FAQ's

Is transportation included?

Yes! All trips Include transportation from/to New York City with convenient pickup locations near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Grand Central in Manhattan.

Are meals included?

Yes! We serve fresh, healthy, gourmet meals, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner depending on trip length.

We take great pride in serving food few people expect to see in the wilderness—cheese and sausage plates with hummus and fresh vegetables for lunch and gourmet dinners like beef stroganoff on overnights. And of course, our famous Mountain Mocha. 

We offer vegetarian and vegan options and we’re happy to accommodate any dietary and allergy needs

What’s not included?

Post adventure feast: if time permits on our way home, we usually stop for a post-adventure feast at a local restaurant. We go to great mid-range places where you can eat your fill for around $12-20 per person. Tip: if you’ve enjoyed yourself and we’ve exceeded your expectations gratuity for your guide is customary.

How fit do I need to be? How easy is easy?

Each of our adventures has a difficulty rating, described below. As wilderness specialists, we explore more rugged and remote terrain at DBA than other NYC based adventure guides. In other words, “easy” in the Catskills would likely be “moderate” on hikes closer to NYC. Our exceptionally well trained and experienced guides and assistant guides take pride in supporting each of our hikers, teaching energy saving techniques the pros use and pacing a group so that all may hike at their own pace.  

Gentle requires basic fitness—a gentle pace over landscape that isn’t too steep. Great for newbies or veterans who want to ease into the season. Distance is usually a maximum of 4 miles with elevation gain and loss of less than 500′.

Moderate days are longer than our Gentle adventures, though typically don't involve extended climbs. Expect your heart rate to elevate a bit on some inclines, but the majority of your day will at a reasonable pace on well-maintained trail or carriageway. Usually a maximum of 6 miles with no more than 1000′ elevation gained and lost.  

Challenging adventures will get your heart pumping at different points throughout the day. Here we're likely hiking on wilderness trail, which means navigating rocks and roots as well as steep sections of trail. Most Catskill peaks are Challenging and Strenuous. Expect a bit more mileage than Moderate, but significantly more elevation gain, up to 2,000' gained and lost. We’d advise a good night’s sleep prior.

    Wilderness Warrior is not for the faint hearted, but typically no specialized skills are required. We could be ascending quickly or bushwhacking off trail, and you can count on big miles and elevation —often where the hidden gems are! We strongly recommend a good night’s sleep prior!

      Please contact us for details if you’d like to understand fitness requirements in more depth and remember that conditions can shift any particular adventure up a challenge rating. 

      What time to your trip depart?

      We typically depart at 6:30 or 7am in Brooklyn and 7 or 7:30am in Manhattan depending on our destination. You'll receive an email with departure details the week of your adventure, including a weather forecast and other useful information.  

      What do I need to bring?

      A spirit of adventure and a smile! We’ll provide you with a detailed packing list, tailored to your adventure and expected conditions, before the trip. We’re available to answer questions and offer advice to ensure you have everything you need. Please note that you do not need to spend a ton of money on gear for our trips! We provide all the required group gear.

      Here are some general guidelines:

      Sample Packing List and Suggested Attire: Day Hike

      Pack:

      • 2, 1-liter water bottles
      • Rain gear
      • Headlamp
      • Sunglasses
      • Extra layer of clothes
      • Hat

      Wear:  

      • Comfortable, breathable clothes. Standard workout clothes are great for hiking
      • Footwear: Sturdy sneakers, trail runners, or hiking boots. We’ll let you know well in advance if conditions call for special footwear.

      Sample Packing List: Overnight

      Pack:

      • Backpack (45L minimum, with hip belt)
      • Sleeping bag
      • Sleeping pad
      • Mess kit (fork, spoon, bowl and cup)
      • 2, 1-liter water bottles
      • Headlamp
      • Sunglasses,
      • Clothes: extra layers, top and bottom, 3 pairs of socks

      Wear:  

      • Comfortable, breathable clothes. Standard workout clothes are great for hiking
      • Footwear: Sturdy sneakers, trail runners, or hiking boots. We’ll let you know well in advance if conditions call for special footwear.

      Missing something? We have partnerships with local gear shops and can help you get anything you need.   

      Who else will be on the adventure?  

      Many of our hikers find that our trips are a great way to meet other fun-loving people who are eager to try new things. We often think of people interested in hiking as a self-selecting group: typically good natured people with a curious mind.

      We keep our group size small, usually less than 10 and never more than 12, and each group is usually diverse in background and experience level, but united by a common love of wild places and new experiences. Whether you come in a group, pair, or solo, you’ll leave with new friends!

      What if the weather forecast is bad?

      From a double rainbow after a thunderstorm to the quiet beauty of a rain-stilled camp, we’ve had some of our greatest experiences in conditions others would call “bad!” Our experience and preparation means we have a better chance staying comfortable in more challenging conditions. Should a forecast call for conditions that are potentially dangerous or likely to compromise the quality of your adventure, we’ll notify you of cancellation at least 24hrs in advance and offer you full credit to use on a future adventure.

      Where do we camp in the mountains?

      The most scenic and comfortable spots! Often, a backcountry shelter known as a lean-to (think a cabin with 3 sides) We’ll also use tents, and if conditions permit, we’ll sleep right out under the stars!

      It’s my first time...

      Great! We love being there to share in the excitement of your first adventure! Our guides are experienced working with all skill levels and are particularly excited to create a positive experience for your first time—after all, we're doing what we love and want you to love it too! 

      Are your wilderness trips suitable for children?

      Yes! We love for kids to join our adventures, accompanied by an adult. Typically any trip rated Easy or Moderate is appropriate for children 12 and over. We’ve taken out adventurers as young as eight, though we ask that you contact us in advance to ensure an experience that will nurture a love of wild places. We also run Family Friendly Adventures every season, designed with younger adventurers in mind.

      What are the toilet arrangements in wilderness camping?

      When possible, we’ll take advantage of the backcountry composting latrines maintained by the DEC. Our camps are chosen so that there will be designated areas where we may answer nature’s call privately and responsibly.

      What wildlife might we see in the wilderness?

      The Catskills, Hudson Valley, and Adirondacks are home to rich, diverse wildlife. You can learn more about the wildlife throughout New York on the DEC website for animals and plants, but here are a few examples: 

      • white-tailed deer
      • beaver
      • fisher
      • white-footed mouse
      • porcupine
      • black bear
      • red-spotted newt
      • bald eagle
      • Great blue heron
      • loon

      Worries about the wildlife? We’re always excited to see some of New York’s wide diversity of animal life—but not in our camps. Fortunately, your guides are well practiced in Leave No Trace techniques of food storage and travel that minimize the chance of an unwanted encounter.