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66 votes
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I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

Settlements tend to be near water like rivers, lakes or oceans and the larger the body of water, the more likely there are people. A small stream is likely to join another at some point. This is why ...
Sebastiaan van den Broek's user avatar
60 votes
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Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

Your planned hike sounds like it's within your physical capabilities. It will really come down to mental, rather than physical constraints. Do you enjoy challenging yourself, pushing through an ...
csk's user avatar
  • 4,364
44 votes
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Is it offensive to "just hike" on a pilgrim's path?

No, it would not be offensive. A survey of 200 pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago found that motivations were as follows, in order of importance: Exercise Adventure Peace, solitude, relaxation ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
42 votes

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

In many parts of life, you have to play the percentages. The likelihood is higher that going downstream will lead you to a trailhead or some other sign of civilization than it is for going upstream. ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
30 votes

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

Trails show less use the farther from the trailhead one goes because fewer people walk the trail all of the way to the end and most turn around far more quickly. The odds are that going downhill will ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
29 votes

What does "out and back" mean in terms of understanding the length of a trail?

Out and back is the same as total. The 10 mile trail might be 5 miles out and 5 miles back, for example. If you take a different route back, the numbers might not be the same. For example you might ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 12.2k
20 votes

Trail marking material that will last a few years

Before marking any trails, please speak to the forest service or whatever local authority is in charge of the land. They likely have established methods for trail marking that should be followed, and ...
BlackThorn's user avatar
  • 1,456
19 votes

Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

To add to @csk's answer. It looks from the elevation profile that the Cleveland Way trail is fairly flat at one end. If possible I would aim to do the flatter end as the longer walking days rather ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.6k
17 votes
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Is there a difference between a hiking trail and a backpacking trail, including if it's the same piece of land?

While there's a lot of overlap, a trail that can't possibly lead to anywhere to stay the night is unlikely to be called a backpacking trail, as backpacking implies multi-day trips carrying sleep gear ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.5k
17 votes

Is there a difference between a hiking trail and a backpacking trail, including if it's the same piece of land?

Hiking is a superset of backpacking. A backpacking trail can be used for hiking, since that's how you move along the trail while backpacking too. Any trail specifically stated to support backpacking ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
15 votes
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Trail marking material that will last a few years

If you want the quickest way to mark a trail, you could go for forestry marking paint. Some brands will advertize around 5 years of permanence. It requires careful placement of your marks so they are ...
Gabriel's user avatar
  • 5,055
11 votes

Are there reasons for not putting the mileage on trail signs or is it just a matter of style?

Knowing why distance was included or omitted in any particular instance requires asking the people that decided on that particular sign. In other words, in the general case, you don't know why. I've ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
11 votes

How is elevation gain and change measured for hiking trails?

There are three different ways of describing elevation gain/change for hikes. The least useful – and sadly a very common – method is simply to subtract the starting elevation from the ...
Martin F's user avatar
  • 4,107
11 votes

Trail marking material that will last a few years

Source: Wikimedia Commons Probably the easiest and most durable version is the use of cairns. Provided there is enough rocks around, they are easy to build, unaffected by bleaching of the sun and ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,285
11 votes

Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

On short (5-6 day) walks I can do about 26 miles a day as an average. For longer walks (months) I divide this by two, as a shorter daily distance is easier to sustain over a long period, mentally and ...
Douglas Lockhart's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Yosemite in late March a good idea?

Check out the website http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm As of March 3, 2016, the website said this about General Conditions under the heading Wilderness Conditions Be prepared ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
8 votes

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

There are some good answers about trails that I am not going to expand on. For roads that are not heavily used like logging roads These may extend many miles into the forest, with multiple branches,...
James Jenkins's user avatar
8 votes

Do animal trails have switchbacks?

Update: I have found some photos of sheep tracks which clearly show that they do not travel directly up a hill. The first first one of switchbacks comes from this website by Chris Collison, where it ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 4,714
8 votes

Trail marking material that will last a few years

Permanent trails in NZ were marked with cut up bits of Venetian blinds - the aluminium ones and preferably white, nailed to trees with stainless steel (IIRC) nails. You can (could) often get these ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.6k
8 votes

Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

You may be overthinking this. You are not going to carry much luggage (I suppose). You are hiking in England, so the next village is not going to be far away. You will have cell phone coverage along ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 281
8 votes

What are these painted markings on trees for? (not trail markers)

These markings are for logging operations. The marks indicate that the trees should be removed. Note that there are also marks at the base, this is to help verify that the proper trees are removed. ...
Schleis's user avatar
  • 668
8 votes
Accepted

What are the effects of biking on hiking trails?

Answer from a background of part-time trail maintenance, focusing solely on physical damage to trails, rather than interpersonal interactions. All trail users, including hikers, bikers, equestrian ...
erfink's user avatar
  • 4,207
7 votes

How are the routes of hiking trails determined?

There are many reasons a trail takes the particular path it does. Probably the most common is historical, as you mention. Probably the least common is deliberate design. Most trails have evolved ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
7 votes
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Do military style obstacle course trails exist in a genuinely forested setting and open to the general public?

Yes and No. Non-military obstacle courses do exist, but most are not "open" to the public. They are privately owned courses that require you to pay to use them. Most of these are what I would ...
bhilgert's user avatar
  • 430
7 votes
Accepted

Good two-day tour for the "Trekkinghütten" in the saxon switzerland

While I've never been to these cabins, I've been climbing and hiking in this area. In the map below I've outlined two route suggestions in purple, which you can vary as you please (and as you go). ...
knitti's user avatar
  • 1,469
7 votes

Is it offensive to "just hike" on a pilgrim's path?

There is a fair argument that the general experience of hiking is part of the religious experience of a pilgrimage , for example, solitude, relaxtion , physical exercise and exploring the natural ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,212
7 votes

What are the effects of biking on hiking trails?

As a hiker, rather than mountain biker, I'd be careful about taking hikers' words for it. In Vancouver's North Shore mountains there are tons of mixed-use trails, many initially put in place by ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
6 votes

When is it appropriate to make a cairn?

What are the issues? There are two issues here: the siting of official navigation cairns by whoever is responsible for maintaining the trail, and the building of unofficial cairns by visitors. ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
6 votes

Hiking uphill, two choices of trails: how to deal with each one?

The freedom of the Hills provides a rough guideline for the most efficient climbing grade when switchbacks can be set. I think the climb traverse ratio is in the neighborhood of 1:3. I don't own a ...
Glenn's user avatar
  • 1,317

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