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Old 09-15-2020, 09:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2020
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Theft at Indian Carry

There is another thread active regarding theft in the backcountry and it's heartening to hear that the problem seems to be rare in the Adirondacks.

In the front country, around parking lots and put-ins, alas, perhaps not so much.

A week ago today (9/8/20) a friend and I had all our camping gear stolen at Indian Carry on Upper Saranac Lake while doubling the carry from Stony Creek Ponds. We were paddling the Old Forge to Saranac Lake section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and had been having a grand trip to that point.

After camping Monday night at Stony Creek Ponds, we'd taken our dry bag packs over the carry first, and made the mistake of trusting that no one would be low enough to steal them. It was a Tuesday morning, after Labor Day, there was no one else around when we reached the lake and no cars at the put-in. We left our gear near the water, along the bank in the trees, where they were not in full view from the parking area but were visible to anyone going down to the dock at water's edge.

We went back to get our canoes and by the time we returned, roughly 40 minutes later, our gear was gone. Actually, the thieves kindly left one item, my PFD, which suggests to me that they are not paddlers. But who knows-- they stole my buddy's PFD, which was clipped to his pack.

The state trooper and DEC ranger who responded to the scene were very helpful and professional. We were able to give them a little info about a couple we saw walking down the carry road as we were heading back to Stony Creek Ponds, and whose car was parked along the highway pullout; they were seen driving down to the parking area by another paddler later while we retrieved our boats.

This theft was a huge bummer, not only because we lost all our gear but we had to cut the trip short by one night and two paddling days.

In hindsight, I see that we probably should have carried boats first and secured them with a cable lock, and never left our dry packs near a parking lot put-in. But I have never had anything stolen before while in the Adirondacks, and just never imagined something like this would occur.

NFTC paddlers who use these popular carries should be aware that thievery is possible and take precautions.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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'Sorry to hear about this. Just way too much of it going on. My wife and I have a small RV and usually stay at DEC campgrounds. In the past, we never worried but this year with all the theft reports we've heard, we lock the RV, vehicle and secure our kayaks (Swifts) at night and if we leave the campsite, even to go to the showers.
Life's short, hunt hard!
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:52 PM   #3
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Incidents like this are unfortunately too common this year. So sorry that you had to deal with this.

I'll be in this area, paddling Stony Creek Ponds and the Raquette River next week. I'll definitely be taking precautions.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:35 PM   #4
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I'm sorry that you had to endure such a miserable incident, Tbutler. For the loss itself, and for the way it makes us think about our fellow humans. Out in the woods and on the water, we want to think the whole world is benign, and then stuff like this happens.

There's a line in Paul Jamieson's book which goes something like "Unfortunately the days are gone when one could leave anything in the woods (except whiskey) and expect to find it again when one returns."
Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea, to the open arms of the sea. Lonely rivers sigh, "Wait for me, wait for me, I'll be coming home, wait for me!"
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:10 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear that, huge bummer. I routinely leave gear at campsites, remote lake trailheads/carries, and even at the same location that someone stole your gear. Thanks for sharing your experience, a useful reminder to the rest of us to be a bit more careful.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:11 AM   #6
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This sad tale is NOT in compliance with the intent of
"leave no trace." It's bad news and I saw plenty of people doing the most outrageous stuff this season, like smoking cigarettes and guzzling beer while floating on rafts, etc., etc..
"Days in the woods are days beyond time"--Paul Jamieson

Last edited by nutmeg creeker; 09-25-2020 at 10:13 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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I think I might drag a pack through poison ivy but first fill it with newspapers and stones and leave it behind.
I don't like thieves.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:52 AM   #8
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Just an idea Trail cams are not that expensive today so why not set one up nd cover it with some brush etc and then start posting photo's of the one taking it
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:54 PM   #9
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The theft thing is still bothering me, more than I thought it would. I'm wondering if I am alone in my sadness/anger/amazement state.

I headed out on a 4 nite solo last month. Before I leave the guy at the canoe shop references the theft issue. Says maybe call the ranger first. I go anyway. Drive all nite, push off at 5 am, paddle out and set up camp. Time to fish. But I didn't feel comfortable leaving my site. Tried three times - no good. Fished from shore. Boring. Thought more about it. Spent the nite, packed up and went home - plenty of stuff do do around the house.

At this point I am wondering if I was just too paranoid. There was nothing I would have left that couldn't be replaced. Nothing with sentimental value. Just the mere thought of people going through my stuff was enough to keep me close.

So shoot me a reality check. How is everyone handling this? I'm already concerned about next year. Like so many on here, the woods have been my sanctuary my entire life. I can deal with a lot of stuff, but this is too much.

Done venting, but still pissed.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:47 AM   #10
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I’ve camped where theft has occurred at a trailhead. Not while I was there, however. It’s only happened once (that I know of) in this area. I’m also a solo camper but as I get older I tend to camp with a friend now more then ever. That can solve part of the problem by one staying in camp while the other is out and about. The other thing I have always done from day one is to camp (legally) away from any trail, lean to, popular area, or trailhead. Thus making it difficult for any thief to get into and exit your camp. Where, your vehicle is parked, well that’s a crap shoot. Also, you can get to know the Forest Ranger for the area you are camping by calling him / her to inform them where you will be camping even if it’s less then the 3 nights required for the permit. That is a big deterrent in itself because he / she may just hike in to check on you, that has happened to me a couple times. This stuff has put my mind to ease so I can enjoy my precious time out there. I’ve had those darn Ravens raid my camp many times, I wish there was some way to solve that problem....
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:32 AM   #11
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Hang a trail cam. Hang a sign saying you have hung 2 trail cams....
Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau

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Old 10-29-2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chairrock View Post
Hang a trail cam. Hang a sign saying you have hung 2 trail cams....
and a sign that warns them you are Hep C positive.
"There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

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