Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

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Your feelings on cairns in designated Wilderness Areas...

Cairns save lives, registers are historical & geocaching is fun
4
9%
Cairns save lives & registers are historical
19
44%
Cairns save lives & geocaching is fun
0
No votes
Cairns save lives
10
23%
No cairns, summit registers or geocaches
3
7%
No cairns or geocaches
3
7%
No cairns or summit registers
0
No votes
No cairns
0
No votes
Other
4
9%
 
Total votes: 43

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imike
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Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by imike »

I'm not sure if this issue has been raised, but I was wondering if the time honored practice of piling up trail markers should be reviewed and discontinued?

As more time and people visit the trails, there becomes more chances for the cairns to misdirect a hiker as to provide any useful aid. Further, it would be nice, especially off trail, to maintain some illusion of exploratory hiking with fresh discovery, in addition, leaving the aspect of original plotting, planning and route finding. Now, with the advent of GPS there are alternative means to secure routes, if desired. It would be nice to not be subject to prior presence, and prior error....

In the Wilderness areas, there are not supposed to be any man made objects... which in it's way suggests the issue is already decided. I think it might be a benefit to hiking overall for this practice of recording the moment to be drawn to a close... and perhaps, the existing markers scattered to their original natural placements?

...thoughts?
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joebartels
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Re: Cairns... to pile or not to pile?

Post by joebartels »

Check out The Cairn Poll
imike wrote:In the Wilderness areas, there are not supposed to be any man made objects
I'm game, however this does mean the summit registers and GEOTRASH must go too
- joe
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Cairns... to pile or not to pile?

Post by Jeffshadows »

joe bartels wrote:Check out The Cairn Poll
imike wrote:In the Wilderness areas, there are not supposed to be any man made objects
I'm game, however this does mean the summit registers and GEOTRASH must go too
Hear, hear!!
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BobP
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Re: Cairns... to pile or not to pile?

Post by BobP »

I was a cairn hater...but after doing the Supes Ridgeline at night it somewhat changed my perspective. They can be good or bad depending on placement. When I hiked in CO, I built cairns but always knocked them down on the way back.

What I really don't like is the Sedona cairn beaches.
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joebartels
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Re: Wilderness Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches

Post by joebartels »

Since we already have a catch all topic for cairns already I altered this thread. Other options can be added.
- joe
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Wilderness Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches

Post by Jeffshadows »

I think Joe and I are the only two votes so far since option #2 is at 100% :sl:
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Cairns... to pile or not to pile?

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

imike wrote:In the Wilderness areas, there are not supposed to be any man made objects
Aren't men and women man made objects as well? :-k ;) :whistle:
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by Jeffshadows »

The geocache nonsense bothers me a lot more than a few senseless cairns, honestly. It used to be that they hid their little ammo cans pretty well but some of them have become absolute garbage dumps. I found one near AC Peak down here that I thought was an illegal alien lay-up until I got closer and saw all the "peace" and "love" crap everywhere and the sign-in roster. Someone had hung a bunch of energy drink cans in a tree above it making a ghetto wind chime, it was really offensive.
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joebartels
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by joebartels »

In response to SuperstitionGuy:
Yeah there's a lot of angles, I was going to mention "then why was man created"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness_Act

In response to Jeff MacE: I don't get it either... it's wide spread too
- joe
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PLC92084
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by PLC92084 »

Geocaching !! Ha!

Out by me, it looks like a new method for getting rid of trash and feeling good about one's self!! I've checked out several - one had an abandoned car battery, another was marked with a ghetto wind chime (a youthful trend!?), the third was a faded tupperware container with nothing in it... I'll take an innocuous pile of rocks any day!!
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joebartels
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by joebartels »

In all fairness to other "pro" options I had to modify the poll and lost the few votes. Should be good to go now.
- joe
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big_load
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by big_load »

I don't mind reasonably placed cairns, but don't like excessive cairns and hate misleading and erroneous ones. I don't like geocaches and have stumbled across a few illegal ones that had been messed up by animals (none in AZ yet). I'm ambivalent about summit registers and don't usually sign them.
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hippiepunkpirate
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by hippiepunkpirate »

big_load wrote:I don't mind reasonably placed cairns, but don't like excessive cairns and hate misleading and erroneous ones.
I agree with that, especially because I'm not incredibly experienced at off-trail travel. I enjoy summit registers, though I'm not an obsessive peak bagger. The few that I have come across I have always read through. I have no experience with geocaches, but from the comments of other members, they do seem to be more destructive than cairns or summit registers. I don't own a GPS, and have only used my Dad's simple way-point only model (I'm sure it has a technical term). Personally, geocaching seems like a silly game that has no business in the wilderness.
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dysfunction
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by dysfunction »

hippiepunkpirate wrote:Personally, geocaching seems like a silly game that has no business in the wilderness.

It'd be more fun if you were using resection to find it, rather than using a GPS
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imike
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by imike »

it's about being out in the out and about... we can save nearly all the lives by just paving all the trails, putting up signs every mile would eliminate substantial discomfort. Running water piped in for summer hikes would be a nice addition. Then again, we could just take it as it comes and for what it is... or once was, before the various additions lessen it by tiny but ever progressive increment.
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stacelms
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by stacelms »

Am I the only dummy that doesn't know what geocaches are?
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PLC92084
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by PLC92084 »

stacelms wrote:Am I the only dummy that doesn't know what geocaches are?
Probably not... but so far, you're the only one who's admitted it!!

This link will explain it in more detail than I ever could (or want to...)

http://www.geocaching.com/default.aspx
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chumley
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by chumley »

I selected "other" because my ADD kicked in before I finished reading the other 76 options. ](*,)
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stacelms
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by stacelms »

PLC92084 wrote:
stacelms wrote:Am I the only dummy that doesn't know what geocaches are?
Probably not... but so far, you're the only one who's admitted it!!

This link will explain it in more detail than I ever could (or want to...)

http://www.geocaching.com/default.aspx
Thanks, looks like the kind of thing I usually carry out and throw away. Trash and anything like trash really bugs me.
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DarthStiller
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Re: Cairns, Summit Registers & Geocaches... in the Wilderness?

Post by DarthStiller »

Cairns on well marked trails seem useless, but they don’t bother me. They’re only rocks, native material, hardly “man-made”. You can’t reasonably have a beef with any man-made thing anyway, since the trails are man-made to begin with. However, I can do without the pink/orange/yellow ribbons that are sometimes used to mark trails.

Cairns that are on very faint to non-existent trails can literally be life savers. I find them very useful even with my GPS. For someone who might be in over their head on a remote, faint trails, cairns could very well be the difference between making it home alive or being the next news story. Therefore, in that sense, I have no problems with cairns.

Ammo cans and summit registers don’t bother me, I’m pretty ambivalent about them. Except for the Tupperware container on Quartz Peak that had a condom in it. I could do without that.

And I’m tired of the term “rock cairns”. Cairns are by definition piles of rocks. A cairn made of candy wrappers would just be litter.
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