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Trail Maintenance Forum?
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Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Trail Maintenance Forum? on 05/26/2009 10:34:16 MDT Print View

Are there any forums that discuss trail maintenance or building? I'm particularly interested in the maintenance aspect. I'm talking about everything from loppers, to motorized trimmers, chainsaws, methods to carry fuel, herbicide, signing, hammers, packs, boots, ticks, posion ivy, etc... I realize there are landscaping forums and such, but I haven't found anything targeted toward trail maintenance. I've had people chuckle when they see my setups, like my leaf blower with a strapped on Camelback Unbottle and fanny pack. I pack lunch, tools, and everything needed for a dayhike on my blower, not to mention carrying extra fuel. I can pretty much figure out how to do things in a sensible way, but I get aggravated with other volunteers that are clueless about what to do and how to do it.

I was out yesterday doing maintenance, and strapped on a schoolbook pack that I picked up at a Goodwill store for 25 cents. I had a fuel can, herbicide sprayer, loppers, hammer, water, all kinds of stuff in there. Of course a shoulder strap broke, and my gas leaked in the pack. It just make me think that there has to be somewhere to discuss these things.

Edited by Coldspring on 05/26/2009 10:36:38 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Trail Maintenance Forum? on 05/26/2009 10:55:09 MDT Print View

Tom,
A Google of ["trail maintenance" guidelines] turned up this.

Dig around in your local area and you should find some trail building groups to provide specific guidelines for your environment. Your local Forest Service office can probably point you to volunteer groups currently on the ground.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Trail Maintenance Forum? on 05/26/2009 12:32:57 MDT Print View

Oh, I'm already involved with the local groups. I just haven't seen any forums covering the topic. Of course there are books, but that's kind of like reading two generalized books on UL Backpacking and then what? I suppose there wouldn't be enough interest in the intricacies of tools and techniques for a forum. Imagine a couple of people bickering about the weight and durability of a specific tool or the appropriate stroke to use it...guess I've seen too many threads on alky stoves. :) Not only should volunteers be able to ask specific questions on topics, but I think a lot of them need moral support.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Trail Maintenance Forum? on 05/26/2009 12:36:59 MDT Print View

Tom,
Adding 'forum' to the search turns up a number of sites....

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Wilderness Volunteers on 05/26/2009 16:49:12 MDT Print View

I believe that Wilderness Volunteers (www.wildernessvolunteers.org) has a Facebook page. I'm trying to get them (us, actually - I'm a trip leader) to start a Yahoo group.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
LW trail tools on 05/29/2009 13:42:56 MDT Print View

Recently I discovered 15" Fiskars loppers at Home Depot for $23. Plastic handles with a gear drive and the only metal is the blade and bolts so the weight is 13 oz. They cut well and are durable when used by grownups. The blade can be resharpened with a file, but my kitchen sharpening stone (1"x3" glued on a short, paint stir stick) is even better. So you may need to make multiple cuts on some brush, but that is better than carrying pounds of larger loppers if you are going overnight.

WalMart sells a short, carpenter's hand saw with shark teeth for $6. It works as well on brush as much more impressive saws that cost and weigh more. Again, a good LW tool for overnight trips. It can start cuts on a big log while waiting for the crosscut to catch up and is easy to use on those undercuts.

I prefer most crew members to each have loppers and a small, light saw instead of fewer, larger saws for the group. That suits the brush in this neck of the woods.

Edited by heyyou on 05/29/2009 13:45:43 MDT.