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[ft-l] Re: What makes a good trail?

    Blazed trails are of the utmost importance. Correct me if I am wrong,
but I believe there is a standard for their size. ( that of a dollar bill )
One per mile is not enough for the inexperienced, ( and sometimes inept )
the trail should be for everyone, and not just the seasoned "staying
oriented by sound and smell and the other five senses, including common."
among us. The trail should be as far as possible from the human elements
("civilization") and totally off paved roadways.
    I personally carry a GPS & a cell phone with E-911 capabilities. One
never knows when you "need" to know exactly where you are given an
unexpected emergency. Being profoundly deaf, I hike with a companion.

    Equestrians and mountain bikers have enough of their own trails and
should be properly reprimanded for trespassing on foot trails.( The key word
being "should" as we painfully know it ain't happening  where it should be
happening due to underpaid, understaffed enforcement offices.)

    Water availability is also up there in importance. Especially here in
Florida. Filtering is mandatory and those who do not comprehend this should
not be taking more than day hikes on the trails.

    Camping " on the trail " ( or just off it ) is fine as far as this
writer is concerned. As long as it is no more than 2 people in one tent per
site and the site is used for the sole purpose of rest for one night only.

    Shelters do attract vermin like the Deer Mouse whose dried droppings and
urine can cause serious respiratory illness in humans. I'd take a tent over
a shelter every time.

    Permitting should be a one-time per trail use affair, so they know where
you are / should be. As well as to give the inexperienced, or those of us:
"Who of us needs to be reminded more than twice or three times in a single
day that we are idiots and have no business in the outdoors?"

    The trails are for everyone and everyone who uses them should be
considered in the trail's making.

Keep on truckin'


----- Original Message -----
From: "Cal Ewing" <calebe@fdn.com>
To: <ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 10:54 PM
Subject: [ft-l] Re: What makes a good trail?

> I like my trails the way I like my governments...the leaster the better.
> fact, if I don't have a good chance of getting lost or possibly even
> I might as well go to Starbucks where I can at least get some decent
> The best trails are game trails. One must go slow and careful, just as
> nature intended, staying oriented by sound and smell and the other five
> senses, including common. Horses, I agree, are a menace to walking and
> should be discouraged whereever possible. Cows are best dealt with by
> walking around, being thankful to God that you're not one of them. Blazes
> are wonderful if kept to an absolute maximum of one per mile. Any more
> blazes than that are obtrusive and unnecessarily disfiguring to the local
> flora. Especially those huge 4X12 hatchet-job-blazes that manage to turn
> whole trees into traffic signals.  Why not remove the tree altogether and
> put in its place a pole with a strobelight and a telephone and its own GPS
> placard? The effect on the location is about the same and it would last a
> lot longer. Over-blazing is insulting, too. Who of us needs to be reminded
> more than twice or three times in a single day that we are idiots and have
> no business in the outdoors? Not me, that's for sure,  especially when I'm
> lost. Campsites are over-rated...they attract people and everybody knows
> hard it is to get rid of habituated people. A better solution is mandatory
> LNT and stealth-camping except in a few select sacrifice areas that are
> already paved over. If your campsite is discovered you would be issued a
> citation and asked to leave. To many dammed people out there anyway.  Hide
> the hell out of it I say, when building trails.
> Keep it away from McDonalds, street lights, permanent dwellings and
> dogs. Make it single-track, but just barely, a highway for humans but at a
> price. Otherwise, someone will drive a truck through it (or an airboat)
> it'll become just like, well, Starbucks.
> Caleb
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