View Full Version : Trail Magic: What's On Your Wish List

07-30-2010, 15:50
As a new day hiker, I have started to leave supplies at the trailhead in Vernon; gallon jugs of water, apples, oranges, raisins and crackers. Just laid into a supply of AA & AAA batteries as well as small led lights and, this is a long shot spoons (imagine losing your only spoon!).

I have had some trouble with the local teens raiding the box but I try and speak to them and involve them in the quest to help out a hiker.

What could be added?

Is it okay to leave 'goodie bags' deep in the trail? I pack items in and pass them out as we come across hikers.

Suggestions are welcome and please, if I am violating trail etiquette', please let me know. I always remove and trash, although there is little to be found.

Mick Numbers

Pedaling Fool
07-30-2010, 16:05
I don't like "trail magic", but won't go into it again, by the sheer numbers I'm in the minority, so don't feel like fighting a losing battle. As far as "trail etiquette", there really is none, except probably for packin packout... I know you say you pack out, but that's not my issue with "trail magic", but like I said I'm not going into it any more, plent of examples can be found with a seach on the subject.

When someone tells you that such and such is trail ettiquette it's usually just their opinion.

07-30-2010, 19:41
Thanks for the reply, John. I can understand how 'magic' might diminish the experience for some, part of the reason I have been hesitant to drop items in the inner trail.

I've enjoyed some of your other posts. Thanks for your feedback here.

07-31-2010, 01:07
In my humble opinon there is nothing better than coming across a stash of beer. Cold or not, it always hits the spot.

07-31-2010, 02:10
What could be added?

Sounds like your doing plenty already. A jug of water is all I usually need. I don't think you need to add anything else. Your doing good. :banana


07-31-2010, 07:03
the original definition for trail magic was that it was unexpected acts of kindness. Meeting a particular hiker who has asked for a specific item is not really 'magic'.

I been involved in one of the largest events of this kind for several years. It started off as magic, but now is just referred to as a hiker feed. Which is ok. We do it because we enjoy it, the hikers enjoy it, and it is a good overall experience.

Keeping it as something random makes it somewhat more special to the hikers. It sounds like your 'stash' of items gives hikers things that they are in need of at that particular place/time. Keep it simple and keep it magical for you as well. Too much planning, thinking, and taking custom orders gets to be a pain eventually. Stay focused on the reason you are there to begin with. :)

07-31-2010, 14:53
It is indeed rare for a hiker to pass by trail magic...most everyone loves an unexpected snack. The best magic is if you could be there to pass it out and share in the fun of being around other hikers.

This year New York has really been especially dry and anything you do to help supply water is greatly appreciated !!!!!

Blue Jay
07-31-2010, 17:18
Mick you don't need any suggestions as you've nailed it. It's also fun to do on city streets where people really don't expect it.

07-31-2010, 17:42
Well, this is definitely the first I've heard of someone not liking trail magic. Weird.

I agree, looks like you're doing a lot already. Additional kudos for bringing things deeper into the trail, and not just at trailheads that can be ransacked by anyone. Thanks! Keep up the good work.

07-31-2010, 17:48
Ohhh. You're asking if it's ok to leave things deep in the trail. Yes. Curmudgeons aside, I think it would be greatly appreciated by the majority of hikers. Just be sure to come back for the leftovers after a while. I actually prefer things further in the trail away from the trailhead, that way they aren't completely raided by non-hikers. But any magic is magic. I'd rather find a lone, warm diet dr. thunder floating in a cooler than nothing at all.

07-31-2010, 18:58
In my humble opinon there is nothing better than coming across a stash of beer. Cold or not, it always hits the spot.

Someone doing "Booze Magic" had better make sure that no underage folks get their hands on it - liability (as well as ethical) problems could result. Hand out alcoholic beverages - don't drop them in a stream and leave.

Sorry to be a killjoy, but I was a teenager once :eek: nd got myself and my friends drunk whenever we could steal booze from our parents' cabinets. I almost died twice of alcohol poisoning. :):):):rolleyes:.

08-01-2010, 18:53
Thanks for all of the thoughtful replies. Secondly, I had a unique experience with 'trail magic' that was just a wonderful event. On Friday, my wife and I passed a group of young men coming into the area. We stopped and dispensed crackers, fruit and batteries and left them with directions to our supply box. We exchanged small talk and got out of their way; every second seems to count when the Whites await down the line!

On Saturday, about fifteen rugged miles up the trail, we came upon the same group. On the spur of the moment, we decided to invite the group of seven to camp in our yard, shower and get a decent meal. During the shuttle down the mountain, another hiker and his son showed up; I didn't have the heart to leave them, so seven became nine. :eek:

What a wonderful group of young people; as courteous and warm hearted as could have been hoped for. After a late, late dinner, we talked until midnight. The back of my home was a small tent city; the resident whiporwill set an early alarm but all slept well. After breakfast and lots of coffee, it was time to bring our new found friends back to the trail head.

Several of you mentioned how 'magic' brings rewards to all parties involved.
My wife and I will treasure the time we spent with these fine hikers. It was an honor to help them along. We look forward to congratulating each of them on their finish. :clap