Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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adamschneider
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by adamschneider » November 27th, 2019, 12:18 pm

Bosterson wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 11:51 am
adamschneider wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 11:47 am
Got a GPS? Got a cell phone map and compass to function as a backup
Fixed it for ya. ;)
Cell phones ARE maps/compasses. (But bring an extra battery.)

Aimless
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by Aimless » November 27th, 2019, 12:29 pm

elijaHayes wrote:
November 26th, 2019, 10:42 pm
I'm confident in my ability to navigate and I own bear spray and a first aid kit, but I'm wondering if there's any reason to not hike cross country in the forest or if there's anything to be aware of if you do.
I do not know nearly enough about you to be a good judge of your abilities or experience, but this sentence does not inspire me with boundless confidence. Rather than try to identify everything you should be aware of during an off-trail hike I'll try to sum it up as simply as I can. Be aware of where you are, where you were, where you are going, what is around you, the hazards you can see, the hazards that may not yet be visible, and your plan to deal with all this and return safely.

Since this is a lot to be aware of, the easiest way to do it is to start out with very small goals and short hikes at a slow pace, and use these situations to help you discover the most important lesson of all: finding out what you didn't know you needed to learn. Don't worry that starting out slow with simple goals won't be fun enough. Just walking into the woods will transform your day into an adventure. :D

pcg
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by pcg » November 27th, 2019, 10:22 pm

elijaHayes wrote:
November 26th, 2019, 10:42 pm
I'm wondering if there's any reason to not hike cross country in the forest
Brush alder, downed trees, devils club, hornets, and those damned trip sticks you can't see because, well, you're off trail and you can't see your feet.

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adamschneider
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by adamschneider » November 28th, 2019, 9:45 am

pcg wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 10:22 pm
elijaHayes wrote:
November 26th, 2019, 10:42 pm
I'm wondering if there's any reason to not hike cross country in the forest
Brush alder, downed trees, devils club, hornets, and those damned trip sticks you can't see because, well, you're off trail and you can't see your feet.
You forgot poison-oak. And ticks.

squidvicious
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by squidvicious » November 28th, 2019, 9:56 am

adamschneider wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 12:18 pm
Cell phones ARE maps/compasses. (But bring an extra battery.)
Sure. Until you drop it and it breaks, or it gets wet and it doesn't work, or it gets too cold and it doesn't work, or you pre-loaded the maps for the area you meant to be in, but not for where you actually wandered off to, or any one of a dozen reasons your phone is not a primary survival tool.

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adamschneider
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by adamschneider » November 28th, 2019, 10:31 am

squidvicious wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 9:56 am
adamschneider wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 12:18 pm
Cell phones ARE maps/compasses. (But bring an extra battery.)
Sure. Until you drop it and it breaks, or it gets wet and it doesn't work, or it gets too cold and it doesn't work, or you pre-loaded the maps for the area you meant to be in, but not for where you actually wandered off to, or any one of a dozen reasons your phone is not a primary survival tool.
You'll notice that I said you should have a GPS and a cell phone. I wouldn't rely on a single electronic device, but the chances of both of them failing are pretty minimal. And compared to a piece of paper, the benefits of a map with a "YOU ARE HERE" marker on it are incalculable.

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kepPNW
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by kepPNW » November 28th, 2019, 10:32 am

squidvicious wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 9:56 am
adamschneider wrote:
November 27th, 2019, 12:18 pm
Cell phones ARE maps/compasses. (But bring an extra battery.)
Sure. Until you drop it and it breaks, or it gets wet and it doesn't work, or it gets too cold and it doesn't work, or you pre-loaded the maps for the area you meant to be in, but not for where you actually wandered off to, or any one of a dozen reasons your phone is not a primary survival tool.
I'm sorry, but what a freakin' load o' crap, Squid!

Every damn one of those "untils" applies to maps as well, but even more so. So flippin' wonderful, huh? Until it's dark. Until it's foggy. Until trees obscure all landmarks, until your glasses break. Until it sogs out... Time to wake up and recognize today's realities. That old tech cannot even begin to compare to what's now available. Nothing wrong with having a flat map stuffed into the pack, for when you want to gaze off across the vistas, and pick out stray points, or dream of future hikes. They are nice to have along, sure. But for navigation...? Pretty damn limiting in comparison to what you're dissing.

And recall, the phone was offered as a backup to a real GPS, not as a "primary survival tool," so your "untils" would need to happen (at least) twice before they even began to be a factor. Holy crap, so tired of this ancient out-moded chest-thumping macho mentality, which may have been appropriate 20, or perhaps even 10, years ago. Just no need to choose to cripple yourself anymore. And it's just downright irresponsible to encourage others to be similarly ignorant and helpless.

adamschneider wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 10:31 am
compared to a piece of paper, the benefits of a map with a "YOU ARE HERE" marker on it are incalculable.
AMEN!
Karl
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Aimless
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by Aimless » November 28th, 2019, 10:45 am

I agree with kepPNW's position, but not the aggressive, quarrelsome tone. :(

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! :D

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kepPNW
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by kepPNW » November 28th, 2019, 10:58 am

Aimless wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 10:45 am
I agree with kepPNW's position, but not the aggressive, quarrelsome tone. :(
Yeah, over-the-top... apologies to the group. Just heard this tripe too many times, over the last few years, and it really needs to be expunged from the outdoor community. There comes a time when the Old Guard needs to admit the kids might have a clue.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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retired jerry
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Re: Off Trail Hiking Policy in National Forests

Post by retired jerry » November 28th, 2019, 11:22 am

okay boomer

I don't know who that should apply to :)

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