Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dan Crane Reviews The Solo Stove Lite

Cooking stoves are crucial backcountry gear. They allow for cooking those high-calorie meals, the lifeblood of any hiker after spending hours trudging through forest, field and/or wetlands. However, stoves are only as good as their fuel, for without some type of combustible material, they are just a useless trinket cluttering up your backpack. Determining the amount of fuel to carry is often more art than science – not enough, you have to force down soggy uncooked oatmeal, too much, and you beat yourself up for carrying the extra weight. Fortunately, Solo Stove has » Continue Reading. View original post.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Don Mellor Publishes New Ice-Climbing Guidebook

Don Mellor’s second edition of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, published this month (just in time for this weekend’s Mountainfest), is a testament to the popularity of an erstwhile fringe sport. In Blue Lines 2, the new title, Mellor describes almost six hundred ice-climbing routes throughout the Adirondack Park. In contrast, the 1995 edition of Mellor’s Climbing in the Adirondacks, described about 140 ice routes (and many more rock routes). The initial edition of Blue Lines covered about 350 ice routes. “Ed Palen told me that once Blue Lines was done in 2006, that would be it,” Mellor >>More


Monday, November 7, 2016

‘Explorer’ Publishes Multisport Guide To Finch, Pruyn Lands

The Adirondack Explorer has published a multisport guidebook to the former Finch, Pruyn lands to let people know of the many recreational opportunities on tracts that had been off limits to the public for more than a century. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts has something for everyone: the hiker, the paddler, the mountain biker, the cross-country skier, even the rock climber. The book is a celebration of the state’s acquisition of 65,000 acres of the former Finch lands from the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The last parcel, the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, was purchased by >>More


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Preparing For Winter Adirondack Adventures

What follows is a guest essay by NYS Forest Ranger Julie Harjung a Lead Instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates and contributor to the Adirondack Forest Preserve Education Partnership (AFPEP). I have been a Forest Ranger for over 15 years and have spent all of it in either the Catskills or the Adirondack Mountains. Rangers respond to just about every emergency you can think of and probably a few you haven’t thought of. Many of the incidents are true accidents, a slip on the trail causing a broken leg, a dislocated elbow, a fall causing a concussion etc. Accidents can and >>More


Sunday, October 4, 2015

12 Short Hikes Near Keene Valley

Keene Valley was, the first time I saw it, jaw-droppingly astounding. All those peaks and ridges, jagged, monumental, stretching high into the sky, more and more dramatic as we drove up from the south. It was a beautiful day, many years ago, and a friend and I had a vague idea about scaling a mountain or two. Maybe we’d go over The Brothers to Big Slide and down. Well, we hiked and climbed a long way, but we were greenhorns, rather unprepared, and we never made it all the way around. One of us injured a leg; the other had >>More


Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: ADK’s New Topo Map Of The High Peaks

The Adirondack Mountain Club has largely stopped making maps, with an important exception: it recently published a color topographical map of the High Peaks that is waterproof and folds to fit in your pack or back pocket. ADK used to put paper topo maps in the backs of its guidebooks. For the past several years, however, it has instead bundled its books with waterproof maps produced by National Geographic. So now we have two High Peaks maps: National Geographic’s “Lake Placid/High Peaks” and ADK’s “Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks.” Both maps are designed to accompany ADK’s guidebook, High Peaks >>More


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Driving An Electric Car In Winter

Back in September I wrote a series of three articles about the efficacy of driving electric cars (EV’s) in the Adirondacks. My overall conclusion was that electric cars had a definite, practical future in the Adirondacks. All of my driving experience however, was in summer and early fall, which accounts for only about a quarter of an Adirondack year. The $64,000 question then, was how would an electric car perform under real winter conditions? With the January we’ve had in Wisconsin I’m ready to report. The bottom line?   I find that the standard critique of electric cars in the winter, >>More


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Backcountry Photography: Which Camera To Carry?

Imagine hiking for hours alone through an idyllic Adirondack setting, the sky is an azure blue, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the black flies are biting, ideal conditions for spending time in the great outdoors. When the trip’s destination finally appears, whether it is a seldom-visited lake, marsh, swamp or mountaintop, the thought of capturing this rarely glimpsed view becomes overwhelming. If only you’d brought that camera. The cameraless scenario is increasingly rare as cameras become smaller and are included in all sorts of devices that many find essential to modern living. It was not always like >>More


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Solo Canoe Comfort And Quiet Waters

The year after I bought my Hornbeck Canoe in 1991, my friend, Linda, rented a camp on Third Lake, near Old Forge. One weekend I loaded my new canoe on top of my car and drove to her camp, excited that I could spend the weekend in the Adirondacks. I thought, Oh, Great. This is my opportunity to test out my solo canoe on the Adirondack waters. I wanted to learn as much as I could about my new canoe and how it handled in different situations. In a solo canoe like mine, the paddler sits on a seat in >>More


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Backcountry Gear Choices: Tent Or Tarp?

Few backcountry gear decisions seem as daunting as picking a shelter. Some prefer to sleep John Wayne style (under the stars), others prefer lean-tos, but most carry a shelter of some sort on their back – tents or tarps. Tents are easier to set up (though I’ve seen exceptions), but are often heavier to carry. Compared to tarps tents offer less ventilation, critical when sharing the space with an aromatically challenged companion. Free standing tents are easier to set up and move – an important consideration in locating a good tent site while bushwhacking.  On the other hand, tarps are >>More


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