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#206438 - 06/13/22 08:24 PM Getting away from the rest
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2139
Loc: Napa, CA
We have had some discussions recently about the wisdom of posting all of our trip reports--especially the ones that point people to those out of the way corners that have yet to be discovered by the great social media masses. Fair enough. We can certainly share their concern that every secret corner will someday be mobbed by a multitude seeking a selfie.

So we decided this time to just post some of the ways you can find a little solitude in the Sierra...

Get off the internet. If you want to escape the crowds, get your information somewhere else.

Get on the internet. Search the web for less used trailheads, difficult passes, and tough climbs.

Get out the Map. You just might discover that little lake only a half-mile off the main trail.

Avoid trails that have "trademarked" names: PCT. JMT, HST, etc.

Go Early. You will likely see far fewer people.

Go Late. late in the season or late in the day, there are fewer people about.

Go Middle of the Week. And avoid those big crowds.

Go up. The tougher the climb, the most likely that most people will choose another route.

Go Long. Hike in an extra day, and you'll have the place to yourself

Camp away from water. That granite knob above the lake will have great views, and far fewer mosquitoes.

Go Off Trail. And leave the foot traffic behind.

The full article is here:

https://www.backpackthesierra.com/about-3

So what did we miss, or what did we get wrong?
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#206439 - 06/13/22 09:10 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 236
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
I can confirm that all those points are valid and work, used most of them if not all of them successfully for decades in some of the busiest Parks, recreation areas, mountain ranges and canyon systems. We still practice them over a hundred days a year in wilderness and love the experience every time.

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#206440 - 06/13/22 09:12 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 236
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
And to add anything with a name seems to inordinately draw all manner of folks. The places on the map that don’t have names can turn up some exciting explorations with no other people whatsoever.

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#206444 - 06/14/22 11:56 AM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3236
Loc: Portland, OR
I don't think you missed a single trick there. Great advice for finding solitude. And because almost every tactic you describe entails some extra work and human nature seems to tilt away from making the extra effort you're recommending, I don't doubt those tips will continue to work for decades to come.

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#206445 - 06/14/22 01:27 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 236
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Considerations with the photography information of one’s favorite hidden spots are making sure the location data is not embedded in the metadata of any images posted publicly. Also take care about showing horizon as there are folks who can use that as a guide very successfully along with other clues they glean.

Also limit the information you share online. Some post every mundane thought that bounces around in their noggin. You work and think in abstracts exploring and uncovering thrilling places and objects so a little care can keep the lazier usurpers out of the loop. Most will not stray far from a trail or a named area if they are not led in.

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#206468 - 06/20/22 10:19 AM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By balzaccom
We have had some discussions recently about the wisdom of posting all of our trip reports--especially the ones that point people to those out of the way corners that have yet to be discovered by the great social media masses....


I've never been a fan of this line of thought. You see it much stronger in the surfing community to the point of assaults and vandalism in attempts to lay claim over "their" public spaces. I get it. I am definitely in the camp of people who backpack for solitude and I use many of your tricks to find it, but these are public places. If people don't have access to them or find value in them, then we will lose them. I think instead of trying to keep gems hidden, we should try to overload the internet. If people have an overwhelming number of choices for hidden gems in the back country then they can't crowd out all of them. Getting more people into nature to value its spectacular beauty is a win for the whole world.

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#206475 - 06/20/22 07:11 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: BZH]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2139
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By BZH
Originally Posted By balzaccom
We have had some discussions recently about the wisdom of posting all of our trip reports--especially the ones that point people to those out of the way corners that have yet to be discovered by the great social media masses....


I've never been a fan of this line of thought. You see it much stronger in the surfing community to the point of assaults and vandalism in attempts to lay claim over "their" public spaces. I get it. I am definitely in the camp of people who backpack for solitude and I use many of your tricks to find it, but these are public places. If people don't have access to them or find value in them, then we will lose them. I think instead of trying to keep gems hidden, we should try to overload the internet. If people have an overwhelming number of choices for hidden gems in the back country then they can't crowd out all of them. Getting more people into nature to value its spectacular beauty is a win for the whole world.


I have long held this same belief, BZH, but have been asked to reconsider by folks I respect.

I have always said we need as many voters as possible who love the outdoors.
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

Top
#206476 - 06/20/22 11:14 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3236
Loc: Portland, OR
The approach I've adopted is to post a trip report to the local hikers forum only if it draws attention to a somewhat neglected trail I think could use some more boots on the ground. Here in the PNW there is an amazing network of trails on public lands, mostly on lands managed by the Forest Service. That legacy trail system is falling into disrepair, based on a combination of falling revenue as the over-logging of the forests has slowed down and the massive increase in fire fighting expenditures, which has cannibalized much of the FS budget. Trails are being officially abandoned and disappearing under vegetation. Keeping trails maintained depends on the amount of perceived use, so I float out trip reports trying to draw more hikers to them.

As for using the internet as a tool for creating a new generation in love with nature and backcountry hiking, I have very mixed feelings about how effective a tool it is. My observation is that the internet is good for publicizing spectacular beauty spots by circulating very selective photos and artfully edited videos that are the equivalent of calendar art. Basically it sells a fantasy of nature more than the actuality of it. The obvious hope is that among the crowds who are drawn in by that fantasy some of them might discover that hiking has more to offer than "gems" which is freely available on every quiet forest trail, along with bugs, dirt, sweat and less than perfect weather. That fraction among the sensation seekers will fall in love and seek to protect what they love. The rest of them? Who knows?

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#206477 - 06/21/22 11:07 PM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: balzaccom]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 272
Loc: PNW
I'm not sure that getting more people out these days equates to more people loving the outdoors and wanting to protect it. I've come to believe (rightly or wrongly) that for far too many people hitting the 'beauty' spots is nothing more than an instagram thing, not an appreciation of a place. I see more and more garbage and tp plumes as time goes by, I'd just as soon those people stayed home. So I'm one of the folks who never point out great places to go on the internet, my trip reports, when I bother, are pretty short on specific info for that reason. But, then again, I'm old and crotchety, I just want them all to get off my lawn.

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#206478 - 06/22/22 09:57 AM Re: Getting away from the rest [Re: JustWalking]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2139
Loc: Napa, CA
I hear you, JKW. You're one of the folks who have mentioned this.

And I agree about specifics. We have well more than 100 trip reports on our site. Not one mentions a specific campsite, or even recommends areas to camp. But we do write up every hike, with a few photos to illustrate it--although again, no real specifics on where to stand to take the photo...

On the other hand, we don't do Instagram or Facebook, and the only place we discuss these trips is in communities like this--presumably among people who are making an effort to do more than just capture that selfie.

At the same time, we have seen our content "borrowed" and condensed by publications with much larger audiences, and really does have an impact. Sigh...
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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