What really Ticks you off on the trail?

5:54 p.m. on November 15, 2019 (EST)
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For me number 1 is people who don’t bury their excrement, what incredibly foul human beings they are. Yeah don’t invite me to dinner at your house.

#2 people who park their sorry hides, tents and camp right on the trail and then make a huge seen when you pass thru. I get it, it was the only place you felt safe and all but , good God your not the only ones using the trail and we aren’t invading your personal space! Your in everyone else’s!

#3 when you get out of everyone else’s way pick out a nice little secluded spot and then they start walking thru your site. Hey come on over and visit we’re  cool with that, but announce yourself . This ain’t the trail and we’re already here. And most times we’re gonna be happy to share the site.

6:54 p.m. on November 15, 2019 (EST)
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1. excrement, yellow snow and tp and the associated flies and smell. If you walk five miles to summit, one oughta be able to walk fifty ft off trail to take a dump and cover it up.

2. Runners...go run somewhere else. The wilderness needs to be enjoyed not ran past.

3. Noise, electronic or yelling.

4. People who have no clue where they are or are going and don't have the means[map and compass or whatever] to figure it out.

5. Improperly dressed/prepared hikers regarding the weather or season.

6. Post holers.

7. Drunks...there is a better time and place.

8. Litter- there is no excuse.

12:14 a.m. on November 16, 2019 (EST)
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Trash and Toilet paper!

2:57 a.m. on November 16, 2019 (EST)
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Paul’s pet peve 

I today society you are required to pickup after your dog. 
In today society people are doing this and leaving these little green bags on the side of the trails damn it

Now if you let your dog do his thing off the side of the trail it would that a couple of months maybe to biodegrade 

if you put into a plastic bag it going to take how long to biodegrade?

it drives me crazy I see them all summer long  

11:43 a.m. on November 16, 2019 (EST)
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Few things bother me on the trail.  It is why I like to go out there so much. 

One of the secrets is to find the right trails, or go overland. 

8:02 p.m. on November 16, 2019 (EST)
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Nothing ticks me off on the trail. That’s where everything melds into a zone up on some kind of higher plateau. Endorphins start to course through my body as I take deep breaths and feel alive and free. That is where everything makes sense.

10:47 p.m. on November 16, 2019 (EST)
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**  Of course, unburied human turds and toilet paper.  These folk are too lazy to dig a tiny hole.

**  Trail runners are upsetting as are Done In A Day types, i.e. Dayhikers.  They don't necessarily tick me off but I try to avoid any interactions with them.  Why?  Because they start their nature day in a car and end their day in a car.  They obviously hate spending the night.

**  Bicyclists on pretty much any trail, most especially wilderness trails where they are not allowed.  Why?  Because they tend to zoom down inclines at high speeds---which is wheeled machine traffic and incompatible with the speed of hikers and hiking. 

**  Idiots (and drunks) who insist on building giant bonfires no matter how dry the landscape or how high the wind---and then chortling and screaming all thru the night.  And then leaving the woods but not putting out their fires.

** Overhead jet traffic noise pollution in the Southeast mountains whereby I might get 20 seconds of true silence once every hour. 

**  Horses on trails and the huge mudpits they create and the big dirt divots they make on the edges of foot trails---making foot traffic difficult.  And horse turds in the watershed.

**  Logging and road building with bulldozers (for logging) in our national forests and adjacent to our wilderness areas.  There's nothing worse than a bulldozed logging cut switchbacking up a mountain side.

9:26 a.m. on November 17, 2019 (EST)
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I like seeing horses and mules on trails.  They move supplies around and are the ride out if you get hurt.  They built most of the trails in the West.

Logging and thinning are very positive signs.  That is how we create fire resilience.  It is how we store and manage carbon.  They are renewable and sustainable and a great source of raw materials.  Proof our forests are being managed. 

I like meeting sheepherders.  They live out there. 

I like meeting ecologists and other scientists out doing their jobs in the field. 

4:34 p.m. on November 17, 2019 (EST)
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I hate bulldozers and the unsightly roads they cut into our NC and TN mountains---just to log out the forest---and once the trees are gone the dang road scar remains for the next 500 years.  These cuts are difficult to look at and have no place in "a healthy ecosystem".

These scars cover our Southern Appalachians.


In fact the Forest Service posted this placard at an overlook and it pretty much describes what hell happened to our mountains when the local boys got finished with it---


11:26 p.m. on November 17, 2019 (EST)
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@tipi: I wish it would be the case that you could accept the results of logging on public lands. I assume that as a user of wood-derived products from trees logged from public lands your opinions do not come from a place of hypocrisy. As a Forester for the USFS I can assure you that my on-the-ground decisions kept in mind the resulting forest and it's suitability for multiple uses. I can say with certainty we consult regularly with our receation technicians to ensure that the skid trails we leave might be of benefit to their recreation trail planning objectives, in accordance with the most up-to-date best management practices.

Granted, these BMPs are not perfect, and I can not speak for anyone but myself. Be aware, however, that many of us must also keep in mind ecological objectives which operate on time scales of hundreds of years, just as we account for the penchants of the backcountry hiker who laments the appearance of the cut.

As a hiker myself, I really despair in not yet having the opportunity to share a fireside chat with you. TS serves as a sometimes-adequate substitute; I hope you can understand that USFS Foresters are, generally, repeatedly nailing a target which few people can see, let alone hit.

So what's my pet peave? Folks who can't, or don't want to, see the big picture.

10:20 a.m. on November 18, 2019 (EST)
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Thanks to pillowthread. 

The worst forests in the western US are in Yosemite which has been protected for 150 years.  They are full of beetle killed trees, and standing dead trees killed by fire which goes on mile after mile. 

12:02 p.m. on November 18, 2019 (EST)
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"Recreation Technicians"? 

"Suitability for Multiple Uses"?

Sounds like govt-speak for the policy of Multi-Use Access---the bane of impending future wilderness designations.  Hard to create new wilderness areas when loggers are drooling for the land along with ATV clubs and the Bicycle lobby.

Multi-Use Access is not so clever code for bulldozers, logging, ATVs, bicycles, flying drones, etc etc.

Thank God for wilderness areas!  Here in the Southeast mountains our wilderness areas do not allow bulldozers or logging---or ATVs or bicycles or any other "multi-use access" hysteria.

And the current policy is to let these areas burn in wildfire season.  It results in an overall healthier forest.  We've had several wildfires in late 2016 which burned off the deadfall and cleaned out the underbrush---in places like Cohutta wilderness and Maple Springs/Slickrock etc.  Now 3 years later the trails and the land looks like it never happened---except for some charred trees. 

The land recovers from fires---it never recovers from bulldozed-in roads.

In my opinion the best solution is to lock up land in wilderness areas---let it burn when lightning strikes, keep out the godawful bulldozers and the people with a grand 5-year plan for "Forest Management"---and let the land slowly heal from the ravages of the past.  Lock up its ecosystem in protection-mode and we'll see you in 500 years.

And this is what I like to see at wilderness trailheads---a ranger district that actually gives a crap---


6:00 p.m. on November 18, 2019 (EST)
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What ticks me off on the trail? Hunters. And ticks.

7:32 p.m. on November 18, 2019 (EST)
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One good thing about our Southeast hunters is they rarely---never---backpack-hunt---so they don't clog up my favorite campsites.

But I do dislike their hunting dogs---which glom onto me for days at a time and apparently roam unsupervised and in are effect "abandoned". 

11:24 a.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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I agree theat most wilderness areas do not need much fire suppression.  In the West, we have large tracts of wildlands that are mostly remote, high elevation sites, that are fairly wet and do not have enough fuel to carry fires for long distances.  Few of them have ever been logged. 

The problems described above are mostlly absent.  A few popular campsites have a quota system or assigned campsite locations.  I have never camped in a place like that. It is relatively easy in the West to avoid people entirely.  Sometimes we use the PCT for access, but rarely camp near it. 

12:33 p.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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not much. I pretty much like being out.   sometimes, crowds on certain day hikes.

3:44 p.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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Put me in the camp of seldom pissed off while backpacking.  Too much effort made getting there, only to let these peeves ruin my trip.  Where you have monkeys, you have monkey business.  Fortunately most of what has been posted, above, can be controlled if it is really that outrageous - I bring ear plugs and once moved because of another group's "style".  Hassle?  Perhaps, but in less than an hour I am over the problem.

What gets me going are things in my control that go awry.  Equipment left behind, equipment failures and food issues.  Sometimes these are mere inconveniences, sometimes they end trips.  There is no good reason for most occurrences of these items, and it is usually because I screwed up.


9:48 p.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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@ Ed

i feel your pain . and I don’t know how a guy who owns 9 sleeping bags can possibly forget his but I’ve done it .

but that is another opportunity to test your skills. It’s aggravating but It’s also an opportunity or a challenge That can be fun to overcome.

9:56 p.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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Tipi Walter said:

One good thing about our Southeast hunters is they rarely---never---backpack-hunt---so they don't clog up my favorite campsites.

But I do dislike their hunting dogs---which glom onto me for days at a time and apparently roam unsupervised and in are effect "abandoned". 


my grandpa was a dog hunter and that’s where my tolerance ends. They would run them anywhere and everywhere . Then in later years when I still hunted they wreaked so many hunts. The dog hunters in our area were shameless.  and then you add in all the times I’ve been personally attacked by dogs.

yeah that really ticks me off also!

11:29 p.m. on November 19, 2019 (EST)
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I once witnessed a camper pooping in the lake we all were drawing water from.  There is no excuse for that!  Followed him back to his camp, shamed him in front of his buds, then let them deal with him after I left.  But this is a whole different level of annoying behavior, it was all I could muster not to get into it with him.


12:09 a.m. on November 20, 2019 (EST)
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I did give some grief to a guy who was flying a drone in a wilderness area this year.  After a fairly long discussion, we were both clear on the other person's position...but at least he didn't fly it again while I was there.

11:58 a.m. on November 20, 2019 (EST)
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If being on the trail ticked me, off I would stop going out there. 

12:32 p.m. on November 20, 2019 (EST)
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No way I'll stop going "out there" unless crippled by bad health etc.

City life and indoor life has a thousand more things that tick me off than the things that tick me off when backpacking in our last remaining wilderness areas. 

3:05 p.m. on February 10, 2020 (EST)
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Wait, JUST WAIT until Trump and his eco-rapist friends get done exploiting every d@mn  natural area they can for their profits.

The Boundary Canoe Waters are now in danger from Twin Metals, a Chilean mining company (who has conveniantly bought and "bargain leased" a condo to Jared Kushner and Ivanka!!) Gee, no conflict of interest there!

It just does not end with this guy. His assault on our environment is astounding.

THAT is what grabs me "on the trail".

Eric B.

1:28 p.m. on February 11, 2020 (EST)
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Nature is honest.  That is why she is such a good teacher.  Choose your trails and companions wisely and there is no reason to ever get ticked off. 

2:12 p.m. on February 12, 2020 (EST)
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I agree with 300winmag---the continuing assault on our natural environment---what I call America The Beautiful---Seeing it get domesticated with sprawl and development is what irks me.  I call it the Chris Columbus Pox---like a plague. The Green Party here died with the first step of Columbus off his boat.

Like with the Boundary Canoe Waters, our Okefenokee Swamp area is now swarmed with idiots with blueprints to mine titanium etc---only Engineers could come up with such nonsense.


If such desecration doesn't piss off backpackers and hikers and outdoorsmen then they are asleep.

Forget about Ukraine---in my opinion olde Trumper should've been impeached for his environment policies and plans.  But the exploitation of the American landscape has always been a part of our manifest destiny---just look around.  And way before Trump came on the scene.  Just study the Trail of Tears for starters.

10:59 a.m. on February 14, 2020 (EST)
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In the West, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all of the public land.  Nevada is 87% Federally owned.  There are wild lands in all directions.  My backyard is one million acres of BLM land.  The Sierra and the PCT are 30 minutes away. 

February 28, 2020
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