In June of 2019, I spent a weekend canoe camping on Lower Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Park. I went with friends from Hudson Valley Hikers. HVH hikes have a reputation for being long, difficult, and fast. Our canoe camping events tend to be quite the opposite. Most of these trips are slow and relaxing. Canoe camping is also a nice departure from my normal minimalist backpacking style because it is easier to carry cooking equipment and real food.
For the past 9 months, I have volunteered to mentor my old Boy Scout Troop. I’ve attended several meetings to give lectures, lead a hike for some of the beginners, and gone on a winter camping trip with the boys and their leaders. One of the lessons I’ve really been trying hard to teach is how to select safe and comfortable outdoor clothing for scouts. Continue reading Outdoor Clothing for Scouts: Shopping→
My name is CampingJay, and I have a bit of a problem. I go to Campmor just to look around. I check for updates on gear manufacturer’s websites, even when I don’t need anything new. Outdoor Gear Lab is my top visited website. When coming upon a campsite, there is rarely a tent I don’t recognize. I often find myself watching someone at the airport thinking, “Geesh, that’s a nice backpack!” You could accuse me of going on a spur-of-the-moment overnight just to try out a new stove, and you’d be right. I am a gear junkie.
When I was learning to backpack, I found it helpful when others posted their gear lists. It gave me a reference point for the kinds of things I needed, what I was doing right, and what I could be doing better. That said, there is no “one size fits all” gear list. There are a number of personal factors that go into making a gear list, such as size, weight, fitness level, and need for comfort. It also matters where and when you plan to go backpacking. One must factor in temperature, precipitation, terrain, water availability and natural shelter, among other things.
This is Part 3 in a series on my recent adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness. In this section, I will discuss planning for the backpacking trip.
Planning for base camp is very easy compared to planning for backpacking. When you are backpacking, you rely much more on your planning and your wits than you do on your gear. It is very important to have a route mapped out and to understand the terrain, climate, and local restrictions. It is also very important to have a good understanding of the capabilities of your group, as I found out the hard way. Continue reading Adirondack Adventure 2014, Part 3: Planning for Backpacking→
I’ve been doing my best to spread the light, and I’ve motivated my friend Paul to give tarp camping a try. He was excited to try this liberating experience after joining me on a trip in Harriman State Park last year. Tarp camping offers many benefits, including weight savings, great views, simplicity, and a sense of community with nature that you don’t get sealed up in a tent. That said, sleeping under a tarp can require advanced skills in site selection, weather prediction, and knot tying, just to name a few. Check out the full report for my 2014 adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness.