Usually, when I plan a backpacking trip, one of the first things I decide is the dates. There are good reasons for this. My trips must fit in with family commitments and, though I do not have an employer, my work projects. Backpacking can even require reservations (backcountry campsites in the Great Smoky Mountains and “huts” in the White Mountains, for example).
Fixed dates, though, have one big drawback – you are stuck with whatever the weather gods decide to serve up. On longer trips, weather risk cannot be avoided, but bad-weather days are also likely to be compensated by periods of fine weather. On shorter outings, the elements can set the tone for the whole adventure.
So, I am trying something new.
I have decided that my next backpack will be in Silver Lake Wilderness in the Adirondacks. I will hike up the Northville-Placid Trail for 16 miles and return by the same route. I’ll be out for three days. (A few years ago, my youngest and I hiked in nearby West Canada Lake Wilderness. The pictures in this post are from that trip.) I am making all my preparations as usual – studying maps and guides, getting the necessary gear together. But, this time, the goal is to be ready to go at the drop of a hat, whenever my diary is clear and the weather forecast is good. Everything will be packed and ready, except for items which really must be packed last-minute (perishable food mainly, and gear I will need for day-hikes in the meantime).
So, off to the Dacks in August, or September, or maybe October.