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Old 09-15-2020, 09:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2
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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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hogtown
Posts: 1,167
'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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Posts: 446
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
John P
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 117
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
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 160
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
nutmeg creeker
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Haven Ct & North Creek
Posts: 419
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
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: SNY
Posts: 619
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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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tupper Lake
Posts: 853
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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