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[ft-l] Trail Manual for the Florida Trail System available on the web

Your comments about blazing are very valid points and should be added to the
manual, as I'm sure other things need to be added as well.

There is a sheet in the back of the manual for suggested changes.  Use it so
your concerns can be addressed in the next update.

One of my own frustrations is in areas where it is obvious that all blazing
has been done from one direction only, so the section of trail is very easy
to follow from that direction, but difficult when you are hiking the
opposite way.

Deb Blick

----- Original Message -----
From: <TOKTAADN@aol.com>
To: <ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 7:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ft-l] Trail Manual for the Florida Trail System available on
the web

> In a message dated 12/8/2001 9:39:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> kwimmer@fs.fed.us writes:
> > The trail manual was updated
> >  to reflect the progress and the learning that the Florida Trail
> >  has made concerning the trail over the past several years.  This latest
> >  version of the trail manual reflects and builds upon the earlier
> >  of the manual and the many years of experience of FTA's wonderful trail
> >  builders and maintainers.
> I took a look.  A couple of points.  I'm particularly interested in
> as it seems that we as chapters do a lousy job in training the folks who
> blaze the trails.  First thing I did was go to the index.  It says that
> blazing is covered on page 27.  When I waded through the manual, instead I
> found that it was on page 33.  So it looks like the index hasn't been
> as the manual has.
> Second, I found the coverage on blazing to be a bit too cursory.  If, as
> write-up suggests, problems with blazing are the number one source of
> complaints about the trail, then I think a more thorough job of explaining
> blazing techniques.  In practice, there appears to be wide -- and
> very confusing -- discretion applied as to when a double blaze is called
> Also there is no mention in the manual of the confirmation blaze, which is
> used in concert with the double blaze.  Since the double blaze tells the
> hiker to be alert for a change in direction, trail surface, or
> with other trails, it is important that the double blaze be followed in
> order by a single blaze that tells the alerted hiker that this is the
> the trail follows.  It is extremely frustrating when a double blaze is not
> followed by a confirmation blaze visible from the location of the double
> blaze (or as soon as feasible thereafter).
> The other type of blaze is the confidence blaze, which is mentioned in the
> manual, but is described only briefly.
> The section on blazing is a start, but I think needs improving.  It
> especially needs to tell chapter leaders to train work volunteers before
> start applying the blazes.
> Happy trails,
> Solar Bear
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