It’s the time of year for camping. Meme’s featuring John Muir quotes pop into various social media feeds. Fans of Lake Eaton, Forked, Browns Tract and 8th Lake have booked their sites months in advance on Reserve America to get the best spots.
Backpackers and paddlers are pulling out their classic ADK Guidebooks and combing maps for their next big adventure. We’ve pulled together some of the favorite camping hacks that would be useful and practical while camping in the Adirondacks. Whether you’re in a tent, lean-to or an RV, there’s something for everyone!
1. Use Doritos for Kindling. Ok we’ve done a bit of research, culled videos, spoken to people. Yes, it works to get the fire started, but users beware, you’ll be thinking about those Doritos and wish you had saved that bag for a midnight snack. Instead do what campers in Raquette and Long Lake have been doing for years.. grab your copy of the Mountain Times (after you’ve read it and supported the advertisers of course!) and use that as your firestarter!
2. Keep your toilet paper dry by using a coffee canister as a toilet paper dispenser.
3. Use a Frisbee as a plate, to fan the fire or to just play catch with the family. A great way to get a Frisbee in Long Lake is from the Adirondack Growl and Grub! They serve their yummy deli sandwiches on frisbees!
4. Use Tic Tac containers for your seasonings. Everyone needs garlic powder and oregano on a camping trip. I’ve watched Survivor on TV and I’ve seen them eat bugs to win spices for their meals. Packing your tumeric and cumin into these convenient containers is definitely a space saver.
5. Toast crescent rolls over the campfire. Add in some nutella or marshmallows for dessert or wrap it around a hot dog for your own pig in a blanket or as we say literally.. “Dog in a crescent.”
6. Use a shoe organizer for all your kitchen utensils.
7. Create a miniature First Aid Kit and store it in a presecription bottle, or an altoid tin and it keeps it dry and free of dirt.
8. I can’t WAIT to try this weird one on vacation. Roasting Starbursts. Heard it’s yummy, so going to have to try this one ourselves.
9. Rough it pillow. This is good for the backpacker or paddler. Stuff your clothes into a stuff sack and use as a pillow.
10. Use hand sanitizer to start a germ-free fire. (hmmmm.. not sure starting a germ free fire really makes sense unless you’re worried about the stick you used for roasting the crescent rolls and the starbursts)
11. A big one, and a legal one, for the Eastern High Peaks of the Adirondacks, and it’s not a bad idea in general, is to use a bear resistant canister. We’ll break this down for you. The reason we think you should keep everything small, it’s easier and more compact to store in the bear resistant canister.
Pack all scented items, and toiletries in the canister
Choose food wisely so you have enough room to stuff it in your canister
Store canister 100 feet from campsite and cooking area
Don’t hang the canister and always follow NYS DEC Bear Resistant Canister Regulations.
13. And for those of you that don’t like bugs (ok who does) we recommend burning sage on your campfire. So at least if it doesn’t keep the bugs away it will smell nicer. We’ve also heard of hanging Bounce dryer sheets and rubbing the scented sheets on your clothing is gentle and effective at combating those pesky bugs. But don’t take our word for it. Try some of these Hacks and send them in to us on our Long Lake FB page.
14. We had to do 14 Hacks for the 14 miles of Long Lake. Yah, if you aren’t bringing your own container of water (yah, we know, water isn’t light) best practices and recommendations are to boil the water for at least 5 minutes and treat it with purifying tables or filtering it through a filtration device. Shhh.. we don’t like to say it, but better to be safe than sorry and prevent giardia. (and an FYI – always bring back up filtration option if you are out in the woods in case of something going awry, like a hole in the water bag)
For a complete guide to the very specfic rules and regulations for camping in the Adirondacks we highly recommend reading up on the rules right here from the NYS DEC Website. NYS ADK Camping Rules & Regs
There’s all sort of other fun hacks all around the web. These were just a few of our favorites.
And remember Camping is Fun! It’s an adventure! And if you camp in and around Long Lake or Raquette Lake we have plenty to do!