No Place I’d Rather Be: Wit and Wisdom from Adirondack Lean-tos

“Decided to sleep in lean-to, floor like C-ment. To those who come behind us, bring a mattress. – Griffin Rapids.”

There are benefits to winter camping in a lean-to.  Foremost, is that you don’t have to carry your shelter with you.  Lean-tos are spacious; although each lean-to can be different typically there is adequate room for 5 campers.  The lean-to provides a level, dry platform for changing clothes, setting up a stove, mixing food, or just plain sitting.  On the other hand, lean-to’s aren’t particularly warm in cold weather – even if you close off the open side with a tarp as we did. They are usually situated in high-use areas. They can house rodents and the sleeping arrangements can leave you lying wide awake between two prodigious snorers.

There are over 200 lean-tos in the Adirondacks and we have all read the lean-to registers.  Stuart Mesinger took several years and read hundreds of registers to compile his book; No Place I’d Rather Be: Wit and Wisdom from Adirondack Lean-tos.

Stuart received permission (and sponsorship) from the ADK to go through the register archives. Stuart flagged the interesting entries, had a High School student type them up and then organized the book into themes: love stories, tall tales, partying, complainers, weather, critters, bugs, food, the privy, the campfire, the long walk, adventures, culture clashes, hunting and fishing, companions, religion and solitude.

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