How to Backpack in the Rain and Stay Reasonably Happy

Top Tips for Backpacking in the Rain

1. Rain gear won’t keep you dry in sustained rain, no matter what it’s made with or how much you pay for it. It does retain a lot of warmth however, if you keep hiking vigorously and generating body heat.

2. Carry a trekking umbrella like the Euroschirm Swing Handsfree Umbrella to keep rain from falling on your head and torso. You’ll stay drier and sweat less, especially if it’s warm enough to shed your mid-layer or rain coat. Umbrellas have lots of other uses too.

3. Wear an insulating mid-layer or baselayer under your rain jacket. A wool or synthetic baselayer or a fleece mid-layer will retain heat even when they get soaked with internal condensation or sweat. However, while wool will feel warm when it gets wet, synthetics and polyester fleece dry much more quickly.

4. Wear footwear that drains quickly, preferably made with lightweight synthetic mesh
instead of leather boots or boots with a waterproof/breathable liner. Boots can take many days to dry out and won’t keep you feet dry when water comes in over the top, something that’s almost certain to happen when hiking through deep puddles and mud.

5. Line the inside of your backpack with a plastic bag. White plastic garbage compactor bags are best as long as they are unscented (to avoid attracting bears). Waterproof backpack covers are easily pulled off by surrounding vegetation or wind and do a poor job at keeping rain from seeping into through the seams of your backpack.

6. Always try to keep one layer of clothing dry and tucked away deep in your backpack so you can change into it before you get into your sleeping bag or under your quilt. A long sleeve jersey, long underwear and a dry pair of socks are ideal to help warm you up after hiking in rain all day.

7. Dry wet or damp clothing and gear, especially your quilt or sleeping bag and tent, whenever the sun comes out. Force yourself to take a break and spread your gear out in the sun to get it back into tip-top shape.

8. Let your feet dry out every night when you sleep. Put on a pair of dry socks if you have them; otherwise sleep with them uncovered.

9. Lubricate and massage your feet at night with vaseline or a heavy-duty moisturizing lotion likeEucerin. These will help your skin recover at night and provide some much-needed moisture resistance the next day if you have to hike through rain again. Vaseline is an excellent anti-chafing salve and fire-starter as well.

10. Eat while hiking in the rain to keep your furnace burning and generating body heat. Stay well hydrated too, to help stave off hypothermia and remain alert.

11. If the weather really sucks and you’re burned out from hiking through the muck, take a zero. Stay in your tent for a day or hike into town to dry-out and refuel. You don’t have to make big miles every day.

12. If you know you’re going to be hiking in rainy weather, get yourself a shelter that can be set up in the rain without getting soaking wet inside. Ultralight tarps are nice, but having a tent with a waterproof bathtub floor can be a real godsend if you have a crappy camp site in heavy rain.

13. Make sure you plan a few meals that don’t require cooking. While eating hot food is a good pick-me-up when you’re cold, cooking in the rain can sometimes be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Eat some fatty food, change into your dry layer, crawl into your sleeping bag, and you’ll warm up quickly.


Putting on cold wet hiking socks in the morning sucks, but it is what it is. If you never hike in the rain, you’re probably missing out on a lot of hiking days. Smile and remember that hiking in the wilderness is about as free as you’ll ever be.

Salvage Flair

Every once in awhile we find a local business that we just cant wait to tell you about and this business is certainly no different. Its called Salvage Flair located on Rt. 29 in beautiful Galway NY. The owner Bonnie Dunleavy owns the most unique specialty shop Ive seen. She is all about Recover…Repurpose….Restore…..Resell . CLICK HERE to find out more about this very cool and creative shop………

Autopsy Shows Missing Great Range Hiker Drowned


The cause of death for the missing Great Range hiker is accidental drowning, Essex County Coroner Frank Whitelaw said this afternoon.

Ralph “Skip” Baker was found Tuesday by searchers in the East Branch of the Ausable River near the base of the Wolfjaw Mountains in the Great Range near Keene Valley. He had gone missing after hiking High Peaks in the Great Range on Sunday.

An autopsy was performed this afternoon. Whitelaw said that a preliminary state police investigation showed that Baker slid down a 350-foot embankment to the river. But results from the autopsy performed Tuesday afternoon didn’t show any signs of significant trauma that would be consistent with sliding down a hill. It appears that Baker went down to the river under his own power and may have suffered a medical incident that caused him to fall in the water and drown.

“We did identify some medical issues during the autopsy and those could have been the cause of his disorientation and not feeling well,” Whitelaw said. “And that could have precipitated him ending up in the water. He could have staggered into or stumbled into the water while walking by the river.”

Witnesses also said a witness reported to investigators that “sometime during the hike, (Baker) was disoriented and actually one time had to lay down along the trail to rest,” Whitelaw said.

Whitelaw said Baker’s backpack and hiking poles were found alongside the river and appeared to have been placed there.

Baker, 50, of Webster, had been the subject of a large-scale search that started Monday and continued until he was found Tuesday at about 11 a.m. The search for Baker started Monday morning after he was reported missing to a state Department of Environmental Conservation dispatcher at 6:12 a.m. Baker was reported missing when he didn’t return from a dayhike in the Great Range near Keene Valley Sunday.

After Baker was reported missing Monday, two forest rangers immediately responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the entry point the hiker reportedly took to climb the mountain, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell.

After the initial assessment by DEC two more forest rangers, an assistant forest ranger, and staff from AMR joined the search. A fourth forest ranger was on board a state police helicopter.

No sign of the hiker was found during the first day of searching. On Tuesday, the search included 17 forest rangers, an assistant forest ranger, and a state police helicopter.

The Great Range includes several High Peaks and can be accessed from several trailheads, including one through the AMR property, which is home to the Ausable Club.

Illness on Algonquin Peak

From…  Adirondack Almanack

On July 30, 2017 at 11:30 pm a group of four hikers on the summit of Algonquin Peak contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance. The group consisted of an 18 year old from Chalfont, PA; an 18-year old from South Hampton, PA; a 20 year-old from and a 18-year old both from Landsdale, PA. The DEC Forest Ranger spoke to the group by phone. Upon learning they were not lost, none were injured or distressed and they had lights and other gear the Forest Ranger directed to the correct trail and their campsite.

On July 31, at 6:03 am the same group contacted DEC Central Dispatch via Essex County 911 and reported that members of the party had spent the night off-trail near the summit of Algonquin. They were dehydrated and ill and did not know their location. Essex County 911 was unable to obtain precise coordinates of the cell phone at that time. A Forest Ranger, assisted by the Lake Colden Interior Outpost Caretaker and the Algonquin Summit Steward, immediately responded and began to search for the group. At 11:06 am, Essex County 911 was able to obtain a set of coordinates on the west slope of Algonquin Peak. The coordinates were provided to the searchers via DEC Ray Brook Dispatch.

Searchers located the group of hikers at 11:27 am. It was determined that one member of the group was in such distress he was unable to return to the campsite on his own. A State Police Aviation Unit helicopter with a Forest Ranger on board assigned to the nearby search on Gothics was redirected to the Algonquin Rescue. The helicopter picked up the young man from the summit of Algonquin and transported him to Adirondack Medical Center Lake Placid. Forest Rangers escorted the remaining members of the group back to campsite at Marcy Dam.


DEC warns that black bears have been active stealing food from campers, hikers, and rock climbers in two locations in the Dix Mountain Wilderness

Campers and hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears.

Campers are also advised to avoid cooking and eating after dark. Prepare and eat food away from the tent site.

If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away. Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291 to report encounters with bears.

Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters. If you do so please read the instructions carefully before setting out on the trail and be sure to follow the instructions if you use the spray.

Gill Brook

Bears have approached hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Pass, Mt. Colvin, Elk Pass, and Nippletop. These bears are approaching closely in an attempt to intimidate people into giving them food. DEC warns hikers and campers not to reward bears by dropping packs or otherwise providing them with food.

DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears. A bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag had been approaching numerous hikers and campers very closely and not backing down.

Another bear with one red ear tag has been a reported problem but has not behaved as aggressively has been encountered less frequently.

Chapel Pond

Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers in the area around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls.
Campers are hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister or out of sight in motor vehicles.

Rock climbers should rack up at their vehicle, leave all food in the vehicle, or carry any food with you as you climb. Do not leave packs on the ground for bears to destroy.

DEC has temporarily closed one of the campsites at the Chapel Pond Outlet while it attempts to capture the bears. Captured bears will be given unique colored ear tags, hazed, and released.

Starting July 10, Hunter Mountain Fire Tower will be closed on weekdays.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Division of Lands and Forests is starting a project to rehabilitate the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower before its 100th birthday.

This project will begin Monday, July 10, 2017, and should last about a month. The fire tower will be closed to public access during the week while construction is occuring.

The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower will still be open to public access on weekends.

The Catskill Center‘s Catskill Fire Tower Project manages five fire towers throughout the Catskill Park for public access and interpretation. These five fire towers are maintained with assistance from a dedicated group ofvolunteers and the NYS DEC. During the summer months, volunteers open up the tower cabins for visitors to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the region.

The five towers make for some of the best hiking destinations in the Catskills, offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the surrounding Catskill Park and mountains. They are well worth the time and effort it takes to hike to each tower.

Hiker Missing In High Peaks Wilderness


A large-scale search is underway today for a hiker who didn’t return from a daytrip up Gothics Mountain.

The search today includes 17 forest rangers, an assistant forest ranger, and a state police helicopter, according to state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman David Winchell.

DEC dispatch received notice of the missing hiker at 6:12 a.m. Monday. Two forest rangers immediately responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the entry point the hiker reportedly took to climb the mountain.

After the initial assessment by DEC two more forest rangers, an assistant forest ranger, and staff from AMR joined the search. A fourth forest ranger was on board a state police helicopter.

No sign of the hiker was found during the first day of searching.

At 4,736 feet, Gothics is the 10th highest mountain in the Adirondack Park. The mountain can be accessed from several trailheads, including one through the AMR property, which is home to the Ausable Club.

The DEC is currently not requesting assistance from the public in the ongoing search efforts.  Updates will be provided as the search efforts continue.

This incident comes on the heels of another busy weekend for Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks during which they conducted several other successful searches, and several rescues. These included a 13-year old boy who survived a 25-foot fall at Shelving Rock Falls on the East Side of Lake George; three rescues by helicopter, including an overnight rescue from Bushnell Falls; and a carry-out from near the top of Bald Mountain.