Sad I am to see winter disappear however new growth and new adventures await us after a mystical season frosty adventure! We have made some changes to improve our skill set to be taught to you as well as continuing to learn as well. We will talk about that a little later but let us talk about some things we should be doing in preparation for the warmer months ahead. While we daydream of skimming across a calm lake in the Adirondacks in our vessel of choice be it canoe or kayak, we do need to transition out our winter clothing and gear first.
All our clothing should be cleaned and repaired, holes stitched, buttons replaced, zippers waxed and they will be ready to go when the cold North winds blow once again! Make sure all that wonderful wool is put correctly and protected from the dreaded moth. We wouldn't want to put on our favorite shirt sweater or coat only to see a rather large hole to let the draft in I think. A tip for ya if you have to pack wool away I hate the smell of moth balls so I get ceder block cut offs at a mill or if you need I think they sell them and Moths hate them! Then again most insects avoid ceder and back in the day most of your closets were actually made of ceder.
Oil your leather, change laces in boots even if you don't think you need to. Inspect everything. Even on my traditional snowshoes I put a quick coat of Spar on the shoes and check to lacing and repair what needs it. If you have hot tent make sure it's been dried correctly especially if it is canvas, look your stove over clean the stove pipes, and the flue, you should also apply a coat or two of high heat paint to prevent rust.
If we remember to keep up on our gear that we have either worked very hard for to afford to be able to buy or we have taken the time to make it ourselves it will last us a very long time. Our gear is important and should be tended to whenever need be, it also strengthens skills not used on an everyday basis. These can include sewing, weaving, problem solving, creativity just to name some. Give your winter gear the once over it will take care of you next winter. Now start preparing for the warmth of the sun on your face as you paddle along or kick back with a line in the water!
We are pleased to announce that Snow Walker Outdoors is now a Certified Instructor for the American College of Surgeons "Stop the Bleed" Bleeding control class.
Today we live in a world where terrorism, the actions of unstable people, and the dangerous impulses of friends and relatives are very real and becoming increasingly more frequent.
Massive bleeding from any cause, but particularly from an active shooter or explosive event where a response is delayed can result in death. Similar to how the general public learns and performs CPR, the public must learn proper bleeding control techniques, including how to use their hands, dressings, and tourniquets. Victims can quickly die from uncontrolled bleeding, within five to 10 minutes. (courtesy of bleedingcontrol.org)
This class will be beneficial to everyone, injuries result from a variety of causes, including accidents or intentional harm, and in a wide variety of of locations, such as your home, workplace, public places and the wilderness.
Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death in trauma.
You can save a life by knowing how to save a life by knowing how to stop bleeding if someone including yourself is injured.
In this class you will be taught the A,B,C's of bleeding and how to address them.
Winter is here and I get quite a few questions about snow shoeing and how do I begin so I thought I would do a small write up. I hope this helps out some beginners. Let's take a look at a few things and not make it complicated after all we are just "walking" with tennis racquettes on our feet right? At first it may seem that snow shoeing may be hard even intimidating, choosing snow shoes, using poles, dressing correctly, where do I go? Don't get me wrong these things do come into play at certain times, but here's a few tips we can follow to make the experience easier and more enjoyable to the beginner.
'First time check the weather and dress for success- There is no reason for you to try a new skill in the worst possible conditions such as rain, sleet, or a blizzard that is simple enough, But what if it starts to thaw as well and you have over dressed and find yourself working harder because of slush all things to keep in mind. Follow the layering principle and while you're exerting yourself remove layers and be comfortably "cool" and while at rest add you insulation to snug and warm. Remember a waterproof shell can come in handy as a wind shell and sun glasses to protect you eyes from snow blindness.
Grab some Snowshoes- Don't go crazy here your first pair of snow shoes can be borrowed from a friend or family hand me downs, rentals, maybe they are pretty new from a friend they don't have to be perfect but try to make sure the are sized for you without being too large so that you spend more time getting up than moving forward. Snow shoes make you feet wider and most certainly longer we dont want them to be skis though. Your snow shoes are usually sized by adding your weight and the weight of your pack together this will give the basic size needed. It takes a little bit to get used to walking in them so another piece of gear that is helpful to your balance is adjustable hiking poles. The help you while moving along the trail help you brace and brake while descending, and assist you when getting back up from that fall.
Carry a Pack- It doesn't have to be a 50 liter summit Mt. Everest Pack, just make sure you have a few items we need while going out to enjoy a hike, Water we don't want to become dehydrated if you break trail you will use energy and you're bound to sweat even though you don't want to. High Caloric snacks these will help greatly in colder weather Summer sausage, cheese even bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter are always tasty. Fire starting kit for obvious reasons, maybe an extra pair of socks and mitts. If you are in a controlled area such as a park or a known property some of these things may or may not be needed. Use your head and don't get cocky kid!
Pick a trail and Let someone know - Ask around to folks you may have seen snow shoeing around where they go, or if you rented a pair ask them for good beginner trails. Hop on out to the nearest park go but above all wherever you decide on going "Let someone know where you are and when you're getting back!" Remember this is a new skill you always have the potential to experience that unforeseen mechanical injury. this always a good idea whether you're a novice or an experienced outdoorsman.
Learn Basic Movements- Educate yourself read a few articles there are many good books on the subject that explain them. Start with a flat level terrain as opposed to big mountains and hills. or the best way is to go along with our next tip a
Friend or someone experienced - this is the best way to get moving along the trails!
Lastly, snow shoeing will open a door to you exploring and further your hiking season.
Take the first step in that journey, have fun and "Walk the Woods"
Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region
Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.
Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.
Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions.
Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an unanticipated overnight stay.
Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace when recreating in the High Peaks Region. Protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks that awe and inspire.
Late Fall/Early Winter Conditions: Expect to encounter below freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and short days. Snow cover is found at all elevations varying between 1-3 inches in the lower elevations, may be deeper in higher elevations. Snow and snow showers are forecast but no significant accumulation is forecast at this time. Be prepared for conditions:
Avoid hypothermia, stay dry and warm.
Be prepared for cold and snow:
Waterproof outer layer
Wear layers of non-cotton clothing
Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing.
Hat and gloves or mittens.
Short Days: Carry a headlamp or flashlight on all hikes.
Be sure to have fresh batteries and carry extras.
Do not depend on your cell phone as a flashlight; the batteries will drain quickly and you will be unable to call for help.
Trail Conditions: Trails are covered with snow and ice at all elevations; fallen leaves are present in the lower elevations; and, mud and water may be encountered on trails along water and in low spots.
Wet, icy, and snow-covered leaves can be very slippery, use caution when walking on leaves – particularly on steep sections of trail.
Wear proper footwear including traction devices – especially on steep sections of trail and at water crossings where rocks may be covered with a layer of ice.
Due to recent high winds, expect to encounter blow down (fallen or hanging trees, limbs and branches) on trails.
Walk through mud and water – not around – to protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails.
Ice on Water: Ice has formed on small ponds, in the backwaters and pools of streams and rivers, and in the bays and along the shoreline of larger water bodies. Ice will not bear the weight of person at this time. Remember ice that holds snow still doesn’t hold the weight of a person.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, snow will be deeper, and ice will be present.
Wear a jacket or coat (outer shell) that blocks wind when on summits or other exposed locations.
Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing to wear on the summits.
Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
Hunting Season: The regular big game hunting season is open. Many small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are or will soon open.
Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails.
Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve.
Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.
Mr. Van Lean-to: A large tree has fallen on the lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail causing severe damage and rendering the lean-to unsafe and unusable. DEC is working with partners to evaluate the extent of the damage and the requirements and timing of repairs.
Phelps Trail: Several sections of the trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley contain extensive amount of blowdown (fallen trees, limbs, and branches). Please use caution when hiking in and around this area.
Elk Lake Trails: The two trails through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness and the Dix Mountain Wilderness, are closed to the public through the regular big game hunting season. The trails will reopen on Monday, December 4.
Cold Brook Trail: The Cold Brook Trail between Indian Pass and Lake Colden is no longer a designated trail and is not maintained. It has not been a designated trail since Tropical Storm Irene devastated the trail in 2011.
Bradley Pond Trail: A new section of this trail to Sanatanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings which had unusable bridges. The new trail section leaves the old trail just as the trail leaves the gravel road and crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge, and then joins the old trail a short distance later. The project was a combined effort of NOLS Alumni Service, Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Program, SCA High Peaks Backcountry Stewards, DEC High Peaks Trail Crew, Adirondack 46ers Volunteer Trail Crew, NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Moriah Shock Camp crews and DEC Lands & Forests staff.
Owls Head: The trail across private lands to the summit is closed to public access and use on weekends, but remains available for public use on weekdays. Please stay on the trail and avoid trespassing on private lands.
The most simple definition of Apothecary is one who prepares and sells drugs or compounds. For me I like to think of it more so as a collection of medicinal wild plants that I can myself use to treat my own common ailments without resorting to man made synthetics all the time.
Let's take a look at how we can start a small home apothecary for oneself to enjoy.
When we start to learn about wild edibles and medicinal plants or herbalism. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from having the knowledge to be able to create our own herbal remedies. You can make it as large or as small as you want based upon the needs of yourself and your family. I will give you a few easy steps to find the right space, choose correct containers, get organized, and keep track of what herbals have on hand. This will go a long way to keep things in your home apothecary in order!
Storing your herbs is for the most part very crucial to you. Herbs like food do have a shelf life the better care we take to store properly the longer the efficacy to them.
First keep them out of direct sunlight (this causes them to break down and "age" more quickly).
Next the dried herbs for tea and infusions must be stored and kept completely dry. Moisture is the kiss of death to most herbs. Make sure they're good and dry if you're harvesting and drying your own.
Third store loose herbs in air tight (preferably glass) containers like mason jars or amber glass bottles. Air oxidizes herbs over time, again making them break down more quickly becoming less effective.
Lastly LABEL YOUR JARS. Label the herb (common and botanical name if you know it), date you collected or packaged it, and where it came from.
Again Label your jars.
Now all you need to do is add some utensils and cookware for your preparations. Keep a log of your inventory as well as your recipes for treating those ailments and you are well on your way to creating and maintaining your own apothecary! Good Luck! and remember never pick, use or consume any plant you have not 100% Completely identified. When in doubt throw it out. Check with reputable herbal suppliers if you purchase your herbs. I assume no responsibility for you or others that misidentify or incorrectly use any substance or plants. Information offered on Snow Walker Outdoors & Guide Service, L.L.C. is for educational purposes only. Snow Walker Outdoors & Guide Service, L.L.C. makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.
Indian Cucumber or
(Medeola virginiana) is a perennial that
is in the Lily Family (Liliaceae)
Some of the distinctive features are whorls of leaves & Yellow flowers hanging down it can reach a height or 6"-2 feet tall.
The flowers are Yellow, small, hanging down. Usually there are only a few per plant. The leaves are simple (smooth-edged), in one or more whorls. While the stem remains weak and thin. Indian Cucumber grows in open woods and forest. It doesn't like a lot of light, but neither does it like to grow in deep shady woods.
When the plant is young, or when it lacks the energy to reproduce, it produces only one whorl of leaves. At this point in time, it is easily mistaken for starflower, although the latter’s leaves vary in size from less than an inch to almost three inches, and the leaf veins are not parallel to each other (it is not a lily).
Many people are most interested in this plant’s edibility. Historically, the native peoples of eastern North America dug the rhizomes* for food as well as medicine. The small white rhizomes, which measure only one to three inches in length, are reputed to have a cool, crisp, cucumber taste, and are good eaten raw or lightly cooked with other vegetables.
*Remember NEVER pick or consume ANY plant you have not identified 100% Correctly! When in doubt throw it out.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D. issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the New York City Metro and Long Island areas of New York State for today, May 18, 2017.
The pollutant of concern is: Ozone
The advisory will be in effect: 10 a.m. through 10 p.m.
DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern.
Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground level ozone a major component of photochemical smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.
People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.
Ozone levels generally decrease at night and can be minimized during daylight hours by curtailment of automobile travel and the use of public transportation where available.
New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy saving and pollution-reducing steps:
Air Quality Health Advisory regions consist of the following: Region 1 Long Island, which includes Suffolk and Nassau counties; and Region 2 New York City Metro, which includes New York City, Westchester and Rockland.
Current Conditions in the High Peaks Region
Compiled on January 19, 2017
Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region
Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.
Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly. Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions. Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an overnight stay.
Snow & Ice:
Trailhead and trails below 1,500 feet in elevation have little to no snow
Trailheads and trails between 1,500 feet and 2,200 feet have 1 to 6 inches of snow.
Ice is present at all trailheads and low elevation trails.
Snow depths range up to 5 feet or more on high elevation summits.
There are 37 inches (95 cm) of snow at the stake at the Lake Colden Caretaker’s Cabin (2,775 feet elevation).
National Weather Service NERFC Snow Information Page provides additional information on snow conditions.
Snowshoes or Skis: Snowshoes or skies are required in the High Peaks Wilderness – and strongly encouraged elsewhere – wherever snow depths exceed 8 inches. Snowshoes should be carried on all hikes in the area and used when conditions require or warrant. Forest Rangers are turning hikers back who don’t have snowshoes.
The use of snowshoes prevents "post-holing" (deep footprints in the snow), avoids injuries, and eases travel on snow-covered trails. Post-holing makes trails more difficult to use and more hazardous for others to use.
Crampons/foot spikes: Summits are thick with ice, crampons should be carried and worn when conditions warrant. Lower elevation trailheads and trails may be icy, use foot spikes and other tractions devices as warranted.
Ice on Water: Ice remains on high elevations ponds and lake, including Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake – avoid areas around the inlets and outlets. Lower elevation lakes and ponds may have water or slush layers under the snow and ice.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow will be deeper. Sight distance can be limited by clouds and snow, sometimes significantly. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
Winter Conditions: Be prepared for snow, ice, cold temperatures, and short days:
Wear water and wind resistant outer layers.
Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing.
Pack extra clothing including a fleece, wool or other non-cotton jacket or sweater.
Add or remove layers to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Wear a cold weather hat and gloves (or mittens).
Eat, drink, and rest often.
Carry snowshoes and foot spikes, and wear when warranted.
Always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries.
High Peaks Information Center: The High Peaks Information Center (aka the HPIC) at Adirondak Loj remains closed until February. Adirondack Mountain Club is operating out of a heated tent for snowshoe and microspike rentals and some retail merchandise. The flush toilet and shower facilities are not available, though there are porta-johns. Parking is still available.
Problems Caused by Thaw and Rain:
Many drainages are now free of snow.
Trail between Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden has little to no snow
River crossings south of Lake Colden have variable amounts of ice.
Ski Trails: Trails designated as Ski Trails can only be used by people wearing skis. Snowshoeing or walking on Ski Trails is prohibited.
South Meadow Lane – Good
Marcy Truck Trail - Good
VanHovenburg Trail (Adirondak Loj Trailhead to Algonquin Junction) – Poor
VanHovenburg Trail (Algonquin Junction to Marcy Dam) – Fair
VanHovenburg Trail (past Marcy Dam) – Good to Excellent
Ski Trails – Good to Excellent
Avalanche Pass – Good but with some obstacles exposed.
Corey’s Road: The town of Harrietstown does not plow the road beyond the bridge over Stony Creek. Plan accordingly. Do not park in the snowplow turnarounds.
Elk Lake Road: Elk Lake Road is closed to public motor vehicle access beyond the Clear Pond Gate until the end of the spring mud season. Park in the parking area at the Clear Pond Gate and hike, ski, or snowshoe two (2) miles to Elk Lake Trailhead.
South Meadow Lane: The lane is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of spring mud season. Vehicles may park at the barrier at the intersection with the Adirondak Loj Road but should not block the opening to ensure emergency vehicles may access the lane.
Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail: The trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid the trail. DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of trail in the near future.
Blueberry Hiking Trail: The first 1,500 feet of this trail in the Western High Peaks has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail approximately 0.3 mile east of the previous location (0.8 mile from the Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area and avoids hiking (and maintaining) more than 120 feet of bog bridging.
Blueberry Horse Trail: The trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation and is poorly marked. The trail is impassable to horses making it impossible to complete the Cold River Horse Trail Loop. DEC worked in the fall of 2016 to open up about 75% of the trail. During the spring of 2017 work will continue to open the trail back up.
Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in spring of 2016 and the remains were removed. Materials were flown to the site so a new bridge can be built in 2017.
Whiteface Landing Trail: The trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped on the downstream side of the bridge sites.
So the new year is here I hope everyone had a great Holiday season! Now i gonna hustle to finish this web site and start the business. Please bear with me as this takes time but I trying. New classes will be added when the logistics get ironed out!