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post #31 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 02:37 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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That's basically a case of bruised ego. You did nothing wrong.
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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When Passing Horses On The Trail:

Quote:
quote:
when your group is walking down the mountain on a path, tired and dusty, and sees another party walking up the same narrow path - who stops to give the other group priority?

Folks walking down should step aside - the party going up is working on effort and momentum.

Courtesy allows a perk - the stopping party can stop on whichever side of the trail they may choose, including the mountain side of the trail if they want to.
Usually hikers and horses must pass by closely on the trail so anything you can do to make it easier and safer for everyone the better. Hikers should always give right of way to horses. It's just easier and less upsetting to the horse. I've been told when passing horses always remove your pack and step off the trail on the down side. People with backpacks are unfamiliar to many horses and they become uneasy. It is also a natural instinct for horses to be fearful when something unfamiliar is above them. Get far enough off the trail to give the horse some comfort space but not so far as you are hidden behind a tree and startle the horse when you suddenly appear. Getting thrown from a horse or trampled in the back country can be serious trouble.

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post #33 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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Three of the most common mistakes I see the inexperienced make concern where they defecate, personal bathing, and pot washing. I'll comment on the first one here.

Everyone should be given the book How To Shit In the Woods and be required to read it before heading out. In fact every hiker should be required to read this little gem of a book. I have personal friends who have many years of outdoors experience and should be ashamed of their bad ‘poop' habits. There is nothing worse than travelling along a trail that is frequently used, both in winter or summer, and having to dodge piles and paper scattered along the edge of the trail. In the spring after the snow melts some trails are worse than going to the local dog park! The least people can do is move off the trail a few metres and take their paper home with them.

So what to do:
For both day-hiking and backpack trips I carry a ‘Toilet Kit' which is a heavy duty freezer Ziplock bag, 18cm x 20cm, that contains TP paper, a couple light weight ziplock sandwich bags, 16cm x 15cm, to put soiled TP paper into, and antibacterial hand cleanser. Coghlan's makes a non-alcohol, fragrance free, waterless hand sanitizer that can be purchased at most outdoors equipment stores. It comes in a small container that is light weight and the perfect pack size. I find the regular antibacterial hand sanitizers to have a strong fragrance that is too attractive to mosquitoes and animals that come sniffing around the tent at night... The amount of paper and number of ziplocks for used paper depends on the length of the trip.

An individual should choose a spot at least four metres from the trail, make a hole about 15cm/6inches deep using your boot, a stick or rock, do the deed, and then kick dirt back over the hole (my favourite is to roll a rock over, do the dirty deed, and roll it back into place). If the hole is too deep the waste will never decompose and if too shallow it can be smelly in a high use area. A nice courtesy is to place two crossed sticks above your spot so someone else doesn't disturb it… Before I drop my shorts I make sure I've got the TP paper ready (a stick or stone on it if it is windy , a small zip lock open with the edge rolled back to make inserting the soiled paper easier (underneath the TP and stick…). Since the bugs usually see this as an opportunity to get at some flesh they rarely see one needs to be quick! After you wipe, just fold the paper over and stuff it into the ziplock, pull up your shorts, seal the soiled paper ziplock, stuff it back in the Toilet Kit, take a squirt of hand sanitizer and rub your hands clean, close up the Toilet kit and place it back in your pack, backfill the hole and mark it with sticks or a couple stones. Job well done!

While camping choosing a ‘Toilet' spot can be a little more troublesome. Also, the larger the party the more complicated the issue becomes. And camping in popular areas things can great downright messy. Hopefully by that point someone has dug a community pit that everyone uses.

With groups up to four people it is not so much of an issue. Just be 100 metres from the campsite, 20 to 30 metres from any water and make sure your spot is well marked with sticks or stones. If you are at the same campsite for a few days try to use the same spot to lessen the impact on the area. Do not urinate near the campsite! The salt in your urine can be more attractive to animals than food… nothing worse than a sleepless night because someone is too lazy to walk a 100 metres.

With larger groups, 5-10+ persons, it is necessary to find and designate a camp toilet that everyone uses. It is best if there is one spot for urinating and a solid waste pit is dug. And everyone uses this spot only! A little dirt is sprinkled on top with every use. Everyone packs out their own soiled paper! Yes, I know community toilets are gross, and it's difficult to get people to cooperate, etc, but this is the best way to do it. Can you imagine what a place like Semaphore Lakes will be like if more and more people start going there! Just deal with it.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Q
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BC Tb. It seems that woman was having a bad day.
Doug F. Good input. Tks.

I think giving right of way really depends on where you are and what is going on on the trail. Most people do use commone sense here, I have found.
As for horses, I won't be stepping onto the down slope and taking off my pack. Sorry. That is dangerous and major hassle. If the horses are on the trails then they will be used to passing hikers. Or should or will get that way soon. I will happily stand aside at a safe point and stop to let them pass. Moving to the downhill side of the trail just sounds dangerous.

Another point: What about muddy sections and going around them? Some say it is better to go around rather than to make the boggy mess worse, and to let it get back to normal, even though it means tramping down new vegetation. Some say to go straight through the mud and leave the existing vegetation as is.
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 10:52 AM
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Muddy Sections, hike straight through them. By walking around them you actually increase the size of the muddy part, as you compact the area around it, the water spreads, making a bigger muddy part.
Or at least that's what I heard. I think Drew explains it somewhere in another thread, I'll see if I can find it.

Can't find it, and I can't remember what the thread was about originally. Maybe Drew can talk about it again.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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Sorry Q if I knock you a little hard on this one. Please don't take it personal. My intent is awareness for the safety of everyone. I am not a horse rider but I strongly defend and support horse trail users. Many hikers don't realize how much work commercial and recreational horse packers do to maintain many trails. Anyone who uses trails in the Southern Chilcotins knows well just how quickly most trails would become impassable without their hard work. Give horse riders a big thank you by making their trail use a safe and enjoyable experience.
Quote:
quote:I think giving right of way really depends on where you are and what is going on on the trail. Most people do use commone sense here, I have found.
True. It really depends on the circumstances. Best thing is what is most convenient and safe for BOTH parties.
Quote:
quote:As for horses, I won't be stepping onto the down slope and taking off my pack. Sorry. That is dangerous and major hassle. …Moving to the downhill side of the trail just sounds dangerous.
Sorry Q, but I don't agree with you. Hikers should offer horse riders the same courtesy that other hikers or bike riders are offered. Just because their needs are a little different it shouldn't be considered a “major hassle”. A horse's fear of things above them is instinctual, very strong, and will not change. Most times the slope below the trail is no different than the slope above. If it is unsafe, walk back to a place where it is safe to get off the trail. Having a horse go nuts and knock you and possibly other hikers down is a serious hazard. Also, you place the horse riders in a serious danger of being thrown off their horses and possibility being seriously injured.
Quote:
quote:If the horses are on the trails then they will be used to passing hikers.
Many horses are very calm and used to encountering people on the trail but many are not. The trouble is MOST horses are not used to seeing people with large backpacks. Horses are spooked by suddenly encountering something unfamiliar to them on a trail. That's just their nature. How many times have you rounded a corner on a trail and been startled by another person? Let alone something you may have never seen before! This is the reason for removing your pack and being visible to the horse as a person and not some large humpbacked creature…
Quote:
quote:Or should or will get that way soon.
You obviously haven't had much experience around horses. Their fear responses are instinctual and must be accommodated as a courtesy to those we share the trails with.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 12:50 PM
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I can see where Q is coming from but having been around horses most of my life I would have to agree with DougF on most points. It's a lot easier for a hiker to move aside than a horse & rider, especially on a tight trail. Should the hiker fear that it is unsafe to move out of the way, then the only thing you can really do is backtrack to a safer place to move aside - because if you can't move out of the way safely then the horse sure as hell can't because of his size.

I am not so sure about taking off the pack issue though. Depending on the horse of course, most things will spook it - an open jacket flapping in the wind, an animal running across the trail, etc. I think the key here is sudden movement. I don't think that if a backpack that is secure on your body will freak a horse out, unless your pack is so massive that it's bigger than you []. I think that if the horse sees you way in advance and you move aside it should be enough for it to get used to the situation and no need to take off the pack, especially a daypack.
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 01:23 PM
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Anything can happen with horses - be careful!

I was in ALdergrove Lake Park with my sons and we saw were going to be overtaken by a couple of horses. I was a bit further ahead at a switchback, so it was easy for me to move well out of the way. But, my 7 year old son was a bit further back. He moved to the downhill side of the trail and stepped right off the trail and downslope a foot or so. At the rider passed, her horse kicked my son in the face, knocking out his two upper front teeth and cutting his face.

Had my son been on the uphill side, he would not have been such an easy target.

Had the rider moved her horse to the middle or opposite side of the 10' wide trai, my son would not have been hurt.

Nothing better than to stand on a trail cradling your profusely bleeding son as the rider calls back and say "My horse kicked your son" - only to ride off and not return.

So - be prepared. I'll continue to move off the trail and always have. But, not for reasons of courtesy: for the purpose of self-preservation.


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post #39 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 01:40 PM
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What an ass that rider was . I can't believe she just rode off. And you're right, if she was able she should have moved over as much as she could away from your son because you never know what a horse will do - even if he moved out of the way as much as he safely could.

Giving the right of way to a horse & rider is more for self-preservation than courtesy for all parties, you're right on that. I wouldn't move over for courtesy reason alone but mainly to make sure I'm safe and out of the way. I've had my brother kicked in the face and my mother trampled on by our own horse who we had for 10 years so I know their behaviour can be unpredictable, but never out of spite.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by stillgoing
Nothing better than to stand on a trail cradling your profusely bleeding son as the rider calls back and say "My horse kicked your son" - only to ride off and not return.
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 02:32 PM
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stillgoing - how did the story end? did you ever find out who the rider was? how incredibly rude, and what a criminal act. I view this on the same level as a hit and run in a car. what recourses do you have in such situations?
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 04:34 PM
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Yes, I ended up finding out exactly who she is. She lives about 15 minute walk from my house.
What happened about it? She denied it happened.
Ignored letters from my lawyer, asking only who her insurance agent was. Lawyer stopped working for free and that stopped.
Found out she's an alcoholic and has raced her horses at Hasting Park.
BC Horse Council initially wanted all details, but then ignored all further communication.
Son has ongoing neck problems and sees a chiropractor about every 6 weeks. Since it was baby teeth, no lasting harm there. No major scars. Lucky, in a way.

And, I have a bad pit in my stomache every time I see a horse.

But enough about that. Sorry for venting. This thread should focus on trail etiquette.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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OMG stillgoing that is horrific! How scary and infuriating. I'm sorry.
Spunky and DougF: Points well taken. And with that and the story from stillgoing, I will do what I can safely do to accomodate horse and rider. Sounds like the downhill side might not be the safest place for me though. After that story I'd think twice about that approach.
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post #43 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 01:13 AM
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just got back from my OB course, what we did is use leaves or snow or whatever for TP, works better than TP in some cases. THen we either dug cat holes if we were just there overnight, or a proper latrene in we were staying more than a day. Everything should be at least 100 ft from everything, ie. kitchen, sleeping area, latrene, water source. you also put your latrene downhill from where you get your water, so if any leeching through the ground goes on, it doesnt get into your water. hang food from trees high enough that rodents dodnt steel them, but if a bear wants your food, better it gets that than try to eat you. for dishes, yum yum everything, or pack the extra out, then scrub dishes, strain, carry out chunks, sump or scatter grey water

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post #44 of (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 12:50 AM
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With regard to the horse issue.... I enjoy seeing horses on the trail. Every time I see one I'm reminded of a different and unique way of transport and being outside. First of all I will step aside, to whatever place is most convenient, uphill or down. I will stand still and talk gently so the horse knows I'm human and mean no harm.

However, given a choice, I will pick the uphill side, and my pack stays on. I feel this (being uphill) gives me an advantage in terms of who's who on the food chain. In particular one thing I will do is look them in the eye while I talk gently, but not in a threatening or domineering manner, rather I make an effort for my facial contortions to be peaceful. I should mention again that the first place I pick to stop would be the most convenient, uphill or down.

I treat most animals the same way, dogs, horses, bears, whatever. I'm the boss, until proven otherwise. And if the horse is wild and doesn't like it and throws the rider, I will certainly help out if I can, but the reality is if you can't control your horse on the trail and in the presence of others, it shouldn't be there (and how your horse reacts should not be my problem until it is in my face), much like an uncontrollable or aggressive dog. I"m sure we all agree that the rider has a responsibility to other users of the trail, much like a dog owner.

I'm not trying to be contrary Doug, I appreciate and have learned from your perspective, and am just presenting my own.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 12:45 AM
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Down here, on a horse trail, I see etiquette or instructions to both horse riders and hikers posted at the trailhead. It offers instruction to both since many hikers don't really know what to do when coming face to face with rider or riders. Grand Canyon has strict rules. So, maybe equestrian clubs could post a notice at trailhead? It would be helpful and alert hikers that horses are present....though we will see eveidence soon enough... and tell us how to act.

As far as passing other hikers, I hate hiking Angel's Landing for that reason in Zion. I have had to stop and help people frozen on the trail with fear of falling. They just get to a point and stop. I would never just pass them and leave them there clinging to the chains. HOWEVER,
I want to go at a certain pace and have to wait for a very long long time as some fearful person "crawls" up the scree. I've been holding on to a chain just standing in a processional if you will, and waiting as we slowly trudge along this overcrowded hike. Angel's Landing is a joke! I won't go up there unless someone really wants me to go along with them.
I have talked a few people back down. It's nerve racking. A Boy Scout fell off of there recently. It really makes me nervous to go up there and see some boyfriend or husband...it is usually the guys who bash on the girls for freezing up.
I don't need it....sorry...

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