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[cdt-l] (no subject)

Shachaf asked whether the CDTS guidebooks are really necessary - my answer:
YES!  The cdt is not a well traveled trail.  In many areas, there is no
treadway on the ground.  Trail markers may be few and far between.  You will
cross side trails that do not appear on the maps.  You will cross many jeep
roads that are not on the maps.  By paying close attention to the guidebook,
you will save yourself a lot of time wandering around looking for the trail.

More important, the guidebook will tell you where the water is and what kind
of water source to look for.  The maps may or may not tell you that there is
a water source, but it won't tell you how far off the trail it is, and
whether you are looking for a well or a stream or a cowpond.  There was one
place in Montana where the guidebook had beautiful explicit directions to
turn off the trail at the second bend of the jeep road, follow a cow path
for 100 yards then go straight and cross two dry gullies until you reached
the spring.  Without those directions, we would never have found the water.
At Mormon Spring in the Great Basin, unless you know that you are looking
for a small pile of rocks in the middle of a very open arroyo, 150 yards
from the trail, you won't find any water.  The solar well north of Rawlins
is not obvious, and probably isn't on the maps. The guidebooks are essential
for this.  How will you know how much water to carry?  And where to find it
when you get there?  And whether the water is seasonal or habitual?   What
passes for a water source in some places in the desert is not something most
hikers would recognize as a 'spring'.  Get the books.

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