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Old 01-17-2014, 05:33 PM   #9
Bob K
Bob K's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 565
Starting camping

A few other things to consider:

Don't hesitate to start with "car camping". The NY state campgrounds offer fairly attractive locations, though some locations & sites will not feel like you are alone. Search this forum for recommendations - or if you have a general location in mind, post an additional (more specific) request for guidance. There are options in the Catskills, including leantos (generally not reservable). With children especially, having a reserved site reduces stress.

Also on this website you will find info about locations for car camping on dirt roads with no services (i.e. nothing but possibly a fire ring, sometimes a picnic table). There are multiple places to do this in the Adirondacks, I don't know about the Catskills. Backpacking gets a bit more demanding once you have to carry everything (hopefully not all your water vs. a filter). Canoe camping becomes another possibility and will open up more options. Don't canoe camp with a loaded boat until you have experience paddling however.

For equipment, whatever you can't borrow, you can rent (including packs, tents & sleeping bags) at EMS. They often sell some rental equipment at the end of each season (worth a phone call). Some Adirondack Mountain Club chapters have Used Gear Sales (one in Albany this past week). Networking with those folks will open up both info & equipment resources.

Look for some checklists. EMS has them and I'm sure you can find some on-line. Most regulars develop their own customized list eventually. You need a stove and some type of cookset. Start putting these things on your Christmas & birthday wish lists. Get headlamps for each person (a must).

You can find deals on new or discontinued equipment but not if pressed for time. Check Sierra Trading Post but assume you may not find a specific item.
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