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Read with interest what some are describing here. The same kind of sudden "where the hell am i ?" feeling you get on the road late at night I've had a couple of times in the woods, both times in remote areas, both times while alone. 

 

I once was in very thick forest, off-trail and a huge thunder storm came up. I kept going and got tangled up in some thickets, all the time thinking I was making linear progress, and not paying much attention. I was snapped out of my reverie when I realized the bright orange bracket fungus I had just passed was the same one I had seen an hour ago. Whoa...now THAT is a spooky feeling, not unlike time travel. That was a new one for me, but not the last time, unfortunately.

 

The next time, I was doing an out-and-back hike on an unfamiliar trail to locate a water source for an upcoming Boy Scout hike I was leading. I found the water source and put up a trail marker for it, and turned around to go back. I had walked a couple of miles when...HOLY CRAP. There was my trail marker.  This one really, really rattled me. I mean, how in the world do you walk in a circle on a two-way trail? I never did fully explain that to myself. When I turned around (for the second time) I looked closely to see if I could figure it out, and when I came back with the Scouts I did the same thing. Near as I could tell, I got off on a side trail (there were a couple of intersecting "use" trails) and that took me completely around the crest of the mountain and rejoined the main trail at such a shallow angle that you don't notice that you were now back on it, heading the opposite way.  I will never forget that feeling of coming around that bend and seeing my trail marker.  OK, and I confess, I actually looked at my watch to make sure I had not experienced a "lost time" event. It was that disconcerting.

 

Solo hiking in remote areas is something I've always liked to do, but more and more I have a hard time justifying the practice to myself.  I've had a couple of times where my Spidey Sense got to tingling really bad, and like most people who spend time outdoors alone, you learn to pay close attention when that happens.      

Edited by WSA
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NatFoot

Or, you had been taken and part of their process - to keep you at ease - is give you a virtual reality "tour" of what you might expect to see/do. Then they finish up with you and put you right near where they took you....and you have the sensation that you must've doubled back.

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NatFoot....it true, it would only be a slightly weirder sensation. Sometimes your reality benefits from being stood on its ear, in a non-linear, slightly disquieting sort of way. This is what Don Juan Matus was describing to Carlos Castenada as “power”,I have little doubt. 

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SWWASAS
19 hours ago, WSA said:

Read with interest what some are describing here. The same kind of sudden "where the hell am i ?" feeling you get on the road late at night I've had a couple of times in the woods, both times in remote areas, both times while alone. 

 

I once was in very thick forest, off-trail and a huge thunder storm came up. I kept going and got tangled up in some thickets, all the time thinking I was making linear progress, and not paying much attention. I was snapped out of my reverie when I realized the bright orange bracket fungus I had just passed was the same one I had seen an hour ago. Whoa...now THAT is a spooky feeling, not unlike time travel. That was a new one for me, but not the last time, unfortunately.

 

The next time, I was doing an out-and-back hike on an unfamiliar trail to locate a water source for an upcoming Boy Scout hike I was leading. I found the water source and put up a trail marker for it, and turned around to go back. I had walked a couple of miles when...HOLY CRAP. There was my trail marker.  This one really, really rattled me. I mean, how in the world do you walk in a circle on a two-way trail? I never did fully explain that to myself. When I turned around (for the second time) I looked closely to see if I could figure it out, and when I came back with the Scouts I did the same thing. Near as I could tell, I got off on a side trail (there were a couple of intersecting "use" trails) and that took me completely around the crest of the mountain and rejoined the main trail at such a shallow angle that you don't notice that you were now back on it, heading the opposite way.  I will never forget that feeling of coming around that bend and seeing my trail marker.  OK, and I confess, I actually looked at my watch to make sure I had not experienced a "lost time" event. It was that disconcerting.

 

Solo hiking in remote areas is something I've always liked to do, but more and more I have a hard time justifying the practice to myself.  I've had a couple of times where my Spidey Sense got to tingling really bad, and like most people who spend time outdoors alone, you learn to pay close attention when that happens.      

Some of that is humans without directional guidance tend to walk in a circle.      Even going out on a trail you went in on, can look very different.   I try to find features that I can identify from both sides.    Pass it then turn around and look at the back side that I will see coming out.    My most confusing times have been when I had and was using a GPS.   Makes you lazy and not pay enough attention to land marks.      Then of course if you get disoriented, the dam GPS runs out of battery.  I have a Garmin one that I don't even carry any more.     It is not worth the weight.  

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VAfooter
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Yes, for whatever reason we tend to walk in circles, and usually in the direction of our dominate hand (so they say).

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All good advice and true observations. I cite these two examples because they were both out of the ordinary occurrences for me and truly weird. My experience has been that you tend to get steered by the terrain much more than a difference in dominant/non-dominant leg strides, even when you are aware  it is happening and you try to correct that.  As much as you try and want to remember way points and terrain features along the route, a shift in the light and perspective and you are in a whole 'nother world.  A sense of direction in the woods is something I'm convinced you have to both receive genetically and practice to keep it sharp. Even so, there will be times when you will be "bewildered".  I've never made a habit of traveling with a compass in hand, but of course that is the cheapest form of insurance. Pick a bearing and stay on it...done!      

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wiiawiwb

GPS can fail and a compass may even fall and break. A topo map and the imagery it creates is forever.

 

Before I go out to a new location, I carefully study the topo map.  I try to envision the map in 3D and my route along the way. When out in the new area, I won't have visualized the trail itself but I will have a good mental picture of what the terrain should look like as I proceed on my route. If I get turned around, I'll stop, relax, do a 360 degree view of the terrain around me, then try to find it from my mind's mental picture.

 

A good test is get your topo map and focus on the area you'll going.  Then, get playdough, or a box of wet sand, and actually create the topo map in 3D.  Create peaks, saddles, ridges, depressions, valleys and creeks. Use a pencil tip or knife to draw the path of travel then visualize what your surroundings should look like from start to finish.  Learn to identify handrails and backstops. They'll help you keep you in your intended line of travel. 

 

Tomorrow, I am going to do an overnight in a new area about a mile and a half from a location I've been to many times. I'm told the trail is more of a herd path and passes through a cedar swamp. I've studied the topo map intensely and hope it will confirm what I expect to see along the way. It better as it will be very cold tomorrow night and I don't want to be traipsing around lost in the dark.

 

Here are two best references regarding terrain association I know of:

 

https://www.adkhighpeaksfoundation.org/navagation.php

 

http://550cord.com/land-navigation-training/map-reading-land-navigation-ch11.asp

Edited by wiiawiwb
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VAfooter
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I believe that topo map software will also create a 3D view. While not as 3D as play-doh, it will help a hiker to visualize the terrain before they go.

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BlackRockBigfoot
30 minutes ago, wiiawiwb said:

GPS can fail and a compass may even fall and break. A topo map and the imagery it creates is forever.

 

Before I go out to a new location, I carefully study the topo map.  I try to envision the map in 3D and my route along the way. When out in the new area, I won't have visualized the trail itself but I will have a good mental picture of what the terrain should look like as I proceed on my route. If I get turned around, I'll stop, relax, do a 360 degree view of the terrain around me, then try to find it from my mind's mental picture.

 

A good test is get your topo map and focus on the area you'll going.  Then, get playdough, or a box of wet sand, and actually create the topo map in 3D.  Create peaks, saddles, ridges, depressions, valleys and creeks. Use a pencil tip or knife to draw the path of travel then visualize what your surroundings should look like from start to finish.  Learn to identify handrails and backstops. They'll help you keep you in your intended line of travel. 

 

Tomorrow, I am going to do an overnight in a new area about a mile and a half from a location I've been to many times. I'm told the trail is more of a herd path and passes through a cedar swamp. I've studied the topo map intensely and hope it will confirm what I expect to see along the way. It better as it will be very cold tomorrow night and I don't want to be traipsing around lost in the dark.

 

Here are two best references regarding terrain association I know of:

 

https://www.adkhighpeaksfoundation.org/navagation.php

 

http://550cord.com/land-navigation-training/map-reading-land-navigation-ch11.asp

Thanks for the links!

 

Land navigation is a dying art.

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Catmandoo
2 hours ago, WSA said:

A sense of direction in the woods is something I'm convinced you have to both receive genetically and practice to keep it sharp

 

Ditto. I am a man and I was born with the 'direction gene'.

 

52 minutes ago, wiiawiwb said:

GPS can fail and a compass may even fall and break. A topo map and the imagery it creates is forever.

 

I saved all of my old map software. The 20 year old 'maps' are better than the new releases.  The new versions are set up for vehicle operation and they deleted the good stuff like old logging roads and abandoned logging roads. The roads less traveled are gems. A compass does not need batteries, but your flashlight will.

 

37 minutes ago, VAfooter said:

While not as 3D as play-doh, it will help a hiker to visualize the terrain before they go.

 

 I was waiting for DeLorme to come out with the 3-D play-doh versions  but Garmin bought DeLorme, no play-doh and my GPS is a brick. I still have the DeLorme Gazettes for several western states. Usually 2 for each state because 1 is a coffee table reference and the other is a dog-eared vehicle/field reference. People approach me for directions. They point to a hill / meadow and ask "how do I get over there?. I pull out my Gazette and show them where they are and where they want to be.

The Gazettes can be  a nice gift for yourself or others. Selling range is $20---$25. 

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ShadowBorn

Rather visualize the map in your head just carry the map with you. Water proof the map and keep it close on you so if you were to loose your pack in a panic you still have your map and a compass. If you know the features on your map then you should be able to navigate from point A to point B.

 

What happen to me out in my area was that i was walking to point A to point B. In others words I was heading west to this this small pond out in the middle of the woods between two trails.  No problem right ! Well that is not what happen to me. Instead I some how started heading east towards the swamp. The problem is that I am not sure how it even happened. If I did not have a map or my compass I would of been lost wondering those woods trying to find my way out. My GPS did not even work which made it even worst. I have been boggled by this since then.  It was scary.

 

Trail001.thumb.png.28f76ec84efcf615e71858e9904c73e1.png

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norseman
On 9/15/2020 at 4:46 AM, NatFoot said:

Are people out hunting in that? I'd imagine it's archery season in parts of the country out there.


Yes.

 

 

14ACEC3B-5712-4ABD-830E-A8076C8D76A8.jpeg

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Madison5716
On 4/23/2020 at 5:22 AM, NatFoot said:

That is quite interesting. There's also only a few I recall reading of either a disabled or near death (starving/old age) Sasquatch.

 

I actually have a local report of an old, gray sasquatch with a limp. It's been seen numbers times dumpster diving. Unfortunately, it's also a 3-hour drive from where I am. I would love to do an overnight and check this one out!

 

On 4/23/2020 at 9:36 AM, SWWASAS said:

There are a number of reports of bigfoot being shot and not only not showing any sign of the bullet impact but not leaving blood trails.     

 

I know I've read reports of how difficult it is to shoot chimpanzees and gorillas. The story I'm thinking of, the chimp took 8 bullets at 20 feet, escaped, and was found dying much later. 

Edited by Madison5716
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1 hour ago, Madison5716 said:

 

I actually have a local report of an old, gray sasquatch with a limp. It's been seen numbers times dumpster diving. Unfortunately, it's also a 3-hour drive from where I am. I would love to do an overnight and check this one out!

Well, not super local! Poor old fella. Isn't anyone already checking it out?

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