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The "I don't get it" thread
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/22/2013 15:02:35 MDT Print View

Remove the cables and quit doing trail maintenance. Get rid of the permit system. Mother nature will cull out the hordes.


steven franchuk
Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/23/2013 00:44:05 MDT Print View

"My proposed system: Anyone can print out a "permit" from a website. It explains the rules and gives safety guidelines."

Yosemite rangers have been explaining the rules and guidelines for years. Yet people rutinely ignore them. At Yosemite, Vernal, and nevada falls there are signs warning people to stay away from the water and to not go swimming. There are guard rails and signs saying do not cross. And yet people ignor them and go over the edge every year. Explaining the rules and guidelines doesn't work.

"There's a time/date-stamp machine at Happy Isles. You must be within the first 200 people if you get your permit time-stamped AFTER 7 am. If you get time-stamped before 7 am, there's no limit."

What is going to revent 700+ people showing up at 4AM to get there permit stamped? having 700 people hiking in the dark doesn't sound like a good idea.

People may not like that fact that there are a limited number of permits available and that they will be checked 1 mile before they get to the top, but it works.

"Why can't they look at the underlying causes of those deaths (people on the cables during late afternoon thunderstorms - not due to lightening,"

They did and found a significant number of deaths appears to be directly or indirectly related to crowds. In one of my links pointed to a hiker from japan that let go of the hand rail so he could get around slower hikers on the cables. He slipped fell in dry weather and rolled over the edge. In another case bad weather appeared suddenly in the morning and most people decided to get off. Unfortunately a traffic jam of people going down occurred and not everyone could get off before the worst of the weather arrived. (the video on the NPS page

The current permit limit of 300 per day greatly reduces the possibility of traffic jams on the cables.

Dirk R
Re: I don't get Half Dome Permits on 03/23/2013 01:45:37 MDT Print View

I have to agree that the greatest threat of accident seems to be relatd to overcrowding. I went up last summer while hiking the JMT and there were entirely too many people trying to get up and down at pretty much the same time. It honestly felt like an accident waiting to happen.

In the roughly 15 minutes it took me to get up the cables, I witnessed some pretty questionable actions by people I would venture to characterize as inexperienced hikers. The cavalier attitude and risk taking was enough to make me certain they lacked an appreciation for slick granite and the elixir that is momentum and gravity.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt but if I am to go up again, I will time the hike to minimize the number of users.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/23/2013 09:14:46 MDT Print View

"What is going to revent 700+ people showing up at 4AM to get there permit stamped? having 700 people hiking in the dark doesn't sound like a good idea. "

You won't get 700+ people to get up and stand in line at 4 a.m. unless it is for tickets to a Bon Jovi concert.


spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
I don't get it on 03/23/2013 11:19:44 MDT Print View

I don't get trail names. They don't seem to be a big deal here, but they sure are elsewhere (whitblaze, through-hiker blogs). Maybe it is part of through-hiker culture but it seems a little weird to me.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: I don't get it on 03/23/2013 12:45:48 MDT Print View

It is a thru-hiker thing. Generally it's a nickname that you've earned somehow either from a single incident or a continuous habit/personality. I am guessing it is more prominent on the AT rather than the PCT/CDT since it seems to be more social but they all have it.

personally i think you should be given a trailname and not name yourself.

-Speedy LT'12 :)

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/23/2013 12:46:23 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 12:52:29 MDT Print View

I don't get groundsheets for tents. I am surprised how many people think they are necessary, even here on BPL. Why should I carry a 2nd floor?

Tarp or bivy users - I can understand a groundsheet.

Jan S
Re: Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 13:13:20 MDT Print View

They have their uses if you camp on wet muddy ground and don't want to crawl through the mud while getting in or out (maybe that problem is just me) or don't want to store your gear in the mud and keep it dry. They also reduce condensation a lot on certain grounds (wet grass in the summer) Same for abrasion on very rocky ground.

Basically you get a tent floor that you only take when you need and can easily switch out if broken. Of course their use varies with the amount of tents you own and how long you plan to use a tent and how expensive the tent was (Hillebergs come to mind, I wouldn't want to have a hole in my $ 1.000 tent).

Linda Alvarez
(Liniac) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
ground sheets on 03/24/2013 14:02:48 MDT Print View

My threshold is quite a bit lower than $1,000! I'll pay a 2 oz penalty to protect even a $100 tent. My groundsheets often come home with abrasions, and pick up dirt, mud, pine needles etc. I can replace it for a few bucks. My tent floors still look pretty good.

Jan S
Re: ground sheets on 03/24/2013 14:38:55 MDT Print View

My threshold too actually. And I use groundsheet for all of my tents (is there such a thing as having too many tents? Or being a tentaholic?). And reading the original comment again: I don't have a $ 1.000 Hilleberg tent and probably wouldn't get one even if I could afford one.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 15:27:52 MDT Print View

Because ground sheets are extremely light, cheap and replaceable. A tent is none of those things. For some people, an expensive tent is a huge investment that they want to last for years and years.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:17:56 MDT Print View

I don't get the lack of privacy with US Toilet stalls.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:44:55 MDT Print View

>"lack of privacy with US Toilet stalls."

Do you refer to the relatively large gaps at the bottom of each panel and the vertical gaps at panel junctions? There is less "coverage" than in other countries. I suspect it is to minimize extracurricular activities in the stall and also to make cleaning easier - you can mop under the door and from one stall to the next.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:59:03 MDT Print View

Yep, its the very large gaps.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 19:00:58 MDT Print View

"Yep, its the very large gaps."

They're there to make it easier for Larry Craig to find dates....

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 19:20:13 MDT Print View

Had to google that one.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread": Short Jackets on 04/16/2013 15:21:34 MDT Print View

Miguel Arboleda (butuki) wrote: " I don't get outer shells that are shorter than the shirts you wear underneath them. What is the point? Your shirt sticks out from below the hem and gets wet. Unless you wear your mid layer tucked into your pants, I see no advantage to this. And so many outer shells are designed to be short like this, with hardly any alternatives! Am I the only one who is frustrated by this?"

It's the damn climbers. Jackets are cut short to fit under climbing harnesses, and hoods are like parachutes to go over climbing helmets. I guess manufacturers think they have to cater to climbers, or to walkers who think they might perhaps climb one day.

[The Rab Bergen, BTW, is a very nice walking jacket in eVent with a long cut and a small hood, at a reasonable if not brilliant weight. Rab make more W/B jackets than I can remember, and all but that one are designed for climbing rather than walking.]

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
IDG 20 inch mats on 04/16/2013 15:33:50 MDT Print View

I don't camp, I haven't camped for 20 years, and I have no great wish to camp. But it has been made clear to me that I may be camping soon. My strongest memory of camping, on a "standard" foam mat, is putting my arms down by my side... ...and snatching them back as the ground tried to turn them to ice. Several times.

I tried an experiment recently with folded blankets on the bedroom floor, and it seemd pretty much the same. Nasty shock every 30 seconds. I'm about 27 inches across at the shoulders, and 20 inch mats just plain don't work.

What the heck do you people do?

Of all the werid and wonderful stuff I read about here, I have no problem with sawnoff toothbrushes. I don't have *much* problem with people selling "waterproof" equipment that isn't water proof (until seam sealed), which I suspect might be illegal in Europe. But I can't for the life of me understand how 20 inches became a standard mat width.

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a wide Exped, but I keep holding back because I wonder if there's some trick I'm missing.

Andrew Zajac

Locale: South West
short jackets and narrow pads on 04/16/2013 17:25:54 MDT Print View

Just my opinions here, but I have to disagree with the climbers opinion above. The voluminous hoods are definitely for climbers as are longer sleeves and chest pockets. However, I look for longer length jackets to climb in so they stay in my harness and don't expose my midriff as I reach above my head. I think short jackets are a product of competition to have the lightest weight jacket on the market.

I have read Mike Clelland's book and in his book he recommends putting your shoes under your elbows and to sleep on your back. I have not tried this, but it doesn't sound very comfortable. I personally use a 20" wide ridgerest and measured my shoulders at 24" and haven't had any problems. I sleep on my stomach with my hands kind of tucked under my thighs. My shoulders extend ever the edge of the pad, but just don't hit the ground.

Edited to include narrow pad opinion

Edited by AZajac on 04/16/2013 17:36:54 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: IDG 20 inch mats on 04/16/2013 19:41:23 MDT Print View

I'm 20 inches across at shoulders. If I lay on back with arms at sides, they fit on 20 inch pad.

Measure again, I don't think you're 27 inches : )