Trip Report: Adventures in the Adirondacks

Adirondacks girls' trip report

The idea for this trip with two dear, hometown friends (Kellie and Liz) and their daughters (Anna, Maura, and Sadie) came about the same week as May’s Georgian Bay kayak-camping outing. I had posted in Facebook asking if anyone had little girls that they would lend me for Wild Women Expeditions’ Women & Girls canoe trip in Killarney and both friends volunteered theirs.

Preparations

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We ultimately decided that Killarney was a bit too far from Ithaca, New York for a long weekend trip and set our sights on the Adirondacks. A little research led me to a New York Times’ article from 1990 written by a former Ithaca middle school science teacher who turned out to be the mother of a classmate. Small world! She sung the praises of Rollins Pond State Campground as a family-friendly way to enjoy the outdoors. More recent reviews on Trip Advisor concurred. I booked a lovely-looking end site online and we had our location set.

Between the three adults we determined we had enough camping gear to manage the six of us. The campground rented all the paddling gear we needed. Here’s what I packed:

Equipment

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  • MSR Whisperlight with windscreen, 1.5L fuel bottle with white gas, repair kit
  • Pot set with pot grip, frying pan, spatula, kitchen knife
  • Fair share mug, coffee mug, utensils
  • Camp suds, towel

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  • Tent, fly, poles, stakes, and footprint
  • -10 degree Celsius sleeping bag and fleece liner
  • Emergency tarp, siltarp and a Thermarest

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  • Camp pants, rain jacket and pants, fleece hoodie, hiking boots, KEEN sandals
  • Buff, wool hat, baseball cap, 1 pair of socks, underwear
  • Running capris, quick dry shorts, rash guard, short sleeve tech tee,
  • Cotton shorts and a tee for sleeping
  • Plus what I was wearing when I left (quick dry capris, short-sleeved tech tee, Merrill sandals)

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[su_plan name=”Safety”]

  • Neoprene socks and gloves (just in case the girls got chilly), sunglasses
  • PFD, whistle, multi-tool, pigtail, throwbag
  • Compass, DeLorme inReach personal locator, cell phone
  • Headlamp, waterproof matches, extra paracord
  • Expedition first aid kit, ourch kit

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  • See Day 1, pre-trip preparations
  • Starbucks VIA instant coffee
  • 3-1L Nalgenes, Pristine

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  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Deodorant, sunscreen
  • Toilet paper, trowel, hand sanitizer

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  • DSLR, Pelican Case, Gorillapod
  • Lenses, spare battery, and spare memory cards
  • Write-in-Rain notebook and pencil

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Daily Log

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The bulk of our pre-trip preparations were done over the late spring and early summer via e-mail and spreadsheets (it’s me – of course there was a spreadsheet!)

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Hooray, travel day finally arrived! After months of talking about it, we were really headed out on a camping trip!

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We scouted the spot to rent canoes on Sunday night and with Monday afternoon’s forecast looking a little iffy, decided to make an early-ish start.

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Huzzah! The girls slept soundly overnight and the adults didn’t fare too badly either. Perfect start to our ‘wild’ land-based adventures planned for the day.

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Surviving one’s first proper camping trip requires pancakes for breakfast and that’s just what we whipped up before getting on the road back to Ithaca.

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One of the aspects I enjoy of formal trips I’ve guided is the feedback either directly at the end of the adventure or the survey responses that come back. It gives me a chance to hear what worked well and what didn’t and gives me perspective – sometimes wildly varying – on what people took away with them from their experience.

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Published by Kate Ming-Sun

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

2 thoughts on “Trip Report: Adventures in the Adirondacks

  1. Great trip report! I enjoyed reading about how you gave the girls all the elements of outdoor adventure in a way that was safe and relatively comfortable. They will remember this trip for a lifetime. I’ve never been to the Adirondacks, so it was also nice to read about a campground in a different region. By the way – how did I miss the call to borrow kids? Next time you’re looking to share adventures with girls in the 10-12 year-old age range, let me know! I have a 10 year-old. 😉

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    1. Thanks, Gayle! I think it’s because I posted it on my personal Facebook page. And now we’re connected so you’ll see when I post something like that the next time. 😉 As it turns out it was good no one took me up on it – I ended up guiding that trip!

      The Adirondacks are beautiful. I can’t believe I didn’t spend more time there as a kid. I’m going to post something next week on the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. If you do head down to that part of the park on a family trip, it’s worth popping in for a few hours.

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