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Old 02-26-2017, 10:49 AM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Trail resgisters

I know this topic has come up in discussion on several threads, but I couldn't find one dedicated to it.

When I go out into the woods, even in a local park, I'm pretty good about signing into the trail registers. I know there's an issue about DEC not collecting or reporting the data on some trailheads. While that's important, I think the main reason I sign in is in case something happens, the SAR crews will have an idea where to start looking for me.

One of the things that cheeses me off when it comes to trail registers are the "snowflakes" who feel the need to sign in anywhere but the next line down in the book. Skip a couple pages, use the back page, write upside down, etc.

On a recent hike in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, Tredhed and I came across this trail register with a pretty firm statement by the rangers.



The pages date back to Oct, 2016. So far, everyone's been good about it. We'll see how long it lasts.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:37 AM   #2
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I saw the same note at the Crane Mt. trailhead a few weeks ago, that and pages obviously torn out?!
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:09 PM   #3
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Lots of anti-establishment type jerks out there who just seem to enjoy being A-holes & like to make things a pain in the neck for everyone else but themselves. Others just don't seem to have a clue about proper etiquette when visiting public trails & waterways.

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Old 02-28-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
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The problem with public trails & waterways is they allow the public! I say that a bit tongue in cheek but I've experienced a lot of issues over the years with folks who would fit into Justin's definition seen above. The worst part is trying to talk with them. For some folks it just doesn't matter how nicely you approach them, they don't give a dam. I remember one guy, who I asked if they couldn't stop bathing in the river with soap (we were camping there and needed the water supply) gave me a lecture on how his grandfather had done it, his father had done it and now it was his turn so we could all go to "H-E double L hockey sticks"; except he didn't say H-E double L hockey sticks.

OK, sorry for the thread drift but it kind of fits.

Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 02-28-2017, 05:24 PM   #5
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I can't say I've seen much of this sort of silliness in the High Peaks registers. On occasion I might see a skipped page or someone started a new one when the previous one had 3-4 lines left. No big deal.

What I have noticed is some people don't fill in all the requested information. For example, just this past Sunday, I noticed a few folks overlooked to add their destination or used illegible handwriting. Perhaps they have a limited understanding of the register's purpose.

If the DEC receives a call indicating you are overdue, they'll check the register. If your name and phone number are in Sanskrit, or your destination is blank, you aren't helping the rangers find you.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:18 PM   #6
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Over the years I've also noticed that during the big game hunting season, many people don't even bother to sign in the register to let others know where they're hunting, even though the parking area is full with pickup trucks. Yet they get heated when someone bushwhacking with a dog accidentally intrudes on their hunt.

That has happened to me several times, but if I had seen in the register that someone was hunting in the area, I probably would've reconsidered venturing into that area in the first place.

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Old 03-01-2017, 08:51 AM   #7
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Since I re-started hiking five years ago, I've seen a few registers that have been desecrated by various parties. One had fresh bullet holes in it (going back to Justin's comments). Another had the book ripped in half and all the pages torn/burned out with the post having been axed rather severely.

Here's a couple more trail register photos from the Pharaoh Lake area.

Berrymill Pond



Pharaoh Lake outlet



Some people just want to watch the world burn.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:06 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, we never begin a school hike without going over why the registers are there, why we should use them and how they can be of help to us if we have an emergency in the woods. Most of the students get it but there will always be a few who don't seem to care. That being said, the one thing I don't encourage is for them to put down their phone numbers. I can't remember when that request actually started but I'm just not going to leave myself open like that. I do explain how they can enter the Ranger's phone number into their phone as it's posted with the sign-in book or at the kiosk that goes with the registration book. If they need to contact the Ranger, you can be sure they will then have your phone number.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 03-01-2017, 02:51 PM   #9
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If the DEC receives a call indicating you are overdue, they'll check the register. If your name and phone number are in Sanskrit, or your destination is blank, you aren't helping the rangers find you.
In addition to what snapper mentions (which makes some sense in a school or similar type group, since one doesn't know who might see that information and what they might try to do with it), there are likely still some people who don't carry phones while hiking. If that's the case, putting a home phone # wouldn't help much for them to find you (and they might already have such number anyhow if that's where the call came from looking for you).
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Hikers receiving calls from strangers who collect phone numbers from a trail register.

Is that even a thing???


FYI, if your name is in the register, a quick Google search is liable to reveal a crapton more about you than just a phone number. As for teenagers and young adults, they're more likely to attract unwanted attention via their social media accounts.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:52 PM   #11
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The problem with public trails & waterways is they allow the public! I say that a bit tongue in cheek but I've experienced a lot of issues over the years with folks who would fit into Justin's definition seen above. The worst part is trying to talk with them. For some folks it just doesn't matter how nicely you approach them, they don't give a dam. I remember one guy, who I asked if they couldn't stop bathing in the river with soap (we were camping there and needed the water supply) gave me a lecture on how his grandfather had done it, his father had done it and now it was his turn so we could all go to "H-E double L hockey sticks"; except he didn't say H-E double L hockey sticks.

OK, sorry for the thread drift but it kind of fits.

Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
You do realize that what the local animals do to that water is far worse than what he was doing by bathing in it, right? That's why you purify it, regardless of your camping neighbor's bath habits.

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Some people just want to watch the world burn.
A bit dramatic, don't you think? What does it say about our ADK community that tearing out a few pages and writing some dribble on a trail register now qualifies as a "burning world?"
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:03 PM   #12
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I remember reading in an older thread about trail registers (which ended up getting closed) that mentioned the request for phone numbers was more for if someone went missing, the DEC has some info to maybe ask if they happened to see them, and perhaps establish a "Last known position" LKP.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:43 PM   #13
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Hikers receiving calls from strangers who collect phone numbers from a trail register.

Is that even a thing???

Hey, that's how I pick up chicks!
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:24 PM   #14
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I remember reading in an older thread about trail registers (which ended up getting closed) that mentioned the request for phone numbers was more for if someone went missing, the DEC has some info to maybe ask if they happened to see them, and perhaps establish a "Last known position" LKP.
I thought that too.

Also, I thought with your number in the register if you somehow forget to check yourself out, whether absent mindedly or for some other reason, it makes it very easy for a diligent ranger to place a quick phone call to confirm that you are in fact out of the woods and safe. If said ranger was being extra through and cautious, that is (I would never rely on something like that as a fail safe in a true emergency).

FWIW I've always left my number in registers and I've yet to recieve any ill wanted phone calls or heavy breathing hang-ups as a result. At least not to my knowledge. Though I can understand the concern some people may have.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:34 AM   #15
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There will always be knuckleheads out there. Teaching, explaining proper etiquette, as done here on this forum, is going to be more effective than condemnation methinks.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:58 AM   #16
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I was once contacted by a ranger after writing in a lean to log book about the snowmobilers who showed up at Stephens Pond to poach fish. I was impressed that he not only took the time to read the log book, but then checked the trail register to find my number to give me a call. Unfortunately I wasn't able to give him any information to help figure out who it was. I snapped a ski in one of their trail divots over a stream on the NPT and wasn't too happy.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:35 AM   #17
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I was once contacted by a ranger after writing in a lean to log book about the snowmobilers who showed up at Stephens Pond to poach fish.
Wow...a double whammy!
I would've immediately contacted the Ranger.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:56 AM   #18
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A friend returned from a hike to find his car was damaged in an ADK parking area. The police officer who responded called a couple people in the register to ask if they had seen the collision.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #19
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FWIW, rangers do not routinely, if ever, check registers at the end of the day to see whether everyone has checked the "out" column. Only if someone is reported overdue, do they then check the trailhead register. However, given that about 99% of all trail users arrive by a car or truck, the presence or absence of a vehicle in the parking lot is the best indication whether the person is still in the woods or just delayed getting home.

The phone # box was added after the unsuccessful search for Thomas Carleton in 1993. One ranger told me that in looking at the registers at the Loj, Marcy Dam, Lake Colden, and the Indian Pass Trail they found a "Gonzales" (or perhaps some other Hispanic surname) from Queens who had hiked a loop that included Cold Brook Pass and Indian Pass and was a good candidate to have seen Carleton. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with Hispanic surnames in Queens, and the DEC was never able to reach the right one.

Last edited by tgoodwin; 03-02-2017 at 11:03 AM.. Reason: Typo: changed "deleted" to "delayed"
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:27 PM   #20
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FWIW, rangers do not routinely, if ever, check registers at the end of the day to see whether everyone has checked the "out" column. Only if someone is reported overdue, do they then check the trailhead register. However, given that about 99% of all trail users arrive by a car or truck, the presence or absence of a vehicle in the parking lot is the best indication whether the person is still in the woods or just delayed getting home.

The phone # box was added after the unsuccessful search for Thomas Carleton in 1993. One ranger told me that in looking at the registers at the Loj, Marcy Dam, Lake Colden, and the Indian Pass Trail they found a "Gonzales" (or perhaps some other Hispanic surname) from Queens who had hiked a loop that included Cold Brook Pass and Indian Pass and was a good candidate to have seen Carleton. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with Hispanic surnames in Queens, and the DEC was never able to reach the right one.
Thank you for the information and back story to the 'numbers' column. Possibly I should have been more clear in my original post to not give any hikers the false impression that rangers routinely check the 'out' column so that they would not be relying on it as some kind of safety measure.

I never thought they (the rangers) actually made a habit out of it (we all know they are stretched extremely thin as it is), just that if they really wanted to or there was some kind of issue they could do something like that.

I was also thinking more in the case of an abnormal circumstance, say a massive wind storm or micro-burst, where there is the distinct possibility for trapped, injured or missing hikers. In an extreme and chaotic case such as that possibly it could help to facilitate some kind of rudimentary head count.

And, again, I don't want to give anyone the false impression that I know this would definitely happen, I was stating some of my own personal reasons/justifications for including my phone number in the registers.

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