What we're about

Join us for nights under the stars, treks in the woods and NYC events to talk about your favorite gear and the next adventure.

BLAZE>> is a group for gay men in NYC that crave being outdoors and are passionate about backpacking and backcountry camping. New to backpacking? No worries, our members range from beginner trekkers with lots of enthusiasm to seasoned adventurers with years of experience to share. We are committed to challenging ourselves by trekking to isolated places of remarkable beauty, but our trips are as much about the journey as they are about being an über athlete.

If you are interested, you can shop for some BLAZE>> products at on-line store Zazzle (http://www.zazzle.com/blazenyc).

For our counterpart group on the west coast, visit BLAZE West>> (https://www.meetup.com/blazeca/).

Upcoming events (4)

8th Annual Fire Island Camping (weekend of July 17-19)

Fire Island Watch Hill

Fire Island is opening back up and I expect we will be able to use the campsite. As long as we keep our tents ~6-10 feet away from each other and maintain distance, I'm confident we can all have a healthy experience. But I recommend people only share tents with bfs/housemates/etc. If you live with someone over the age of 65, or with an illness that increases their risk with covid-19, please do not come. I'm increasing the price this year to $45 / person, because of the risk of drop-outs. IF YOU FEEL ILL, or test positive within days of the event, DO NOT COME. YOU WILL GET A FULL REFUND and we will open up your spot to someone on the waiting list. Any extra funds will be returned to those who attend. If you don't pay your share by Sunday, June 21, I will put you back on the waiting list and pick the next person in line. Please look out for an email with details and reach out to me (Glenn) with any questions. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please join us for the eighth annual Fire Island Blaze camping at Watch Hill. This centrally situated venue (http://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/upload/FIIS_Map2_5-2006.pdf) will give members a chance to enjoy a variety of activities, such as just lounging around soaking up the sun, doing some backcountry hiking (and possible backpacking), or indulging in the gay life of Fire Island at Cherry Hill and Pine Groove. The trip is limited to 30 people. Available spots will be preferentially assigned to Blaze members who have been on a Blaze overnight trip before, or have been among the most active members of our group. Dates: Plan to arrive Thursday, July 16, Friday or Saturday. We will be leaving Sunday afternoon. A logistics spreadsheet for carpooling and tents will be created. Where: Fire Island Watch Hill Camp Grounds: First and foremost, this is not back country camping. It is more like modified car camping. The Watch Hill Campgrounds are located in the Watch Hill Section of Fire Island about 1/4 mile from the ferry terminal. See the attached map (http://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/upload/FIIS_Map2_5-2006.pdf) of Fire Island. So basically whatever you can carry, drag, put in a cart, etc. for 1/4 mile is what you can bring. Mosquito bite prevention: Some people are bothered by mosquitoes at this site while others are not bothered at all. If you want to be among those who are not bothered by mosquitoes, one combination that works is a cocktail of Permethrin & Picaridin to apply to your clothes and tent and Deet (at least 30%) to apply to your skin. (Also, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) The campsites are only a one minute walk to the beach. The facilities include running water, grills, picnic tables, showers and bathrooms. We will be located minutes from the marina, visitor center & Food Truck. Friendly dogs are permitted at no extra charge. The Restaurant will not be open, due to last year's fire. For those interested in hiking (we are a backpacking group after all), the campsites sit at the entrance to Otis Pike Wilderness reserve,where you can explore miles of undeveloped beach, a natural barrier island ecosystem, salt marsh nature trails, back-country hiking, 40-foot high dunes with roaming deer, and many natural seaside artifacts all while savoring the solitude. It is one of the Nation's few federally designated oceanfront wilderness areas. Fire Island Pines & Cherry Grove: Also, for those interested in checking out the gayer side of the island (we are also a gay group after all), the two largest gay resort destinations in the NYC area are a short, enjoyable and fairly inexpensive water taxi ride away, or a long walk along the beach (3-4 miles). Getting There: The campground is accessible via the ferry from ferry terminal in Patchogue NY (this is not the same ferry that runs to Cherry Grove). The ferry is accessible by Long Island RR or by car. More on transportation as the time gets closer. http://www.davisparkferry.com

Devil's Path Backpacking Loop

Notch Inn Road

Three of us are backpacking the Devil's Path, and looking for one more person! These are some of the most difficult trails in the Catskills, with six peaks, and two days that have 4000' elevation gains. Here's the plan: Friday, meet in the morning at the end of Notch Inn Road and drop camping supplies there. Then drive individually to the Roaring Kill Trail in Elka Park. Hike without packs from there to Twin, Sugarloaf and Plateau (as pictured) and then down the Warner Creek Trail to Notch Inn Road. Camp, eat and sleep. (10 miles total, 0 with packs, 4200' gain, 4400' loss) Saturday, strike camp, and walk up the road to Devil's Tombstone. Hike with packs up towards Diamond Notch falls. Set up camp at the lean-to or nearby. Hike without packs on informal trails to SW Hunter and return. Hike without packs past the falls to West Kill and return to camp. Eat and sleep. (12 miles total, 4 with packs, 4200' gain, 3000' loss) Sunday, strike camp and hike with packs to Hunter. Continue to top of Hunter Mountain chairlift. (5 miles total, 5 with packs, 1000' gain, 800' loss) Sunday afternoon, take the chairlift down. Then walk on the road back to the car, or get a car or taxi or Uber back to Roaring Kill trailhead. (6 miles total, 6 with packs, 600' gain, 200' loss) If you're interested, sign up on the waiting list, let us know what similar hiking and backpacking you've done lately, and we'll get in touch with you.

Fifth Annual Adirondack High Peaks | 3-Nights | Meadowbrook Campground

Join us for some strenuous, exhilarating all-day hikes in the Adirondack High Peaks region (http://www.adirondack.net/tour/hike/highpeaks.cfm), public campground car/tent camping, campfires, Lake Placid souvenir shopping, Mirror Lake sunning+swimming, and BBQ+Music+Booze at Tail O’ the Pup BBQ (https://www.google.com/search?q=tail+o+the+pup+bbq&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=620&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwis9tLU-aHLAhXDJR4KHdxsBoYQ_AUICCgD) (just a 3 minute walk from your bed each night). Meadowbrook Campground (http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/meadowbrook-public-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NY&parkId=618) between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, NY. Transportation: 4.5 hour drive from Manhattan. Will require volunteer drivers + cars. Details to be sorted nearer departure date. Meals: Fend for yourself. We’ll provide a camp stove for morning coffee but dinners will be at the BBQ joint or local diners in the area. Cars will have coolers for perishables. Hikes: These hikes are strenuous and challenging for even the most seasoned hiker and you’ll reach the Arctic-Alpine Zone at the top of some peaks where there is little protection from the weather and it can change unpredictably. You must have good boots, hiking poles are recommended, rain gear and headlamps a must. 2.5 liters of water will get you in/out of an all-day hike in the region but be prepared to walk all day and to curse the sight of another rock on the trail by day’s end. That said, these trails are very well marked/maintained (no map required) and no equipment is needed to walk/climb them. Tents: The campground allows 2 tents and 6 persons per campsite which means we need to share tents accordingly. Cost: $50 each - covers campsite rental, tolls, ice, firewood. Must pay via Venmo, Paypal, Cash App or Google Wallet. No refunds even if you cancel. All will be waitlisted until nearer the departure date.

Shingle Gully Ice Caves and more

41.713473, -74.382727

Explore the Shingle Gully Ice Caves, Grand Canyon of Ellenville and Flume Canyon where ice persists into summer in deep crevice caves. These caves are in a backcountry area in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. This rugged, protected landscape is accessible only on guided tours led by volunteer docents. This all-day, strenuous adventure ascends and descends 1,500 feet, includes off-trail bushwhacking and steep rock scrambles, and is only appropriate for experienced hikers. Here is the list of mandatory items you should have. You can take more if you want - it's up to you. Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes. Please do not neglect the importance of reliable footwear. Hiking clothing. I advise to use long pants and long sleeve shirts. Gloves. Warm Jacket. It is cold inside the caves. Hat. Rain Protection. Headlight. Sun protection - SPF cream or else. Bug Repellant. This is also important assuming ticks are active and carry deseases. I advise repellants containing DEET and/or Permethrin. Lunch - sandwich or else. Water - 2 liters (1/2 gallon) minimum. Shingle Gully is a restricted area. Admittance is allowed only with Docent Guides and regulated. This event is scheduled with the park. Due to high demand all attendees will be on waiting list until September, then moved to 'Attending' after confirmation. Priority is to active members without no-shows history.

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