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Thread: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

  1. #31
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    What if someone put up a ribbon to help them find their way back to civilization? Now you've done it and remove it and they're probably still wondering around lost and getting real hungry.
    Good -- they should not have been out there in the first place if they need to put ribbons along a trail to get back.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #32
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    This Land Is Your Land
    Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

    This land is your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New York island,
    From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters;
    This land was made for you and me.

    As I was walking that ribbon of highway
    I saw above me that endless skyway;
    I saw below me that golden valley;
    This land was made for you and me.

    I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
    To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
    And all around me a voice was sounding;
    This land was made for you and me.

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
    And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
    As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
    This land was made for you and me.

    As I went walking I saw a sign there,
    And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
    But on the other side it didn't say nothing.
    That side was made for you and me.

    In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
    By the relief office I seen my people;
    As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
    Is this land made for you and me?

    Nobody living can ever stop me,
    As I go walking that freedom highway;
    Nobody living can ever make me turn back
    This land was made for you and me.
    Images vastly preferred

    not game trying to


    focus


    In Time

  3. #33
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Good – they should not have been out there in the first place if they need to put ribbons along a trail to get back.
    Probably the most infuriating ribbons of them all, the ones marking a designated trail. Sometimes these are placed (and left behind) by winter hikers marking a snow-covered trail. Which leaves two possibilities about them: they returned and were too lazy to collect their trash; or they died in the woods and never returned. Maybe the ribbons can help SAR teams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    …As I was walking that ribbon of highway…
    I think I caught your humor, pretty funny!

    -----
    Woody Guthrie's “ribbon of highway” reminds me of another form of marking trails – these small, 6-inch flags I’ve occasionally seen, planted in the ground, leading away from the trail in 20-30 foot increments. A highway indeed. Like lime green branch ribbons, these ground flags seem to be a growing fashion. I never saw them until 2-3 years ago. You’d think forgotten tree ribbons produce enough trash, but these ground flags add insult to injury. I hope it doesn’t become a new species of forest flower.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #34

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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    sometimes the park service puts up ribbons to mark areas that need service or blazing a new trail or to mark where new trail markers are to be put by the volenteers. . removing them may just mean more work and if caught, you may get a summons.

    if its not yours, leave m alone!

  5. #35
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    [Sigh]

    Remember, it’s the uncertainty that relieves one of addressing two issues: forgotten plastic that keeps accumulating in the forest, and robbing others of a better outdoor experience.

    See Posts 26-28.

    One small solution: the USFS or Park Service posting alert notices about ribbons at trailheads, stating they’d be removed when work was completed. However, the vast (vast!) majority of plastic ribbons and flags is not put in the forest by officials, but by well-meaning, forgetful, careless hikers.

  6. #36
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Write dates on the tape. As one of those trail workers for a decade, I might still take the tape down, depending on age, location, amount, obnoxiousness.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #37

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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Good -- they should not have been out there in the first place if they need to put ribbons along a trail to get back.
    Vaughn,

    I'm a pretty experienced outdoorsman, and I've flagged trails to find my way back out numerous times. Especially in the forest where things all look similar and I'd rather concentrate on finding images and have the freedom to wander about without keeping track of where I am. Sure, it's a hack, but makes my life simpler.

    Just recently, in a hike in Joshua Tree I used a similar technique, memorizing landmarks along the way in so I could use them to find the way back.

    It's real easy to get lost in the desert landscape, even with compass, etc. (I guess I could carry a Garmin GPS and just make waypoints for my starting point, etc... ). Once you get over the first rise in that rolling desert terrain and can no longer see either your destination or your starting point (car, in this case) or any distant landmarks, like mountains, etc., things all start to look alike and blend together real fast. People wander off and get lost in Joshua Tree all the time; it's just so easy to underestimate the landscape and think that, because it is "wide-open" space, it should be easy to find your way.

    The last time I was there hiking, I encountered a team with cadaver dogs looking for a lost jogger, who had left for a run some months ago and had just never come back. He likely became disoriented and simply perished from thirst before he could find his way back. I talked with the dog handlers/trainers and they told me that they get called to Joshua Tree numerous times a year; people are always getting disoriented and lost, often with tragic results. Maybe they shouldn't have been out there in the first place, but even I found the landscape confusing. It's not like following a landmark bearing, or a stream bed or canyon, or contours, etc. The terrain is remarkably homogeneous; on an overcast day, it's easier than you think to lose your bearings.

    Although I didn't flag my trails during my last time there, I always memorized a sequence of landmarks on the way in that I could follow back, things like conspicuous rocks, tree shapes, etc., in a line-of-sight pattern so that I could see the next one from the position of the previous. Had I not, I may, too, have got lost; the desert is tricky that way. Still, it took a bit of paying attention and mental acuity to do so, which I would rather have avoided and spent more time just concentrating in images. Had I brought along my trusty roll of flagging tape, I would have certainly used it.

    Best,

    Doremus

  8. #38
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Good -- they should not have been out there in the first place if they need to put ribbons along a trail to get back.
    When I use to Geocache (finding hidden caches hidden by GPS coordinates), many caches were hidden off trail so it was easy to get turned around. I would lean a big broken tree branch against a tree trunk or use a big rock to point my way on the way back out. Of course, my GPS had a bread crumb trail built in that gave the path back out. But the damn thing's batteries always had a habit of going dead just when it's starting to rain or getting dark and you don't know which direction gets you out.
    https://www.geocaching.com/play/search

  9. #39
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Vaughn,

    I'm a pretty experienced outdoorsman, and I've flagged trails to find my way back out numerous times. Especially in the forest where things all look similar and I'd rather concentrate on finding images and have the freedom to wander about without keeping track of where I am. Sure, it's a hack, but makes my life simpler.

    Just recently, in a hike in Joshua Tree I used a similar technique, memorizing landmarks along the way in so I could use them to find the way back.

    It's real easy to get lost in the desert landscape, even with compass, etc. (I guess I could carry a Garmin GPS and just make waypoints for my starting point, etc... ). Once you get over the first rise in that rolling desert terrain and can no longer see either your destination or your starting point (car, in this case) or any distant landmarks, like mountains, etc., things all start to look alike and blend together real fast. People wander off and get lost in Joshua Tree all the time; it's just so easy to underestimate the landscape and think that, because it is "wide-open" space, it should be easy to find your way.

    The last time I was there hiking, I encountered a team with cadaver dogs looking for a lost jogger, who had left for a run some months ago and had just never come back. He likely became disoriented and simply perished from thirst before he could find his way back. I talked with the dog handlers/trainers and they told me that they get called to Joshua Tree numerous times a year; people are always getting disoriented and lost, often with tragic results. Maybe they shouldn't have been out there in the first place, but even I found the landscape confusing. It's not like following a landmark bearing, or a stream bed or canyon, or contours, etc. The terrain is remarkably homogeneous; on an overcast day, it's easier than you think to lose your bearings.

    Although I didn't flag my trails during my last time there, I always memorized a sequence of landmarks on the way in that I could follow back, things like conspicuous rocks, tree shapes, etc., in a line-of-sight pattern so that I could see the next one from the position of the previous. Had I not, I may, too, have got lost; the desert is tricky that way. Still, it took a bit of paying attention and mental acuity to do so, which I would rather have avoided and spent more time just concentrating in images. Had I brought along my trusty roll of flagging tape, I would have certainly used it.

    Best,

    Doremus
    Use the bread crumb trailing feature if you have it in your GPS. That will take you back the same way you came in. Of course, you don't necessarily want to re-track the same trail as it could take longer if you were going round and round. So just mark waypoints at major turns. One thing I often forget is to waypoint the car before you start out into the woods from the parking spot.

    There are also GPS that have 24K topo maps that will be helpful in hiking and maybe even getting the right shot.

  10. #40
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: LF hikers, do you remove plastic tree ribbons?

    I have wandered wandered far and wide in just about most vegetation and landscape types. Awareness is what is needed. Depend on one's phone instead of taking the time and attention to be fully aware is foolish. Batteries go dead, device dropped, two people get separated with only one device, and such...and people get lost.

    But I am there to experience the place -- taking photographs is the result of that experience. Knowing where I am, being aware of my surroundings is part of my image-making. I try not to leave footprints, but will leave a couple if I feel they might help in a confusing situation.

    Geocaching...if there was ever a reason to carry a sniper-rifle...
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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