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).

There is also a San Francisco Chapter of Blaze>>, see https://www.meetup.com/blazesf .

Upcoming events (4+)

Day Hike To Stokes State Forest

Needs a location

Ready for a nice hike in the early fall? Let's go for a day hike to Stokes State Forest and see the Buttermilk Falls again!

The hike will be up to 12-13 miles long with the total elevation gain of a about 1500 feet. This is a difficult hike because of the mileage hiked. Only physically fit individuals can participate, though no prior hiking experience is necessary. The number of participants is limited only by availability of carpool seats. (I'll open more spots as more drivers sign up, so go ahead and put yourself on the waiting list. If you are willing to rent a car, indicate so. If we need a car rental, I'll let you know. In that case the car rental cost gets split across all people who need carpooling from NYC.)

The plan is to leave New York City around 8 a.m. so that all of us can meet at Dunkin' Donuts in Lafayette, NJ (Route 15) by 9:15 a.m, see the exact address above on this page. Drivers should take I-80 West to Exit 34, then Route 15 North to the Dunkin' Donuts in Lafayette. From there we'll drive our cars to the park, rearrange them for a through hike, and start hiking.

Everyone should bring some lunch snack and at least two liters of water for the hike. We'll stop by for dinner on our way back home. We should be back to NYC around 7:30 p.m.

As to the gear, everyone should have good boots. Also bring layers of clothes since it may be cold, but we'll be warm while hiking. Prefer synthetic clothes, which dry quickly, since we'll sweat. Don't forget to bring a rain jacket in case we get a rain shower or strong winds.

I'll have a map, a compass, a first aid kit, and some other essential gear. If you have any question, please e-mail me. If you have a questions for everyone, post it. I will contact you on Thursday evening to organize carpooling.

Milos

Beginners Backpacking - ALL LEVELS WELCOME - Harriman State Park

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Do you want to move away from being just a day-hiker to a full on backpacker but don't want to go on your first trip solo, afraid of the dark, or just have not sure how to start?

Well this trip is just for you!

What you'll take away from this event:

  • How to pitch your tent
  • Sleeping Outdoors
  • Building a campfire
  • Hanging a bear bag
  • Hiking at night

Come join a great bunch of folks for an easy night out at Harriman State Park. You'll be surrounded by amazing people whose experience range from first timers all the way to overcooked, well-seasoned veterans :)

JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE! EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO JOIN.

We'll start the morning off by meeting at Lake Skananti around 10AM. A short meet and greet then off to a 3–4-mile hike, where we'll visit an abandoned mine before heading to camp.

We'll setup camp, look for firewood and get ready for a lovely evening around a warm fire. We'll all have dinner and beverages of your choice around the fire before relaxing the night away.

What you'll need to bring:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag atleast 32* rated
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Headlight
  • Water Filter
  • Phone Charger
  • Food for lunch, dinner and breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Extra socks and a warm layer.

There are alot of online resources that I highly recommend you checking before planning for this trip.

Recommend Gear List: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Vj6ZfWSJo1iXnx8UuhID0KN0zrZtmk3t_aCIChUbF4s/edit?usp=sharing
If you need help with picking out gear, please comment or DM me.

Weather:
Cool and Crisp at night. Expect temps to be dip down to 40 or less at night. Day time highs as low as 60s. Best method of clothing this time of year is LAYERS and LAYERS. You will be hot while hiking with your fully packed bag but once at camp and relaxing, you will start to feel chilly.

Transportation:
Nearest train stations are Sloatsburg or Tuxedo so driving / carpooling is highly encouraged. The sheet will be sent out closer to this start date.

Fall Overnight in the Catskills

Needs a location

Ready for fall colors backpacking trip? This time for an overnight to the Catskills! The fifth annual edition of this hike!

We'll hike about 24 miles in two days with the total elevation gain of about 5,000 feet. This hike is NOT suitable for beginners. It is a very difficult hike because of the mileage hiked, the elevation gain, and the fact that we'll be carrying heavy backpacks. The weather may be challenging, too. You have to be physically fit and have backpacked in the past. The number of participants is limited to 9 by the park rules and regulations and by availability of seats in our cars. (I'll add more spots as more drivers sign up, so go ahead and put yourself on the waiting list.)

We should leave New York City on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. so that all of us can meet at Phoenicia Diner by 10:00 a.m., see the exact address above on this page. Drivers should take I-87 North to Exit 19, then Route NY-28 to Phoenicia (total distance 120 miles). From there we'll drive our cars to the park, rearrange them for a through hike (nearly a loop), and start hiking. Saturday night we should spend on Terrace Mountain. On Sunday after the hike we'll stop for dinner in Phoenicia. We should be back to NYC around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Everyone needs to bring at minimum 1 gallon of water (there is no water at our campsite, but we'll have water the next morning after a steep 2-mile descent). You have to bring two lunch snacks, one dinner, and one breakfast meal.

As to the gear, everyone has to have good boots and layers of clothes (preferably non-cotton). Be prepared for rain and cold. (One year we had snow.) A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are a must. Tents and stoves can be shared.

Don't forget to bring cash - we'll share the cost of carpool, gas, tolls, and you'll need to pay cash for dinner on Sunday.

I'll have a map, a compass, a first aid kit, and some other essential gear. If you have a specific question, please e-mail me. If you have a questions for everyone, post it. I will contact you a few days before the hike to organize carpooling.

Milos

Halloween Weekend Campout - Night of the Costumed Freaks

Needs a location

Calling all Gaudy Ghouls, Camp-Hey Wizards and Dark or Stormy Mancakes: time to play dress up in the woods, Halloween style!

~~COSTUMES ARE MANDATORY~~

Come join a bunch of crazies for a fun filled trip in NJ. About 1 hour from Brooklyn/Queens or 50 mins from UWS. This is a car camping event, meaning we are never to far away from our cars or tents as well as access to full heated facilities within walking distance from camp.

Saturday is costume night! Possible prize contest for best and worst getup will be given out. After the prize we will head out for a short SPOOKY NIGHT HIKE in full costume.

Music will be playing till after dark, spooky funky lights strung around our large group campsite and a blazing central campfire where everyone will gather, enjoying whatever adult potion they desire.

There are no day hikes or other day activities planned beyond setting up and getting ready for a scary fun Saturday night ahead.

We have reserved a group camp site that can accommodate up to 25 people but depending on the response from here on Blaze and 2 other groups, we may book an adjacent site to accommodate up to 50 people.

More information about Cheesequake Park has to offer here, should you want to go for a hike before or after: https://nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/cheesequakestatepark.html

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Date: Saturday Afternoon, October 29th - Monday Morning, October 31th
Location: Cheesequake State Park, Matawan, NJ
Earliest Arrival: 3:00 pm October 29th
Latest Departure: 12:00 pm October 31st

Price is $10 per person which includes:

  • 2 nights of camping. Same price if you only stay one night (Saturday)
  • Firewood (bring more if you can, everyone will appreciate it!)
  • Ice for drinks
  • Use of a grill and cooking stove (gas and charcoal will be provided)
  • Food Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles, and Mayo)
  • Camp snacks (random nuts, chips, dip)

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner is not included. Please plan accordingly or bring your own to cook on site.

Transportation:
Carpooling is highly encouraged! Carpooling sheet will be sent out closer to event date.

NJ Transit Aberdeen-Matawan Train Station, which is about 4 miles from camp has regularly scheduled service from Penn Station. It maybe possible to get picked up and dropped off there. Please plan accordingly.

What you'll need:

  • COSTUME
  • Basic Car Camping Items:
  • Tent (Unless your sharing with someone)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Change of clothes
  • Chair / Blanket to sit on
  • Headlamp / Flashlight

Please do research or ask me ahead of time if you have questions about additional gear you may need.

Weather:
Expect and plan for chilly autumn evenings in 50s and afternoon highs of around 70s
RAIN OR SHINE. Only thing canceling this event is a hurricane.

Payment:
via PayPal or CashApp
Deadline Oct. 15th. No refunds after for cancellations after Oct. 15th
Everyone is waitlisted until payment is received. Once payment is arranged you will be moved to the "going" list

Sorry, No Pets, babies or young children.

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Past events (542)

Breakneck Ridge/Beacon Fire Tower/Sugarloaf Mountain

Needs a location

Photos (10,482)