Outside Circumstances (7/1): Campers inspired to make use of bear-resistant canisters –

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The following are just the most recent notices regarding public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a complete list of notices, including seasonal road status, via ferrata closures, specific trail conditions and other relevant information.

Last week:

Silver Lake Wilderness: Working with our partners at the Adirondack Mtn Club, a volunteer trail crew recently helped close and relocate two primitive campgrounds from the south shore of Woods Lake to the north shore. The goal of the project was to expand usage and improve camping opportunities for NPT thru hikers. This project was part of a larger trail work organized by the ADK Mtn Club on June 4th, National Trails Day.

General information

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for additional trip planning resources.

What you need to know (06/30):

  • Temperatures: Expect hotter temperatures this weekend. On Friday, 86 degrees are expected to be reached in some places. Daily highs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to be in the mid to over 70s, with lows in the mid 60s to over 50s. Temperatures at the mountaintops are still significantly cooler than at lower elevations, so bring extra layers and rain and wind gear.
  • water transitions: Sometimes the water levels are slightly higher. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving water.
  • Stinging insects: Black flies, gnats and deer flies – oh my god! Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of bite protection.
  • Heat safety: Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. Bring plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and eat salty foods to help with water retention and electrolyte balance. For their safety, leave pets at home.
  • Sunrise sunset: Sunrise = 5:17 AM, Sunset = 8:45 PM Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp, even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Busy hiking trails: It’s a holiday weekend so expect the trails to be busy. Plan to arrive at your destination early and have several backup plans in case the parking lot fills up at your desired location. Follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates on parking status.

Hiking information stations: Stop by a Hiking Information Station for information on parking, alternative hiking areas, local land use rules and regulations, safety and precaution, and Leave No TraceTM. Please visit us this weekend at the following locations:

  • Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
    • High Peaks Rest Area, heading north on Route 87, from 7am
    • Beekmantown Rest Area, heading south on Route 87, from 7am
  • Additional stops this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday at Marcy Field, Keene Valley, starting at 7:00am
    • Friday – Sunday at Frontier Town Gateway, North Hudson, starting at 7:00am

Check out the weather: Check the weather forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select peak forecasts. Check both day and night temperatures, and remember that temperatures drop as altitude increases.

Fire danger: As of June 30, fire danger is low for much of the Adirondacks, with areas on the eastern, western, and southern borders rising to moderate. Check the fire rating card.

Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to above average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for current flow of selected bodies of water. Wearing life jackets (Personal Flotation Devices, PFDs, also life jackets) is highly recommended.

Hiking with a dog: Dogs that hike in warm temperatures risk heat exhaustion and death. If your dog collapses, move quickly to create shade for the dog and cool his feet and stomach – this is the most effective way to help an overheated dog. The best way to protect your pet is to leave them at home.

Ticks: Wear light-colored, tight-knit clothing for easy spotting of ticks. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Frequently check clothing and exposed skin for ticks outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-travelled trails and walk in the middle of trails. Avoid dense forests and bushy areas. More tick prevention tips.

Required Bear Canisters:

NYS DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight guests in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th. NYS DEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant jerry cans throughout upstate Adirondack. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food waste, toiletries and other scented items. Canisters should be stored at least 100 feet away from tents, shelters and cooking areas and kept closed when not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and how to avoid human-bear conflict.

Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC is closing certain climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, see Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine falcon nest sites are determined, climbing routes that do not disrupt nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will be reopened after the young have flown out. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: From May 1st through October 31st, parking reservations are required for day and overnight access to the parking lot, trailheads and trails located on the privately owned 7,000 acre AMR property in the town of Keene, region high peaks are located. A list of frequently asked questions and how to register can be found on the AMR website.

Security & Education

Summer is here! Whether you’re hiking, biking, paddling or fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, clothing guides and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

Save a Bear – Save your food

The best way to protect yourself, your food, and our resident bears is to keep your food (and anything scented) safe and secure while camping.

When a bear – or any other animal – is able to repeatedly receive a “food reward” from humans, whether through intentional feeding or poor food storage, they begin to rely on humans for all of their meals. Not only does this make it harder for these animals to survive on their own, it can also make them shy of people and aggressive when it comes to foraging for food. In short, nobody likes a pushy bear.

One of the best ways to store your food when camping in the backcountry is in a bear-resistant canister. Bear-resistant canisters are cylindrical and made of hard, smooth plastic, making it difficult for the bear to hold on with its claws or teeth. They have a lockable lid and many come with carrying cases for easy portability. They must be used by campers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th and are recommended throughout the Adirondack backcountry.

How to use your bear canister effectively:

  • Place all scented items, including food, toiletries, and trash, in the can.
  • Choose your food wisely. Opt for small, high-calorie foods.
  • Prepare fresh meals in advance to minimize waste.
  • Repack bulky items. Place all groceries and toiletries in resealable bags.
  • Check that everything fits before you set off.
  • Never leave food unattended when removing it from the bear canister.
  • When you are not using your canister, lock and store it.

Your canister should be stored on level ground and at least 100 feet away from where you sleep and cook and eat. It should be placed alone and out of sight of any passing animal. Visit the DEC website for more information on reducing human-bear conflict and bear-resistant canisters.

Leave no trace

Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the Adirondacks’ environment and natural resources. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others, and tread lightly!

Geo-Tagging Social Media Posts – The 8th Principle

Geo-tagging remains one of the easiest ways to share outdoor adventures with your friends and social media followers. By quickly providing a location through geo-tagging, the bulk of the post can focus on anything from delving into a place’s history and culture, to highlighting recent events, to simply letting people know where you’ve been.

However, with the ability to potentially reach millions of users, responsible posting is key to protecting natural resources and other visitors who may wish to duplicate your experience.

Consider the following:

  • Many of your audience may not be familiar with the location and could use your post to determine what to expect when you visit. For this reason, share content that shows all participants how to demonstrate safe behavior and comply with the law.
  • Before posting, consider whether the people in your photos are leading by example by applying the seven principles of Leave No Trace.
  • Would the location you’re geotagging stand up to the extra traffic your post might attract? If not, consider skipping the geotag. If the area is designed for sustainable recreation, that might be a great place to get more people aware of it.
  • Is there important information that people should know about this particular place, or an issue that you would like to draw attention to? Then geotagging can be helpful. If the location isn’t important to the rest of your message, you should omit it.

Your posts have the power to inspire the change you want to see. As you venture into the comments, remember that everyone who ventures into the great outdoors has a different experience. Be considerate of other users – bullying and shaming have no place in the Leave No Trace™ community!