Wilderness Survival Guide;part 1

Today I’d like to talk about what steps you can take in a few worst case wilderness scenarios. Many situations can be avoided by adhering to some leave no trace principles.

Plan ahead and prepare

Oh the 1st on the list of Leave No Trace practices is one of the absolutely critical steps you can take to protect yourself. No one should enter into a back country outing without being ready. Lack of preparation can put you at risk and possibly in danger or worse.

Always carry a map of the area you intend to adventure in as well as a compass. Learn how to read the map and use the compass. A small flashlight or headlamp should be included just in case you lose daylight.

A dependable cellphone on airplane mode can still track you or help you track your way out of trouble even if you can’t get a signal for a call or text.

I also recommend having a charging bank should you need extra battery life.

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

Once again a Leave no Trace principal that is crucial to keep you safe. Stay on established trails wandering off can quickly turn into a bad situation Should you become injured and you are not on an established trail the results could become catastrophic.

When the need arises and you must leave the trail for the call of nature it helps to have about five small bright pieces of cord or boundary marker ribbon. Tie loosely a ribbon on a nearby branch or root for every 20 paces you take off a trail. When the last ribbon is used walk another 20 paces and answer natures call collect your ribbons on the way back to safety.

First Aid kit

All hikers should have a basic first aid kit not so much for emergencies but for the unexpected nicks cuts or scrapes you may receive.

Your kit should include a some band-aids some alcohol wipes adhesive tape small gauze pads I also like to add nu skin for small cuts or for after the bleeding has stopped and the wound is beginning to mend.

BONUS TIP: Cut a drinking straw into 2″ segments squeeze triple antibiotic ointment ito a segment and seal both ends with a lighter result mini tube of your favorite medicines for your back country first aid kit.

Lost? Remain calm

Panic will lead to rash and often unwise decisions, take some deep breaths hum a deep note and clear your thoughts.


Repeat this process often and as needed it is nearly impossible to think rationally in a panic mode your mind will not be able to process information efficiently.

When you have yourself calm enough you can begin to think clearly and this will result in a better plan to return to safety.

Head for higher ground and water sources

In heavily wooded areas’ cell phones will not receive a signal. This makes a call for rescue nearly impossible check your map and try to locate a water source lakes sometimes allow for a better signal.

At higher elevations your phone will register 3g coverage but you need to be above 3000 feet in elevation.

When near a water source be sure to hydrate (filter or treat first) this will be the most important thing to remember until you relocate the trail or are able to call for help.

You can only survive for 3 days without water but 3 weeks without food so drink up as often as possible.


Stay tuned for upcoming posts

I feel this category needs more added to it and I will be addressing other aspects of wilderness survival in the future.

I will be making Wilderness survival guide into an ongoing series and you can help. Do you have a topic idea please add it to the comment section below.

Thanks for taking the time to join me and visiting my blog. I hope this information is useful and better yet never needed.

Remember your state of mind will be the biggest factor in safely getting yourself Found should you become lost.


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My Canon Powershot sx530 review

Koko visits with gramma
All photos in this article are taken by a Canon Powershot sx530 except for the picture of the powershot seen below
Today I will be talking about the Powershot sx530 by Canon. I decided to purchase this camera after researching it and needing to upgrade from a smaller digital. I used the Canon ELPH190 and loved everything about it except the size. The buttons just were too small for my fat fingers.
So after looking into a few other options and many models I chose to stay with Canon a trusted name in photography for any decades. Below are just a few of the many features the powershot has to offer.

Powershot sx530 by CanonErgonomic body with a 50x Optical zoom and more

Featuring a solid body and ergonomic grip the self-contained lens stands out as one of the best attributes of this DSLR. With normal image ratio a wide angle mode and 50x zoom feature for superb close-ups this lens can handle whatever situation you need it to. One touch will move the lens into its maximum zoom length extending it an additonal 3 inches or shrink it in 1/2 an inch for wide angle or panoramic views.

The body itself is made with a composite plastic that is rigid and textured in areas for a better grip. It has a built in flash that can be activated with the flick of a finger. Canon included state-of-the-art facial technology to track and search for the designated target to keep it a consistent size throughout the shooting sequence They also included an autofocus button that tracks objects in view to pinpoint the best shot.

The shutter button features a zoom toggle, the mode button is rounded and the power button offset and lower to eliminate accidental shutdown. Included video mode at the touch of a button recording time varies by the size of the memory card you use. Playback, gallery, function/menu buttons placed below the thumb area again avoiding a possible lost shot.

The lcd screen is 2×3″ and host around 461,000 dots for a stunning display. Loaded with 16 megapixels of resolution images are sharp, crisp, and clear.

A fantastic waterfall in Bolton Landing NYImage Stabilization

Canon put a lot of thought into this model and included many state-of-the-art features found in the top models available today. This camera has 4 Image stabilization modes to ensure you capture the moment as it happens and in whatever type of shot you’re trying to achieve.

Also, included are 4 Image Stabilization modes for video capture. Groups, moving images, and landscape videos will be cleaner and stable producing sharp clear videos that will make you feel like a pro.

Wifi/Nfc sharing

So you’re all set with your shooting for the day and can’t wait to get your shots out in Social Media sites. Canon has you covered with push of a button built in wifi for simple downloading to your mobile device. This option requires Canon Easy connect app to function. You may also link the phone and camera through an NFC connection all downloaded photos will appear in a separate folder in your phones gallery.

Using the wifi setting will also allow you to control the camera remotely via your smartphone and Canon’s camera connect app. Simply put an incredibly versatile option for self-portraits that look like someone else took the pictures. This feature can come in handy if you like to record video clips or want to catch yourself in action.

Point and shoot or manual


While using the powershot the possibilities are endless with multiple automatic modes or full control by you. Auto mode will sense subjects and focus and capture pictures. Hybrid Auto mode takes short video clips as well as a photo for each shot. Other modes include an effect mode, Fish eye lens, Manual, movie mode, scene mode, and others which may be of interest for many applications.

You may be an avid photographer or even a professional and like to experiment with aperture and shutter speed effects. Perhaps you have almost no knowledge of how a complex SLR (Single Lens Reflex) actually works. Regardless of your skill level its difficult to take a bad shot with this camera,

Koko enjoying the view

Tipster’s Choice

One of the most amazing features this camera boasts is its weight which is only 1 pound making this powerhouse camera an extremely lightweight option. I was also impressed with the price which is reasonable for the quality of the camera.

I will use this camera to document my Appalachian Trail hike and with its next to nothing weight it contributes only a tiny boost to my overall weight.

This is a truly remarkable camera that is built with quality craftsmanship. I would highly recommend this DSLR to anyone regardless of their skill levels. With the combination of long distance capacity and the technology and advancements found in todays cameras the Canon Powershot sx530 is my choice for consistently great pictures.

Fantastic job Canon you nailed it with this gem. On a 1 to 10 scale I am tempted to give this camera an 11. In my humble opinion a solid 10 and well-deserved.

I hope you found this review helpful as always thanks for taking the time to check out hikingtipster.com. Feel free to leave a comment below and remember to follow along on your favorite Social Media outlet.




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Hygiene in the wilderness

So you decided to go on an extended trip in the back country and your only 1 day in your sweaty and possibly stinky. On top of that your tired good news I have a few suggestions to freshen up so you feel like a human again.

Lake Colden high peaks wilderness area upstate New York in the Adirondacks

My dirty secret; Wet wipes

What a great invention and not just for bathroom purposes. There’s a good chance you won’t need to use 40-60 wipes to clean up after you’ve taken care of your waste elimination. Within reason, you can sacrifice a few daily to keep your hands, face and other areas clean.

When you have a used wipe that didn’t turn black turn it inside out for your armpits. Limit the use of your wipes to before a meal which could help you from getting ill and ruining your adventure. Hand sanatizers alone will not keep you clean and using wipes to freshen up will reduce the chance of germs contaminating you.

Bonus Tip; after using your wipes to clean up let them dry before adding to your garbage they’ll weigh less!

Another dirty secret; swimming holes

When you are hiking near a lake or pond and need to freshen up take a break and head on in. Whatever you do don’t bring soap you don’t need it and it will only contaminate the water that some may be using for a water source. You don’t even have to swim just wade out a little and sit down a few minutes in the water will do wonders and leave you squeaky clean as well as hydrating your skin.

Bonus Tip; leaving your stinky shirt on will help to remove the toxins causing it to be so funky!

My 3rd dirty secret; Bandannas

Every hiker has at least one if you’re close to fresh water dip it into the source soaking it remove and wring it out some away from the source. Now you have a refreshing wilderness washcloth to freshen up with. I would avoid armpits and your nether regions chances are you will need the bandanna for sweat after it dries.

Bonus Tip;hiking with a furry friend give them a wet bandanna collar to keep them cooler!

A view of Algonquin peak from above Marcy Dam

Yet another dirty Secret; Streams, brooks, creeks, and rivers

Generally speaking they may not be deep enough to bathe in yet you can use them to freshen up. Avoid this activity in areas of campsites simply travel downstream about 200 yards and freshen up there. Once again avoid soap let the water do the work and by being down from the crowd there is no chance of contaminating everyone s water source. Use caution in fast flowing water and be aware of underwater obstacles.

Bonus Tip; boiling a small amount and adding cold water can provide a decent camp bath that you can enjoy in the privacy of your tent!

Final Thoughts

You may be on an extended trip or possibly a thru hike but there will be opportunities available to help you feel like a million bucks. Take advantage of these whenever possible the morale boost alone can put a pep in your step. As always thanks for visiting my site feel free to leave a comment below. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article remember to follow leave no trace practices.


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Hi I’m Earl aka Hiking Tipster

Earl Lussier aka HikingTipsterI am a 54-year old from upstate New York born and raised in the city currently residing in Saratoga Springs.

At age 38 I was working and became injured due to a compressed air explosion. The force of the impact nearly killed me in fact I literally bent steel with the back of my head.

Brain Injuries are no joke and some never recover from the effects of their injury. I however am one of the lucky ones although I suffered from severe memory loss and total deafness in my left ear.

As a survivor I have overcome many problems associated with my brain injury and manage to function well enough to not require special assistance in my daily routine.

The road to recovery has been long and winding.
OK so enough of the negative time to dwell on the here and now and what will be.

I always have had a desire to achieve great things and I’m a very goal oriented individual. I enjoy helping people which is one of the main reasons I started my blog.

I am going on an upcoming Thru hike of the Appalachian Trail that I begin on March 16th of 2018.

Join me on my adventures
I have an active Instagram account and many of my photos can be found on google maps. I will be vlogging some aspects of my thru hike on you tube. Google+ is my go to when I share updates about my blog and of course here at hikingtipster.com

Traveling with my beagle Koko who is my hearing assistance. Hiking is my passion photography is my hobby and helping others is my calling.

I hope you enjoy this site if you like the content please leave a comment below I look forward to hearing from you.

Hiking Tipster aka Earl Lussier

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Osprey Hydration Reservoir; my opinion





Today I would like to look at the Osprey 3 liter hydration reservoirs that I use while hiking. This is an unendorsed review and simply my opinion of this item. I will be covering the aspects that I think are important to us as users and I will try to offer solutions to common drawbacks you may experience.

Quality Craftsmanship

First of all and most important topic is the quality of this hydration bladder. I have used other bladders in the past which were well-made but not as well-made as this Osprey product.

The bladder itself is sealed and of a high quality BPA free material that is tough and durable. You will obviously want to avoid sharp edges near the bladder itself I usually don’t pack sharp items in my backpack. Normal handling of the item will prove its durability and resistance to rocks and branches when refilling in the back country.

Unique Design

Osprey has outdone itself in the design of this hydration reservoir. Most bladders on the market are simply made and frankly difficult to load into a backpack. Osprey however has a unique Flat Back rigid design that stops the reservoir from swelling and provides a slimmer profile which makes it so much simpler to reload in your backpack. Loosen a couple of straps and push a few items forward and the reservoir will slide into place without a huge struggle.

Additional Features

This reservoir has many other features that you won’t find on other hydration bladders.

+ Detachable drinking tube, for ease of filling the drinking portion of the tube separates from the unit and doesn’t have to be rerouted onto the straps of the backpack.

+ Carry Handle, after the unit has been filled it is super easy to transport back to camp, made of sturdy plastic and set below the top one of the best features of this unit.

+ Wide Mouth fill and pour spout, makes refills simple and at camp you can pour easily right from the reservoir. Refilling is done from the top of the unit most use the sides or bottom and have no handle to support the reservoir while filling.

+ Sliding Closure System, just fold the spout in place and slide the lock on the top providing a leak proof unit. Most models and brands use screw tops which must be fastened properly to avoid leaks.

+Locking Bite Valve, done drinking lock the valve and no water dripping from the mouth piece keeping you dry and avoiding lost resources


So until this point we have covered the exceptional features of this item. The use of hydration reservoirs is a personal choice below are reasons some do not use them. -Additional weight, water weighs around 9 pounds per gallon carrying 6 pounds of water increases overall pack weight solution possibility use a smaller reservoir which increases the chance of running out.

-Tubes freeze in cold weather, frozen tube equals no water. Solution I prefer to blow back the water in the tube while hiking in the cold this keeps the water in the bladder and makes the tube and mouthpiece less likely to freeze. I also tuck the bite valve(mouthpiece) in my jacket keeping it warm with body heat and eliminating any chance of tube freeze

-Water in the tube heats up in hot weather, ugh a mouthful of warm water not very refreshing. Solution another blow back fix simply blow back the tube water returning it to the bladder until your next sip. I have also wrapped the drinking tube with lightweight foam(white for light reflection) which works very well to prevent tube warming.

-No way to tell when you’re empty, that is until you hear that dreaded sound of air. Solution…Dear reader’ please excuse the writer for trying to perform a miracle without a permit. Seriously though, this is probably the biggest drawback to hydration reservoirs. My advice always begin with a full reservoir and whenever possible practice the camel method of filling up before you begin your hike these strategies will lessen the chance of running out of water.

An Excellent Hydration Option: My rating * * * * *

5 stars – I would have to say this item is far superior to other hydration reservoirs on the market today.

I have covered the best features it has to offer and ways to address the shortcomings of hydration reservoirs in general.

The Osprey 3 liter Hydration Reservoirs is in my honest opinion the very best bladder system available it is reasonably priced and provides exceptional value for its price.

I hope you have enjoyed this article please feel free to comment below you may also choose to follow along on your choice of Social channels as I move my brand forward. Thank you for visiting my website and if you are in the market for an amazing product head on over to Amazon from the link below a small portion of your purchase will help support this site.





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Appalachian Trail Gear List;My Gear

I have done lots of research and gone over the list time and time again.

My start date approaches and I have zeroed in on the gear I intend to use when I hike the Appalachian Trail.

Comforts of Home; the Tent I use

I chose the Sierra Designs Flashlite 2 for my home away from home. Features include 2 entry doors with 2 external gear closets. The tent comes equpped with a light diffuser which spreads light evenly and brightens the tent excellently. Both doors include bug netting and tent material in case of rain, it is small yet roomy enough for myself and Koko.

Standing height in the middle is 45″ but allows me to sit upright and still have enough room to change but not enough to stand. The tent including 3 poles and tent stakes weighs 3.3lbs which may not be the lightest but it is lighter than others I researched.

Sleep System; gonna miss my memory foam

I have an Alps Mountaineering closed cell self inflating air matress,it is around 1.5″ thick when inflated and not entirely uncomfortable. I tend to get claustrophobic in sleeping bags so I have a handmade sleep quilt system that utilizes 3 down blankets with the bottoms sewn differently for each quilt. 1 footbag is mummy style for very cold nights which will provide one more ground layer below me.

The footbags of the other 2 quilts are sewn as traditional sleeping bag style one at the seams and the other entirely closed in to block drafts. With this system I can use all at once for maximum warmth or mix and match depending on the conditions i find myself in. I also have a down pillow and an inflatable pillow as well because I am a side sleeper.

On the nights that I don’t need all of the quilts Koko will have some extra cushioning and in extreme cold we will share body heat. Which simply put means she will press close and stay toasty warm as I tend to crank out a lot of heat.

I also have a Therma Rest trail pad self inflating which doubles as Koko’s sleeping pad and she carries her own blanket.

Clothing; less is more than enough

A Marmot Down jacket hooded with wrist gaiters 800 fill power will be my protection from wind snow and cold. For hiking 1  pair of waterproof fleece lined pants in cold weather 1 pair of shorts with included breifs for warmer weatherand 1 pair of ricehole gym shorts for sleeping. I will have 2 polyester T-shirts which will alternate daily to reduce potenital odors and a cotton t-shirt for sleeping.

Socks I am using 3 pairs of Injinji mid weight trail socks and one pair of no shows for camp and sleeping. I also have a pair of dirty girl lightweight gaiters to keep dirt out of my trailrunners. Total weight of clothing is 3.6 lbs and I may have overpacked. I also have a lightweight raincoat for those times when I get caught by bad weather.

Koko will also carry a small pack which holds her 2 favorite toys Stick(a synthetic non splintering chew toy shaped like a stick) and Duck(her favorite non stuffed duckie)  a towel and blanket for resting total weight is 3 lbs for her pack. I will carry her raincoat and puffy coat when she isn’t wearing them or her pack if she is.

Food Storage, Kitchen, and a few other things

My bear vault bear canister will hold my food and toiletries I plan on being semi stoveless using my pocket rocket style stove for morning coffee and occassional meals or water boiling. I prefer a high fat high protein diet when hiking and will focus on salami, pepperoni , peanut butter and  bacon bits for the fat and protien aspect. Occasional mashed potatoes (add bacon bits) and some soup packets to round things out.

Breakfasts will be oatmeal or carnation instant breakfast and snacks will be a mix of trail mix and snickers depending on resupply options. Coffee in the morning will be a priority Starbucks Via packets cuz they’re the best to fresh brewed.

I will also have a few other essential items like nail clippers and a callus shaver a head lamp a couple of bandannas and my Canon powershot Sx530 which is a fantastic DSLR that only weighs 1lb. Spare battery and memory card for the camera and the charger. I am looking at a total weight (including a fully loaded Osprey 3 liter bladder)of 26 lbs.

At the time of this publication have still not decided if I am including my chromebook for days off the trail.Blogging by phone will be a challenge but adding an additional 2.2lbs is also a challenge. I have the duece of spades for a potty trowel and intend to bring a 4oz can of body spray so I will noy be too offensive when I reach civilization every few days.

Osprey Atmos 60 liter backpack

I got a great deal on last years model and have added this awesome backpack to carry all of the items I will need for the next 5 to 7 months.  I actually paid around 1/2 price with free shipping. All of my gear that will be in bad weather has been waterproofed with Scothgard type spray. This includes Down jacket, tent, raincoat,and backpack rain cover.

I will also carry a contracter style garbage bag inside of my pack to ensure that all of my items remain dry. I will post final weight as an update to this article after I pack up my bear canister with 3 days worth of food which I am reluctant to buy until I am ready to start my thru hike.

I am so excited to start this amazing adventure and will be hopping on an Amtrak in 45 days. Don’t forget you can follow along on my adventures in whatever format pleases you.  If you enjoyed this article feel free to comment below.




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Thru hiking on a shoestring budget

As I first began to research hiking the Appalachian Trail it was obvious that it would require a lot of money.

My current life situation as a minimum wage employee makes the goal even more daunting. These are steps that can be taken before and during a thru hike to minimize costs and potentially maximize your experience.


Take your time acquiring gear

Gear to hike with can easily become a major expense, rushing online to buy that backpack that someone insisted you should have may not be the best option for you.

Gear should be purchased at your comfort level including cost, take the time to research and select your gear within your budget.

The cost of essential thru hiking gear can stretch into thousands of dollars if you let it, take your time sometimes you can find it cheaper if you search hard enough.

Limit your in Town time

Town time can be the biggest cost during your hike hotels, motels and restaurants will chew up your budget quickly.

Look for hostels or consider tenting in nearby parks to save costs, I have an ongoing membership to Planet Fitness and it allows me to use any PF location in the country which will come in handy for free showers and relax time.

I am not saying that on occasion you can’t treat yourself but you can pool together with others to keep hotel costs to a minimum.

Restaurant visits do not need to be at full service sit down facilities good food can be found even at small diners and fast food places for a fraction of the cost.

Hiking Food

Still to be thought of is the food you will be eating while on the trail. As time progresses your needs may change or you may begin to dislike one of your choices.

Throwing away food can get expensive consider trading unwanted items with another hiker who may have an option you do not.

Last resort you could place unwanted food in a hiker box and might be able to trade from the box if others also left something you may be craving.

Final thoughts

I am sure that I have not covered all the steps to save money on or off the Trail pooling for shuttles and hitching a ride come to mind as another cost saver in town there is usually public transportation.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have other ways to reduce costs or if you enjoyed this article.

For some amazing pictures on Instagram follow @hiking_tipster and I just started a you tube channel Hiking Tipster.

I hope you find this helpful



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I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere;66 days to go

 I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. My guess is you have also felt this way , possibly many times. I have had these feelings since 1998 during the initial recovery from my brain neck and back injury.

Chronic pain and a scrambled brain have forced me to change the way I process information. A month never passes if I think it’s a month from now, when it’s 30 days away it’s not a month.

I decided after decades of wanting to accomplish an AT thru hike to go for it. I am 66 days away from a lifelong dream and ready to make it a reality!

I go to the gym and can’t focus. I think about hiking and the outdoors every day all day. If you think I’m obsessed you may be correct but it calms my mind and heals my soul.

Information Overload

So many things going on in the world at all times but I choose to not know.  Politics, controversy, entertainment, sporting events, and world events all mean nearly nothing to me.

I long for a simple life and while I love technology and do not want to unplug rather step back and enjoy it at my own pace on my own terms.

There is entirely too much information out there and some days my brain can’t begin to process one item before another rushes in to catch my attention.

Controlling my destiny

I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this post. This site would not exist but for the fact that in deciding to hike the A T I took control of my destiny.

Starting a website again controlling my destiny. I guess what I am leaning twoards is saying that anyone can control thier destiny. You simply need the desire, motivation, and commitment to achieve your dreams.

click here to start now

I thought the process would be difficult. I felt like I would never be able to design and run a sucessful website. I was wrong and the process is simple if you have the right tools and the right training.

Wealthy Affiliate to the rescue

The training here at Wealthy Affiliate is hands down top shelf high quality information that will bring you success if you apply yourself.

Questions can quickly be answered in the live chat where members of the WA community reach out with answers and advice. By now you are probably thinking ok sounds good but how much is this gonna cost?

Honestly it’s free, no really it’s free to design and build your website at Wealthy Affiliate. You may decide you want more out of your experiance here and upgrade to premium but that’s your choice there is no presuure to upgrade.

I feel like I fit in here

Wealthy Affiliate is more than a program it is like a family and a gathering of friends whose goal is to see you succeed.

I have recently joined and already have had articles ranked by google so I assure you the system works. I didn’t realize I enjoyed blogging as much as I do and I had no idea that I would be able to write and publish articles.

My training is ongoing and I still have much to learn but choosing WA was the way to go. I have included a link to WA head over and check it out click here

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Adirondack hiking trails; high peaks wilderness


Today I would like to mention a few of my favorite hiking trails in the high peaks’ of the Adirondacks. This list is not inclusive of the entire high peaks’ wilderness and the focus is on trails I have hiked.

Mount Marcy from Adirondack loj

Parking at the trail head is $10 and if staying overnight a bear canister is required in this area. This is an amazing hike that brings you around 9 miles to the summit of New York’s highest mountain. The trail passes the Marcy dam area and begins climbing soon after there is a large stream to cross near Marcy dam in the Spring you may need to use the high water bridge.

The trail climbs steadily and somewhat gradually passing by Indian Falls and regardless of the season will be muddy in spots. There are many log bridges over the worst of the muddy sections but not all of them. Soon after seeing Alpine vegetation signs you will climb above the tree line and from that point will scrabble over bedrock and adjoining herd trails to the peak.

Congratulations you’ve made it and at 5343 feet you on top of New York States highest enjoy you view and head on back to the loj, total distance is around 19 miles out and back.

Upper Works Trail head; history and calamity

This trail head is roughly due south of the Adirondack loj no fee to park here but bear canisters are still required. This is an area rich in history with a standing iron forge about 400 yards or so before the trail head. During the 1800s iron was mined and forged in the area.

You can use this trail to attempt numerous high peaks’ or just as a rugged hike through the back country. Points of interest include Lake Colden the flowed lands and calamity pond where David Webster the founder of the Adirondack Iron works met his fate in an unfortunate hunting accident.

Algonquin Peak; Second to none

Algonquin Peak in the McIntyre Range is located west of Mount Marcy and southwest of the Adirondack Loj which is the easiest approach to the 2nd highest peak in NY. You may also access Algonquin from the Upper Works but it requires a 7-mile hike in past lake colden and the interior outpost to the edge of avalanche pass where it then follows a stream up to the Summit.

From the Loj it’s 1 mile to the turn for Algonquin/Wrights peak then begins a steady uphill which quickly becomes rugged and steep. Some spots can be rather tricky as the bedrock has areas difficult to climb without careful consideration before boosting yourself up. Some parts of the trail are muddy but not excessively so the trail leaves the treeline and continues past many cairns to the top.

Lake Colden; a gem in the wilderness

You can find Lake Colden via the upper works or from the Adirondack Loj the loj may be a bit longer or you can also summit Algonquin and head down the steep side directly to avalanche pass and Lake Colden. There are numerous lean-tos in the area and the water is crystal clear.

Lake Colden makes for an awesome backdrop as a side trip main destination or spot to relax before continuing you adventures. Surrounded by the McIntyre range and Mount Colden to the east this serene location allows for breath taking pictures and a worthwhile destination.

Endless possibilities

I truly wish I had more time to explore the Eastern High Peaks it’s the roughest ruggedest hiking in New York. Whether you choose the Loj or Upper Works you adventures have endless options and you can test yourself to the limits from either location.

Remember when entering the back country to follow Leave no Trace principles and carry a bear canister if staying overnight. I hope you enjoyed this article feel free to leave a comment below and happy hiking to you.





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Backpacking bear canisters; why I choose to use

                                      A typical bear resistant canister which is easy to open and provides safe storage and limits critters from gaining access to your food source.


Easy to use; you get in bears stay out!

With a coin or pocket knife you can easily enjoy you food and keep toiletries safe without the hassle of trying to hang a bear bag. This can save time effort and the potential of a ruined outing should a bear encounter your food bag dangling.

Bears are extremely intelligent and have noses that are more sensitive to smells than a blood hound. There are reports of mother bears sending cubs on smaller branches to chew the rope from hanging bags, that’s ingenuity.

For the bears

As a visitor in the wilderness we owe it to the bears to use canisters that bears cannot grab or carry away.

Once a bear develops a taste for human food they may become a nuisance and in some areas of the country must then be put down. Some areas require the use of canisters to keep the wild in the wilderness.

This map indicates the range of Black Bears in the Continental United States

Multiple uses

These canisters come in a variety of designs and a couple of color options. You can rent them or buy you own if you venture into bear country frequently.

Wait you promised multiple uses all it does is store food. Actually they make an excellent base to hold you camp stove while cooking. I have also used mine for a camp dinner table after cooking.

Best of all they make an excellent stool to sit on while in camp that’s 4 uses and there may be more.


Simple but efficient

Finished with dinner and ready to settle down for the night simply walk you can about 100 feet from you campsite. Place it upside down on the ground to prevent leakage in case it rains at night. Choose you spot carefully avoiding things like ledges and shorelines in the event you can gets knocked into an area you wouldn’t like it to end up in.

Studies in Yellowstone have shown that bears quickly learn to avoid canisters they can not open. Avoid the clear plastic type with the screw on lids, at the Adirondack loj in upstate NY the outfitter/visitor’s center there are a bunches of them that have been chewed open with a sign stating “these do not work” hard to believe but I have seen the holes usually at the base and quite large.


Finally, they’re worth the weight

Weighing in at a bit over 2 lbs and usually no more than 3lbs and a few ounces depending on the model you choose. The peace of mind knowing that you are not contributing to a problem and the potential destruction of an amazing animal is quite frankly priceless!

I intend to carry my canister proudly when I begin my Appalachian trail thru-hike in March. The ATC has recently considered requiring their use from Springer Mountain to Damascus in Northern Georgia and they are required in the Great Smokey Mountain State park in Tennessee.

Leave no Trace and happy hiking! I hope you enjoyed this article feel free to comment below I look forward to hearing from you.

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