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Author Topic: Trail Marking  (Read 2526 times)

Offline captpschar

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Trail Marking
« on: May 20, 2019, 03:51:08 PM »
I'm going to give a back country scout in the Olympics wilderness areas a shot this year, leaning towards a back country hunt if it goes well.  I'm concerned about going off trail in such a remote area, and I'm looking for input.

I've always explored really open areas that are hard to get turned around in (southwest, badlands), or stayed on trail in closer more confusing terrain (northern forests).  The Olympic wilderness areas seem like something halfway between these sorts of terrain, and this will be my first time going off trail where there's a reasonable chance I could get turned around.  I'm going to have to figure out a way to mark my path, and I'm not sure which approach is best.

How do you guys mark your paths when you go off trail?  Cairns?  Marking Tape?  Is there an approach that works for you that's a bit unusual?  How do you think of it?  What's best?

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 03:52:41 PM »
Gps that tracks my path
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Offline 300rum

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 04:14:18 PM »
I use a GPS but I don't use it to get back unless I really need it.  I mark the truck and then turn it off and use dead-reckoning from then on.  On thing that works for me is that I look at my back trail occasionally.  That isn't going to work so well in a forest but it is good to get in the habit anyway.

I use a beaner on a string and carry my gps in my pocket.  This way, if I ever get separated from my pack (which I don't do) at least I will have my gps, my knife, and a lighter.

Don't be afraid to get out there.     

Offline brocka

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 04:45:52 PM »
Marking tape is litter. Drives me nuts. I take it down and put it in my pack whenever I see some...so I wouldn't go that route as someone might be eating your breadcrumbs as you drop them.

Offline Stein

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 04:55:55 PM »
GPS and a compass with a basic map showing at least roads, water and trails.

I only use marking tape for blood tarails and getting back to kill sites.


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Offline captpschar

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 04:57:04 PM »
Marking tape is litter. Drives me nuts. I take it down and put it in my pack whenever I see some...so I wouldn't go that route as someone might be eating your breadcrumbs as you drop them.

I feel the same way about it.  Thinking over using it my first thought is forgetting to take it down and being disgusted with myself lol.

Offline captpschar

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 04:59:25 PM »
GPS and a compass with a basic map showing at least roads, water and trails.

I only use marking tape for blood tarails and getting back to kill sites.


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This is probably going to be the way I go.  I got some decent maps made up through the USGS website, and I think Iíll use my phone as a GPS with a recharger just in case.

Offline dreamunelk

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 05:57:34 PM »

Offline cougforester

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 06:51:47 PM »
Marking tape is litter. Drives me nuts. I take it down and put it in my pack whenever I see some...so I wouldn't go that route as someone might be eating your breadcrumbs as you drop them.

Where do you do this? There is likely a reason why those ribbons were hung. Road centerlines or clearing limits, timber harvest boundary, cruise ribbon....  I get it's not pretty but man I get so mad when someone rips my ribbon down.

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 06:59:38 PM »
In the past old trappers and Indians would blaze a trail, Ive seen some blazes that were very old, kinda cool.
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Offline bkaech

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 07:34:06 PM »
If you know where the trials are, where the peaks are, and the streams are it should be easy to make it back to the trail. Look at and have maps so you know the landscape. Donít cross any streams or ridges that you donít know and know how to walk in a direction/have compass.

Offline SteelheadTed

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2019, 12:44:08 PM »
You can't go wrong with the following, IMO:

  • OnX maps as your main navigation tool (the benefits are huge and some of which you don't realize until you start using it)
  • Know how to orient the old fashioned way with a map and compass.  You need to really know this and have practiced it

Option 2 is a backup if option 1 fails; battery dies, phone dies, phone takes a swim, whatever.  Don't rely on technology alone.  Just like a safety on a rifle, it isn't full proof.  In fact, I'd say you are far more likely to experience a tech failure than a safety failure on your weapon.
I know I've lost it, let me know if you come across it

Offline SteelheadTed

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2019, 12:49:27 PM »
Marking tape is litter. Drives me nuts. I take it down and put it in my pack whenever I see some...so I wouldn't go that route as someone might be eating your breadcrumbs as you drop them.

I agree it is annoying but the chance this causes someone some real heartache (whether they are marking a trail, timber harvest markers, whatever) is not worth risking just because it annoys your eyes. 

Because it may be on public land does not give you standing to remove it.
I know I've lost it, let me know if you come across it

Offline Doublelunger

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2019, 12:56:16 PM »
I like to get to know an area as much as I can before I ever get there.  I'll spend a ton of time looking over an area on google earth. I feel like when I finally put boots on the gound I usually have a pretty good general understanding of the area which really puts my mind at ease. I also had to learn (the hard way)that I tend to underestimate how difficult country is based off of escouting on google earth. 

Offline Doublelunger

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Re: Trail Marking
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 01:02:27 PM »
Marking tape is litter. Drives me nuts. I take it down and put it in my pack whenever I see some...so I wouldn't go that route as someone might be eating your breadcrumbs as you drop them.

Most marking tape is biodegradable and has a life of 6-24 months. Most of the time its hung for a pretty good reason too.

 


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