Black Fly

Black Fly Bites

When to watch for black flies, how best to avoid them, how to repel them, and how to treat their super-itchy bites.

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sunrise

Best Camera Settings for Photographing Sunsets & Sunrises (40+ Tips)

Dawn and dusk: there’s no better time of day to shoot landscapes than when the sun is low on the horizon. Here’s everything you need to know to plan, prepare, and pull off the perfect sunrise photo shoot.

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Bobcat Coyote print comparison

Identify Bobcat vs Coyote Tracks: Key Differences Explained

One of the most exciting things to discover on a winter hike is a set of bobcat or coyote tracks in the snow — but which is which?

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two hikers in snowy forest

35 Best Tips for a Safe Winter Hike

These 35 tips for winter hiking will help keep you safe in the harshest conditions

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frozen trees on the summit of Wittenberg / winter hiking essentials

Winter Hiking Essentials

Winter hiking essentials — crucial gear and intel to hike safely this winter.

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catskill mountains in distance

How Windy is Too Windy To Hike?

I moved my hike from a windy Friday to a less windy (but much colder) Saturday. 80% of my online followers agreed with me. Here’s why.

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stop sign at night

It’s a Great Idea to Turn Around When…

Have you ever turned around on a hike for any reason? Hike safely. Always listen to your gut.

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winter day hike checklist, catskills PDF

Winter Gear Checklist

Download this helpful PDF with explanatory notes and a handy winter day-hike gear checklist.

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thumbnail for YouTube video

How to Plot Your Hiking Route with GaiaGPS

Watch as I plot a trailed route in the Catskills using GaiaGPS on my phone — after which, I plot a bushwhack route up Sleeping Lion and Halcott Mountain.

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Santanoni Peak in the distance

Top 6 Hiking Dangers

With some basic knowledge and gear, mountain hiking is rarely dangerous. However, without adequate prep, things can turn ugly quickly. 

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Ashokan Rail Trail wooden bench beside reservoir with mountain views

Hiking Safe 101

Yes, your planned hike is popular and even kids do it regularly — it still might kill you

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catskills vs Adirondacks hiking header graphic

Catskills vs Adirondacks: 9 Differences

For planning, prepping and execution, here are the 9 key differences between hiking the Catskills and Adirondacks high peaks.

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brand new hiking boot stuck deep in mud

Walk Through Mud

Here are three great reasons to always walk directly down the middle of every trail, and especially through any mud puddles or water you find on the trail.

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mountain peaks

It’s Official: Adirondacks 23% Harder Than Catskills

I thought it’d be cute to quantify exactly how much more difficult the Adirondacks are over the Catskills. Do we need this information? No. Does this information feel important? Yes.

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fresh shoes on feet, and sour shoes and socks to the side

10 Best Post-Hike Hacks

One of my favorite post-hike hacks is to have a clean pair of socks and shoes waiting for me back at the car. It’s so amazing. Here are ten fantastic ways to treat yourself after a big day.

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small library of hiking books

Best Hiking Books for Hikers

These are the best hiking books I’ve found to date. Many were instrumental in getting me started, and giving me the confidence to hike the wilderness solo.

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Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

On social media, I’m @TotalCatskills. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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