Friday, November 7, 2008

Leave No Trace Part 2

2. TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES Hike in the middle of the trail; stay off of vegetation.Camp in designated sites where possible.In other areas,
don't camp within 150 feet of water or a trail.

While camping is off limits on Pilot Knob Ridge, making sure that you stay on the trail is the important thing to take from this rule. The trails on the PKR are, even in the wet season good, but even when there is water on the trails you still want to stay in the trail's thread. I know, who wants to walk through the mud? However, keeping in the trail's thread is important in keeping the trail from widening past it's intended width. You will notice on very busy, wet trails that there will be areas where a 3 foot wide trail widens to 6 or more feet to avoid a wet area on the trail. This will cause the wet area to increase in size as hikers try to keep their feet dry and becomes a vicious cycle. So if you think that you will be slogging through some early spring hiking you will want good water proof foot gear and gaiters to keep you pants dry. You may find that depending on the time of year that you may have over prepared for the hike, but when you are hiking a trail for the first time it is best to be prepared.

Also, do not cut switchbacks to shorten your walk. This is a problem that we continue to have on the Orange trail near the driveway. There are two heard paths that if they are allowed to continue will end up causing the trail to eroade faster as the water from the hill is beginning to run straight down the herd path. remember that Leave No Trace means that you do not want to create a new path.

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