Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > General Adirondack Discussion
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-14-2016, 10:08 PM   #1
trainbeat
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Rochester
Posts: 4
Greenhorn here, would appreciate some advice.

I'm really excited. I've never been camping, always wanted to though. This year is the year I will get off my ass and do it.
I have a few questions, if you don't mind.

Bears: I've done all the research on food storage to avoid attracting black bears and other critters, but should I worry about running into one by chance on the trail? Should I get some bear spray?

Water: Hows the water for drinking in the various streams and ponds? Is some type of filter necessary, or can I just boil it?

Also, given that I've never been to the Adirondacks, I have no idea where to start.
I'm backpacking it, I'm looking for wild and solitude. What areas are the most deserted?
Are there any areas that are known for big, old trees?
Any long trails that loop back to the starting point?

Thanks for your time.
trainbeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 11:12 PM   #2
Glen
Check please
 
Glen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Amityville, NY
Posts: 1,155
Welcome to the forum. You will get advice from many knowledgeable people here.

My opinion on bears is I wouldn't worry about them. As you mentioned keeping a clean campsite is the best deterrent. Running into one on a trail is not likely. Not impossible, but not likely. It hasn't happened to me in over 30 years on or off trail. I always filter water regardless of it's source. Get a Katahdin filter or something similar. Others use additives or UV devices. I've known people stricken with Giardia and it's not pretty. As to your question on best areas, others with more experience will jump in I'm sure.

Have fun.
__________________
“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy
Glen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #3
trainbeat
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Rochester
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen View Post
Welcome to the forum. You will get advice from many knowledgeable people here.

My opinion on bears is I wouldn't worry about them. As you mentioned keeping a clean campsite is the best deterrent. Running into one on a trail is not likely. Not impossible, but not likely. It hasn't happened to me in over 30 years on or off trail. I always filter water regardless of it's source. Get a Katahdin filter or something similar. Others use additives or UV devices. I've known people stricken with Giardia and it's not pretty. As to your question on best areas, others with more experience will jump in I'm sure.

Have fun.
Thanks Glen.
BTW, Love Cormac Mccarthy and thats one of my favorite passages
trainbeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2016, 07:00 AM   #4
randomscooter
Native Earthling
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scooterville, NY
Posts: 1,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by trainbeat View Post
Water: Hows the water for drinking in the various streams and ponds? Is some type of filter necessary, or can I just boil it?
Boiling will definitely take care of any health issues. If you're concerned about the water's flavor, or if you aren't willing to take the time to boil all the water you'll consume, then there are many quality filters on the market.
__________________
Scooting here and there
Through the woods and up the peaks
Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


"Pushing the limits of easy."™
randomscooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2016, 07:41 AM   #5
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,384
Trainbeat, It might be worthwhile for you to review this thread:
http://adkforum.com/showthread.php?t...ghlight=tannin

Properly store your food at night and you have no worry about bears (they are only interested in your food, not in you).

Adirondack water is generally clean unless you take it from a pond completely surrounded by residences and full of motorboats.

There are 3 ways to most safely consume surface water. As mentioned, it is wise to filter, or bring to a brief boil, or treat chemically to eliminate any potential pathogens. Don't worry about the tannin tea color, it is harmless.

The highest traffic/least solitude is in the popular areas of the High Peaks. If you seek solitude, look for lesser traveled areas. There is much outside of the High Peaks to explore.

When you focus on an area, you can choose one of the Discover the Adirondacks series of guidebooks. Well worth a look.
http://www.hiketheadirondacks.com/pa...ondacks_Series

Good luck and ask questions....
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2016, 02:09 PM   #6
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
If you're looking for a good resource on the "how to" of backpacking, I highly recommend investing in Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker IV. It's pretty much the "how to" bible of hiking and backpacking.

Browsing through old threads here and on ADKHighPeaks will also yield you tons of information.

Make sure you also familiarize yourself with the DEC's Backcountry Regulations as well as their Guidelines for Backcountry Camping. Also, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Leave No Trace Principles. There is a lot more to minimizing your impact in the backcountry than just carrying all of your trash out. Even the best of intentions can have significant impacts if a minimum impact ethic isn't adhered too.

If you're serious about getting into backpacking, I also strongly encourage you to look into taking a Wilderness First Aid course. They are offered all over the state on a fairly regular basis, usually only cost around $100, and can be completed in a single weekend. You'll learn not only how to respond to common backcountry injuries and ailments, but also how to prevent them.

For your first few trips, I highly recommend keeping it simple and easy- pick a relatively easy destination that is no more than 5 miles from the road. Hike in and set up camp for a day or two. Practice the skills you'll need- pitching the tent, throwing a bear bag line, cooking dinner, etc. Test out your gear and see what works for you and what doesn't, so you know what to do differently for the next time. You're going to make mistakes, but you'll learn from them quickly, and by staying relatively close to the road you can always pack up and bail quickly if you need to.

As a general rule of thumb, the Adirondack backcountry gets quieter the further away you get from the I-87 corridor, with the exception of course of the High Peaks region.

I hope this is helpful.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #7
l33tHoneyBadger
Member
 
l33tHoneyBadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Carthage, NY
Posts: 76
Trainbeat, I went through this same thing a few years ago and it seems like a lot to take in all at once. I suggest doing some hiking around your area before heading out to camp. This gives you a chance to check out most of your gear before you are out on a three day trip. No one wants to walk back out to replace something that just isn't working for you.

I carry bear spray with me as a precaution because I hike many areas including Cranberry Lake which is loaded with bears. A bear itself may have no interest in you just your food, unless you happen to be between her and her cub. I had that happen this summer and I have no desire to repeat the experience. It ran me $30, lasts 5 years and works on all bear species. I may never use it but I air on the side of caution and it makes me feel a little safer.

I have used stream water when hiking but I always filter it. I carry iodine tablets ($5 or so at any Walmart) which, as was mentioned previously, colors the water like a tea color but it tasted like regular water to me. I also have a Life Straw that I haven't used yet but they run around $14. You just have to look around and see what fits with your regular load out weight wise and space wise. Sometimes you just don't have the room or need for a bigger filter system so leave it at home and take some tablets with you.

The most remote place I have been that really has great views and solitude is Calamity Brook. There are some neat things to see along the way and it is a relatively easy hike back. The lean to is right on the flowed lands and it seemed to me few people go back there. So you have a lake in front of you with Colden on the right and Iroquois on the left if I remember correctly. If you want a long loop that comes back to the start then the trail from Lost Pond to Weston Mountain across Nun-Da-Go-O ridge is about 15 miles round trip. Great view and a couple lean tos along the way. There is also a spur off of that to Hurricane Mountain as well. Just make sure to do your research on the trails before you go. This is just my take on this but there are a lot more places out there that these folks know about. Have fun!
l33tHoneyBadger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2016, 11:26 PM   #8
trainbeat
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Rochester
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone, for the great advice.
I wish I had started this a long time ago so I'm probably a little over eager.
I've been researching the subject almost obsessively since my last post. It's hilarious. What sparked my interest was a lot of youtube videos of bushcraft guys doing their thing. I honestly thought I could just grab a sleeping bag, a tarp, knife, some fire steel and a fishing pole and the forest would be my oyster. There are people who do this but it was foolish to think I could.
My expectations are much more realistic now from reading through various forums. I've put together a gear list, paying a lot of attention to weight (I'm not really going for ultra light weight). I've dropped the idea of cooking over an camp fire and purchased a stove. I was originally going to buy a huge 6 inch blade and a hatchet and a saw because I thought I was going to be processing tons of wood for cooking and to keep warm. I've settled on a three inch blade, no saw or hatchet.
Bear with me guys and thanks again for the advice.
trainbeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 08:46 AM   #9
EagleCrag
Member
 
EagleCrag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Gloversville, NY
Posts: 1,258
While you might not want to cook over it, a campfire brings much to the camping experience. I think you will find that most folks will carry a saw of some sort to cut wood with, a saw being lighter than a hatchet and actually does a better job in most instances. A fire really warms the heart in the evening. Long distance hikers usually don't bother with the saw because of weight, but if you are just going for a few days, its well worth in it in my opinion.
EagleCrag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2016, 01:16 PM   #10
RichieC
Member
 
RichieC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 349
Find a place near you, heck, even the back yard, to do some overnights. You'll discover that you don;t need every stake in your tent kit, or that your mattress is inadequate, or that you need a stove you can light, etc. etc. You need a smaller lamp, or need a lamp, or need a headlamp… a ight weight rope. Don't go to someplace special and use stuff for the first time, or you are setting yourself up to failure and grand dissappointment. you'll forgot something, or you'll find you need something. Or can't figure out the tent. LOL.

I have a big, very nice kaytadyn waterfilter- best there is! But too heavy for solo use, so I looked into the Sawyer system. Sort of similar to life straw. about @ $25, but very lightweight. Whatever you buy, you want to use the filter- even from the tap, BEFORE you go.

Bears? we've done everything possible to attract them, I'd love to see one. I am sure they have seen, heard, smelled me. But they have a bad rap. Last one I saw i was on my dads shoulders at a dump… back when all TV 's were black and white. Follow the rules, and they are a non -issue, in fact , don't follow the rules and they are most likely, ( in 40 years of camping) a non-issue- but if they show up- and they do somewhere every year.. lol ( but the someone wins the lottery too), refer to the rules.

Pay attention to bug season and be prepared. If you aren't- they will chase you out in a dead run, if you are, they are only a minor annoyance, but they do keep the crowds down.

Cook the food you intend on bringing on the stove you will use, using the pots you will bring and using the utensils you have. If freeze dried… cook a few. I had one that disagreed with me. I became friends with a certain log that I became very thankful for, i left it a very prodigious series of gifts. And without details, i know it was the meal. Maybe it was too rich- who knows. But maybe you will hate item or love them… maybe its twice as much as you can eat or half as much. best to know ahead of time though.

Take everything you brought back out with you, dig a latrine and cover it up. Leave no trace. Do all this and you will be able to concentrate on where you are and enjoy it all way more then the endless fumbling you will do if it all is your first time. YOur goal is for it all to be fun- and not work. Look for someone to go with you- halves the work, doubles the experience.

Last edited by RichieC; 01-24-2016 at 01:40 PM..
RichieC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2016, 07:37 PM   #11
Jack
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 59
For keeping my pack and things organized, I like making up kits. Fire kit including multiple fire making stuff. Small enhanced first aid kit. Water kit including straw, tablets, ect. I like coffee filters for filtering out the big stuff before boiling or treatment. Map kit, I make and laminate pocket size topo maps for the area I'm in, and also a spare compass. Emergency kit, things like space blanket, real 5-50 cord, matches, xtra meds, ect. I also like the esbit stove you can use small twigs and small wood instead of the chemical tablets. This works great with a metal cup and coffee bags. I pack all my kits in seperate zip lock bags to keep everything dry and ease of packing. And above all, it's fun to do.
Jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 03:54 PM   #12
Vinegar
Member
 
Vinegar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 152
Lots of great advice here. If you can, find someone experienced to take you on a first outing, look for outdoors groups or meetups near you.

There have been some excellent past posts on destinations and routes, a good tip to get the most out of the forum is to use google to search by keywords and adding "site:adkforum.com" to your search.

Two good easy/beginner destinations that I suggest to anyone: Newcomb Lake, amazingly easy hike in and some great history, go past the great camp and take the last tent site on the Sucker Brook if it's open; or, not Adirondacks, but Echo Lake in the Catskills from the north which is a nice flat hike in until you get to the lake itself with some great scenery and the optional hike up to the firetower. Neither of these offer complete solitude but generally, the easier a place is to get to, the less of that there is.

Try searching, DSettahr has some great posts here with trip ideas.
Vinegar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:59 AM   #13
kgordon
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 12
A lot of info already but a couple things i see based on reading responses. If you don't want to drop money on a filter you can use a bandana to keep out the larger particulate and then use drop or tabs to get rid of the bacteria. If you want camp fires you need to look outside the high peaks area as they are prohibited.

There is a nice hike over in the western high peaks which goes to Lost Pond. You can hike in and camp or use the lean to ( i think it was 2 or 3 miles in) and hit a high peak from there. No one was there when i went and we saw only 2 people the whole weekend.
kgordon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 12:31 PM   #14
Fly Rodder
Member
 
Fly Rodder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 201
I second the "Discover the Adirondacks" series. They are fabulous books and I wish that I had purchased them many years ago. You don't need to buy the whole set, start with the region closest to you and pick out a few places and go explore.
Fly Rodder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
MrKawfey
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 183
One thing you didn't mention is if you are new to hiking as well as camping. Most of the people posting here have extensive experience with hiking and camping and so I think it's easy to overlook some of the most basic basics.

If you are new to hiking I would suggest doing some day hikes first before adding the overnight component. For example, staying on the trail seems trivial, but it's a skill that needs to be developed. On most hikes (more than half I would say) you will come to a spot where it is not obvious where the trail goes. It may be that you come to a spot where you look around and say "hmmm...I wonder which way to go", but more likely you won't even realize that you made a choice. You will follow a drainage or an old section of a rerouted trail or a spur that people use to get to a vista and before you realize it you are off in the woods and lost.

Additionally, when you are returning you find that the trail looks 100% different from what it did while you were walking in. Even when you are on the trail and going the right way you can start to second guess yourself and make some bad decisions about where to go.

Over time, we all tend to subconsciously get better at anticipating which way the trail is supposed to go. You develop a knack for looking over your shoulder and making mental notes of what the trail should look like on your way back. Most of us never even realize these are skills we have developed.

By no means am I trying to scare you out of trying to get out and get camping. But dayhikes tend to be up to a mountain summit with more well worn trails and more intuitive directions (when in doubt, go up till you can't go any higher). You will also run into more people which will help you stay on course and you will be closer to your car if trouble arises. Hikes between locations (vs just to a summit) tend to have more opportunity for getting lost or off trail.

I know you said you wanted solitude, but if you are doing a day hike outside the highpeaks and lake George region my guess is you wouldn't run into more than 3-4 groups on any give day and most days you won't see anyone.

The best way to get started would be to combine car camping and dayhikes. Get your camping "system" (we all have one) baselined at a DEC campground or other driveup spot. That way if the rain comes in buckets and your tent isn't waterproof, you can jump in your car. It turns a life threatening ordeal into a stiff neck and funny story.

You can even take your backpacking gear on the dayhike as if you were planning on sleeping in the woods. I have done this before just to check out capacity, weight distribution, footwear, etc.

Car camping will also help you develop cooking over a fire skills. I usually cook over a fire, but I always have some kind of stove or burner with me. Making a great meal over an open fire is one of the most rewarding parts of the camping experience. Also, never count on catching a fish for dinner. Always make sure you have a backup meal.

Good Luck and get out there! Remember, this is "recreation". It should be enjoyable and stress free (mostly). If your first trip is miserable mess, you might not be so inclined to do it again. Maximize your chance of fun and minimize your chance of trouble.
MrKawfey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 06:05 PM   #16
jrjmurray
Member
 
jrjmurray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
As you read, discuss, research, etc. keep in mind that the Northeast is typically a wet region. i.e. plan on being in rain whatever the forecast; when a product is recommended for dry vs. wet environments, go with wet; etc.
As DSettahr said, Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker IV is a very good book, but seems to be geared for dry Western dessert/prairie environments, so keep that in mind. It is also geared for long remote trips; you only need a fraction of the preparation/supplies/gear for 1-3 nights and/or within a half day from your car, in which case you can keep it very, very simple.
__________________
- Joe
jrjmurray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #17
All Downhill From Here
Longstrider
 
All Downhill From Here's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 207
Welcome.

Some tips from my experience:
Skip boiling water, and use another method to purify - saves time, energy & fuel.
A bear can for your food, stored away from the site, is a great timesaver since you don't have to hang.
Mid-week, and after Labor Day the busy areas tend to be less busy. If you go in November, you might walk miles w/o seeing someone. Protip: the weekend BEFORE Memorial Day happens to be "Victoria Day" in Canuckistan, so plan on pretty busy trails (but still good relative to summer).
Get a good map, for instance the ADK guide book maps. You can usually spot a natural "loop" by looking at trailheads, and then eyeballing... "I could go here, then over this one, then back this way, and be back at my car in 2 days" type stuff.

Finally, especially in the busier sections (Marcy area, High peaks) PLEASE practice Leave No Trace principles. Some areas are trashed, if not with real trash, then heavily damaged by soil compaction, erosion, etc. Travel light, pack out your trash, bury your poop, and clean up after others.
__________________
#9404
http://edthesmokebeard.com/
All Downhill From Here is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 09:09 AM   #18
MTVhike
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Elizabethtown
Posts: 298
One campsite I have used a couple of times is on Round Pond on the Dix trail off rt 73. It's only a half mile from the PA and I have never seen anyone else camping there. It's a good trial site.

Last edited by MTVhike; 04-04-2016 at 12:57 PM..
MTVhike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 11:22 AM   #19
dundee
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,645
Quote:
Originally Posted by trainbeat View Post
Bears: I've done all the research on food storage to avoid attracting black bears and other critters, but should I worry about running into one by chance on the trail? Should I get some bear spray?

Water: Hows the water for drinking in the various streams and ponds? Is some type of filter necessary, or can I just boil it?

Also, given that I've never been to the Adirondacks, I have no idea where to start.
I'm backpacking it, I'm looking for wild and solitude. What areas are the most deserted?
Are there any areas that are known for big, old trees?
Any long trails that loop back to the starting point?

Thanks for your time.

You don't need bear spray, waste of money and weight. As has been said, bears don't want you, just your food. If you are looking for someplace remote, your chances of seeing a bear are very remote and you properly hang your food or use a bear canister, you're very safe.

If you really want to go Leave No Trace (as you should) you'll skip the campfire. Most places have no wood left because everyone else needs a fire, too. Bring a candle or a solar powered "glow light". I like a quiet night to listen to nature and not have to find firewood that isn't there anymore.

Old trees can be found in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area near Cranberry Lake. You can make a loop out of some or all of the Cranberry Lake 50, a new backpacking loop. Lots of other loops available; pick up the Nat. Geographic set of maps.

I filter virtually of my water. It only takes a few minutes and then you're safe. Boiling works well, but consumes fuel and takes time to cool down. Chemical treatments also work, but take time to dissolve and kill the critters. I've never used a Steri-Pen, but they say it works, but does not improve the taste of pond water like some filters do.

I like to use a gravity feed filter system. Fill bag and let it run into your water bottle. This allows you to do other chores around camp while your filter goes to work. A pump filter works well, but I guarantee, you'll get tired of pumping.
dundee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 06:49 PM   #20
desmobob
Old, tired.
 
desmobob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 131
I also recommend "The Complete Walker," as well as "The Backpackers' Field Manual" by Rick Curtis.

I prefer a filter to boiling or treating water, but sometimes boil or treat. Investing in a good filter is a good idea. The inexpensive Sawyer filters can be found in your local Wal-Mart store and they are very user-friendly.

I'm 55 years old and have spent most of my life hunting, fishing, canoeing and camping in the park, and have only seen one bear. It was walking along the road while I was driving; I've never seen one "in the wild"! But I still take the standard precautions when camping to avoid the kind of bear interaction I'd prefer to avoid. :-)

Take it easy,
Bob
desmobob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.