butt off. I had to use CowTipper as my personal heater to stay warm. The next morning we had a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs. After feasting on breakfast everyone packed up their things and tents, then started walking back. The hike back was easier then the walk in...or that's what it felt like to me. The walk was nicer seeing how the sun was out and not the other day. I walked with Foxtrot and Jesus and we made conversation the whole time we walked. When we got out to the beginning of the trail we waited for the rest of the group so the pass time I threw a hackysack with CowTipper. When the rest of the group reached us we walked another mile back to the bus and it was 12:00. We started hiking back at 10:25, but we took less water breaks. With everyone tired from the trip we enjoyed the trip back to school, with a quick stop at McDonald stop to grab lunch. The hike in total was a four mile hike if you walked to the last lean-to.

  • #2
    The fifth version of the same trip I presume?

    Who is the leader of this Outdoor Leadership class? Your leader appears to have misled you to believing it is permissible to camp next a lean-to. It's not.

    Please review the camping regulations clearly spelled out here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41282.html
    Looking for views!

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    • #3
      OK, this is getting funny. Can I assume there will be a total of 11 of these if we count the leader?

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      • #4
        @trail boss Is it really an issue for a group to set up tents around a lean-to? I understand the need to stay at designated sites and be 150 feet off trail or a body of water, but if a group is staying at a lean-to and some people want to set up tents instead of sleep inside it, I don't see the harm in that. I think the rules you cited to refer to other groups when people are already at a lean-to, so you don't get 10 groups of people setting up tents near a popular lean-to. Could that be right?

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        • #5
          @cflb56

          Straight from the DEC's site regarding Primitive Camping in the Adirondack Park:
          http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41282.html
          • You can camp anywhere as long as you are at least 150 feet from a water body, road, or trail, unless the area is posted as "Camping Prohibited."
          • Tents are not allowed inside lean-tos. Around lean-tos, camp at least 150 feet from the lean-to unless there is a "Camp Here" marker.
          • Camping for more than 3 nights or with 10 or more people requires a permit from a forest ranger.


          It is an issue to set up a tent around a lean-to because the DEC clearly says you shouldn't. If you don't see the harm caused by it, consider for a moment the common complaint in the 5+ trip reports filed so far, the last lean-to was deemed to be a lousy camping spot because the area next to it was "too muddy". Yeah, well, that's no surprise to me. It's a result of all the preceding campers who also saw no harm in camping next to the lean-to (in drier conditions). The desire to create a shanty town next to the lean-to converts the area into a waste land.

          I met people camped next to Blueberry Lean-to and in front of it. I greeted them warmly and then asked if anyone saw a "Camp Here" marker. No. I asked if they were aware of the 150-foot rule. No. I asked why they felt this was a legal camping spot. Because the ground was flat and cleared by previous campers (... who were equally unaware of the DEC's camping regulations). That's how many hikers and campers function in the Adirondack Park. "It must be OK because others do it."
          Looking for views!

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          • #6
            I understand where you are coming from but I disagree about it being an issue to set up a tent next to a lean-to. It's one thing to camp someplace that it is not allowed, such as next to water at a non-designated site. It's another thing to set up a tent at an area which is already designated for camping, by virtue of the fact that there is a lean-to there. I also think it's a stretch to say that setting up tents is to be blamed for muddy conditions in the area. I've been to plenty of lean-tos which were muddy directly in front of the opening where nobody would ever put a tent.

            I know that I have less than 20 posts on this forum (vs the many hundreds/thousands of other people), but I think it's important to consider how we reply to people on trip posts. Razanoff clearly was excited to write about their trip and it is their first post on the forum. Did they follow every rule perfectly? Maybe not. Is it worth immediately chastising them without commenting on any other part of the trip? Definitely not. Even if a number of people from the group put up trip reports, what's wrong with that? This place is better when more people use it.
            Last edited by cflb56; 04-25-2017, 11:51 AM.

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            • #7
              Please don't feed the trolls

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cflb56 View Post
                I think it's important to consider how we reply to people on trip posts.
                Totally agree with you here, definitely want to encouraging a welcoming atmosphere (and if you spend any time around the Internet, this is one of the most welcoming places you'll find), but that does have to be tempered with proper information. It's not only for the posters; there are many "lurkers" who will read and never post, and you never know when a Google search will find a particular thread. The other recent post about sawing down standing trees comes to mind too; if someone with little experience and understanding stumbles on these threads and reads these things with no followup, they're going to think these are acceptable practices.

                You may not think pitching near a lean-to isn't damaging, but long-term, it is. It doesn't take a deep understanding of environmental impact to realize that, and sorry if it sounds harsh, but if it's not obvious to you it seems like you need more education and/or experience. Yet regardless of how we feel about it, it's part of the regulations, and for that reason alone should be pointed out -- kindly and gently, sure, but pointed out so that this beginner who is clearly excited about the outdoors can make better choices on their next trip.

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                • #9
                  @cflb56

                  You can disagree with the DEC's 150-foot rule all you want but that doesn't make it go away. It's clearly spelled out; camp at least 150 feet away from lean-tos.

                  I can show you photos of (even) designated campsites that have become undesirable mud bogs. However, I feel you will quibble about their meaning as well.

                  Your third paragraph did a Gish Gallop so there's just too much to unpack. I'll repeat what I wrote to Razanoff: the leader of this trip appears to have misled the group into believing it was OK to camp next to the lean-to.

                  Almost all of the half-dozen reports mention the goal was to camp next to the farthest lean-to. They ended up camping next to the second lean-to. One person even suggested others should camp in the clearing next to the DEC Interior Station. Sorry, but regardless of how many posts one has, this kind of misguided thinking must be corrected immediately.
                  Looking for views!

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                  • #10
                    This is definitely a very weak troll. Numerous times. Desperate. Multiple aliases.

                    I didn't even read the post, just noticed it coming up multiple times from different users...

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                    • #11
                      regulations met

                      so sorry to disturb some of you guys out there with our trip, part of the assignment for these kids was to go on and share their experiences for future hikers so they will have a better understanding of the area they are going into... i am however surprised that you mention the no camping within 150 feet of a lean to rule and not the 9 people at a site in a wilderness area which requires a permit for the raquette river area... we did have such permit and we did keep tents out 150 feet away and im 99% sure we followed every other regulation as it is part of the course... as far as the DEC cabin goes up in there it is my understanding that as long as you are 150 feet away from it and any trail, water etc.. the usual then you could certainly throw a tent up.... Im in the process of reading their reports now, i hope they haven't gotten others worked up and once again I apologize and guess I will reconsider this part of the assignment... happy trails guys and keep fighting the good fight!! also funny to note that i have been camping in the ADK's for 20 years and rarely come across a campsite that is not in some way out of compliance so in that sense i guess im with trail boss and pushing for more education and enforcement of the regulations that they have in place to preserve this great woods!

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                      • #12
                        Well, I did mention the permit requirement but, as you've discovered yourself, it's hard to keep track of all the comments spread out over six trip reports.

                        I think the key issue here is that at least two of your students have the impression that a flat, clear space, regardless if it's next to a lean-to (or DEC Interior Station), is fair game for camping. 50 yards is much farther away than most people think. You've got to walk half the length of football field to become compliant.
                        Looking for views!

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                        • #13
                          no worries trail boss, i always respect those who know and follow the rules more then their adversaries who seem to greatly outnumber them! this will make for some good discussion in class tomorrow morning, im pretty sure you are just misinterpreting their posts but none the less we dont want to spread misinformation and i will certainly go over the lean to rules again.... i will warn you the kids will be fired up that you are calling them out on regs as we went over and over them well prior to the hike and they all claim to be experts now! i will also add that there was nice information at the lean to about all these regulations as well as a nice sign outlining the procedures for obtaining a permit for over the 8 person limit.... local forest ranger is super nice as well so kudos to ranger black.... any advice in the future for avoiding the repeated trip report? should i have students work together on it and submit 4 rather then 8?

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                          • #14
                            In any case, thanks for getting your students out there. Sorry if it seemed to be a pile-on here, we did all start somewhere and it sounds like they're on the right track to being excellent stewards while enjoying the wilderness.

                            I was able to clue in pretty quickly that there was some encouragement for all of the campers to post their own experience, and I don't know if taking away their own identity by posting a "master report" is the way to go. Maybe just have them each add a short note that X number of people were on the trip and they are all posting individual reports, to eliminate confusion.

                            Keep up the good work!

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                            • #15
                              I love the common threads in the different reports: Sounds like everyone had a good time, nice campfire, good food. Sounds like the temp drop was a surprise but you guys handled it well and all survived.

                              Using a Steripen was mentioned - pretty cool. Mine just came in. I ordered it because in one of my trip reports Trailboss mentioned my trusty Sawyer Water Filter might fail in cold weather (water expands when it freezes, making the tiny holes in the filter bigger - no longer filtering). I didn't know that so appreciated the tip. I always learn from other people's trip reports (including all of yours) and comments on my own.

                              Finding a camping site can be tough, we switch to hammock camping - you guys would have fun with that.

                              If you guys posted a question about some of the challenges you faced: monster packs, cold weather, etc I am sure you would get a pile of good info back. Like if you search on "hot water bottle" that is an easy trick. Of course your trip leader knows a lot of this stuff but no single person on this forum has been on as many trips as all of us combined so when you ask the group you get some interesting replies. It is sort of like panning for gold, sometimes you can swish the pan around a bit to get rid of any gravel and end up with pure gold.

                              I already googled the area you hiked into and saw some photos and am adding it to my bucket list of places I'd like to go to. Did you come across any decent swimming holes that could be used in the summer time?

                              Did you see any other relics, like that tractor?

                              I think I need to re-read your individual posts again to see what other cool information I can pick out.

                              Regarding rules I take the DEC regs, compare them with Leave No Trace guidelines and take which ever is more strict if possible. Pretty cool that you guys were able to have a great time and stay within the rules so the next people down that trail enjoy it too.

                              Happy trails
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees

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