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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hiking Boots: Change is Good for the Resole

We live in a throwaway society. Most purchases come with an expectation of ephemerality, regardless of whether it is a small novelty item or a durable good, like a car or refrigerator. When these manufactured goods meet our low expectations, we toss them in the trash and buy new ones. At least this is the norm for those with disposable income, a term that reinforces our throwaway thinking. The outdoor community has no immunity to this mindset, where gear is often retired well before its time because of small signs of wear and tear. However, it is often justifiable to >>More


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon 5 Hiking Shoe

Hiking is often a messy business, especially in the Adirondacks. Beaver flooding, natural seeps and deep, rain-filled ruts are just a few of the reasons for wet and muddy trails. Sometimes, just for a change of pace, a nice hike on a relatively dry upland trail is just what the doctor ordered. On these dry jaunts, a clunky, over the ankle pair of full-grain leather hiking boots is often overkill. Hiking shoes are a fine alternative for these drier situations. They are lighter weight and dry faster than conventional leather hiking boots, which allows for more miles with less stress >>More


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area. The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle. They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large). “Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. >>More


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dan Crane: I’m Addicted To Outdoor Gear

Exploring the Adirondack backcountry requires tenacity, perseverance and great deal of fortitude, as climbing over blowdowns, crossing beaver dams and struggling through hobblebush is an arduous way to spend the day. These personal qualities are not the only necessities for enjoying the backcountry however, having the proper gear is equally important. Backpacks, shelters, sleeping bags and numerous other items are tools of the trade for any intrepid soul that leaves societal comforts behind to enjoy some time surrounded by trees, furry animals and all the other creepy-crawlies in the great outdoors. Sometimes the need for the proper gear quickly becomes >>More


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gear Review: Montbell U.L. Down Jacket

For years, synthetic fleece has been a standard material in almost every backcountry enthusiast’s gear repertoire. Jackets, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, socks, pants, there is almost no piece of clothing safe from the material, except for perhaps underwear briefs. The popularity of the material is reflected in the multitude of different types of fleece invented, ranging from Polar to Windstopper. That the material is made of polyethylene terephthalate, the same plastic used to make soda bottles, often appears to be lost on almost everyone. Despite the versatility and popularity of fleece, I have all but abandoned the material in my own >>More


Friday, November 15, 2013

Adirondack Park Recreational Web Portal Planned

A group of Adirondack Region organizations are partnering to develop an inventory of recreational opportunities in the Adirondack Park to be made available on as a web portal and travel app. The new webpage and app is expected to launch at the peak of ski season in early 2014. The Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages (AATV), in partnership with the Capital Region’s Center for Economic Growth, the Mohawk Valley’s Central Adirondack Partnership for the 21st Century (CAP-21), and the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (ARTC) are currently working to compile an inventory of tourism amenities and opportunities available in the >>More


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Outfitter Now Offers Two ‘Adirondack Paddler’s Maps’

Dave Cilley’s waterproof “Adirondack Paddler’s Map” has been a big hit since he first published it in 2004.  It covers a lot of territory, which is both its virtue and its vice. I consulted the map often while researching my guidebook Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures. The amount of detail is impressive: it shows the locations of lean-tos, campsites, trails, and put-ins and identifies just about every peak, pond, island, and stream that would be of interest to paddlers. Cilley recently published a sixth edition of “Adirondack Paddler’s Map” that corrects a few mistakes that slipped through the earlier >>More


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gear Review: PurifiCup Water Filters

Water is everywhere in the Adirondack backcountry; swinging a dead blackfly is impossible without getting wet. Unfortunately, it is not clear how much of this water is safe to drink. For that reason, most backcountry enthusiasts treat their water, thus avoiding the possibility of bringing home a unfriendly aquatic pathogen surprise that could unwrap itself as a putrid rear-end explosion days after returning home. There are many different ways of treating questionable water sources, the most common being boiling, adding a chemical or filtering it through a permeable membrane. These days most backcountry explorers go the filter route, as it >>More


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adirondack Paddlefest in Old Forge This Weekend

After a week of frost warnings and even snow flurries, the weekend temperatures are due to ease into the sixties and just in time for the Adirondack Paddlefest. In its 15th year, the Adirondack Paddlefest will host paddling presentations, test paddles, on-water canoe and kayak sales, demos, clinics, food and entertainment this Friday – Sunday, May 17-19 in Old Forge. According to Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company Store Manager Will Crimmins, the Adirondack Paddlefest attracts seasoned veterans as well as paddling newcomers to the Old Forge area.  Held at the Old Forge Public Beach, behind the Visitors’ Center, the weekend event >>More


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exos Beanie a nice hat for skiers

I do a lot of backcountry skiing, and so over the years I have collected a half-dozen pairs of skis. Not as many as some skiers, but enough to make some people wonder if I’m obsessed. Maybe I am, but not about skis. I have far more ski hats. I must own nearly twenty: wool, synthetic, thick, thin, beanies, Peruvian models with ear flaps, balaclavas, you name it. I didn’t set out to collect hats, but I was always searching for the perfect hat, one that fit right, kept my head warm, and looked good. I now have several that >>More