Cranberry Lake 50: A Journey of Resilience and Discovery

Exploring the Rugged Beauty of Cranberry Lake, NY
Expedition Dates: November 10-13, 2023

Day 1: The Beginning of a Remarkable Journey (Nov 10th)

From Rochester to Wilderness:

Our journey commenced with an air of anticipation as we left the urban landscapes of Rochester behind. The drive to Cranberry Lake was a transition from the hustle of city life to the serene embrace of nature. As we approached our destination around noon, the scenic beauty of the Adirondacks began to unfold, setting the stage for our adventure.

Into the Heart of Nature:

Upon arrival at Cranberry Lake, we staged our cars and eagerly began our hike. The trail, leading clockwise around the lake towards Hedgehog Pond, was a splendid introduction to the region’s natural splendor. The path meandered through a mosaic of dense forests and alongside the tranquil lake, offering us glimpses of the wilderness that lay ahead. The crisp air and the muffled sounds of our steps on the leaf-laden path created an almost meditative hiking experience.

Setting Camp in the Snow:

As the daylight began to wane, we found an ideal spot near Hedgehog Pond to set up camp. The process of pitching tents on the frozen ground was both challenging and exhilarating, as we worked together to create our home for the night. With our camp established, we gathered around to cook a warm, comforting meal of luxuriously-hot Mountain House beef stew and instant mashed potatoes. The simple pleasure of dining in the wilderness overlooking Hedgehog Pond, with the soft sounds of nature as our backdrop, was an experience in itself.

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Backpacking vs Hiking: Understanding the Differences and Choosing Your Adventure

When it comes to outdoor exploration, two terms often come to mind: backpacking and hiking. While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between backpacking vs hiking. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right adventure for your interests, abilities, and goals. Here’s a comprehensive guide to backpacking vs hiking, exploring what sets them apart and what they have in common.

What is Hiking?

Hiking refers to a recreational activity involving walking on trails or off-trail in natural environments. It can range from short, easy walks to more strenuous and challenging treks.

Key Features of Hiking:

  • Duration: Usually a day or less.
  • Equipment: Basic gear such as hiking boots, a daypack, water, snacks, and essential safety items.
  • Trail Type: Can vary from well-marked paths to rugged mountain trails.
  • Purpose: Often focused on exercise, nature appreciation, and relaxation.

What is Backpacking?

Backpacking is a multi-day hiking adventure where you carry all necessary supplies, including food, shelter, and clothing, in a backpack.

Key Features of Backpacking:

  • Duration: Typically spans several days to weeks.
  • Equipment: Requires more extensive gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, and food supplies.
  • Trail Type: Can include a mix of trails, terrains, and even off-trail navigation.
  • Purpose: Emphasizes self-reliance, exploration, and immersion in the wilderness.

Backpacking vs Hiking: The Differences

1. Duration

  • Hiking: Usually completed in a single day.
  • Backpacking: Extends over multiple days and nights.

2. Equipment and Preparation

  • Hiking: Requires minimal equipment and preparation.
  • Backpacking: Demands careful planning, packing, and knowledge of outdoor survival skills.

3. Physical Demands

  • Hiking: Can be tailored to various fitness levels.
  • Backpacking: Generally more physically demanding due to carrying heavier loads and longer distances.

4. Experience Level

  • Hiking: Suitable for beginners to experts.
  • Backpacking: Often requires more experience and knowledge of outdoor living.

Backpacking vs Hiking: The Similarities

  • Connection with Nature: Both offer opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Physical Exercise: Both provide excellent physical exercise and mental relaxation.
  • Trail Options: Both can be enjoyed on various trails, terrains, and environments.

Conclusion: Choosing Between Backpacking vs Hiking

The choice between backpacking vs hiking depends on your interests, time availability, physical fitness, and desire for adventure. If you’re looking for a shorter, more accessible experience, hiking may be the way to go. If you’re drawn to multi-day wilderness exploration and self-reliance, backpacking offers a deeper, more immersive experience.

Remember, whether you choose backpacking or hiking, proper preparation, awareness of safety guidelines, and respect for nature are essential. Both activities offer unique rewards and challenges, and exploring both can enrich your love for the outdoors.

Happy trails, and may your adventures in backpacking and hiking lead you to new discoveries and joys!

Unleash the Explorer Within: Adirondacks Backpacking Trails for the Ultimate Adventure

Adirondacks backpacking is more than just a hike; it’s an exploration of self and nature. The Adirondacks region, with its rugged mountains, dense forests, and sparkling lakes, offers a backpacking experience like no other. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a curious beginner, backpacking in the Adirondacks will leave you with memories to cherish. Here’s a guide to some of the best trails for Adirondacks backpacking.

1. Northville-Placid Trail: The Long Trek

  • Website: Northville-Placid Trail
  • Description: Spanning 133 miles, this trail is a dream for long-distance backpackers. Traverse through dense forests, cross rivers, and enjoy the solitude of Adirondacks backpacking.

2. High Peaks Wilderness: Reach New Heights

  • Website: High Peaks Wilderness
  • Description: Challenge yourself with the 46 High Peaks. From day hikes to multi-day expeditions, backpacking in the Adirondacks reaches new heights here.

3. Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: Nature’s Beauty

  • Website: Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
  • Description: With scenic lakes and gentle trails, this area offers a peaceful escape for those seeking a serene Adirondacks backpacking experience.

4. Great Range Traverse: For the Bold Explorer

  • Website: Great Range Traverse
  • Description: A challenging 21-mile trail that offers some of the best views and thrilling experiences in Adirondacks backpacking.

5. West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Unspoiled Wilderness

  • Website: West Canada Lakes Wilderness
  • Description: Explore remote lakes and untouched forests. Perfect for those seeking a true wilderness experience while backpacking in the Adirondacks.

6. Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Family Adventure

  • Website: Siamese Ponds Wilderness
  • Description: Gentle trails and beautiful ponds make this area great for family-friendly Adirondacks backpacking.

7. Seward Range: The Road Less Traveled

  • Website: Seward Range
  • Description: A challenging and less-traveled range that offers solitude and a unique experience of backpacking in the Adirondacks.

8. Jay Mountain Wilderness: Panoramic Views

  • Website: Jay Mountain Wilderness
  • Description: Known for its stunning panoramic views, this trail offers a rewarding Adirondacks backpacking experience for hikers of all levels.


Adirondacks backpacking is an adventure that calls to the explorer in all of us. With trails ranging from challenging peaks to gentle family hikes, backpacking in the Adirondacks offers something for every adventurer.

Embrace the wild, challenge yourself, and discover the beauty of the Adirondacks. Start planning your backpacking adventure!

Backpacking Overnight Oats: Your Ultimate Guide to Nutrient-Packed Adventure Fuel

Backpacking Overnight Oats: Your Ultimate Guide to Nutrient-Packed Adventure Fuel

When it comes to backpacking, having the right fuel for your journey is essential. That’s why “Backpacking overnight oats” have become a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. These nutrient-packed meals are not only delicious but also incredibly convenient for on-the-go adventurers. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about backpacking overnight oats and provide some tasty recipes to try on your next trip.

1. What Are Backpacking Overnight Oats?

Backpacking overnight oats are a combination of oats, liquid (such as milk or water), and various add-ins like fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are soaked overnight, allowing the oats to absorb the liquid and soften. This creates a creamy, satisfying meal that’s perfect for backpacking trips. Learn more about the basics of overnight oats and their health benefits.

2. Why Choose Overnight Oats for Backpacking?

  • Convenience: No cooking required! Just mix the ingredients and let them soak.
  • Nutrition: Packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
  • Versatility: Customize with your favorite ingredients.
  • Weight: Lightweight and easy to pack.

Check out this MSR guide to making overnight oats for outdoor adventures.

3. Top 5 Backpacking Overnight Oats Recipes

  1. Classic Berry Overnight Oats: A blend of oats, berries, chia seeds, and almond milk. Get the recipe.
  2. Tropical Paradise Oats: Featuring coconut, pineapple, and mango. Explore the tropical taste.
  3. Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Oats: With peanut butter, banana, and protein powder. Find the protein boost here.
  4. Apple Cinnamon Delight: A comforting blend of apples and cinnamon. Try this autumn-inspired recipe.
  5. Vegan Chocolate Dream Oats: A vegan-friendly chocolate indulgence. Indulge in the recipe here.

4. Tips for Preparing Backpacking Overnight Oats

  • Use Sealable Containers: Stasher bags or mason jars work great.
  • Choose Quick Oats: They absorb liquid faster.
  • Add Protein: Consider protein powder or Greek yogurt.
  • Include Healthy Fats: Such as nuts or chia seeds.

5. Where to Buy Pre-Made Backpacking Overnight Oats

If you prefer ready-made options, several brands offer pre-packaged backpacking overnight oats. Check out Backpacker’s Pantry or Mountain House for convenient options.


Backpacking overnight oats are a versatile and nutritious option for outdoor adventurers. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or just starting, give these recipes a try and enjoy the convenience and flavor of overnight oats on the trail.