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Acid Rain And The Adirondacks 2008.

Acid rain adversely effects a number of important Adirondack tree species. Reduced calcium levels in the soil due to acid rain increase the vulnerability of red spruce and hemlocks in higher elevations to damage from weather and insects.

Sugar maples, one of the commonest forest tree at middle elevations, is no longer reproducing successfully in much of the western Adirondacks. Maples reproduce through a seedling bank. The seedlings, which are highly shade-tolerant, persist for many years, growing slowly and waiting for the light from a canopy opening. The layer of preestablished seedlings, which is often quite dense, allows maple forests to regenerate rapidly after storms and harvests.

Acid rain depletes soil calcium. Most maple stands in the western Adirondacks, where the lakes are most acidified and the soils poorest in calcium, do not seem to be producing seedling banks. Their understories are dominated by young beeches. Almost no maple seedlings appear in test plots, and almost no saplings under forty years old occur in the understory. Maples require moderate amounts of soil calcium; trees on calcium-deficient soils are less vigorous, less healthy, less share-tolerant, and less capable of producing flowers and seeds. Maples in the western Adirondacks stopped reproducing just about the time acid rain reached its peak intensity and have not reproduced since.

NYS Department of Environmnetal Conservation Press Release

DEC and TNC Announce Agreement to Conserve Former Finch, Pruyn Lands

Careful Balance Ensures Protection of Critical Ecosystems, New Community Enhancements, and Economic Benefits

Released: Thursday, February 14, 2008

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have reached a conceptual agreement to protect lands formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn and Co. in the Adirondack Park. The agreement will secure the future of these lands by expanding the state Forest Preserve, ensuring the continuation of timber harvesting, setting aside land for community housing and other local needs, and bolstering snowmobile trail networks. Most significantly, the agreement was developed after extensive consultation with local government officials, and is designed to achieve a balance between the environmental benefits of preserving this extraordinary land and local economic development and recreational needs.

The former Finch, Pruyn lands, called by some the "jewel in the Adirondack crown," are remarkable for their ecological diversity, astounding beauty and location in the heart of the Adirondack Park. Much of the land adjoins the protected Forest Preserve and the agreement will keep intact large expanses of ecologically and economically important forests, the benefits of which range from mitigating the impacts of climate change to enhancing the Adirondack Park's draw as a world-class tourist destination.

The focus of today's announcement is on the future of the northern holdings - 134,140 acres - concentrated within the central lake and tourist region of the Adirondack Park in the towns of Newcomb, Indian Lake, North Hudson, Minerva, and Long Lake. Some of the most sensitive and unique ecosystems are found on those parcels.

In developing the agreement for the future of the southern holdings - 27,000 acres - DEC and TNC will continue outreach efforts with other communities that have smaller parcels involved in the transaction, as well as with other stakeholder groups.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure the conservation of a critical area of Adirondack backcountry while supporting the people who live there," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. "This agreement strikes a balance among environmental, economic and outdoor recreation needs. It incorporates what local communities told us was important to them. And, in the center of the Park, it adds to the acreage of lands to be kept 'Forever Wild.'"

"The scale of this massive project allows for a variety of compatible uses," said Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. "It has been gratifying to roll up my sleeves and work with community leaders and other stakeholders to figure out where we can come together toward mutually agreeable outcomes. Most of all, it is exciting to see this globally important forest landscape protected."

"The agreement between DEC and TNC is history in the making," said Open Space Institute (OSI) President Joe Martens. OSI provided a $25 million loan to TNC to help it acquire the property from Finch, Pruyn. "It is based on sound ecological principles, common sense and open dialogue. It will ensure the protection of a vast and increasingly important biological landscape, boost local economies and maintain many traditional uses of the properties," Martens said.

The former Finch holdings contain some of the wildest land remaining in the Adirondacks and, accordingly, are home to some of the state's most impressive plant and animal diversity. A biological survey conducted in 2001 found 95 significant plant species, 37 of which are rare in New York and 30 rare or uncommon in the Adirondacks. From the imperiled Bicknell's thrush to the striking scarlet tanager, many of the birds present need large swaths of contiguous forest to thrive.

Large and intact landscapes can respond and adapt to disturbances like wind and ice storms and provide better flood control. They also provide safe havens for species to move upslope and northward in response to a changing climate, and can better withstand invasions of damaging non-native plants, pests, and pathogens. The Finch lands protect critical gradient areas and link them to already protected high elevation areas of the Forest Preserve.

DEC will now conduct an appraisal to determine the value of the Forest Preserve and easement lands in order to make a formal contract offer to TNC.

Key components of the agreement include:

Forest Preserve Additions: (57,699 acres or 43 percent of northern holdings) These parcels will be added to the lands kept "Forever Wild" in the Adirondacks-and off limits to development or forest management-while protecting the Upper Hudson River watershed and wildlife habitat. The area includes the Boreas Ponds, Essex Chain of Lakes, Hudson Gorge and Opalescent River headwaters. In the future, the public would gain access to these special places.

Working Forest/Conservation Easement Lands: (73,627 acres or 54 percent of northern holdings) The state will acquire conservation easements on these lands that will permit continued recreational leasing and open some new lands to the public for hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities. TNC will ultimately sell these lands to a private forest products or investment company which means that more than half the property will remain available for timber production. The property is currently managed to the highest sustainable forestry standards and those practices will continue under the easement and future ownership. A 20-year fiber supply agreement maintains the link between the property and the mill in Glens Falls.

Property Taxes: During its interim ownership, The Nature Conservancy is paying property taxes. Upon completion of the acquisition process, the state will pay property taxes on Forest Preserve additions, as well as its share of the value on easement lands. Significantly, because of a tax abatement program that had substantially limited some of the property-tax assessments under Finch, Pruyn's ownership, it is likely that some local property tax payments on these parcels would increase under the conceptual agreement.

A Balance of Traditional Recreation with New Opportunities: At least two-thirds of the hunting clubs on these parcels, which occupy the land under year-to-year leases, will likely see no changes or can be readily accommodated because some or all of their lands fall under conservation easement. The clubs with leases on lands that would become Forest Preserve would be granted a 10-year transition period. The agreement allows those clubs to retain exclusive use of the property for three years, followed by two years of exclusive use during the hunting and fishing seasons and then five years of camp use with shared public recreation. After that, the camps would be removed. Where possible, TNC has pledged to help relocate clubs being displaced.

The agreement also addresses the local communities' desire to link snowmobile trails. The agreement contemplates a network of trails linking North Hudson, Newcomb, Long Lake, Minerva, and Indian Lake.

Jim Jennings, Executive Director of the New York State Snowmobile Association said, "We've consulted with Conservancy staff and think the proposed network will be a boon to the winter economy."

The agreement also strengthens the Adirondacks as a tourist destination through the expansion of hiking, hunting, fishing and paddling opportunities to both local residents and visitors. DEC also will work to designate some of the lakes and ponds on the Finch lands for float plane use.

Community Enhancement: Under the agreement, up to 1,098 acres of the northern holdings will be dedicated to a variety of community uses, such as public recreation facilities and community housing. The proposed uses are a result of extensive meetings with local government officials. TNC and DEC have engaged in unprecedented outreach efforts to the communities and stakeholder groups, led by DEC Region 5 Director Elizabeth Lowe and Mike Carr.

Commissioner Grannis has pledged to work cooperatively with Adirondack communities. Last year, the state launched a $1 million grants program to promote smart growth in the Adirondack Park. DEC has involved towns in the planning of management of Forest Preserve lands, revised a management plan for the Moose River Plains because of local concerns and postponed the removal of float planes from Lows Lake until appropriate alternatives are found.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a leading international, non-profit organization working to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Adirondack Chapter, based in Keene Valley, New York, currently employs a staff of 25 and has protected 556,572 Adirondack acres since 1971. The Chapter is also a founding partner of High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, dedicated to the protection of alpine habitat, as well as the award-winning Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, which works regionally to prevent the introduction and spread of non-native invasive plants. On the Web at nature.org/adirondacks.

Contact for this Page: NYSDEC
Press Office - Maureen Wren
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1016
email: press@gw.dec.state.ny.us <press@gw.dec.state.ny.us



Schenectady hikers rescued from High Peaks
Last updated: 2:19 p.m., Thursday, January 18, 2007

KEENE -- A hiker injured in the Adirondack High Peaks spent the night with his rescuers on a frigid mountain trail before a helicopter lifted him out to a hospital Wednesday morning, New York state forest rangers said today.

Temperatures dipped to 23 degrees below zero during the ordeal, rangers said.

Peter Buccinna, 32, suffered a double fracture to his thigh when he fell trying to reach a fellow hiker 45-year-old Brian Merriam who had been knocked unconscious when he slipped and fell down a rock slab Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The two Schenectady men were hiking on a trail between Gothics and Saddleback mountains with Merriam's teenage son and one of the boy's friends when Merriam lost his footing, rangers said.

With Buccinna injured and unable to walk, the teens couldn't get cell phone reception to call for help, so they hiked down and found a phone to call 911 at about 6 p.m., Ranger Jim Giglinto said.

In the meantime, three New York City firefighters on a day hike heard the emergency whistles the boys were using and found Merriam, who had regained consciousness, and Buccinna. Merriam and one of the firefighters headed down the trail while the other two stayed with Buccinna.

The 911 call set in motion a rescue party that eventually included six rangers and two Keene Valley volunteer firefighters who brought sleeping bags, camp stoves and food to care for Buccinna until a state police helicopter could be launched, Giglinto said.

The injured hikers were taken to Adirondack Medical Center, where Merriam was released after treatment for a concussion and cuts. Buccinna was transferred to Albany Medical Center, according to hospital spokesman Joe Riccio.

Spitzer Deals With APA

AT ISSUE: Adirondack Park oversight among the challenges

The job facing Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer became even more challenging last week with the release of a report charging the state's Adirondack Park Agency with shirking its responsibilities by ignoring potential land-use violations throughout the 6-million-acre wilderness.

Spitzer will need to address the problem soon because it's only getting worse, the report says, threatening the integrity of New York's largest and most fragile park.

The report, "Swept Under the Rug," was issued by the Adirondack Council and charges that the APA rapidly dispensed with a backlog by clearing 3,295 enforcement cases over the last six years because the matters were deemed either too old or lacking in environmental impact, or because they never were investigated. In short, the preservationist group said, the APA just gave up.

That could be detrimental to a park already riddled with complexity and struggling to find a balance between development and preservation.

Solving the problem won't be easy. One reason for the APA backlog is simply that the agency doesn't have the staffing to keep up with the caseload. Neither does it have the clout necessary to deal with violators once they are found.

That means Spitzer and others will need to decide just what kind of investment the state should make to provide the agency with the tools and power to do the job it was designed to do. The APA was created in 1971 to oversee land use in the park, both public and private, to guard against rampant development. But with just four officers to cover the 3.4 million acres of private land and the inability to force compliance or collect fines except when a case is turned over to the attorney general's office for court action, the agency has become a paper tiger.

Complicating the issue are those who think that the APA should be abolished, deferring development to local control. Towns like Inlet in Hamilton County and Webb in Herkimer County have developed comprehensive master plans that assume responsibilities as caretakers of the wilderness, but also address the wants, needs and concerns of the permanent residents whose future depends on developing what's necessary to attract visitors.

Preservationists, however, remain wary of giving up the state oversight they feel is critical to protecting the park. But as the latest report indicates, that cannot happen without drastic change. It'll be up to Spitzer to figure out the best way to make that happen.

Bear Resistant Canisters

This Is Now A Manditory Rule In The Eastern High Peaks Region.

Bear resistant canisters are a highly effective means of protecting food. Bears can defeat most other food storage techniques. Bears in the High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondacks have routinely obtain and access even properly hung food bags.

  • Canisters are small, durable, and contain odors.
  • The lids are specially designed so bears cannot open or break them.
  • Canisters weigh only 3 to 5 lbs., can fit in a backpack or be strapped to the outside.
  • A canister can hold up to 6 days of food for one person.
  • Store food in a sealed plastic bag and place inside the canister.
  • Also store toiletries and trash in separate sealed plastic bags and place inside the canister as well.
  • Store the canister on the ground away from your tent.
  • Place reflective tape on the canister for easier retrieval in the dark.
  • Canisters have been proven to resist grizzly bears and are required in many National Parks.
  • Bear resistant canisters are available for purchase or rent from many local, national and web-based outdoor recreation stores.

Bear Encounters

Never Approach or Surround a Bear - Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.

Avoid Walking Trails at Night - Stay in your campsite to avoid chance encounters.

Use Noise to Scare Bears from Campsite - Yell, clap or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.

Never Run From a Bear - If you feel threatened, back away slowly.

Do Not Throw Your Backpack or Food Bag at an Approaching Bear - This practice will only encourage bears to approach and "bully" people to get food.

Know Where Bears are Active - Contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation about the area you plan to visit. In the eastern Adirondacks: 518/897-1200. In the western Adirondacks: 315/785-2261.

Prevent Bear/Human Conflicts - Plan, handle, prepare and store food properly. Bears will keep to themselves and you will keep all your food for yourself.


Outdoor Nutrition

Just like a car needs fuel to drive so does the human body need food and drink to build up the energy needed to walk. The provisions you take with you will largely depend on your own preferences, the duration of the hike and if you will be able to replenish your supplies along the way. In general good planning and precautions can prevent serious nutrition problems. In this section we will look at all aspects of good nutrition during your hikes.


Selecting what food to take with you will depend on your plans. On short hikes you can pamper yourself by taking all kinds of snacks. The additional weight and volume might not be any serious factor, so why not. However, if you are going on multi-day hikes with no sure places to replenish your provisions careful choices will have to be made to make sure you can pack the necessary provisions. Choosing your food then becomes a challenging puzzle where nutritional value, volume, weight, preservability and preparation method have to be taken into account.

Here are some tips when it comes to selecting your foods:

  • Dried or dehydrated foods: retain most of their nutritional value but since most of the water content has been removed the foods are lighter in weight and smaller in volume. This makes dehydrated foods very popular in the hiking community. Preparation is mostly very simple but will require water.
  • Canned Foods: are even easier to prepare but are both heavier and take up more space. Canned foods can be added to your selection if you want to build in some luxury treats.
  • Select a variation of foods that fulfill different nutritious needs. Variation in your food intake is very important especially on longer trips.


Plan your Meals




You need to plan your food and fluid intake to make sure that you have enough to last you the duration of your hike. Planning your meals will make sure that you do not over indulge on day one leaving you with nothing to eat on day 3. Guidelines for planning your meals:

  • Do not depend on possible other sources of food and bring everything you need to keep yourself well fed during your hikes. Only if you are 100% sure that you will be able to restock should you take less with you.
  • If you are sure about re-supply points in your hiking plans then anticipate on what provisions they can replenish.
  • Separate your meals in daily rations and package them separately. This will make it easier to determine how much you are allowed to eat to have enough for the full duration of your hike.
  • Package and label emergency rations. Labeling them as emergency rations will make you think twice before you use them as a snack!

Under the normal conditions the human body will be able to go without food for days. Without water, however, problems come a lot quicker. Here are some guidelines on planning your water needs:

  • The absolute minimum is at least 2 liters per day. Take at least 2 liters with you even if you expect to find places where you can refill your water reserves.
  • Take about 1 liter for every two hours of hiking with the abovementioned 2 liter minimum.
  • Under normal hiking conditions 3-4 liters per day should suffice.
  • Higher temperatures will increase the needed fluid intake.
  • Increased exercise will increase the needed fluid intake.
  • If you plan to spend nights outdoors while hiking then calculate extra water reserves for washing yourself and possibly rinsing cooking utensils.
  • Hydration Packs and water bladders have drinking tubes that make it easy to drink as you continue hiking. A possible danger however is that you have no real way of checking your fluid reserves. So make sure to stop and check your bladder's content at regular intervals.
  • Make sure to bring water purification pills or devices even if you are bringing sufficient fluids for the trip. Water bottles and bladders can burst leaving you with nothing. In these cases water filters and purifiers can make the difference. If you have nothing to filter the water with but you do have your cooking gear then you can make most outdoor water potable by boiling it for at least 10 minutes.

New Measures Aim To Ensure Public Safety and Protect Natural Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner John P. Cahill today announced that emergency regulations for use of the High Peaks Wilderness Area will become effective Friday, May 19, 2000.

These regulations were proposed in the High Peaks Wilderness Complex Unit Management Plan (UMP), which was approved by Commissioner Cahill and accepted by Governor George E. Pataki in March 1999.

"The implementation of these regulations will help preserve public health and safety while protecting fragile ecosystems, preventing wildfire, and ensuring that the public can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the High Peaks Wilderness for years to come," Commissioner Cahill said. "Adopting these regulations is the best and most expeditious means of ensuring public use of the High Peaks that does not negatively impact this precious resource."

The regulations will:

prohibit camping above 4,000 feet in elevation;
limit all camping between 3,500 and 4,000 feet in elevation to designated campsites;
require all winter visitors to possess and use skis or snowshoes when the terrain is snow-covered;
limit the number of persons per campsite to eight for overnight camping;
limit the size of day use parties to a maximum number of 15 persons per party;
restrict campfire use to safe locations at least 150 feet from any road, trail or water body;
prohibit all campfires in the eastern High Peaks zone and at all locations above 4,000 feet in elevation in the western High Peaks zone;
prohibit the possession of glass containers;
require the leashing of pets on DEC marked trails, designated camp and lean-to sites, in congregated areas, and at elevations above 4,000 feet; and
require mandatory trail head registrations in the heavily-used eastern High Peaks zone.
"These reasonable regulations will ensure that hikers and campers can enjoy the magnificent beauty of the High Peaks without degrading the wilderness quality," said Neil Woodworth, counsel to the 35,000 member Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "We are strongly committed to educating the hiking community to follow these rules to preserve the majesty of the High Peaks for future generations."

The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan sets forth general guidelines for wilderness management. However, portions of the High Peaks have become so popular among campers and hikers that some of these guidelines are not being met.

The High Peaks UMP documents the rapidly escalating amount of use the High Peaks is experiencing. Trail head registrations indicate that the number of visitors to the High Peaks Wilderness Area more than doubled from 1985 to 1998. The number of visitors rose from 67,354 in 1985 to 139,663 in 1998 and DEC expects use to continue escalating.

Peter Duncan, DEC Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources, said, "The High Peaks Wilderness is the largest, and best-known wilderness area in the Adirondack Park, characterized by many of the highest elevations in the State, steep slopes and thin soil. The combination of these physical traits and the area's popularity have led to the need for these rules. It is critical that we manage this area to protect the physical environment and the wilderness character of the area."

The increased popularity of the High Peaks has resulted in trail erosion, damage to vegetation around heavily used campsites and fragile, high-elevation areas, and, at times, a level of use that is not in keeping with a wilderness setting.

The regulations implement directives contained in the High Peaks UMP. The Department recognized early in the unit management planning process that public participation was essential in managing the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

A 15-member High Peaks Advisory Committee was convened between 1974 and 1977, and more recently, formal public participation in the development of the UMP began in June of 1990 with the appointment of a 26-member citizens advisory group. This advisory committee represented a wide variety of interest groups, local governments, scientists, local businesses and user groups.

The committee held 15 group and numerous subcommittee meetings over a two year period ending in June of 1992. In July of 1992 the committee submitted a detailed report to the DEC, listing 186 recommendations, the emergency regulations among them.

In addition to the use of the advisory committee, outreach efforts included scoping sessions and public comment on the draft UMP through public meetings and written comments. Five public meetings soliciting comments from the public were held throughout New York State. More than 400 citizens attended and the DEC heard oral statements from 107 speakers. Additionally, written statements were received from 397 individuals and organizations.

For more information about the new High Peaks Wilderness regulations visit the DEC website at: www.dec.state.ny.us or call the Division of Lands and Forests at (518) 457-2475.

copy courtesy of :
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)


Discovering Mt. Marcy
Mount Marcy was dicovered relatively late in American
history, 40 years after Whiteface, Mount Washington in New
Hampshire or Katahdin in Maine.
Marcy's discovery was part accident. Archibald McIntyre,
a Lake Placid settler who had found Iron in the High Peaks,
was having trouble marketing it and transporting it from the
wilderness. He invited some state geologists to his mine in
hopes that they would help attract investers or persuade the
state to improve roads or build a railroad through the region.
The scientists began exploring. In 1836, one of them,
William Redfield, camping by Lake Colden, realized that" the
great ascent which we had made from our first encampment
and the apparent altitude of the mountain peaks before us,
together with the naked condition of their summits, rendered
it obvious that the elavation of this mountain group had been greatly underated".Redfield started up Mt. Marcy but bad weather had forced him
back to camp. He and his colleagues were forced to wait until the
next year- a wait as unbearable as that experienced by children
waiting for Christmas morning.
When they finally reached the summit. they found " one of
the grandest views on the south, east and west and to a consider-
able distance on the north we have mountains extending before us...
some are clothed in evergreen, others are laid bare by slides...
innumerable little lakes and streams are seen in all directions."
Theorore Roosevelt was on Mount Marcy when he recieved
news that President McKinley was dying from an assassin's
bullet. Adirondack guides undertook the dangerous task of
driving the vice president on poor roads, at night, to North Creek
where he could assume the duties of president if needed.

Did You Know.
The Adirondacks are the oldest Geological Formation
in North America.

A Zippy Idea.
Cooking on the trail is not an exact science, but
sometimes we need to measure fairly close or
your meal just won't taste right. Here is an alternative
to packing a measuring cup on those space saving
hikes; a zip-lock bag. At home measure out a 1/4 cup
of water then pour it in the bag. Mark it off with
indelible marker. Then pour and mark off 1/2 cup,
3/4 cup, and 1 cup in the same fashion. Before using
on the trail, make sure a hole hasn't been punctured in
the bag from bouncing around in your pack all day.

The Silver Lining
Duct tape. What a wonderful thing. This handy little
item should be in everyone's backpack. You can
repair anything from a split in you pants, a leaky
hole in a tent or holding a crampon to your boot
if the strap breaks. Another fine use for duct tape
is blisters. When you feel a hot spot begin, cover the area
with tape and make sure you place some tissue on the
wound to prevent the skin from pulling off when
removing the tape. Have a splinter? Place a piece of
tape on the area and peal off. You'll need at least
professional grade tape. It has higher thread count
than the lower grades. It's so dependable, resilient,
convenient , almost waterproof, and could help you out
of a tight jam in the woods.

This is a quick and easy reference to estimating wind speed.
0-1 Smoke rises straight up, calm.
1-3 Smoke drifts.
4-7 Leaves rustle.
8-12 Leaves and twigs move.
13-18 Small branches move.
19-24 Leaves blow over ground, small tree's sway.
25-31 Large branches move.
32-38 Twigs break off.
39-46 Large tree's sway, difficult to walk.
47-54 Very hard to walk, some limbs break.
55-63 Tree limbs and branches break.
64 & Up Tree's uprooted.

Hiking and Backpacking are great for you and your dog,
and here are a few tips to make that trip into the woods
a happy and safe for the both of you. Always check out
the rules and regs. for dogs in the area you are planning
on hiking because they do vary from park to park.

1. Weather can change rapidly in the wilderness so make
sure you can care for your dog in an emergency.
2. If you won't drink from a water source, don't let your dog.
Always pack plenty of food and clean water. To check for
dehydration in your dog, pinch her skin at the nap of the
neck and release it. If it snaps back quickly, the dog is
well hydrated. If the skin slowly melts back or doesn't
return at all, the animal is showing signs of dehydration
Find a cool shade spot and wet the dog with cool water.
3. Don't allow your dog to chase game. This can stress
the wildlife.
4. In bear country, wear bells and make some noise while
walking; this may help you avoid accidentally surprising
a bear. Most predators will leave the area if they know
humans are around.
5. Always use a leash at least 6 ft. long for the wilderness
traveling. Nylon works best.
6. If your dog has tender tootsies, consider getting a set of
boots to protect his sensitive pads on rough terrain.
7. Keep in mind other hikers. No one likes to be charged
at by a strange dog. And finally, have fun !!!

To save money and reduce the amount of stove fuel you have
to carry, preheat your cooking water. Before setting up camp,
fill your cook pot or a water jug with the water you'll need for
the evening meal. Set it on a rock that'll be in the sun until
dinnertime; the darker the rock the better. You can even put
the pot or jug in a black stuff sack. When it's time to fire up the
stove, the water will already be warm and require a fraction
of the fuel usually needed to bring it to a boil. If you can tell
where the sun will hit in the morning, set out a pot the night
before to warm in the early sunlight.

Alpine plants are hardy, they cope with the most extreme
of environmental conditions. But they don't cope well
under a hikers boot. Their plant communities are
fragile. If you step or sit on them you wear away the
plant mat, exposing the thin soil to erosion by wind
and water. There are at least 20 rare, threatened and
endangered flowering plants on the Adirondack summits
which covers a combined area of 85 acres.
Here's how you can help protect these plants.
1. Stay on the trails. Follow markers, cairns and
painted blazes.
2. Walk on solid rock whenever possible.
3. Don't pick or remove any summit plants.
4. Don't use vegetation to assist in climbing.
5. Don't camp above 4,000ft., even in winter.
6. Avoid hiking above 4,000 ft. during spring
thaw when alpine soils are most vulnerable.
7. Learn more about alpine ecology and share
these suggestions with others. Only us hikers
can make a difference.

When hiking off trail it is common to come upon the following
situation. You are hiking on top of a hill and you approach a
deep valley. The most direct route would be to go down into
the valley, across it, and then up the steep slope of a far hill,
there to resume your hike at approximately the same elevation
at which you began. Although this route is the shortest as the
crow flies, the crow would also fly it at the same elevation, while
you would be walking down and then up steep slopes.
There is, however, an alternative. This particular valley is boxed
in at one end by the base of the high peak which towers above
you. Rather than taking the shortest route across the valley,
you can hike at a constant elevation around the valley. This is
called contouring.
Contouring routes are not always readily apparent and often
require that you weigh a number off tradeoffs. Will it be easier
to hike across the sloping base of the high peak which may be
unstable but will allow you to maintain your elevation? Or is it easier
to drop 500ft. of elevation and then hike back up the same amount
of elevation on a much more stable, shorter route? Only experience
can provide a sound basis to make that decision; just be sure you
consider contouring as one of your options.

The concern with DEET is that the potent chemical will absorb
into your skin. Now, Sawyer Products has introduced a new DEET-
based repellent the company claims wont soak in. Controlled release
bug dope has a protein that builds chambers around DEET molecules
and encapsulates them. When inside these chambers, DEET is
kept away from the skin. As the skin metabolizes the protein, the
chambers open and enough DEET is released to create an insect
repelling vapor.
Ticks are the objects of more than a fair share of misinformation.
For instance; Once you find one embedded in your skin, you are
the recipient of its nasty pathogens.
Estimates on how long a tick must be attached to give you
enough germs to cause sickness vary with the disease and species
of tick. To transmit Lyme disease, a tick must stay in place and feed
for 36 to 48 hours. Ticks that carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever
take 6 to 10 hours to pass along germs. If you check yourself
immediately after tromping through brush and properly remove all
the little buggers, chances are you will avoid illness. Lyme disease
vaccines are now available from your doctor.
To reduce your chances of heat stroke, stay in top physical
condition. At first, this one sounds like it has merit, right?
But in reality, those in top condition are actually more likely to
suffer heat stroke. Sounds odd, I know, but think about it. Your run
of the mill hiker gets tired, starts to feel bad, stops and rests. Highly
fit hikers, on the other hand, have a tendency to push harder and go
past the point where their bodies can adequately shed the heat being
generated. The result is usually an exertional heat stroke. Symptoms
include red, hot, skin and irrational behavior. Unless rapid cooling
is undertaken, as many as 8 out of 10 heat stroke patients will die.
Regardless of your fitness level, prevent heat-related problems by
staying well hydrated and by maintaining a comfortable pace with
regular rest breaks.
Properly cared for, your backpacking stove
can last a lifetime.
1. Always clean your stove after each use.
2. Lubricate the pump cup with a few drops
of mineral oil before each season.
3. Burn the cleanest fuels possible. Impurities
can hasten the clogging of the stove's fuel
line and jet.
4. If storing a stove for more than two weeks,
empty the tank or remove the pump
assembly from the fuel bottle.
5. Store your stove in a cool, dry place to
avoid condensation.
When camping in winter:
Place water bottles in plastic bags and put
them inside your sleeping bag along with
any clothing you want to dry or put on in
the morning. The clothing you wear
tomorrow makes a great pillow tonight.
True Facts:
Due to greater air density, high winds
at sea level create up to 40 percent more
pressure against a tent wall than identical
wind speeds atop 29,035-foot Mt. Everest.
The moral: Secure your tent, even if your
not a mountaineer.
These two cheap, easy to find items are perfect
for solving some of your backpacking headaches.
BAKING SODA: Use as powder or mix with water for toothpaste. Mix with water to make an anti-itch poultice for
insect bites. Sprinkle in boots and on feet for odor relief. Mix one half teaspoon baking soda in 4 to 8
ounces of water and drink to cure indigestion. Fill water bottles with a solution of 4 tablespoons
soda per quart of water and soak overnight to
get rid of odors and bad tastes. Sprinkle in your sleeping bag after a trip. Your
bag will smell better and last longer, also, since
you won't have to wash it as often.
PETROLEUM JELLY Rub on to prevent or soothe chafed skin, chapped
lips, and windburn. Use as emergency lube for leather stove-pump
gasket. Dab on external-frame packs to temporarily
silence squeaky spots. Saturate cotton balls or 2-inch lengths of cotton
rope to make fire-starters. Smear on a stuck zipper or tent pole end if your
in the field.
Don't Misjudge The Weather:
Always pack clothing for the widest range of
possible temperatures, and remember that
even moderate temps. can lead to hypothermia
when you're wet. Layer your clothing so you can
adjust easily to both the weather and your exertion
level, and remember that synthetics are best for
keeping you warm and dry.

(copyright) 1998-2006 Mountain Haze Productions