Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web.
Display Avatars Sort By:
Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:12:38 MST Print View

Overpopulation.
I've become wary of posting trip locations, trailhead names, and logistics on the web.
There are just too many people. And all of them have search buttons. Why attract more with pretty pictures and inspiring reports?

Sure, I'm one of those people, but hear me out.

Perhaps my thinking is a byproduct of surfing rubbing off on me, a culture in which it's considered pretty bad form- if not outright dangerous in some circles- to broadcast the locations of good waves, especially if they're not well known. A culture in which there are circles, inner circles, and inner-inner circles, all privy to different amounts of information. A culture in which keeping your mouth shut about conditions and locations is pretty standard. Many a fight occurs over this.

Last year around this time I was taken to a somewhat unknown spot by a friend, a spot that can't be seen from the road, a spot that is fairly committed in that you're in your wetsuit and hiking at least a mile before you can see if it's even working. Wetsuits are put on inside the car, boards are kept inside, out of site. Chancing a motorist seeing surfers running across the road and down the path to this spot can't happen. It turns out the wave was working really well, and I was immediately sworn to secrecy, for the third or fourth time that morning. My friend told me about the guy that showed him the spot, about how I'm the only one he's ever taken here.
A few minutes later, we see someone coming up the beach, paddling out through the rocks. "Shit, that's him!" my friend says. "If he paddles over to us, I'm going to tell him I don't know you, that you were already out here." I'm amused by the secrecy, willing to play along. But I realize my car was the only one parked in the turnout. The guy paddling out won't buy our story.
He paddles over. Polite smiles and hellos are exchanged. But there's a palpable tension in the air. Apparently they both surfed Fiji together a year ago, running into each other there by chance. My friend explains that I was sworn to secrecy, that I can be trusted. I'm met only only with a nod and a stare. We surfed, we all talked, we went our separate ways. Despite it all, that was likely the last time my friend would be trusted with guarding a spot.

__________________________

I have a few backpacking secrets, places that will likely remain so. Places that don't get trip reports or pictures that are shared. These spots might only be special to me, but I've never heard anyone talk about them, never seen evidence of others finding them, and feel it should remain so.

Of course, I also travel plenty of places that are well known. And then there are places that are sort of in between. But regardless of the popularity status of an area, I've begun questioning the wisdom of posting trail names and specific logistics on the internet. I likely won't publish them anymore, only mentioning general locations.

A wakeup call for me happened on my blog. A trip report I posted was linked by a bushcraft site. And then linked by more bushcraft sites. And then it was linked by a bunch of gun sites. And suddenly I find myself reading forum posts by scores and scores of people talking about how they should go there. Now the teacher in me wants to inspire others, to advocate...but...

...it's already too crowded out there. And the internet makes it even easier to find places and spread the word.

My thinking follows a few lines. First off, I simply like imagining that I'm the first person to find an area. I've generally stopped the personal practice of looking at anything except topos for a prospective trip. It helps keep a sense of adventure alive. In climbing terms, it's the difference between an onsight flash and a redpoint. I figure that by withholding specifics, I'm doing other prospective hikers the favor, whether they realize it or not.

In this crowded world, is it necessary to put up beautiful pictures and excite the general public to go somewhere? Sunset magazine is guilty of this all the time. Headline: "California's Ten Best Little Known Beach Campgrounds", complete with maps and directions. I cringe when I see these articles. Not so little known anymore, now I need reservations 6 months out. I've personally seen this happen to areas.

Is it selfish to not volunteer information? Does it make any difference? One could argue that certain places are well known enough. But should we publicize them anymore?

I have no issue sharing information with people privately. Would I be wrong in asking people to not pass the same information on to the general public? Is it even my business or even within my control?

I presume many will question whether or not I'm a pretentious, arrogant, and selfish A$$hole for even believing I could influence anybody or go places that others would like to follow. For not wanting to share my supposed secrets.

Am I alone?

I think back to my favorite surfing bumper sticker: SURFING SUCKS. DON'T TRY IT.

Is it time backpacking has one?

1

Edited by xnomanx on 11/11/2013 20:22:23 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:20:40 MST Print View

"A culture in which there are circles, inner circles, and inner-inner circles, all privy to different amounts of information. A culture in which keeping your mouth shut about conditions and locations is pretty standard. Many a fight occurs over this."

Sounds like knowing which bars outside Fort Bragg have the best looking women - the ones who like soldiers....

But seriously, Nick G. has been preaching this for a long time. No, you're not a pretentious, arrogant, and selfish A$$hole for not wanting to share your spots of solitude and wonder. You might be for other things, I don't know, I haven't met you, but not for this.

Unfortunately, as many of us have seen far too often, people destroy places. The more people know about a really cool spot, the better chance of it being trashed. Send the masses to Yellowstone. Keep your special places to yourself and close, trusted friends.

Edited by idester on 11/11/2013 20:21:12 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:24:17 MST Print View

Yeah, Nick and I have talked about this at length.

Fortunately for him, all of his special places are up some God-forsaken, parched, 110 degree canyon full of rocks and thorns. People wouldn't go even if he did share.

How about you PM me some Fort Bragg details Doug?

Edited by xnomanx on 11/11/2013 20:25:17 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:33:47 MST Print View

I spent part of the day wandering around a wildlife refuge with my kids. It would not have been difficult to fill a contractor bag with all of the garbage we saw during our wanderings. I try to pick up all the garbage I see on a trail; usually return to my truck with a few to several water bottles and other goodies.

Most people suck and you're wise to keep some of these hikes secret. Just make sure that you don't upload any pictures that still have a geo tag embedded into it.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 11/11/2013 20:35:56 MST.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:36:01 MST Print View

I agree.

You know what they say, "If you want to destroy a beautiful place, make it a National Park." The hordes will ruin it. 4 million visitors a year in Yosemite. John Muir is turning over in his grave, no doubt.

Besides, if you blabber all the great places in a public forum you are not doing them any favor. Half (maybe more) of the joy is in discovery. When you tell people of these hidden places, you destroy not only the place, but the fun of discovery.

I know of Anasazi ruin sites in Utah that I won't even tell my friends how to get there. If I tell them, they'll tell others, who will tell others and others and others. Before you know it all the potshards and corn cobs are gone that the place is trammeled with foot prints and the place ends up in a guide book.

Been there done that.

Bill D

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:38:23 MST Print View

Yeah, kinda, maybe. There are a few pockets here and there, lakes with no established trail, etc. The real factor is a stack of wicked switchbacks and something more than a couple hours day hike. Sweat and blisters are the sieve for solitude.

Todd Taylor
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:39:03 MST Print View

Not sharing is fine as long as you don't post anything at all. I always laugh at people who post a picture heavy trip report but decline to say where it was because they want to "protect" the place. Google "Streisand effect" and KYBMS.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:41:08 MST Print View

Wow, never even thought of geo tags in pictures. I don't think my camera does that, but I'm so tech-stupid I wouldn't know for sure. I assume this is primarily on wired, gps enabled devices like smart phones?





So I think that's the new policy then. General area info but no specifics unless asked privately.




I know what you're saying Todd. Anyone who was truly motivated might be able to figure out pictures. But if it was that secret, I wouldn't post anything at all.

What I wrestle with here is the desire to share. I love reading the reports of others. I presume we all do. I suppose my dilemma is how to share certain things without blowing them up through the use of simple, internet search terms.


BTW, I have already received 7 emails and PMs asking the location of the trip report I posted this morning.

Edited by xnomanx on 11/11/2013 20:48:21 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:42:49 MST Print View

I have two special places in Yosemite National Park where I've been leading people starting in 1979. Each of them is off-trail, somewhat uphill, and nobody stumbles in there by accident. They have been renamed as the Old Secret Lake and the New Secret Lake.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:47:24 MST Print View

"I assume this is primarily on wired, gps enabled devices like smart phones?"

Nope, cameras too. Here's an article from 2010 that talks about geotagging cameras (and it wasn't new then): http://reviews.cnet.com/2795-6501_7-423.html

These days I wouldn't doubt (but don't know) that most cameras include this 'feature.'

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:49:21 MST Print View

"What I wrestle with here is the desire to share."

While I always enjoy your pictures, what I most appreciate about your 'trip reports' is your interactions with those you're hiking with - Adan or your kids - and what you're thinking when you're out there. Those things are 'place independent'.

Edited by idester on 11/11/2013 20:53:01 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:51:40 MST Print View

"So I think that's the new policy then. General area info but no specifics unless asked privately."

I think Dale has a very good point about sweat and blisters filtering out the masses, although my favorite places are considerably more than a day hike away and usually a few miles off trail. So, I don't feel particularly concerned about them being overrun by hordes of littering morons, and have few reservations about writing up a trip report about some of them with enough information for an experienced hiker to have a go at them if they wish. For the few undiscovered gems that are not quite as remote, I would have to agree with Craig, Nick, et al. It's sad that we end up feeling this way, but in this increasingly over populated and ill mannered world........

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:52:30 MST Print View

Yeah, a mixed bag. I have benefitted greatly from what people have shared with me, but there are places I won't mention on the internet. Too attractive, too sensitive, etc. Surprisingly, there are some nice places that are near roads that haven't gotten trampled.

Kind of a drag when bushcrafters get a hold of something. Maybe there are responsible ones out there, but I haven't seen 'em yet. Brush shelter I spotted a couple of weeks ago. Five minutes from a road head. Not appropriate in my opinion.


HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:57:32 MST Print View

"Sweat and blisters are the sieve for solitude."

Well said Dale, I've been to plenty of those places. Tom Kirchner showed me a few good ones this summer. We could post detailed coordinates but still very few would go.


"Surprisingly, there are some nice places that are near roads that haven't gotten trampled."

True enough Jim. We share the same backyard; I also know of a few spots that would be overrun pretty quickly if word got out. Amazing that a "secret" could even exist outside of one of the largest cities on Earth, but they're out there.

Edited by xnomanx on 11/11/2013 20:59:46 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 20:57:49 MST Print View

"I assume this is primarily on wired, gps enabled devices like smart phones?"

Doug covered this but if your camera has this capability, they usually go overboard advertising it as a feature.

"What I wrestle with here is the desire to share. I love reading the reports of others."

Same here. I need to quintuple my blog subscriptions as I really love reading a good trip report. I really wish there was more TR activity here on BPL. It seems that the way you covered your TR today is fine. You narrowed down the location to Los Padres but not enough that people can overload a single trail without having an intimate knowledge of the area.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 21:21:58 MST Print View

"Sweat and blisters are the sieve for solitude."

Not necessarily. Just compare the number of people on the JMT in 2013 to 1980.
Plenty of sweat and blisters on the JMT...

Bill D.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 21:30:29 MST Print View

Funny thing is that I post some pretty detailed trip reports, reports with fairly good (I think) :) route descriptions and detailed photos like:


Then someone will write and ask where Lodgepole Saddle is even though (to me at least) the named peaks all around it pretty well place the saddle. I've gone back and retrofitted TR's with map links just to spell things out.

Apparently there are a lot of people out there for whom route finding is a lost art. :)

The other thing I notice is that relatively few people read my blog posts/TR's. Typically, I'm getting less than 100 hits per day and looking at the traffic analysis, a lot of those hits are people using search terms that brought them somewhere they really didn't want to go, like "ski". I mention "ski hut" in one post, but skiers coming to my site aren't really interested.

Still, I guess even if 30 or 40 hits a day were people actually interested in my site, that would be a lot. Most of what I post is main trail stuff. A little bit of unmarked/unknown trails that are close by. Not much if at all on historic trails that might get screwed up. I even took one down that Nick G. (from BPL) chastened me on. :)

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
It depends on 11/11/2013 22:00:29 MST Print View

It depends, I have often shared advice on places like Grayson Highlands, these places are already well known and I'm just helping a friend or BPL member get the most out of the experience by hitting the prettiest spots.

I sort of draw the line at off trail routes and/or rarely used trails. Anyone can look at Google earth and know a particular mountain range is pretty. But giving them the GPS coordinates to the best spots is another matter, might as well blaze a trail.

My camera doesn't do geotagging and I've heard its sucks batteries dry so I'd keep it turned off if I had it.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web." on 11/11/2013 22:04:03 MST Print View

John Muir willingly shared all of his favorite spots--except what he Called Shadow Lake. He kept it secret for as long as he could because he was afraid that if people discovered it, they would turn it into a summer camp. He visited it quietly over the years until finally sheep herders found it, coming down from Tuolumne Meadows. Then he published an article about it, which ends with the sheepherders--he writes, "the moneylenders have entered the temple".

We know Shadow Lake as Lake Merced. So there's that.

On the other hand, I find the whole "other people have also seen my secret spot and now it's ruined" thing puzzling. I understand that people in this thread are writing about their "secret" spots that they wish to protect from ruinous crowds of other people who won't respect them the way they do...certainly this can happen...Look at Lake Merced...but how much of this involves the romance of the 'pristine', because rarely seen, spot that retains its wildness precisely because few people look at it? we like to imagine that our favorite spots are our own. Rarely seen, except by ourselves. Somehow, the idea of other people having been to these spots makes them less special. But I wonder. All those eyes looking at the Grand Canyon haven't worn it down an inch.

Sharing beauty doesn't necessarily ruin it. Granted, bushcrafters may ruin it.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:14:44 MST Print View

The way I look at is if you have spent a lot of time finding a "secret" place, you might was well keep it secret so it doesn't become overrun. I have posted a few trips with detailed maps, but few seem interested due to the logistical challenges -- of course I knew that would happen. Craig has gone with me on some of those trips, and I know he has his own personal favorites.

If someone has done all the hard work to find the gems, then others can do it too. For every great secret trip I have put together, there are dozens of not so great trips -- but to be honest, just getting out into the wilderness is always good -- unless you happen to run into large numbers of people. Sometimes I think there are hikers who like to see large groups of people on their trips.

Earlier this year BPLer Chad Eagle and I did one of the most spectacular loops in Joshua Tree I know of, which included a reliable water source. Actually the loop is so obvious if you have good knowledge of the park, which requires time hiking off trail to familiarize yourself. It is very unlikely anyone has ever done this loop. If I posted the details it would end up in some idiot's trail guide and would soon be a popular trail. So I am not going to tell anyone where it is; although I have invited Craig to go because I know he won't broadcast it.

I know I put some people off with my so-called attitude. But think about it -- if you spend time researching using only maps and come up with a great trip without help from others, don't you think you will feel a greater sense of achievement, adventure, or whatever emotion or sense of accomplishment such a trip would give you? Don't you think such a trip would be more rewarding than posting, "Help me plan an awesome trip?" I don't post these kinds of trip reports for my ego or bragging rights, but to encourage others to apply the same principles in creating their personal trips.

And anyone can do this if they want too. This year I hiked all over the US in places I have never been to before. With a little work I found some real gems -- some even near big cities -- and I didn't ask a single person for help, or duplicate someone's trip report. Although I feel a little guilty about the stealth trip near Naperville, IL :) -- I might have broken a few dozen ordinances, but I didn't check. I learned a while back that if you put on a wrinkled Cuben poncho, people, including law enforcement, tend to avoid you.

I do the same thing with my camper. We have secret places we can camp on a holiday weekend and be completely alone. Of course if I posted the locations of these places they would no longer be isolated. I don't feel guilty about it, as it has taken me over 30 years to accumulate my secret camping spots.

Point is, if you keep them secret they will remain secret because 99% of the population, for one reason or another, is not going to make the effort to find their own little pieces of heaven.

BTW, I am going hiking in Louisiana in a couple of weeks -- any advice on alligators?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:17:49 MST Print View

Depends on how difficult it is to get to a place. If it's something just off the beaten track, easily accessible, then hell no don't post it!
If it takes some buswhacking, rock scrambling, river wading, poison oak filled adventure to get there, then sure... post it.

I've posted a few trip reports from my canyon rambling adventures in Big Sur, but those trips are kind of beyond the comfort level of most hikers, not really beyond their skill level, just comfort level. If anyone can haul their ass up to the Window in Big Sur, that's the kind of person I wouldn't mind seeing out there and chatting with.

On the other hand, it's nice going into an area that yields no search results in google. You never know what you will find.

Edited by justin_baker on 11/11/2013 22:56:01 MST.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:22:32 MST Print View

"Point is, if you keep them secret they will remain secret because 99% of the population, for one reason or another, is not going to make the effort to find their own little pieces of heaven. "


Nick! Are you trying to say that since you found some gems and enjoy them without the crowds, you don't want to give them up to everyone else? How selfish. You should have to share them with everyone.

;)

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:24:36 MST Print View

"BTW, I am going hiking in Louisiana in a couple of weeks -- any advice on alligators?"

Nick, do you mean a recipe?

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:30:16 MST Print View

No, not sure if I should be worried -- black bears don't worry me.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Alligators on 11/11/2013 22:39:24 MST Print View

Nick we swam in rivers that had gators when I worked at a Therapy camp. They weren't real thick though. They do come up on land just be aware.

Personally I'd look at renting a kayak or canoe you could probably see more that way and you could actually get closer to a gator. Course you'd see more people boating which I know you won't like. Its probably hunting season there and there will be a LOT more people hunting then in CA, I'd wear orange.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web." on 11/11/2013 22:50:59 MST Print View

Swimming with gators...that's therapy in Louisiana. Replace all your nervous ticks with one big fear?

Edited by book on 11/11/2013 22:51:40 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/11/2013 22:51:46 MST Print View

"How selfish. You should have to share them with everyone."

Shame on selfish ol' Nick!

BTW, I saw your post tonight about all the trails you are finding near your house. Pretty cool. See if you can find some old Topo maps of the area, try the library. I have found remnants of old trails that I put together with old maps that have been removed from newer versions. Sometimes they are old Native American trails.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 08:27:52 MST Print View

I figure if I share a location and other people visit it, it will be less likely to be clear cut.

And if I can encourage people go out in the wilderness more, they will develop a better attitude and start treating each other better which will ripple out and create world peace : )

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 09:02:52 MST Print View

here is an alternative view for those who are hesitant to share their secret spots ...
by sharing these spots and bringing in hoards of others who in your opinion destroy them for your private use, you are freeing yourself of the strings that tie you to these spots and allowing yourself to soar once again in search of something new and possibly even better. I would argue the search is much more valuable than the spot.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 09:17:16 MST Print View

Art,

I alluded to that in my first post.

However, some of us have favorite places that are close to home and enable us to take quick one or two night trips without the logistics of driving somewhere far. You see, I have an inventory of around 140 days per year that can potentially be used for outdoor pursuits. Unfortunately (or fortunately) 104 of them are 2-day weekends, which is why you rarely see me posting here on weekends -- I am usually backpacking or camping.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 09:49:36 MST Print View

Really depends. On the coast, there are so many people, you may want to keep your nature stash secret. In the interior west, most are drawn to the high-points (along crests and going up to peaks), hot springs, camps with reliable water, etc.. though I know some hiking parties who specially try to find un-maintained trails and try to get more traffic going through to support keeping more wilderness. Of course many trails have been burnt in the last few years of mega-fire, so the point may be moot.

Louisiana can be nice this time of year if you can find some dry land to camp. Gets cold and damp in December though.

Ed: locales

Edited by hknewman on 11/12/2013 09:52:35 MST.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 10:29:28 MST Print View

Backpacker Magazine (yes, that paragon of outdoor virtue and wisdom) addressed this issue a few years ago, saying something to the effect that traffic to locations that they profiled would increase for a year or two afterwards but then would die back down to normal.

That said, a good falls or secret pool relatively near a major metropolitan area is probably best kept on "close hold" (trusted friends only).

I recently put together some route info for trips in the San Gorgonio Wilderness in S. Calif. These are all on trail trips with quota based wilderness permits required. It'll be interesting to see if visitation to these places increases. I did take one short cut off after Nick dunned me about the ears. :)

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 10:32:34 MST Print View

"BTW, I am going hiking in Louisiana in a couple of weeks -- any advice on alligators?"

Yeah, don't get eaten.

There is no limit to super cool places and routes that connect them together. The fun is stitching together a cool route then seeing if reality comes close to the plan. If you are just following a trip report with pictures, it takes the unknown out the trip for the most part.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 16:56:38 MST Print View

"There is no limit to super cool places and routes that connect them together. The fun is stitching together a cool route then seeing if reality comes close to the plan."

+1 big time! That's where the fun is.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 11/12/2013 18:05:57 MST Print View

The OP mentioned that "secret spots" are part of the surfing culture -- same thing in the climbing world. Sometimes the person who put up a sport route (not visible from a road) will keep it strictly sworn to secrecy for as long as possible.

In general, these things are largely self-screening: the more off-trail and difficult-to-get-to a place is, the fewer people you'll see. Even in Grand Canyon, we often spend multiple days in the backcountry seeing only one other group, and often seeing no one! Let me tell you, Surprise Valley in June is NOT crowded! ;~)

But honestly, even if you think that "no one has ever been to my secret spot" -- you're probably wrong. I have been bushwhacking DEEP in the backcountry in several states and found an old pen. or an old rusted can, etc. Many of us who search for indian ruins in the SW would NOT want to disturb them. We just look, take photos, and move on -- and we leave no trace.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
"Me Time" on 11/14/2013 13:59:32 MST Print View

Here in the crowded Northeast of NJ/NY/E.PA, it is difficult to find some quality spots.

With 2 little girls at home, I have a difficult time getting away for some "me time". And when I do, I often try and go early, so I don't miss much of the day. Also, things can tend to get a little crowded here - especially at places just off the interstates. I've managed to find some great spots at my local state park (though I now need to share it with MTBers), local game lands, some other state parks within 75min drive, and even some county and "private" open space places too.

Because of my infrequent venturing, and short window to do so, I am increasingly keeping these places close to my chest. I used to be a hike leader for the AMC, but have since shied away from that, and rather than sharing my places, I have tried to keep them secret. Additionally - and since I am such an introvert - I tend to enjoy the woods either alone or in a tiny group of close friends. I tend to not like the 'social' nature of the group-led AMC hikes. Also, I like to do my outings at my pace ("fast") and start time ("early"), and would rather not want to cater to the needs of a larger group (late start, slow pace, all-day adventure).

EDIT: I'd like to add that on a recent outing to my local Nat.Rec. Area, I was able to find some trails to give me the mileage and solitude that I desired. I didn't see another person until the return end of my loop (along popular trails). Bliss.

Lastly, I want to try and keep my favorite places to myself, and then share them (and the reasons why I like them) with my girls when the time comes. Sharing the places with too many other people might sully the "specialness" that sharing the secret place with my girls would bring.

Edited by joegeib on 11/15/2013 06:29:03 MST.

Bas Hommes
(BHommes)

Locale: Europe
Not sharing. on 11/15/2013 01:13:00 MST Print View

I don't share where I go. I like secrets and solitude.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web." on 11/19/2013 17:06:27 MST Print View

"In general, these things are largely self-screening: the more off-trail and difficult-to-get-to a place is, the fewer people you'll see."
-----
I agree with this. In my neck of the woods, 5 miles screens out most of the hordes. Once you get past the 5 mile mark (from the trailhead) you're pretty much alone. Go off trail and you can be alone well before that. The more vertical gain, the quicker the crowds disappear. I do most of my hiking in the mountains, for that reason.

I love reading trip reports, but completely understand when people choose not to divulge exact locations. I just like reading about the trip and seeing the photos.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: "Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web." on 11/21/2013 09:47:01 MST Print View

In general, in my area, even if something is well-publicized you can be fairly certain beyond the 5-10 mile mark you will not see another person. Go out on an ordinary weekend, not a holiday, and your odds increase that you won't see another person. I have a fairly popular website about local trails and still the typical conversation about any of the places I go is "where's that?" Usually followed by "you're crazy!" People go to the front country trails and that's about it.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 12/03/2013 20:43:07 MST Print View

Finding and Keeping Secret Places Secret

Edited by ngatel on 12/03/2013 20:45:14 MST.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 12/03/2013 21:02:48 MST Print View

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.... Nick!

Billy

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
sharing. on 12/03/2013 21:16:16 MST Print View

Agreed, Craig.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
A conundrum on 12/04/2013 07:40:14 MST Print View

My own personal rule-of-thumb is that if the place is on-trail and popular trails to begin with, I will share logistics.

But, as I found out the hard way, even if something is on-trail, people don't necessarily string together what seems obvious on a map. Once you lay out a route with the trails to take, you immediately make it accessible for the vast majority. A light bulb goes off for people and everything is easy: Take this map, take this trail, park here. Most people don't like to string together their own route.

I honestly love sharing. People ask me "What's a good hike in Colorado?" and I am happy to share.

It is generally how I operate: Share the food on my table generously. Do the little bit extra to help out. Share knowledge of what I love.

But, as I am finding out, when I innocently share what I love, perhaps I am ruining a small part of it? :)

I think there is a balance. After all, someone shared with my the route I took on my first backpacking trip. It was something he found out about through the local chapter of the Appalachian Mtn Club. That trip started a love for the outdoors that has never gone away.

On the other hand, perhaps it is best to give a sketch only. Not to give all the fine details?

I think it is great to share. I also think it is good to keep the wild places wild.

What is the balance? I sure as hell don't know. :)

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
Craig, this is for you! on 12/08/2013 11:30:26 MST Print View

On the topic of finding a place but not telling anyone about it, I highly recommend folks track down this year's Banff Film Festival Grand Prize winner. 2 Norwegian surfers find a small beach north of the Artic Circle, and hike in to spend the *winter* surfing. They supplied themselves with outdated food, used only found items on the beach to construct a shelter and wood stove, bringing only a few tools and nails to string it together. They hiked out to their van to purchase/acquire food--they talked about using post-dated food because it was free. Their plan was to stay there through the winter and surf as much as they could. During their stay, they removed over 3 pounds of trash from the beach that had washed up, mostly plastics and stuff.

One of the guys specifically said they were not going to reveal where it was, because they wanted people to find their own paradise. Crazy couple of youngsters, but they did it. Personally, I think they had to be crazy to begin with--surfing in Norway? I think folks are nuts for surfing here in the Pacific Northwest, and that's warmer than Norway. But, it was really cool to see them work their dream.

edit: I found a place where folks can rent it:

video

Edited by dipink on 12/08/2013 11:36:24 MST.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 12/09/2013 15:55:12 MST Print View

Craig,

Had a similar dilema in 2012, we brainstormed on a thread:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=59025&disable_pagination=1

I remember an old mafia joke:
Three can keep a secret, when two are dead.


You wouldn't mind sharing a special place with someone you trusted to respect the location equally. it's the 3rd and 4th degree of separation that you have no control over, and once its documented on a trail website, it's there forever, unlike a paper book that gets out of circulation.

First the issues we struggle with:
crowds & noise
trash and graffiti
artifact theft
Land of many uses (Jeep clubs, gun clubs, helicopter tours, miniature model airplane flyers, horse riders, mule rides...) those groups take away from MY enjoyment.

I admit that my feelings are partially selfish. and I'm OK with that.

The irony is that when that special place becomes at risk for bulldozers, starbucks development, Edison powerlines and wind farms, then we find it OK to tell everyone about it, to draw attention to preserving a place that we wanted to hoard for our own.

It's basic, we don't like to share with strangers. We don't trust others to respect the place and care for it like we do, and we prefer solitude at a max group size or 2 or 3.


The ethics are, everyone is a co-owner of the natural resource, it belongs to all of us.

We exclude others by obfuscating navigation directions, some people break down park signs to intentionally mislead.

Unfortunately, not all teenagers are mature. they want to get drunk, high, leave broken glass, spray paint and the occasional mattress to do the deed.

so What's the answer?

Two wrongs to make a right.

as long as some people disrespect and abuse an existing location, newly discovered locations are kept a secret within a trusted circle, to delay the inevitable damage.

Look at IHC in Mt B, it's overrun with 100s of two distinct groups. One is very respectful, the other leave trash, graffiti and dog poo. Eitherway, the experience for me is seeing mass humanity, and I have to start my trip at 3 or 4am in the morning to get a couple of hours of nature "me time"


and when an area does not get significant use, the lumber timber logging industry, and the energy generation utilities will bribe a few officials, find a way to fence it up, after all no one way using it, except Nick, and Craig. :)

Edited by RogerDodger on 12/09/2013 16:38:13 MST.

scree ride
(scree)
Re: Re: Sharing (Or Not) Locations and Logistics on the Web. on 12/22/2013 04:33:15 MST Print View

I'll tell you how to get there but I won't say where his other cave is.