We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Hot answers tagged

64

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 going downstream (or merely going down if there is no stream) is the safest bet if there are no other clues. Even if you're not actually on a mountain, it's more ...


58

You could use Naismith's rule which goes as follows: Allow 1 hour for every 3 miles (5 km) forward, plus 1 hour for every 2000 feet (600 metres) of ascent. A lot of hikers in the UK use this as a guide of course bear in mind terrain and altitude! and of course this is not appropriate at higher altitudes. Some sites recommend corrections to the above: ...


45

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 Spiritual (but not explicitly religious) A lifetime experience A religious pilgrimage (9.6%) To meet people. Source: Top reasons why people walk the Camino As you ...


40

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. As for the comment that ....as long as you stay on the road, you will find civilization. This may be true of a road, but it is often not true of a trail. ...


29

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 lead one back to civilization, but in the odd exceptions where this is not true such as when one needs to go uphill to reach the trailhead, trail usage will be ...


27

As a New Englander who hikes a lot, I’d say that the sight of any good signage is so startling and unexpected that the appearance of the material should be a distant secondary concern to the signs’ utility. There are a few things to consider that you haven’t mentioned: How long will you be on this trail committee? Are you likely to have other board ...


27

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 go out, around the base of something, up the far side, down the near side, then rejoin your original trail to come back to the trailhead. Maybe that would be 5....


21

It depends a lot on what exactly you mean by "around there". While there are no real mountains in the immediate area around Prague, you can find a number of great places to hike there. If you a willing to go a bit further, you can find some nice mountains, too. Also, I am not sure if by two day hike you mean a backpacking trip with sleeping outdoors, or if ...


20

Switzerland has a nationally consistent policy for hiking signs with Swiss precision (for example and inspiration, see this impressive 64 page guide on signage), as required by law. This applies whether in the high mountains, on easy forest trails, or (usually short segments) on rural roads. You might find a sign indicating it's 5 hours and 55 minutes ...


18

Here is a bridge design we (the Town of Groton Massachusetts Trails Committee) used recently that seems to work. It feels plenty strong and sturdy when walking on it. The first bridge of this kind was only installed two months ago, so we don't yet have any direct evidence how long it lasts. However, we were generally pleased with the outcome, and are ...


18

Leave No Trace I grew up in a place that was surrounded by open wilderness. There are no, "stay on the trail rules" there. After spending a lot of time in Parks, where there are a lot of rules, and comparing them to growing up in the lawless wilderness, I have to admit that the Parks are a lot prettier. Visiting the wild trails and campgrounds from my youth ...


18

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 ...


18

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 etc. (not necessarily tents/bivis, as it could be hut-to-hut for example). If wild camping is forbidden this would include most trails that aren't suitable for ...


17

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 would be understood to: Be long enough that sleeping out at least one night actually makes sense. Allow camping along the trail, or at least at enough places ...


15

I can't speak for lands inside a city, but out in the woods the best way to hide a trail, is not to leave a trail. I grew up in the sticks where growing up everyone I knew had a secret fort somewhere in the dense forest, the thing to do with your buddies after school was to hang out at your secret fort; building it up, fortifying it, shooting BB guns, or ...


14

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 ...


14

It's always OK to move fallen debris from the trail, assuming you are sure you are on a real official trail. Make sure you don't accidentally remove "brushed in" trail entrances. That is where brush was deliberately piled so that a trail is not used, hopefully eventually reverting to just woods again. If you're on anything with clearly deliberate blazes, ...


14

On designated trails that are infrequently traveled and maintained, using them to mark a faint or overgrown section of trail, the point a trail passes under a large downed tree, a switchback, a trail junction, or a creek crossing, where the tread of the trail itself is not visually clear ahead, is generally acceptable and helps keep people on the actual ...


12

There is really only one way to determine this, and that is experience. Do a few hikes in different terrain, different settings (dayhike vs overnight), different weather and different group sizes, keep track of your time and thus build up a "library" of situations and times. Once you have a few of these reference hikes, you can then apply these to new ...


12

My only experience with this is as a hiker, and I can only give my own opinion. But first: Examples In the Columbia River Gorge there are a few different types of signage used. Major road-side signs: Trailhead signs: Junction signs: Masonry signs: Unlike the stone sign WedaPashi showed the lettering on these masonry signs is quite fine, so they are ...


11

There's no general rule of thumb that I know of... I lied, there is Naismith's formula as correctly cited in another answer. I just tend to stay away from it because more often than not I find it better to make a judgement on the individual situation. There's so much variation the "average" would almost always be wrong in any specific case! It depends on ...


11

If you want an exact answer, there is not and will not be one until about 15 seconds after you finish walking the walk. For a decent ballpark, I was taught in scouts: day hiking: 3 miles per hour, + 1 hour for every 1000 feet of elevation climb. backpacking: 2 miles per hour, +1 hour for every 1000 feet of elevation climb. Use the formula, and then take a ...


11

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 been involved with specifying trail signs. One reason I can imagine that distances were omitted is because they weren't known with enough confidence to put ...


10

I have been researching sign construction various ways, with asking a question here being one of them. I was just forwarded a email from Adobe Signs, replying to questions from the Groton Conservation Trust (our local private land trust). Adobe Signs is the regular sign maker used by the Trust for their roadside signs. These signs are dark-stained wood ...


10

I appreciate everyone's help and opinions here, and want to report what we ended up doing. We (the Town of Groton Massachusetts Trails Committee) looked at a variety of options. At first the plan was just to do what everyone else was doing in the backcountry (where you can't drive a motorized vehicle to), which is overwhelmingly plain routed wood. After ...


10

This answer is "you shouldn't", since it appears from your description it's not your land and you have no authority over it. Unauthorized private modifications to public land can be a serious problem. Not only can you get into trouble doing it, it may make work and cause problems for those who are in charge. If you really want to see this trail marking ...


10

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 for winter conditions throughout the park. The current snowpack is about 85 - 100% of average for this time of year, depending on location, a significant ...


10

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 ending elevation. This should be called the net elevation gain and mathematically is identical to the sum of the gains, 1000m in your example, minus the sum of ...


9

The relevant law is the Gesetz zur Erhaltung des Waldes und zur Förderung der Forstwirtschaft. In § 14 Betreten des Waldes (entering the forest) it says (bolded by me): (1) Das Betreten des Waldes zum Zwecke der Erholung ist gestattet. Das Radfahren, das Fahren mit Krankenfahrstühlen und das Reiten im Walde ist nur auf Straßen und Wegen gestattet. Die ...


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