Allegany March 2022 Trip Report

One of John Muir’s best pieces of advice urges us all to, “break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” 

That’s what this past weekend was for our crew — and it couldn’t have been more refreshing.

Saturday morning started with a little rain but our attitudes were positive as we enjoyed our breakfast of yogurt parfaits and bagels and prepared for our hike.  We started our hike on the Beehunter Trail around 10 am.  As we wound through the forest, the bursts of green ferns and moss and new growth made it clear that spring is one hundred percent on its way.  The sun broke through the clouds just as we arrived at a beautiful stream and we were lucky enough to enjoy our trail lunches overlooking waterfalls, taking in the peaceful sounds, and generally feeling like we were somehow living in the perfect meditation app.  

A beer-tasting and slow-cooked corned beef and cabbage awaited us at our cottages, which was the perfect way to wind down. 

Sunday’s breakfast was Pat’s famous cast-iron dutch oven casserole, cooked over charcoal.  We kept it light and only used 36 eggs this time, as we had one last hike to check off our list.

We did the Red House Lake Loop on our way out of the park, making for a total of 13.1 miles hiked — which is the equivalent of a half-marathon and exceptionally good for the soul. The overwhelming consensus was we need more trips like this one on the calendar, so stay tuned for announcements about Adirondack adventures, kayaking trips, and more.

We’d love to have you join us.

Call for consignment gear + your FAQs, answered

Ready to give your gently used gear a second chance? Survival of the Gear wants to help you sell it — and it’s a simple, fair, and sustainable process for everyone. 

When you consign with us, several good things happen:

  1. Your gear gets to stay in action longer 
  2. You do a beautiful thing for the planet by cutting down consumption and giving existing things more use 
  3. Your fellow outdoors-people can buy the gear they need, for less 
  4. You get cash and/or store credit, which you can use to treat yourself to something new-to-you

We’ve answered a few of the most frequently asked questions below to help clear up any confusion. 

What is gear consignment?

We like to think of our consignment program as a mutually beneficial partnership between you and Survival of the Gear. We sell your used gear on your behalf and share the profits.

Our extremely knowledgeable team will assess your items to ensure they meet our standards, then determine a fair selling price and expertly market the gear to our incredibly relevant audience of outdoor enthusiasts. 

Once your item sells, we either write you a check or give you store credit, depending on your preference.

What kind of gear do you accept?

Survival of the Gear specializes in seasonal outdoor adventure gear, apparel, footwear, and accessories. Our focus is on the things you need to get outside and enjoy hiking, mountaineering, camping/backpacking, climbing, paddling, disc golf, and cycling.

When it comes to apparel, we prefer high-quality outdoor brands including (but not limited to) REI, Patagonia, Arcteryx, The North Face, Outdoor Research, MSR, Prana, Black Diamond, Keen and more. 

When we say “gently used” we mean that items must be clean, operational, and in good condition. If you’re consigning a tent or a sleeping pad, rest assured it will be set up and tested before it’s listed. 

How does it work?

Selling your gear with us is super easy. Simply fill out this form and be as detailed as possible. We’ll get back to you with a response within 48 hours. If your item is accepted, we will include a consignment offer. Fill out the paperwork and return it to us, and we’ll work with you to get your item(s) listed and sold.

Once an item sells, we’ll mail you a check. 

Have a question that hasn’t been addressed here? Feel free to reach out at We’d love to work with you and get the gear you’re no longer using out of your basement or garage, and into the hands of someone new. 

Ready to sell? Get started at
Want to see what’s available? Check out 

unrecognizable person walking on stones near water

8 Adventurous Resolutions for 2022

With more people than ever spending time on trails, riding bikes, paddling kayaks, camping out, and really digging into the more adventurous side of life, outdoors-related New Year’s resolutions are more relevant and relatable than ever before.

Speaking of which, here are 8 great (and adventurous) New Year’s resolutions: 

unrecognizable person walking on stones near water

New Year Resolution #1: Do more of what energizes you.

If it is good for your soul, it’s worth pursuing. Especially this year. For some of us it means doing more solo hiking, for others, it’s traveling somewhere new for a big group adventure — or maybe even launching a new business doing what you’re most passionate about.

No matter what it is that ignites your spark, commit to more of it in 2022.

snowy forest

New Year Resolution #2: Make a bucket list. Or three.

Deciding where to go and what to do can be tough and it can also eat up valuable time that could be spent outside. Especially if you’re adventuring with others. To try to alleviate some of that indecision, I’ll be making a series of lists. The first will be a list of outdoor adventures I can do within a half-hour of my home, then a list of things within a three-hour drive, and finally a list of things that are under five hours away.

This way, on the rare occasion that I have an afternoon, a day, or a weekend free, I can simply pull up that list, get a plan together quickly, and go.

a cleanup community picking up recyclables in the forest

New Year Resolution #3: Bring a trash bag. Every time.

Over the past year, I found myself noticing trash on the trails I’ve hiked more times than I’d like to admit — and every single time I thought, “I should’ve packed a trash bag.”  Once, at the end of an out-and-back hike, I ran into a mother and daughter who were on their way in and were carrying a fair amount of garbage they’d picked up in their bare hands. They asked if I had a trash bag and I was really disappointed in myself when I had to tell them I didn’t. 

Keeping a trash bag (and maybe a rubber glove or two) in your pack is such a simple thing to do and it can help us all leave the places we explore better than we found them.

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

New Year Resolution #4: Give back in a more sustainable way.

There are so many ways for us to get (and stay) involved in the essential, often volunteer-based work that keeps our favorite parks, trails, rivers, lakes, forests, and other outdoor areas clean, accessible, and beautiful. And yet many of these organizations and efforts struggle to raise the funds and support they need to do the work required.

Personally, I’ll be holding myself accountable by making regular donations to the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, hosting a series of local community clean-up events (stay tuned to Survival of the Gear for dates and details), and volunteering the equivalent of a full workday doing trail maintenance.  

brown rocky mountain cliffs under the sky

New Year Resolution #5: Seek out new challenges.

One of the best things about living an adventurous life is that it can push you outside of your comfort zone. And personally, I want more of that. In 2021, I did my fair share of hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing — and I even managed to ice climb and summit a few mountains. It’s all been awesome and energizing for sure… but none of it has challenged me in a really  big way.

In this upcoming year, I want to make sure I push myself further, so I’ve committed to a difficult multi-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon that I’ll spend a good part of the year training for.

You certainly don’t need to sign up for anything that extreme. New challenges can be as simple as trying a new activity, reaching a new level, or acquiring a new skill.

black dslr camera mounted on black tripod

New Year Resolution #6: Become a better photographer.

Pictures really are worth a thousand words, especially when they’re photos of the outdoors. Plus, I’ve found that sharing amazing photos helps to spread the joy of adventure and inspire others to get outside. Personally, I plan to take more photos and maybe even take a photography class.

Share your adventures by tagging @survivalofthegear and/or using the hashtag #survivalofthegear when you post to Instagram and you could be featured on our account.

wood light dawn landscape

New Year Resolution #7: Invest in new/better gear, for comfort.

No one wants to feel rocks and the cold ground through their old worn-out sleeping pad or get rained on in a leaky tent and this could be the year you finally upgrade your gear. Whether it’s buying a warmer down jacket, trying out a new pack that’s easier on your shoulders, or finally getting a car-top carrier so your kids aren’t always covered in camping gear in the backseat — I highly recommend prioritizing your comfort and wellbeing.

Being comfortable really does go a long way when it comes to outdoor adventures, and having the right equipment is everything.

Make sure to keep an eye on our Survival of the Gear page for gently used gear and get in touch if there’s anything you’d like us to help you sell or anything you’re looking for.  We’re always happy to help fellow enthusiasts find the right stuff.

New Year Resolution #8: Spread the love (of the outdoors)

One of the main reasons I started Survival of the Gear is because I really enjoy sharing my love of adventure and outdoor activities with others. This past year I began teaching classes at the Rochester Brainery, organized outdoor activity events like full moon hikes and snowshoes, and ran three sessions of the Couch to Summit program  to build new hikers’ confidence and help them train to climb their first mountain.

In 2022, I want to do more, and reach more people. And I want to inspire you to do it too.

If you have a friend who doesn’t seem to get out of the house much or seems down, I challenge you to take them on your favorite hike. Sometimes fresh air really is the best medicine and the physical and mental health benefits are endless. 

No matter what your resolutions are, I hope 2022 brings a happy and healthy fresh start. Happy New Years! 

worms eyeview of green trees

Rochester Local Gifts for the Outdoor Lover

If there was ever a year to support small businesses and shop locally, this is the year. Maybe you have some outdoor enthusiasts on your list, or you’re maybe you’re looking to treat yourself — either way, this list should provide some inspiration and great Rochester-made gift options for people at all levels of outdoor experience.

Perfect Granola

Image from Perfect Granola Facebook Page

Founded in 2016, this local business creates a wide variety of delicious granola and granola bars, including coconut cranberry, maple pecan, and cherry vanilla walnut. And it’s impossible not to feel good supporting them when 5% of all profits are donated to Rochester area outreach centers, food banks, and organizations supporting people experiencing homelessness 

Our recommendation: Grab (or gift) a 5 pack of the granola bars.  They make a great snack on any hike or adventure. And could be the perfect stocking stuffer too. 

Smoke Shack Snacks

Image from Smoke Shack Jerky Facebook page

Located on Exchange St in Rochester, Smoke Shack offers an array of interesting, non-traditional, highly-portable snack options including wood-smoked meats and jerkies, smoked nuts, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds.  The founder launched the brand as a better, healthier, all-natural alternative to traditional store-bought jerky, with no nitrates. The flavor profiles they create are inspired by Asian, African, Indian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern foods and spices and there are tons of gluten-free options available.

Our recommendation: Fumanchew Snack Sticks and SmokeStachios are easy to pack and incredibly tasty on the trail. 

Fuego Coffee Roasters

Image from Fuego Coffee Roasters Facebook page

Few things pair better with the great outdoors than a great cup of coffee and Fuego offers one of the best. Even better, they take pride in how they approach every step of the coffee process–working closely with farmers all over the world, selecting the best beans, expertly roasting and profiling, and using the right hand-brewing techniques to produce a truly phenomenal cup. They focus on regions including Costa Rica, Brazil, and Kenya and even operate a cafe in Guatemala where 100% of profit earned is rolled right into not-for-profit programs run by Story International.

Our recommendation: You can’t go wrong with the holiday bundle which includes a ceramic campfire mug that’d be great for use around an actual campfire – along with a 12 oz bag of freshly-roasted coffee beans.  Oh, and make sure you grab yourself a coffee or espresso drink to go when you stop in. 

Keith Walters Photography

Image from Keith Walters Photography Facebook page

Letchworth at night, waterfalls, and trees are just a few of the breathtaking subjects Keith Walters Photography so expertly captures. Based out of Geneseo, Keith has his own style that incorporates two of his favorite types of photography – landscape and photojournalism… and we can’t get enough. You can browse in his online shop or if you’d rather experience the art IRL, he co-owns and operates The Gallery in the Valley, right on Main Street in Geneseo where you can pick up prints, greeting cards, wall art, keepsakes and more from Keith — and their amazing visiting artists, which change each month

Our recommendation: Grab (or gift) Keith’s 2022 wall calendar for monthly nature photographs that are sure to inspire your/their next adventure.

Cummings Nature Preserve (part of the Rochester Museum and Science Center)

Walk among the trees and explore this vast 900-acre preserve featuring more than 15 miles of trails, all tucked between Canandaigua and Honeoye Lakes — just an hour South of Rochester. You can explore (and learn about) our unique Finger Lakes landscape and culture all year long in diverse habitats including an active beaver pond, an iconic 90-year old red pine stand, and rare hemlock bogs. In winter there’s cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and rentals are available.

Our recommendation: Pick up a Pines Pass membership (for your own family or someone elses’) and feel good about it, knowing it supports the nature center’s awesome environmental education programming.

It’s a steal at just $65, considering it gets you free admission for your whole family for a year, 4 guest passes, 20% off ski and snowshoe rentals, quarterly members-only hikes led by the nature center’s director, and more. 

BayCreek Paddling Center

From BayCreek Paddling Center Facebook page

Located on Irondequoit Bay, BayCreek Paddling Center offers a wide variety of water-based equipment and activities.  Kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes abound the property.  Governed by the mantra “Have Fun. Help Others Have Fun. Spread The Joy!”, BayCreek has become a one stop paddling shop.

Our recommendation: Gift a certificate for the “Secret Wilderness” Guided Nature Tour. Float through time and history, as you’re led through this fascinating area, covering territory in the Irondequoit Creek wetlands, Ellison Park, and the southern tip of the Bay.

Rochester Brainery

Founded in 2013, Rochester Brainery is a community classroom and event space located in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts.  Local teachers, artisans, and hobbyists share their expertise in a variety of subjects from arts and crafts to food and tours.  

Our recommendation: Give a gift card and register for The Ten Essentials For Hiking & Camping class on January 25, together (disclaimer: this class is offered by Survival of the Fitness so we may be a tad bit biased)

Reconnect Rochester

From Reconnect Rochester Facebook page

Reconnect Rochester is a fantastic local non-profit organization working to build a more sustainable transportation network for the greater Rochester community. It’s made up of ordinary citizens (many of them avid cyclists) who believe that together, we can make it easy for everyone — regardless of physical or economic ability — to get around. Their Complete Streets Makeover (CSM) program creates safer streets that can be better shared by pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and motorists and they help to produce Rochester Street Films, a film series that aims to facilitate community conversation about important topics such as Rochester’s transportation systems, cycling infrastructure, pedestrian life, equity issues, urban sprawl, and more.

Our recommendation: Grab and gift the Bike ROC tee, the I Bike Rochester shirt, or any of the other great items in their online shop

In the spirit of being good to each other and the planet, we hope that even if you didn’t find the perfect present on this list, you’ll consider how and what you give this holiday season. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a store, try passing on a piece of your favorite gear, sharing knowledge, making a donation to a good cause, or simply getting outside with a friend or loved one to share in the joy of exploring somewhere new.

Happy Holidays!  

Park Profile: Black Creek Park

3835 Union Street, North Chili, New York 14514.
Park Map | Trail Map

A 1,505 Acre Park Featuring:

  • Biking
  • Birdwatching
  • Cross-Country Skiing (non-groomed)
  • Fishing
  • Geo-caching (approximately 24 caches)
  • Hiking/Running Trails
  • Horseback Riding
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Lodges/Shelter for Rent
  • Playground
  • Sledding
  • Soccer
  • Access to creek and pond
  • Bathrooms available for general use


The Ridge Trail is a 1.4 (one-way) mile walk over gently rolling terrain filled with honeysuckle, autumn olive, and many other beautiful shrubs. While on the trail look for the trees from Green’s Nursery, which was in existence 100 years ago.

The Creek Trail is a 3.1 (one-way) mile walk that passes alongside a beautiful little pond, which is the seasonal home to many geese and ducks. This trail also takes you through fields of honeysuckle, dogwood, and many other types of greenery.

The Hickory Trail is a 1.4-mile walk over flat terrain which is full of multi-flora rose and dogwood shrubs. Many different birds can be seen in this area. The trail ends in Maple and Hickory woods which has an impressive collection of shagbark hickory trees.

The Bluebird Trail is a 1.2-mile walk that winds among honeysuckle, hawthorn, and dogwood shrubs. This walk is good for bird watchers all year round.

The Wetland Trail is a 2.1 (one-way) mile walk that is dotted with wildflowers that attract butterflies. This trail also has many unique plants and trees that change with the seasons.

Get this Gear: Sawyer Mini Water Filter

Remember when the iPhone was first released?  Almost immediately your Blackberry or flip phone became painfully obsolete.  The award-winning Sawyer Mini Water Filter is like an iPhone and your current water filter is like that flip phone your grampa uses.


At $21.17 at Amazon, the Sawyer Mini Water Filter is one of the most inexpensive filtering options.  In addition, with proper maintenance, the filter is rated up to 100,000 gallons or $.0002 per gallon!


Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.


The Sawyer Mini weighs in at 2oz and fits in the palm of your hand.  There is no reason to not throw this in your pack.


The Sawyer Mini Water Filter can be used to filter water in 4 different ways.

  1. Filtered into your water bottle
  2. Drink out of a container using the included straw
  3. Screw the filter onto a water or soda bottle with a standard screw top
  4. Attach inline to a hydration pack


To prolong the life and effectiveness of the Sawyer Mini Water Filter, it is recommended to backwash the filter after each outing.  Backwashing is simply the forcing of clean water the opposite direction through the filter.  A water syringe is included and should backwashing should be repeated until the water coming through the filter in reverse is clean and clear.

Sawyer recommends cleaning and backfilling the filter with a solution of 1 liter clean water and 1 cap full of bleach before storage.


  • Sawyer Mini water filter with tip cap
  • 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch
  • 7-inch drinking straw
  • Cleaning plunger (syringe)


Sawyer Products Squeezable Pouch for Sawyer Point One and Mini Squeeze Water Filters – 3 Additional 16oz squeezable water pouches

Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack 2 Liter – A larger squeezable pouch that fits perfectly into the Sawyer Mini threads.


Sawyer Mini has a big brother called the Sawyer Squeeze.

selective focus photo of red hiking backpack on green grass

Why Survival of the Gear?

Being outdoors brings out the best in me — and it always has. From the time I was very young, it’s been the same: if it’s outside, you can count me in and count on me being interested and invested.

When I was a kid, it was climbing trees, exploring, and starting my own “state park” on my parents’ property. In college, my interests gravitated toward mountaineering, hiking, kayaking, and cycling.  As my outdoor pursuits expanded and evolved, so did my education and experience in adventure sports.  

And then life happened. I had a daughter. My responsibilities became more demanding. Before I knew it, mountain summits and backcountry magic were replaced with takeout, TV, bedtime routines, and boredom. Many aspects of my life —child, job, family— were incredibly rewarding, but there was definitely something missing. And I couldn’t ignore it. I also couldn’t ignore the fact that as the amount of time I dedicated to adventure had decreased, my physical fitness had also suffered. 

Now that my little girl is getting older, I’ve been able to rekindle my love for adventure — both with and without her. 

I’ve realized that the benefits of living an adventurous life extend far beyond my own personal physical fitness. Rekindling my love of the outdoors has helped me better manage stress, improve my focus, reconnect with friends, meet new people, expand my awareness of the world around me, and become a better leader.   

The only thing that makes me happier than being outside, is sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. I started helping my friends and family plan adventures tailored to their interests and experience levels and it was so rewarding I wanted to keep doing it and make it my life’s work. So, whether you’re looking to have post-hike craft beers at a local brewery, go cabin camping in Letchworth, or climb your first or 46th high peak — I want to help you create an experience you won’t forget.

Regular Outdoor Activities: 

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Kayaking
  • Ice climbing
  • Geocaching
  • Disc golf
  • Cycling 

More Notable Outdoor Accomplishments: 

  • Mt Rainier (2015)
  • Mt Mitchell (2008)
  • Numerous Adirondack mountains / aspiring 46er

Make a Basic First Aid Kit

Carrying a basic first aid kit when engaging in outdoor adventures is important.  Learning how to effectively use each item in your first aid kit is key.

Uses for Basic First Aid Kit: Hiking, Biking, Paddling, Camping, Car Travel and College Students.

2×2 Gauze Pads & 4×4 Gauze Pads: Sterile gauze pads are a must-have for every first-aid kit due to their incredible absorption capabilities, plus they are chemical free. Generally used for minor scrapes, cuts and burns, sterile gauze pads are good for allowing just enough room for the wound to breathe without leaving too much space for air exposure – which can prompt wound infection.

Assorted Bandaids: Adhesive bandages are probably the most used component of most first aid kit. Use these small bandages to cover small lacerations and abrasions.  Be sure to change adhesive bandages at least once a day, and always clean the wound before you apply an adhesive bandage.

Triple Antibiotic Cream: Whether it’s a gash caused by shattered glass or a simple paper cut, antibiotic ointment is an ideal addition to your first aid kit. Air exposure is always an issue for fresh scrapes, and applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment in addition to covering with a dressing will vastly reduce the chances of wound infection occurring.

Rubber Gloves: Exam gloves provide clean fingers for the victim’s benefit and provide a barrier for the rescuer’s benefit.

Tampon: Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).  An sterile, ultra-absorbent item that can be used as an improvised wound dressing or to stop a nose bleed.

Self-Adhesive Bandage Roll: Sometimes simply covering a wound with a bandage just won’t do the trick. Adhesive tape is important because it can help wound dressings remain securely fit surrounding the injury. Adhesive tape is also essential for helping apply the necessary pressure a covering needs to collect excess fluid from the wound.

Alcohol Swabs:  Used to clean the infected or wounded area before antibiotic ointment or bandages are placed on the area. Alcohol swabs may also be used in conjunction with anesthetic swabs and can be used to sterilize tweezers if needed.

Adhesive Remover Pads:  Used to clean and remove the sticky residue left from a bandaid or adhesive bandage.

5 Rochester-Area Hiking & Ice Cream Shop Pairings to Explore this Weekend

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a local hike followed by a celebratory ice cream cone.  Pair the suggested (or another) hiking trail with a scoop of your favorite from the nearby shop.


Photo by Pittsford Farms Dairy Bakery via Facebook


Powder Mill Park (Park Map)
154 Park Rd, Pittsford, NY 14534

Powder Mills Creek Trail
Powder Mills Creek Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Fairport, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Pittsford Dairy
44 N Main St, Pittsford, NY 14534

Photo by Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream via Facebook


Highland Park (Park Map)
180 Reservoir Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

Highland Reservoir Loop Trail
Highland Reservoir Loop Trail is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream & Chocolates
672 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

Photo by Netsins Ice Cream via Facebook


Lucien Morin Park (Park Map)
1135 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609

Old Rifle Range Trail
Old Rifle Range Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Netsins Ice Cream
290 Culver Pkwy, Irondequoit, NY 14609


Black Creek Park (Park Map)
3835 Union St, North Chili, NY 14514

Hardwood Swamp Trail
Hardwood Swamp Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near North Chili, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Sprinkles Ice Cream
3193 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY 14624

Photo by Allen21096 via


Dryer Road Park (Park Map)
7405 Dryer Rd, Victor, NY 14564

Dryer Road Park Trail
Dryer Road Park Trail is a 2.8 mile loop trail located near Victor, New York that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Papa Jack’s Ice Cream
265 W Main St, Victor, NY 14564