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Thread: Bread Crumbs

  1. #1

    Default Bread Crumbs

    My breadcrumbs, potentially my life savers. I carry a couple dozen of these on my solo hikes, and would like to suggest that others who have concerns about losing the trail do the same or something similar.

    Why? Privies on the AT are a bad idea right now, as humans shed virus via feces, so understandably these methane-fueled hot spots are best avoided. For some of us though, going off trail to relieve ourselves can be hazardous, as a moment's inattention or memory-lapse can mean a nervous bushwhack to regain the trail. Wandering two hundred feet off trail in a dense section of forest can be confusing and finding the way back even more so. Clipping these every 10 feet or so on the ends of branches or brush gives me a guide back to the trail ( I have all white for the AT ). Of course I collect them all...LNT and reuse.

    They also make great clothespins for your hanging out your wet stuff, so they pull their weight in double duty.


    Last edited by Teacher & Snacktime; 02-07-2021 at 18:47.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  2. #2
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    I have not read of the virus being made airborne via feces. Are there any studies indicating spread in this manner?

    (But I like the breadcrumb idea!)

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I have not read of the virus being made airborne via feces. Are there any studies indicating spread in this manner?
    (But I like the breadcrumb idea!)
    Actually there is a study, but that's not the point of the post and I'd very much like to avoid THAT argument (privy use, ATC, etc.)
    I put this on FB and some folks have gone nuts (and become quite rude) over my audacity to suggest avoiding privies, to promote misinformation re: covid, etc. I have done neither.

    I get disoriented easily, and came up with this idea (inspired by Inchworm) to take away one source of worry on the trail.

    Glad you like the idea.
    Last edited by Teacher & Snacktime; 02-07-2021 at 14:11.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  4. #4

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    Seems like a good plan for folks who might lose track of where they came from. I've been known to drop my pole with the point headed back the way I came. That way when it is time to leave there is no doubt which direction the trail is.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Seems like a good plan for folks who might lose track of where they came from. I've been known to drop my pole with the point headed back the way I came. That way when it is time to leave there is no doubt which direction the trail is.
    LOL I do that too! Or something like it. I NEVER drop my stick because I know I'll forget/lose it, but I do always mark the direction I want to continue in where I plan to get back on the trail.

    I get more paranoid about getting lost every year....at least when I'm hiking solo.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    I avoid privies myself - the woods are more hygienic anyway with proper cathole depth, LNT, etc.

    Getting disoriented is very easy to do in the woods. Once I went off trail and although I got back on the trail fine, I went in the direction from which I had come and only realized my error a few miles later!

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    ahhhhh.......so youre the one that posted that on FB...

    i didnt read it all the way through-----but hope you remove them when you leave a site....

    i can see some left behind, and just being litter...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    ahhhhh.......so youre the one that posted that on FB...
    i didnt read it all the way through-----but hope you remove them when you leave a site....
    i can see some left behind, and just being litter...
    ALWAYS LNT....I count how many I put out and make sure I collect them all going back. How else could I reuse them?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  9. #9
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    Breadcrumbs.
    So many meanings for this word that I've never heard of.

    In our native tounge, breadcrumbs are tiny pieces of bread crust that crumble off the bread when you slice it.
    Just had to learn the hard way, that in the US you get your bread readily sliced, so most likely you don't have any real breadcrumbs.
    Now you are using the original word for other purposes, one comes in handy in the IT business in form of breadcrumb navigation.
    Another one is this tiny piece of plastic in your pic I've never seen before but you are using it for, well, breadcrumb navigation.
    Isnt there some old fairy tale about a guy who got lost in a maze because he intended to find his way back by means of some breadcrumbs he dropped on the way in, but that were eaten by pigeons meanwhile?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Breadcrumbs.
    So many meanings for this word that I've never heard of.

    In our native tounge, breadcrumbs are tiny pieces of bread crust that crumble off the bread when you slice it.
    Just had to learn the hard way, that in the US you get your bread readily sliced, so most likely you don't have any real breadcrumbs.
    Now you are using the original word for other purposes, one comes in handy in the IT business in form of breadcrumb navigation.
    Another one is this tiny piece of plastic in your pic I've never seen before but you are using it for, well, breadcrumb navigation.
    Isnt there some old fairy tale about a guy who got lost in a maze because he intended to find his way back by means of some breadcrumbs he dropped on the way in, but that were eaten by pigeons meanwhile?
    Lol, that's why we don't leave real breadcrumbs .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Lol, that's why we don't leave real breadcrumbs .
    Which we do have readily available in many forms just a metaphor here..

    I also agree most of the time the privies are gross anyway I much prefer to poop in the woods. You could also take a little baggie of pink plastic ribbon already cut into 1ft. Pieces and tie one every 10ft , and of course retrieve on your way out.

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    Is'nt the GPS on the smartphone good enough to find the way back to the path?
    I'm using this on my bushwhacking trips all the time and usually the accuracy is down to a few meters.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Which we do have readily available in many forms just a metaphor here..
    I also agree most of the time the privies are gross anyway I much prefer to poop in the woods. You could also take a little baggie of pink plastic ribbon already cut into 1ft. Pieces and tie one every 10ft , and of course retrieve on your way out.
    My reference is from Hansel and Gretel....the trail of bread crumbs back home when they were led into and abandoned in the woods.

    Little ribbons won't work for me personally, as my hands are quite arthritic and can't tie. These little clips fit nicely on bush branch tips with no damage, and are easily put on and removed. But yes, any type of trail marker would do.
    Last edited by Teacher & Snacktime; 02-07-2021 at 18:51.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  14. #14

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    Believe it or not, not everyone uses a smartphone. The AT is such a well-marked trail that it's easy to follow without GPS.

    as JNI64 mentions, I have seen people use small lengths of bright marker ribbon as 'breadcrumbs'. It weighs basically nothing and can be seen from pretty far away, so you may not need to use very many to mark the way back to trail, for example. I haven't carried it for that purpose (yet) but I probably will. I hike solo as well.

    Inchworm's story is so sad....something so simple that might have saved her life if the idea had been introduced to her or if she had seen others doing it and had incorporated it into her routine. That's why we share ideas - there is likely someone else out there who can benefit.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    LOL I do that too! Or something like it. I NEVER drop my stick because I know I'll forget/lose it, but I do always mark the direction I want to continue in where I plan to get back on the trail.

    I get more paranoid about getting lost every year....at least when I'm hiking solo.
    I am a quadruped after years of using poles. It would be easier for me to forget my pack than my poles
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Is'nt the GPS on the smartphone good enough to find the way back to the path?I'm using this on my bushwhacking trips all the time and usually the accuracy is down to a few meters.
    I learned the hard way that GPS on a phone or ANY device is not always reliable. Some areas of the AT (I know of one specifically) do not register on GPS, or Guthook, or the Killington Police Dept's radar (or whatever they use).

    Of course a compass would help, but following the breadcrumbs is SO much easier.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    Just to get it right, being a non-native speaker:
    Bredcrumbs is the name for those tiny clips, or is it just a name you give to the whole idea of placing tiny pieces here and there along your way off the path, in reference to the Hansel and Gretel tale?
    (which is a pretty scary story, btw.)

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    With respect to the GPS, I find it very relieable, even on my old smartphone.
    I usually don't track my way, so the GPS is not running all the time, so it takes 5-10 seconds when switching on the app to get a fix - good enough for to know the rough direction the path is going, and the fix becomes more accurate after some more seconds.
    The only time the GPS is really bad and far off is when hiking in a canyon - which is a no-brainer regarding orientation anyway.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Just to get it right, being a non-native speaker:
    Bredcrumbs is the name for those tiny clips, or is it just a name you give to the whole idea of placing tiny pieces here and there along your way off the path, in reference to the Hansel and Gretel tale?
    (which is a pretty scary story, btw.)
    It's the reference to the Hansel and Gretel tale, because getting lost in the woods is scary.

    The clips are from bread bags, so there's also a little play on words there.
    Last edited by Teacher & Snacktime; 02-07-2021 at 18:53.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    The only time the GPS is really bad and far off is when hiking in a canyon - which is a no-brainer regarding orientation anyway.
    Or on the AT near Killington VT....not even the PD, the S&R, or 911 can "ping" your location. GPS is completely unavailable. It may well be the only spot on the entire AT completely unlocatable, but I managed to find it.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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