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xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



The BLM dispersed rules are a little more detailed. You need to "prefer" existing sites, be near a certain category of road, be a certain distance from the road, a certain distance from water sources, and obviously pack out all your waste.

Some areas have fees too, I know California has several just because there's so many people they need to control it somehow.

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FogHelmut
Dec 18, 2003

Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass.


That's where it gets weird. How do you know where the existing sites are if they're dispersed?

wuffles
Apr 9, 2004



It’s typically going to be along, and just off of, a trail because it’s either an actual designated trail or people have worn a path to it.

You can also develop an eye for it once you’ve done it a few times because it either stands out from the surroundings in a few particular ways and/or you start to look around and think “that would be a badass place to set up a tent”...and sure enough, you weren’t the first person to have that thought.

Pinus Porcus
May 14, 2019

Ranger McFriendly


FogHelmut posted:

This is the most interesting thing to me but like the whole concept is mind boggling. Does it really mean literally anywhere?

Yes and no. Some federal land and some states allow you to "throw down a tent anywhere" for a certain length of time. There are caveats-some areas are straight no overnight at all, you have to be parked off the road, no vegetation damage (no parking in grass, no destroying bushes to set up camp), frequently stricter fire rules if you are in the west.

In my state, there are commonly known and used areas that federal and state rangers recommend. Most of them have big pull offs for cars in a forest with minimal underbrush. Riversides, near dams, and old mill locations are very good odds here. If places get trashed though, the managing agency may post as no overnight, ending disburse camping.

It is still a good idea to have maps (DOT right of ways and private property obviously don't permit this use) and contact the agencies for any place you want to camp, but myself and several friends have used this method as a way to travel long distance without spending for lodging and sleeping in your car without being hassled.

Edit: only some federal land permits it, like certain FS or BLM, but not all

Math You
Oct 27, 2010

So put your faith
in more than steel


One thing that helped me a lot was finding a few guys on YouTube who have done trips that appealed to me. Many have videos where they explain what resources they use to plan trips.
The regulations and authorities that manage camping are going to be wildly different state to state (and country to country), so look for local guys.

The most important pieces I picked up were:

1. Land use resources. Ontario for example has a crown use atlas where the entire province is colour coded to indicate whether land is private, parkland, or public. If you find an area of interest you are able to pin it and pull the zoning information for that plot which will tell you what recreational activities are allowed there. If your state has a resource like this you need to find out how to access it.

2. Trip reports are your friend. Find a state park with back country camping and Google trip reports of it. You'll probably find forums where people share all sorts of useful information and it's probably going to include a lot of areas outside of the park.

3. Get maps. Another often regional thing, I'd imagine anyway. There's some guys around here who make giant planning maps for popular park and public camping areas that include insane amounts of information. Including all access points, trails, campsites, points of interest, hazards, etc. Everything is colour coded to indicate the quality of a trail or campsite and there are helpful notes scrawled everywhere pointing out anything from storm jammed trails to spring water.

4. Google Earth Pro. Download it. If you're planning your own thing it's absolutely indispensable

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



FogHelmut posted:

That's where it gets weird. How do you know where the existing sites are if they're dispersed?
It pretty much boils down to "Don't trample vegetation if you can help it"

Math You
Oct 27, 2010

So put your faith
in more than steel


FogHelmut posted:

That's where it gets weird. How do you know where the existing sites are if they're dispersed?

As others have mentioned you get an eye for it. First, not a lot of bush is naturally convenient to camp on. Thick underbrush or wet spongy moss isn't super nice to deal with so people will gravitate to better areas.
Next, you're likely going to have some sort of a desire path going. Once you investigate you should see tent pads. A nice flat surface where you can put a tent that's fairly clear of undergrowth.. likely the area will have less deadfall around from people burning it too.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



In some areas there will be tire tracks from people backing a camper into it. Or an army of parked RV trailers in the area making the most of their 14 day max visit.

liz
Nov 4, 2004

Stop listening to the static.


Verman posted:

As a *former* chicago resident, this was one of my primary drivers for leaving. Winters sucked but trying to get out of the city and not just into the middle of a farm field required several hours of driving. Anywhere really cool by midwest standards was at least a half days drive.

This pretty much nails how I feel about living in Chicago. Super jealous of everyone west of the Rockies that can drive somewhere beautiful in a matter of hours.

I live vicariously through this thread in hopes that one day I might be able to regularly drive to the mountains.

withak
Jan 15, 2003


Fun Shoe

Coming from the Midwest it still blows my mind that I can leave my apartment near downtown Oakland and be hiking in Redwoods in less than 30 mins.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



liz posted:

This pretty much nails how I feel about living in Chicago. Super jealous of everyone west of the Rockies that can drive somewhere beautiful in a matter of hours.

I live vicariously through this thread in hopes that one day I might be able to regularly drive to the mountains.

There's still stuff worth doing in Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Or Michigan if you can tolerate driving around the lake.

Yeah, none of it is world class scenery or even hilly but it does have its own beauty.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

SHUT
THE
FUCK
UP!
BIIITCH!




A couple hours driving from Chicago gets you to Starved Rock, or like the entire Driftless region of southwest WI. And that's pretty fuckin spectacular land

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Also you really gotta visit the prairie preserves in late August.

None of it is a terribly long day hike but it is outside and it is pretty.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

Ok so I called the station at Kettle Moraine South near me and got some good info. I can backpack along the Ice Age Trail and only stay at certain shelters. They are actually right off the road and they have picnic tables, outhouses, and fire pits. It's a 4 walled wooden shelter with benches and an open door I think. I'd imagine I'd just stay outside in my tent. Or maybe in there with my tent. You can only stay one night at them. So I was using This Map and I think I could park at the northern campground and hike to shelter 1, and the next night hike to shelter 2. That day I could either hike all the way back to my car or stay at shelter 1 again maybe. I haven't thought this through yet, I just got off the phone with them. She said it's been unusually busy and to try to get in on a weekday which is what I was planning on doing anyway. I would probably have to load my pack and hike a local trail to see how far I can actually hike like someone suggested.

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation to just call them and ask lol. I got some info and I might be able to pull this off at some point.

Pennywise the Frown fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Apr 23, 2021

Math You
Oct 27, 2010

So put your faith
in more than steel


I'd just stay in your tent. Shelters like that attract mice and poo poo, and you can kick up their droppings and breath it in. Some people have actually gotten the plague in Yosemite from just that. Not that I think you'll catch the plague (and it's now easily treatable with anti-biotics), but its just gross.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






Math You posted:

I'd just stay in your tent. Shelters like that attract mice and poo poo, and you can kick up their droppings and breath it in. Some people have actually gotten the plague in Yosemite from just that. Not that I think you'll catch the plague (and it's now easily treatable with anti-biotics), but its just gross.

That's what the broom is for (stirring up the plague)

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






out here in CA we get hantavirus from mouse turds, im scared of those little evil pellets

FAUXTON
Jun 2, 2005

daef


Chard posted:

out here in CA we get hantavirus from mouse turds, im scared of those little evil pellets

I can't imagine having to be on the lookout for stuff about as big as 2-3 grains of rice

Hotel Kpro
Feb 23, 2011

owls don't go to school

Dinosaur Gum

Idaho was great for dispersed camping. Seemed like any dirt road I found had multiple areas for camping. If anyone is in Idaho I could point to a bunch of random spots I camped at that were all 5/5

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






FAUXTON posted:

I can't imagine having to be on the lookout for stuff about as big as 2-3 grains of rice

to be fair the danger is relatively low, you have to grind it up and and inhale it somehow i believe. compared to the apparently omnipresent TICK SITUATION on the east coast, i think we get off pretty light

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Pham Nuwen posted:

From time to time when I'm walking down a steep hill or running, it'll feel like the 2nd and 3rd toes on my left foot are falling asleep. When the foot strikes, there's a tingly/pins-and-needles sensation, and they're a little bit numb otherwise. I never notice it in normal walking, and it seems to only happen at all in certain boots and running shoes, but always the same toes and the same foot. I saw a PT for a bit several years ago and mentioned it to him; he said he thought it was Morton's neuroma.
I went to a quack several years ago and ultimately ended up 60mi up the Pacific crest trail when my feet exploded from this. Now I have permanent nerve damage which makes 20mi day hikes much more complicated. The two conditions to check are "Mortons toe" (or "Mortons neuroma"), and "metatarsalgia".


Shoe size matters, not just the lacing technique. At the end of the day (ie after the hike), check to make sure you still have plenty of spacein front of your toes. If not, your boots are too small. Also make sure you have enough width across the ball of your foot; if not, your foot shape may be a better fit with a different boot.

Lacing can help but it's necessary to retie your shoes midday, or after you've completed an ascent and are beginning the descent. Completely loosen all the way to the toe then retie so things are snug (not tight) on top of your foot. At the joint you want a good overhand (surgeons knot) to lock the laces so the tightness in the upper doesn't "steal" the looseness from the lowers. Locking in the heel helps for other reasons but youcan always kick your foot back or place your foot sideways to prevent sliding.

Check your insoles. Most boots come with thin insoles which offer no real cushion. You want at least 1/4" of softer rubber. New shoes may have insoles that seem harder, but if you take them out and roll/unroll them a few times, or soak them and squeeze out the water, they will loosen up a bit. With use they will better form to your feet but may only last for ten miles at a time, so you may need an extra pair.

As shoes and boots age, the primary sole naturally devulcanizes, so more and more it will be like walkingon concrete. If you're running on pavement and hiking on mountains with rocks, you're going to have greater impacts to the bottom of your feet and nerves. Usually boots fall apart for other reasons, but if you're not using them several hundred miles a year they may need replaced just from age.

Another thing to look out for, specifically with Mortons, is inflammation associated with bending motion. Most Mortons is in the big toe from bending and pushing-off force, so it becomes painful when the toe bends. (Tight nerves getting stretched.) For hiking this means going to an actual boot instead of some lightweight thing. The short story here: No Five fingers, no trail runners, and only very sturdy/rigid light hikers. (But I'll write something separate about this for reasons.) Stretching of the flexor longus digitorum and soleus may help some. There are big-toe-specific graphite plates to prevent bending, and basic metatarsal pads can help.


If you feel like you have a blister under the ball of your foot but there's nothing there, feel like you're walking on a pebble, or feel.a temporary ping of pain traveling back from your toes, you need to immediately stop and add more padding, retie, something. If you keep going you'll stop anyway because the nerve will end up crushed, stretched, or the covering will get scraped off.

(And after three years I kinda have a system for half of it, but my hiking buddy is kinda impatient because I really can't do five day backpacking trips with 35lb packs.)

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


So it's gross, but how do you keep your nose clear on long trips. I just did a week in the desert, but the same thing happened in the mountains over a week: It takes several days after getting home to clear out all the dried mucus. Yeap, blowing as necessary on the trail but it just seems to accumulate with all the dust in the hills.

(I feel like I could use thirty minutes of flowing saline, but the last time I used a netti pot I got a sinus infection so I haven't tried that recently.)

wuffles
Apr 9, 2004



Regular use of saline nasal spray to keep your nostrils moist and maybe take a mucolytic to loosen the snot up making it easier to blow out?

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

SHUT
THE
FUCK
UP!
BIIITCH!




If I'm in an actively super dry/dusty area, I usually just pull up a lightweight buff over my nose. But yeah, a lot of the time on trail there's not a whole lot you can do.

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


Just snot rocket or blow your nose often. Also consider taking an allergy med if you aren't already.

Verman fucked around with this message at 07:31 on Apr 26, 2021

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Mouth breathe.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






absolutely launch those suckers as far as i can. you don't want them near the trail after all, its just polite.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Yeap I certainly spray far and wide, both while running and while visiting the trees and mountains. I even doused my fingers in ethyl alcohol and stuffed them up there a few times during the trip. It's still not enough; more than 48hr after the end of a week long trip and I still have dry blobs finally loosening.

I hope to be near a pharmacy soon so I'll browse the saline irrigation options.

Morbus
May 18, 2004



PhantomOfTheCopier posted:

So it's gross, but how do you keep your nose clear on long trips. I just did a week in the desert, but the same thing happened in the mountains over a week: It takes several days after getting home to clear out all the dried mucus. Yeap, blowing as necessary on the trail but it just seems to accumulate with all the dust in the hills.

(I feel like I could use thirty minutes of flowing saline, but the last time I used a netti pot I got a sinus infection so I haven't tried that recently.)

Try saline gels, and maybe try drinking more. Clearing out your nose will probably be easiest when you are well hydrated and warm. Definitely don't put alcohol in your nostrils that will just dry things out worse, lol. Honestly, there's only so much you can do. It's dry and cold and windy and dusty and you're probably gonna end up at least a little dehydrated at some point during the day.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Morbus posted:

Try saline gels, and maybe try drinking more. Clearing out your nose will probably be easiest when you are well hydrated and warm. Definitely don't put alcohol in your nostrils that will just dry things out worse, lol. Honestly, there's only so much you can do. It's dry and cold and windy and dusty and you're probably gonna end up at least a little dehydrated at some point during the day.
Saline "gel"! I had no idea.

The rubbing alcohol is primarily to make sure no icky germs get up there, since many tend to hide under finger nails. It does evaporate rather quickly and most usually gets blown out, but yeah it will suck out some of the moisture.

Thanks for all the ideas. After 72hr, with warm showers (steam) and such I think all may have loosened.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






I would be so pissed (if someone shot me while I was hiking)

https://local12.com/news/nation-world/hunter-accidentally-shoots-hiker-on-trail

nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


I run and mountain bike at several areas (they are very large, but they are what you would basically call an urban wilderness area) that hunters also use. When running one of the areas during hunting season it sounds like WW3 is going on. Since it is mostly hunting in a field surrounded by woods, I bet I have heard over a 100 gunshots on a run before. These are very close by for certain parts of the run, and I always worry about taking a random misplaced shot. I do try wear bright colors for when hunting is going on.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






I support hunting, but many hunters are incredibly stupid and I don't trust their judgment when I know they desperately want me to be a deer or turkey.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



The one big upside to hunters is they are super interested in public land rights because they really, really want lots of areas open for murdering things. As nature preserve types have a tough time battling corporate interests on their own it's a bit of an enemy of my enemy is my friend situation.

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010






Salad Prong


So this bloke is hunting animals on a hiking trail and shooting stuff without identifying it

Also how the hell do you shoot someone in the chest and claim you thought he was a turkey. At least say a deer or something jesus christ.

withak
Jan 15, 2003


Fun Shoe

hemale in pain posted:

So this bloke is hunting animals on a hiking trail and shooting stuff without identifying it

Also how the hell do you shoot someone in the chest and claim you thought he was a turkey. At least say a deer or something jesus christ.

Maybe it's turkey season? Might be in serious trouble if he admitted to shooting at a deer.

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010






Salad Prong

That makes sense. No way this dude mistook someone for a turkey though unless he was just randomly shooting into the woods because he saw something move.. I guess that's a possibility.

FogHelmut
Dec 18, 2003

Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass.


He was absolutely randomly shooting into the woods because he heard something move.

It's insane there's hunting allowed on the popular hiking trail and not like x-yards off the trail.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



There are just as many dumb hikers as there are hunters.

Like xzzy said they do a ton to help support public lands. In fact taxes on ammo, licenses, fire arms, etc all go to support public lands. Backpack, tents, sleeping bags, etc do not.

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gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010

No Balls No Game


BaseballPCHiker posted:

There are just as many dumb hikers as there are hunters.

Like xzzy said they do a ton to help support public lands. In fact taxes on ammo, licenses, fire arms, etc all go to support public lands. Backpack, tents, sleeping bags, etc do not.

There are far, far more dumb hikers than there are dumb hunters. The problem is that when a hiker is dumb, they're doing stuff like leaving orange peels all over the place, which sucks but is not as bad as what a dumb hunter does, which is shoot someone.

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