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Island Camping

Level Contributor
32 posts
7 reviews
Island Camping

Hey guys. This Friday night my boyfriend and I will be island camping (Duck Island woo hoo!) in the lower lake region. This is our first time island camping so I had a few (admittedly dumb) questions...

What are pests/rodents/bears like on the islands? St Regis sent me a checklist and it said something about hanging up food (and I realize it's a checklist for any campground) but I'm not sure if that's necessary on the island?

Is there a place in the Saranac Lake area I'd be able to buy a map of the islands or should I plan on printing/laminating my own?

What are other good tips for first timers? I've done backcountry camping and such before... but nothing that involves taking a canoe to a site. Pretty excited... except for...

Just how miserable is camping in the rain in late May? Hahaha. I planned this trip a few months ago forgetting just how different the weather is up in NY as opposed to Philly. Whoops!

hudson valley
Level Contributor
3,190 posts
1. Re: Island Camping

Not familiar with that spot, but the most likely pests on islands will be porcupines, raccoons, and mice. On some islands I'd figure the chance of a bear is extremely low, but it only takes 500' of swimming to get to Duck Island, and a bear can easily do that. Probably still unlikely, but hanging a bear bag is a good preventative measure. FWIW, on one of my first hikes in the ADK I met half a dozen groups hiking out on Saturday because they'd all lost their food to a bear on Friday night.

Odds are you can find a map there. As a popular tourist area I'd expect that there are maps of the lakes, and if nothing else you might find an Adirondack Mountain Club hiking map. Sounds like you may be renting a canoe, so start there. If you want to print your own the NY DEC has a campground brochure with a map here: …ny.gov/docs/…saranaclakeisl2016.pdf

It should be obvious, but make sure that important stuff is waterproof for the paddle over. Capsizing may be unlikely if it's not rough, but a soggy sleeping bag will make for a miserable night. Similarly, hope for good weather but prepare for rain. If you stay dry camping in the rain isn't miserable. If it's warm enough I'm perfectly happy biking, hiking, or canoeing in the rain as long as it's not raining too hard. I'm also not opposed to going out wearing polypro thermal underwear and light shorts when it's a little cooler and rainy. Having a tarp to protect the picnic table (assuming there is one) will make things a bit nicer. Make sure to tilt it or run a line all the way under the middle so you don't just make a giant catch basin. Using 1" nylon lashing straps as anchors is a good idea to protect the trees.

2. Re: Island Camping

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