Apr 25, 2007 at 5:00 am #1222978
@ianwrightLocale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
What's the best thing you have found while out on the trail that you have kept? Maybe a crystal or a fossil or a bone. Many years ago when I hiked from Darjeeling toward Kungenjunga (sic) I found an old coin. But it's just a round bit of copper so worn out that there is no detail at all. But I found it way out in the middle of nowhere so to me it's a great treasure !
You ?Apr 25, 2007 at 7:42 am #1387254
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Several things come to mind:
Once I found a perfect coyote skull.
In my garden I have two whale vertebrae, found on the Lost Coast.
Once, while hiking back to our cars, after running out of food, we found an unopened package of figs and another unopened package of Twinkies. What a feast. Though I'll never eat a Twinkie again. They were yucky and delicious at the same time.Apr 25, 2007 at 9:28 am #1387262
I once found on top of an undisclosed ridge in the Sierra ( reached via 4th class rock) an 18 in. long, 5 in. wide nearly perfect smoky quartz crystal, just loose lying on a sandy patch. I left it there and not because it was heavy…Apr 25, 2007 at 10:47 am #1387271
@mowLocale: Minnesota, USA
I found a tomahawk head with some cool engravings, a perfect quartz hide scraper, and a quartz mallet somewhere in Wyoming. All of which are exactly where I found them.
The coolest find I've ever heard of: a friend found a perfect obsidian arrowhead in Texas – that's a long way from Yellowstone.Apr 25, 2007 at 11:38 am #1387277
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
An awesome Underarmor t-shirt which I took and an OR rain sombrero which my ex took was found along the trail in the Upper Nyack drainage of Glacier National Park.Apr 25, 2007 at 11:44 am #1387278
Oh, yes. I forgot about my seasonal pillaging of dead avalanche victims of their personal effects. :-) Backcountry Helpful Hint # 342–Snowmobilers carry more cash.Apr 25, 2007 at 11:59 am #1387284
I found one of those little rubber band thingies Leki sold to keep your trekking pole together. I gave it to my brother because my poles came with something like that and his didn't. I've seen some strange articles of clothing at campgrounds too. Skimpy women's underwear tops the list in that department, she may have been missing clothing but it wasn't a whole lot of fabric ;). That's about the extent of my findings.
Kevin, I've often wondered what I would do if I found a dead hiker in the woods. (My mind wanders a lot when I'm alone) Obviously I'd notify the authorities and mark the location on a map so they could be recovered but I don't know if I'd scavenge his(or her, I suppose) pack for gear. Of course if I were in a survival situation I would do it since its a matter of life or death and there could be something that could save my life. Is it wrong to want to acquire more gear, even if the means are a little shady? I think the guilt of taking a dead person's stuff would get to me after a while and I'd probably return it.
AdamApr 25, 2007 at 12:26 pm #1387287
Perhaps my sense of humor is too obscure or edgy? :-PApr 25, 2007 at 12:33 pm #1387290
@garkjrLocale: Southwestern Ohio
I started a great rock collection in my buddy's pack once…Apr 25, 2007 at 12:41 pm #1387291
@cbertLocale: N. California
(swiss army type)
a small fishing kit
a flashlight (small aluminum tube type)
tent pegsApr 25, 2007 at 12:58 pm #1387293
Don't worry Kevin, unfortunately I'm not able to convey sarcasm over the internet very well. Of course I wouldn't steal stuff from a dead person's pack. Unless it was really dang cool…
AdamApr 25, 2007 at 2:19 pm #1387303
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Adam wrote above: " I think the guilt of taking a dead person's stuff would get to me after a while and I'd probably return it".
Umm… after stealing/using the stuff for a while, whom would you return them to??? :)Apr 25, 2007 at 2:39 pm #1387307
I'm sure I would get the name of the person (they should have some kind of ID on them right?). From there it wouldn't be too hard to contact the family and say "Uhh… I kind of stole some stuff from your recently deceased, do you want it back?" Maybe I would donate it to Goodwill or a Scout troop.
That's probably where my stuff would end up if I perished. No one else in my family does enough hiking to want to keep it so they would probably just give it to my old scout troop.
Maybe I took that particular thought a little too far. Sorry about that (I do that from time to time, I just need to be hit and told to stop).
AdamApr 25, 2007 at 3:01 pm #1387310
Perhaps, for those of us without heirs to will our backpacking gear to, could wear donor cards, in case of a terminal backcountry mishap—- stating "here I lie, pillage at will, happy trails".Apr 25, 2007 at 3:17 pm #1387312
@happycamperLocale: South Bayish
Alright, back on track(I have no dead people jokes, HAHA)!!
I've found three pocket knives and counting.
Crystals and arrowheads(don't always keep those.)
A HUGE beartrap(definitely didn't keep that.)
A aluminum cookpan with many holes in it made by bearteeth(put it down and walked away quickly.)
A big patch of fresh nettles(my favorite and tastiest find, nothing like fresh steamed greens in the woods!!)Apr 25, 2007 at 3:27 pm #1387314
@tarbubbleLocale: dirtville, CA
in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness, somebody nailed plastic dinosaurs to old fence posts in out-of-the-way areas. i've seen two of them, but am told there are more. i also just read in the LA Times that a couple of hikers have found two miniature villages (one Easter-bunny themed, one Christmas themed) hidden away in undisclosed off-trail locations. now i have to go look for them! oh, i didn't keep any dinosaurs. ;) i also once found an altar/shrine type thing hidden in Joshua Tree NP. didn't take anything.
i mostly just keep stuff that needs to be packed out anyway. old aluminum stakes, busted plastic stakes… on our last trip somebody had either left or forgotten a really lousy foam pad at our campsite (no dispersed camping permitted). we packed it out and it ended up coming in handy as a sit pad.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm #1387321
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Lots of bones, skeletons, rotting cougar kills (ewwwww…we smelled it all night, it was on a rock in the river)
Crystals in the North Cascades.
A brand new set of pack towels by Cascade Designs hanging in the trees. The people must have forgotten it. My gain, their loss ;-)
A loaded pack at a lake in early May. It looked like it had been there all winter. I am figuring they left it, and didn't come back for it. Still, it was odd and didn't give me a good feeling. I didn't touch it.
Worst find ever? Oh yeah, my friend Dicentra still gets ribbed about this one:
We were hiking in 2003 in the Olympics, she was a NP ranger then for the Olympics. The night before there had been a group of teens backpacking near us (boombox and pot included). One of them was this huge fat guy who sweated constantly. They left in the morning. As we were walking out she saw a huge white t-shirt on the side of the trail. In full LNT rant mode she stomped over with me screaming "don't touch it!". Oh yeah, she picked it up. The fat guy? He had taken the biggest dump I have ever seen and used his shirt as TP.
I still laugh over that. Hehheh. And no, it stayed there ;-)Apr 25, 2007 at 4:10 pm #1387326
@cbertLocale: N. California
in Dusy Baisin in the Muir Wilderness
they were hit by lightning
i don't think he took any of their stuff ;)Apr 25, 2007 at 4:17 pm #1387327
@swimjayLocale: Northern California
We were quite grateful, too. We weren't dead at all, just a bit tired from the combination of heavy packs and thin air.Apr 25, 2007 at 4:17 pm #1387328
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Wow, that is so tragic — and sad… :(Apr 25, 2007 at 11:46 pm #1387361
@rglessLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
On my 1970 Muir Trial hike, my buddy and I climbed an unnamed third class peak and found a tobacco can register with the last entry from 1932. In 1997 I went back with my wife to see if it was still there. The original register was gone. The peak had been discovered by the boy scouts, and a much newer makeshift register had names from various troops as well as other climbers. Oh well…Apr 26, 2007 at 12:35 am #1387364
I can tell you only joke about these things because you also go in harms way. Could happen to any one of us.
Next month I'm walking an alpine massif ridge between two 'counties'; people told me in all seriousness; if you fall- fall to the left; that county has helicopters and trained resuce personnel!
Edit: Agreed, Kevin; I have had similar experiences. Sorry to presume to tell you what to do.Apr 26, 2007 at 7:02 am #1387371
I wouldn't know which post to edit. ;-)-
Brett, I lost one of my closest friends in a climbing accident. I have almost died on a mtneering trip. For me, black humor is sometimes the best medicine for extreme events.
Believe me, I observe death in the backcountry as a tragedy, the individuals concerned honored, learn from their mistakes (if any) and then move on.Apr 26, 2007 at 11:23 am #1387389
I understand perfectly well where you're coming from. The unit I was in during my Marine Corps career saw a number of us maimed or killed in parachute training, livefire exercises (up to and including 2700 pound battleship rounds), and , oh yeah, I almost forgot about actual combat.
The best way to deal with the prospect was to laugh about it. Whenever I watch the 13th Warrior and see the Norse warband laughing in the midst of some pretty horrific situations about likely death and dismemberment, I can't help but think of the Marines in my A/NGLICO unit. It was probably the most sincere, intense, and therapeutic laughter I've ever experienced.Apr 26, 2007 at 3:23 pm #1387411
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
I'm sure there would be mixed reviews of people levels of humor if everyone on BPL were following this thread, yes. I'm of the opinion that if you can find humor in all there is out there then you're missing out on something.
I read Alpinist magazine and it seems as though the writers and editors of that fine publication basically take death as a natural, assumed part of mountaineering. Considering the high fatality-rate related to alpinism I suppose they do so with rights.
In issue 18 or 19 there was an article about an individual of very little fame who climbed for himself and for whatever reason ended up the feature of a story. He and the author whilst working peaks took to humorously changing out the words phrases "on belay?" and "belay on" with "death?" and "death on". Talk about dark.
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