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32

The old advice is to "Take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints". Almost any amount of memento-taking is going to lead to some kind of impact in anything but the most isolated of areas. The details of what is and isn't legal are going to vary with the exact area you're in -in the US, Wilderness Areas, a national forests, Bureau of Land ...


21

The Dawn wall is one of the largest and most difficult climbs in the world, it's nearly 1000m of blankness, there isn't a lot to hold onto all the way up. But you're right, it has been "climbed" before. The Dawn wall was first climbed in 1970 by Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell. These climbers used a different technique to what Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy ...


20

Generally speaking in the US, you can collect as much as you want from the gift shops. Otherwise, everything else is strictly forbidden.


18

Should I understand a water source to mean a spring/well, or any place where hikers may collect water (streams, lakes, etc.)? Yes. Any source of water - no matter how large or small - should be avoided when choosing a camp site. 100 meters is just a guideline, 200 meters is better. 200 meters and out of sight is great. The reasons are several-fold: ...


17

Short Answer: In the US, laws regulating land use are detailed and varied, even on Public Lands. Check with the local land agency before "roaming." Long Answer: Loosely you can divide open space in the US into two main categories: Private and Public. Private Land: The laws governing private land vary by state. In Texas, for example, a landowner is well ...


15

Roland Muser wrote a book, Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, based on surveys of 136 long-distance hikers, each of whom spent 3-6 months on the trail. Some relevant quotes (p. 133): Two or three hikers had run-ins with local inhabitants, and some reported uncomfortable hitch-hiking incidents. More seriously, two hikers were ...


14

Without knowing the numbers using it, the signs are absolutely acceptable. The forest floor is very fragile, and although one foot print might not make a noticeable difference to most people (Having tracking training for SAR, I see the damage one person makes), 10 people will leave obvious damage, and 50 a trail. The problem is people walk off the main trail ...


8

An additional point that hasn't been mentioned, is when you camp next to a creek or stream the water level can quickly change, sometimes by quite a bit. It can be sunny where you are camped but heavy rain miles upstream from you, and the raising water level could wash away half of your camp while you sleep.


8

Almost every emergency dispatch center has a non-emergency phone number. While services like Skype and Google Voice can't call 911 directly, you can look up "<region> non-emergency dispatch" and get a number with a local area code. Call them and tell them this is an emergency but you couldn't access 911. They will transfer you to an emergency ...


8

The US doesn't have anything like the Scandinavian right to roam (Swedish allemansr├Ątten, etc.). Private land is usually fenced, and it's against the law to enter private land while hiking without the landowner's permission. The US term for wild camping is "backcountry camping" or "backpacking," as opposed to car camping, where you pay to park your car in a ...


8

http://visitadirondacks.com/stay/campgrounds/backcountry-camping-rules-guidelines You only need a permit if your group is 10+ or you are staying in one location for more than 3 days. You don't need reservations for areas which allow primitive camping, but there are some campgrounds which require it. The Adirondacks are composed of a lot of areas with ...


8

I've hiked all over the USA and the general rule is that on public land, you can hike anywhere you want, unless there are specific rules for a given sensitive area. Generally these rules are posted at least at the trailhead or in any wilderness permit you get. The one place where there aren't posted signs, but that you should "STAY ON THE TRAIL" is making ...


7

The park service has some good tips. The biggest ones are: It is hot and dry, and gets hotter the farther down you go. Sweat can evaporate straight off of you before you can even see it, and people don't always realize how much fluid they've lost. Replace electrolytes, not just the water. You'll probably drink more water than you're accustomed to, which ...


7

Generally in a national part, national monument, or official wilderness area in the US, don't take anything. These areas are managed with preservation being a high or the highest goal. We simply can't have every human on earth take even a small rock. All parts of the environment are connected. No matter how harmless or inconsequential you think some item ...


7

Ok, now that it looks like I've earned a reputation I have edited my post and now include some links that should be helpful in monitoring weather and snowpack in the White Mountains region. I received an email from Gerrit yesterday with some questions about the White Mountains. He asked me to respond here so the info below is largely aimed at addressing his ...


6

No, a "national forest" here in the US is a legal designation and does not mean the land is actually covered with trees (a forest). In the US, there are quite a number of governmental divisions that own and manage land that is open to the public to various degrees. Sticking just to the larger federal ones, there is BLM land (Bureau of Land Management), ...


6

The best way I have found, assuming you are in the USA, is to go to that state's DNR website. They will have a map with all public land and what can be harvested from that land. This I found to be the most helpful starting point for finding public land. From there the most helpful person you can find would be a local DNR agent. They spend their time on ...


6

Our family are members of the NRA. If you're interested at all in where to hunt in the US, I would recommend both NRA online articles and their search tool here: http://www.nrahuntersrights.org/PlacestoHunt.aspx The list includes locations and regulations for public hunting lands in just about every state.


6

I have a lot of experience with the federal lands, and the rules are pretty much the same between agencies, whether the Bureau of Land Management or the National Park Service or the US Forest Service. The rule is: don't remove anything. There are some serious consequences, even a felony in some cases. You can't take rocks or even pine cones. Or flowers. ...


6

One of my favorite things to collect from National Parks is a stamp for my park passport. There are cancellation stamps in many national parks and sets of full-color stamps you can buy at the gift shop. And please take the other answers to heart. Millions of us enjoy the parks system every year.


6

All 4 major carriers have either implemented or are implementing text-to-911 service. U.S. mobile providers commit to emergency texting service In the event that this doesn't work, you can always text a friend or family member. They can then call 911 for you. If they are in a different area, then they will be transferred to the correct area.


6

What you want to do seems to be referred to by the Forest Service as "dispersed camping," and you can find a lot of information by googling on that phrase. Different jurisdictions seem to have different rules, but this blog post has a nice attempt to summarize how the rules usually work in national forests and on BLM land. Basically what they seem to want ...


6

As I understand it the permits have a couple of goals: It's a revenue stream to pay for the maintenance of the areas It's a way of controlling numbers It's a way of enforcing that the person with the permit has an understanding of the activity they are undertaking and has agreed to some kind of terms and conditions for said activity, it also means that if ...


6

In areas with quotas on permits, often only a certain percentage of permits can be reserved. The remainder are available on a first-come first-serve basis at the ranger station. For Mt Whitney, there is definitely a quota. There's likely to be a lot of competition to get a permit for such a popular trail at such a popular time of year. I would recommend ...


6

There is not a definitive guide for all locks, however most of the major locks in the US are run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and they do not charge recreational boaters to pass through them. To my knowledge, all locks on the Upper Mississippi are accessible via paddling. As for the Ohio river, you can try calling McAlpine lock and dam, and they'll be ...


5

There are a couple of reasons for this, as I understand it: Your wastes (soap, Giardia in your poop, DEET, ...) will contaminate the water. Lakeshores in high-altitude areas tend to be very delicate. People do a lot of ecological damage by pitching their tents right there. Unlike high-altitude areas in the Alps, the ones in the western US do not have huts, ...


5

(1) Do not try ... Sign on the rim (2003 - probably still there). I'll have a photo of it somewhere. Here it is - a peep of the river from the rim. The Colorado is clearly visible below, and does not seem that far away. [Cropped from a larger image so probably 400mm lens equivalent shot] DO NOT attempt to walk to the river and back in one day!!! ...


5

It somewhat depends on how warm you sleep and how much you're willing to layer up in your bag. I've met people who claim they used one 30F bag the whole trip (with thick layers at the start, and used as a quilt through the rest of the trip). I would call them "ultralight freaks". The more normal setup is to start with a 0-20F bag, depending on your normal ...


5

For the US, an excellent starting point would be the Coast Guard's Aids to Navigation brochure; it explains all of the markers you are likely to encounter and provides a brief overview of the "rules of the road". The Coast Guard's Navigation Rules Online is an unofficial merger of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and ...


5

We used Outdoor/Indoor Protective Flooring interlocking Mats inside the tent ($20) (above ground sheet) insulates, soft enough to sleep on. Toddlers like this from experience (good for naps too) thermal rest (roller mat) $30 -$200 each depending on climate Baby can sleep with lots of cotton blankets wrapped up This mother blogs about it ...



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