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Old 10-11-2008, 09:21 AM   #41
redhawk
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Originally Posted by oldsmores View Post
Nor should it be.
I have to admit I'm coming late to the discussion and have not read the entire thread, but this is another example of a disturbing trend moving us further from natural selection as it should operate. If you protect people from themselves, they just reproduce.
I could care less if they kill themselves with their stupidity. I want to be protected from having to clean up their mess.

Just so I'm clear.

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Old 10-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #42
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I could care less if they kill themselves with their stupidity. I want to be protected from having to clean up their mess.

Hawk
Darwinian ideals with a "Green" slant... I love it!

Enough laws could never be enacted to protect stupid people from themselves. It's an impossiblity.


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Old 10-11-2008, 09:39 PM   #43
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After reading through most of these posts I have come up with a few more thoughts. First I do not think that requiring someone to go through a basic course is a way to limit freedom. I think that if things keep going the way they are the DEC will limit our freedom in other ways like limiting camping in the flowed lands corridor to ONLY WITHIN 150 feet of a designated campsite disk. Rather than the current rules that allows us the freedom to camp if we stay 150' away from water or a trail.

I also think that having some sort of introduction in to hiking in the high peaks would prevent people from having to "learn from their mistakes." My father was old school and he taught me before I ever steped foot in the deep woods. Not everyone has the benifit to have someone mentor them.

The original thought that I had when I posted this was mainly to help people to become properly trained before the set out on a backwoods adventure that this would in someway help with some of the problems that this area is having. Unfortunatly, some of the posters made the point that you cannot teach personal responsibility and I think that these people are right. Even with a permit or certifiate system you will still have the same irrisposible hikers/campers out there that will make this whole deal a waste of time.

I really don't want to see the Adirondacks come under control of the obsurd system that our friends in Canada have live with.
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:50 PM   #44
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Some interesting ideas have been shared here.

It started with a post by Baker who has observed
1.. groups of unprepared hikers on Wright and Algonquin.
2.. the improper disposal litter (specifically toilet paper).

As a result of such observations we ask, should all hikers in the Adirondacks be required to go through some certification program?

I believe that such a program would be unnecessary because the size of the problem in relation to the proposed solution appears highly disproportionate.

The reasons I think were summed up nicely by randomscooter.

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Originally Posted by randomscooter View Post
The observation that there are seemingly countless people wandering into the forest and mountains unprepared is probably accurate. The number of people who actually get into enough trouble to require a rescue is, I believe, a relatively small percentage.
Both randomscooter and Baker have mentioned learning from our mistakes.

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I'll be the first to confess that by today's standards my own early days of hiking in the mountains, fishing in the ponds, etc, would have been looked upon as reckless, dangerous, perhaps to some stupid, by today's standards. And I'll bet most of the readers on this forum will, at least to themselves, agree that they were the same way. I think I learned from my experiences. I think today's beginners will also.
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I also think that having some sort of introduction in to hiking in the high peaks would prevent people from having to "learn from their mistakes." My father was old school and he taught me before I ever steped foot in the deep woods. Not everyone has the benifit to have someone mentor them.
As far as learning from ones own mistakes goes, I have been hiking in the Adirondacks since 1982 and over the years I have made my share of mistakes. The point I would like to make is that whatever level of experience we have, we are still human, we will still make mistakes and we will hopefully learn from them. This is one of the things that makes hiking interesting…you will never totally perfect your skills.

People who want to learn to do things the right way will learn whether required to take a course or not.

For the rest a line from an old Bob Weir song comes to mind “you aint gonna learn what you don’t want to know”.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:47 AM   #45
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As far as learning from their mistakes goes...
I think that anyone with a little bit of common sense will do a little research before hiking. I know this doesn't happen all the time, and maybe it's naive of me to think it happens ever, but it would simply make sense.

I never took a winter training course with the ADK or anything, but I did read through 5 books (including an almost entire read-through of Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills), and took several practice trips before I went on my first real winter camp. And guess what, it paid off.

Maybe the best option would be to at least offer a course such as "hiking and camping 101" at the beginning of the year, but i still don't know about forcing people to go. if they were wise, they would learn about activities that have risk before they entire out into the wilderness. if they decide not to, it's kind of their own fault what happens to them. it's simply a shame that the forest rangers and such have to clean up the stupidity mess later.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starzero View Post
Some interesting ideas have been shared here.

It started with a post by Baker who has observed
1.. groups of unprepared hikers on Wright and Algonquin.
2.. the improper disposal litter (specifically toilet paper).

As a result of such observations we ask, should all hikers in the Adirondacks be required to go through some certification program?

I believe that such a program would be unnecessary because the size of the problem in relation to the proposed solution appears highly disproportionate.


As far as learning from ones own mistakes goes, I have been hiking in the Adirondacks since 1982 and over the years I have made my share of mistakes. The point I would like to make is that whatever level of experience we have, we are still human, we will still make mistakes and we will hopefully learn from them. This is one of the things that makes hiking interesting…you will never totally perfect your skills.

People who want to learn to do things the right way will learn whether required to take a course or not.

For the rest a line from an old Bob Weir song comes to mind “you aint gonna learn what you don’t want to know”.
The problem is that the problem is becoming larger with time.

More people are getting into "the outdoor experience" for reasons other then love of the outdoors or for solitude. It's becoming the "in" thing. In fact it's currently very "new-agey".

Subsequently it's attracting people who want the experience but not the work and time involved in obtaining it. It's like when i was involved with Martial Arts (Kempo). We had many people sign up who wanted to learn how to fight, but didn't want to put any time into the meditation and discipline part of it. In other words they want the reward without the effort.

We also have the case now where people are getting into it because it's "cheaper".

So, in my opinion, the QUALITY of the average backpacker, hiker, camper, etc has deteriorated and not as many people share the love and protectiveness for the wilderness that all of us feel.

Look at this forum, a great deal of people from different walks of life, who disagree on many things, yet respect each other for passion we share, Love of the Outdoors. This forum also becomes an educational tool for those people who are just starting out and who WANT to learn the proper way to do things. Now, how many people are there out there who are starting out that never do any research at all? I would guess that the disparity in number is high and that the people who don't seek knowledge outnumber those who do by a substantial margin.

Finally, I'll repeat myself. If someone is old enough to hike and doesn't know that it's improper and inconsiderate to defecate by the trail or lean-to, and to litter whether it's TP, candy wrappers or empty water bottles, I don't believe that any education is going to have an impact.

Hawk
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
The problem is that the problem is becoming larger with time.

More people are getting into "the outdoor experience" for reasons other then love of the outdoors or for solitude. It's becoming the "in" thing. In fact it's currently very "new-agey".


Hawk

I think we have Les Stroud and Bear Grylls to thank (blame) for that one LOL

too many people on Friday night watching Survivorman & Man Vs Wild, and say "hey, that looks easy and fun... let's go hiking this weekend"
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:42 PM   #48
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All good ideas. I would be against having a certification process simply because I want government out of my life not in it.

Everyone's points are well taken that it would definitely lower problems resulting from hikers who do not know how to dress and conduct themselves in the backcountry. The problem as I see it is we could extend this logic and apply it to so many other aspects of our lives. For example, making a certification course mandatory when you buy a chainsaw.

A slippery slope.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:34 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
Look at this forum, a great deal of people from different walks of life, who disagree on many things, yet respect each other for passion we share, Love of the Outdoors.
Not to get off point, but I read this forum almost every day. As to why this is so, I believe you have just hit the nail straight on the head. In addition to respectfully discussing and debating ideas, this forum provides a great source of knowledge, support and encouragement.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:17 AM   #50
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All good ideas. I would be against having a certification process simply because I want government out of my life not in it.
So the National forests and Adirondack park should be sold off to private interests and let the land owner manage the land as they see fit ?
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:50 PM   #51
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Camping and Hiking Certificates should be mandatory. For anyone from Wells.
HAHAHAHA! Uh Oh, you're going to get in some trouble with that one!
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #52
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HAHAHAHA! Uh Oh, you're going to get in some trouble with that one!
Actually I agree with him.

I'd be the first in line to get one.

Hawk
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:40 AM   #53
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Here in Wells we are "Pragmatic Romanticists"

A sort of Oximoronic Culture.

Hawk
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:59 AM   #54
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All good ideas. I would be against having a certification process simply because I want government out of my life not in it.

Everyone's points are well taken that it would definitely lower problems resulting from hikers who do not know how to dress and conduct themselves in the backcountry. The problem as I see it is we could extend this logic and apply it to so many other aspects of our lives. For example, making a certification course mandatory when you buy a chainsaw.

A slippery slope.
How true - but...

As we've seen in recent weeks, too many people expect to be 'rescued' when they extend their risk levels too far. One interesting parallel I heard during the economic discussions is that everyone is a libertarian when things are good, and a voice for higher regulation (i.e. government intervention) when things go south. And I suspect the same is true here...many who would oppose mandatory training/licensing would also hope to be rescued when necessary. So the real question is - where indeed does one draw the line?

I suppose I don't know the answer to that...and I guess some of my thoughts above came from another 'hunter vs hiker' thread I had been reading on another forum, where the conclusion was it is solely the hunters responsibility to recognize a hiker, whether the hiker was 'informed' enough to wear orange during hiking season, or was hiking in a deer suit, the hunter was still responsible. And I didn't think that was quite fair...to me, hikers have some responsibility to be safe as well. Since very few people would opt for a voluntary training, I figured requiring something might be the only way to ensure people understand.

It is indeed a slippery slope, but until and unless people are willing to accept responsibility for their own actions, what recourse is there?
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:05 AM   #55
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and that includes being free to make mistakes regardless of the cost to oneself.

Common sense and personal responsibilty is NOT too much to ask for...we as a free people have the right to demand it.
Lute - couldn't agree with you more - except that it simply doesn't happen that way. Waaay too many people believe common sense and personal responsibility is too much to ask for, and when something happens, expect others to absorb the cost rather than they themselves.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:16 AM   #56
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You don't have to look any further then Ontario to see what a a permit/fee system looks like. Try to camp in the back country of Algonquin, Killarney or Quetico or any other of the popular park without first calling 5 months in advance. For popular routes that means start dialing at 6:59am 5 months to the day you plan to leave and keep hitting redial with the hope that once you set through the lakes you want are still open. Then consider that a family of four will spend nearly $30.00 a night to camp in any of the above listed parks ($55 in some parts of Quetico) . This is for undeveloped sites imagine what New York would charge for a lean to at Marcy Dam or Duck Hole.
You are so correct. First understand Algonquin is very nice, it's got problems as well. Although Algonquin is actually further away from home than the Dacks, Algonquin currently charges 9.90$/night (lower fees for kids and seniors). Tack on the reservation fee (11.85) and tax, I'm looking at around $40/night for my family of four. Costs close to that to car camp! They do, however, take the time to get proper information---tent and canoe colour, the bear drill, poisonous plants, etc.---to ensure safety.

Moreover, assigned sites can be troublesome, whether assigned to a given site or a lake such as what is done at Algonquin. Even though the park people try to help in trip planning, you can only expect so much of the unexpected. Hiking with kids, sometimes you have to just find a site closer than what you were trying for or when the trail conditions become too hard for them. Even with just my hubby, we saw the conditions deteriorate faster than we'd anticipated/planned for and cut our planned 12 miles down to 7, where we found a nice place to camp. You do need some flexibility.

Although a permit system may help, I'm not sure how effective it is and how much good it will do.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:09 AM   #57
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My hair stood up when I first saw this thread.

I honestly can't believe anyone is suggesting or supporting licensing or certification for hiking and camping. We are supposed to be a nation of free people, and that includes being free to make mistakes regardless of the cost to oneself.

I understand the concern about people being unprepared for the nature of Adirondack climatic conditions. I understand it...but I don't share it. As a free person, I expect them to educate themselves before setting off. I educated myself in swimming before jumping into the ocean. Common sense and personal responsibilty is NOT too much to ask for...we as a free people have the right to demand it.

I agree that some people have to be educated about how to sh!t in the woods and why it's not cool to leave a trail of litter wherever you go...about campsite courtesy...about the proper equipment for venturing into the woods. But I would not take likely anyone telling me I have to be "certified" to hike or camp.
Well said, Lute! I agree completely.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is this really a big problem?? I have been hiking all my life and have simply neither found this ubiquitous litter problem, nor the woefully unprepared or discourteous hiker phenomenon to be frequent part of my experience. Yes, I occasionally find litter in the woods...it pi$$e$ me off, then I pick it up and pack it out. (I would love to see some strict enforcement and the funding to make that possible, but the truth is, anybody who litters knows that it's wrong, and they're pretty unlikely to do it when others are watching.)

On very rare occasions I run into someone who doesn't exercise proper trail etiquette, but I choose not to let it ruin my experience.

On occasion I run into someone who is not dressed "properly" or not carrying any water... So what?!?! It's a free country...we're free to make mistakes. I usually try to offer some free advice, but ultimately it's their choice...and none of my bleepin' business how they hike their hike!

Ever see somebody walking on pavement or concrete and trip and fall, or slip on water or ice? Should we have a permit system and a training course for those dangerous activities? Please!! Keep the government out of my boots!!
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:24 AM   #58
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Steve -

I agree with much of what you say, and wish it were otherwise...but there are different issues here. First, there's the litter issue. But second is the safety issue...

Focusing on the second, the big difference between tripping on a sidewalk and breaking your leg, and needing to be rescued off a mountain is the danger and risk imposed on the rescuers themselves. Let's skip the 'driving is the most dangerous' part argument - because the rescuers/ambulance will drive either way. But scooping you off a sidewalk, and off the side of a mountain, is different...so someone's irresponsible behavior could put others art risk. That's an important distinction...(same goes for the chainsaw argument...if you cut your hand off, there isn't much risk to the rescuer unless you're chasing them with the saw).

Now - that said, two important things...one, accidents happen, even to those well trained and experienced. And two, I don't believe that most people put themselves and others at risk intentionally, but rather because they just don't know better. When I was younger and where I grew up, the outdoorsy folks grew up with Scouts, and learned that way. These days, Scout'ings numbers are down...so how does one learn how to be safe? Better question - if one has no clue there are risks to begin with, how does one learn? Imagine someone who hikes the town park every weekend for a year...one mile hike, no hills, never out of sight of their car. Suddenly they say "I'm a hiker, I'm going to go hike Washington on New Year's Day"...I suspect this happens more often than not...and that's the issue at hand, how to help those people.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:46 AM   #59
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To quote an old friend of mine " there ain't no savin' the ignorant". If you don't know what your limits are you need to test yourself to find out . That should be common sense. Are there fewer with common sense than I'm guessing?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:48 AM   #60
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Are there fewer with common sense than I'm guessing?
I'll say it before Hawk does

Yup...
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