Hot answers tagged

33

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 ...


22

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: ...


22

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 ...


22

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 ...


21

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


19

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 ...


17

I'm not sure you can generalize US Hiking trails, since there will be vast variability in popularity, usage, land area, population density etc. (Just as you mentioned is the case in popular vs. remote areas of Europe). Yes, there are some areas that require reservations, but most don't. In fact, I feel comfortable saying MOST federal public land in the ...


16

In both the U.S. and Canada, amateur radio operators serve an important role in providing emergency radio communications during war, disaster, terrorist attack, or whatever other emergency. So amateur radio operators take an extremely dim view of unlicensed operators using frequencies allocated to amateur (or sometimes commercial) radio. Many will even hunt ...


16

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 ...


13

It looks like a Burl. They are natural non-harmful (think of them like scar tissue maybe, resulting from injury or infection) deformities in the grain of trees. Both hardwood & softwood trees can develop burls. (FWIW, I'd guess based on the bark & needles laying in the folds of the bark in the first picture that this tree is some sort of conifer.)


11

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 ...


10

The US doesn't have anything like the Scandinavian right to roam (Swedish allemansrätten, 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 ...


9

Camping restrictions and permits to enter particular areas are actually very rare when you look at the total land area. I believe in every case these are done only to prevent degradation caused by excessive use. By definition, these systems are therefore in place in popular areas, which is why you hear about them way out of proportion to their actual size ...


9

I think it is not that simple. There are several things to keep in mind when making comparisons like this: As far as the US are concerned, you are talking about the most popular national parks here: places like Yosemite, Yellowstone or Zion get few millions of visitors each year, from all over the world. At the same time, there are huge stretches of ...


9

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.


9

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 ...


9

As you specifically mentioned Southern Nevada Mojave Desert, if you come across a snake and considering the worst case its a venomous snake, then its very likely to be a Rattlesnake or a Side Winder or an Adder. The best way to avoid trouble with venomous reptiles is to be aware of your surroundings and observe some rules for your own safety. Most bites ...


9

In your first example (a lost hiker firing shots into the air) at minimum a citation should be issued, firing into the air is a violation of basic gun safety; you don't know where that bullet is going to come back down. Consider also that most visitors to National Parks are unfamiliar with the area and the wildlife; there will be little sympathy for someone ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

My answer is not specific for a particular area or a particular date. I like to find trails, areas, that are less crowded in general, and estimate the seasonal pattern mostly on availability. Signs of less popular areas: A relative lack of photos on things Panoramio, Instagram, etc. A relative lack of uploaded tracks on sites such as Wikiloc and ...


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

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 ...


8

Sugar maples, like other maples, flower in early spring. The flowers aren't very impressive. The leaves of sugar maple are usually fully expanded three to four weeks after the leaf buds begin to swell in the spring. The flowers emerge soon after the leaves and are in full bloom within a week. ...Fruits that result from flower pollination usually mature ...


8

This is impossible to answer unless you are willing to do an enormous amount of research. There is no single, or even just a few, databases of trails in the US. The national trail lists generally only contain the larger multi-state trails (like the AT, PCT, etc) and some of the larger regional trails, but these are the tip of the iceberg. I'm guessing, ...


8

Each species and possibly even each individual animal will behave very differently. A good rule of thumb is: if wildlife reacts to you, you are too close. I think this is the most general way to answer you question and has the benefit of giving you instantaneous feedback. If the animal looks straight at you, back off until it resumes what it was doing. The ...


8

I don't think you need to bypass them at all. You didn't say what time of year you'd be going, but in the later summer/fall, they are not nearly that deep. Also, at any time of year you could easily carry your pack(s) across, then go back and piggy-back your son with a 2nd trip. The first trip would also give you a feel for how rough the crossing would ...


7

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.


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 ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible