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Charging phone & elevation gain

WayneGreenCannondale from WilmingtonNC on 4/19/2021 9:48:46 PM:
This is a great resource - thanks for setting it up. Are there places to plug in a phone charger at the lock campsites? indicates only 1 lock has showers - are there more places to shower or take a dip in the water? It indicates you can call into locks which aren't listed for camping and ask for permission to camp - does that actually work? What's the accumulated climbing, E>W, Albany>Buffalo? Google maps shows 2500 ft, 6500 ft, 8200 - 600=7600 ft. I'm trying to estimate how much my camping gear will slow me down. Is soft stone dust more of a drag than elevation changes?

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 4/20/2021 11:02:29 AM:
Most of what few lock campsites will not likely have power for you at least not legally. :) That’s not to say there’s no outlets in the lock areas but can you use them? Who knows? I would bring a good power bank or stick, that can be solar charged while you ride. You could try to power up at restaurants but with Covid you may not have have as many chances to do that. From what I understand you try and contact the lock and see if they’ll let you camp. Look back in these forums for this topic. Don’t sweat the elevation or climbing. It’s very subtle if anything. In fact it’s pretty flat except at the locks that you’ll need to go up but they are super short, maybe 8-10 feet. Just bomb up them and you’re done. Any camping gear will slow you down compared to a no gear ride but the stone dust is nice and compact and is a nice smooth ride. Just a fraction slower than asphalt. The only time is changes is when it’s rained and it might be a little soupy.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 4/20/2021 7:05:56 PM:
Here's and elevation profile of the Canal:

wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 4/21/2021 10:04:06 PM:
Hi Wayne! John W and I both post often of the forum here, so I thought I'd add onto his post. RE: elevation... Not really a concern. There are some short dips at Locks and in the eastern section when you go down and up through underpasses. One caught me by surprise (maybe around Colonie) that had quite a steep incline after an underpass! I jumped off and walked up. But really, not to worry, the Canalway is pretty level. Charging: Not sure of your plan, but touring/backpacking you generally are not near outlets. Solar panels with battery packs are great and recommended, and I can give you some recommendations if you want. It's surprisingly not too expensive. Lock operators most likely would let you charge your phone, and a halfway decent convenient store, gas stations or restaurant would most likely accommodate your need. It then just takes time. And... more than likely you will not be staying at Locks all that often. (BTW Lock E2 has (had) a live outlet on a closeby building and the telephone poll in the car back corner last year).I Lastly... showers. Overrated! I had disinfectant wipes with me and sponge bathed daily. I also took a deodorant bar and a small body spray. I never felt too grubby. I did kinda wash my hair if there was a water spicket or semi-washed in a public washroom. I'm sure you could bath in the Canal or even easier in the Mohawk River. I didn't but I'm sure you could. There are probably truck stops not too far off the pathway you could rent a shower... And, when hiking, I've used campground showers at campgrounds that I wasn't staying at -- some with permission. Calling Locks -- yeah it does, but Lock workers are all pretty cool. If you showed up without calling more than likely they'd be fine as long as it wasn't crowded. Ask away if you need more. We keep giving away free advise!!