“Ok guys, according to the map, we’re hiking just 2 miles to the campsite. But trust me, it feels like 10.” And with that, we started what would be an epic backpacking trip to Horse Stable Mountain on the southern most edge of Harriman State Park. And despite the extreme effects of camping in a polar vortex, I don’t think I laughed as hard than I did with these happy campers. By the end, when our toes were feeling like they’d been smashed by angry leprechauns with hammers, all agreed that the map was mostly conceptual. That was not 2 miles.
Mini-Ocktoberfest Overnight Camping/Backpacking, Part Deux!
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UPDATED, NEW DATE! (OK, Clearly, this trip won't be in October, but what the heck, as long as we go out, we'll have fun!)
Whaaat?!? “Mini-Ocktoberfest”?!? That’s right campers, it’s the peak of fall colors and we’re doing our "2nd annual" overnight camping and backpacking trip, and so, instead of heading out to overpriced revelries in any of the dozen beer gardens through the big city, or driving upstate to drink with “conservative Republicans”, bring your favorite German beer and sausage and we’ll do it like German’s used to do it - sharing our beers, not charging for them - back before it got all commercialized! Word. (If you’re actually going to Germany for Ocktoberfest, you’re excused. Also, I don’t really know if Germans shared their beer back in the day.) If that’s not enough, on our hike back, we’ll not only be crossing some awesome waterfalls, you get to pass over the top of a mountain called Tom Jones. What more is there left to say, except, “Whoa-uh-oh-uh-oh-ohhh”?! (Warning: listening to Tom Jones will cause your brain to empty of everything else you know except Tom Jones lyrics.)
Some important notes about this trip: This is a strenuous, ADVANCED backpacking trip because of all the food and drinks we'll be carrying, in addition to our tents, sleeping bags, and other gear, across really challenging terrain and weather, so avoid overpacking (see my recommended packing list). Pro Tip: To keep your pack weight even lower, wear layers (preferably merino wool) and expect to be in the same clothes the whole weekend, including sleeping. If you need some packing advice, gear, or anything else you're not sure of, contact me.
Additionally, Be prepared to help “set up camp”. What does this mean? Our campsite is raw land: no structures, no showers, and it’ll get below freezing overnight. So, we’ll be collecting firewood, prepping food on rocks, and working to light our fire. (If you don’t know how to do any of these things, you're going to learn.) There are also no bathrooms, no port-a-potties, and no showers, and if this ain’t your thing, you may not have a good time. Then again, you’ll be warm and tipsy before you notice, so it might be the best camping adventure you’ve ever had!
If you’ve car camped, camped at lodges, or RV’d before, and want to step up your camping game (especially if you're thinking about an epic thruhike somewhere) this is a great trip to transition into doing some real camping a.k.a. backpacking. And there will be beer! We’ll be meeting at Penn Station at 8:45a on Saturday and heading back as soon as we get up on Sunday, returning back to Penn Station.