- Sep 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm #3609049
A couple of years ago my postal delivery lady asked if I would place a couple of dryer sheets in my mailbox to keep the yellow jackets from setting up camp there. It seemed to work. It was a terrible year for those little pests.
Then a few days ago I met a couple of lady pals that I occasionally see while walking around in my favorite local open spaces. We were talking about yellow jackets, and I mentioned my postal gal’s trick. One of the ladies said, “DON’T do that! They’re poisonous!” Who knew? Maybe that’s why the yellow jackets don’t like them.Sep 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm #3609056
^^^ so don’t use a deterrent in your mailbox? How does that compare to the alternatives where some people spray their nests and kill them all or getting stung ( including the mailman and/or neighbors) ?Sep 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm #3609063Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
This is why i dont talk to people on the trail.
On crowded trails I’ve adopted a smile and head nod as the preferred greeting for passersby – it’s polite and efficient. But I’ll talk with folks who start up a conversation or ask a question.
On the rare occasion somebody makes a uncomfortable comment I remind myself that it says a lot more about them than about me. I often end up feeling sorry for the person because life must be harder if they are carrying around judgementalism or other emotional burdens and lack the social skills to keep it to themselves.
Dryer sheets! An enduring term for day hikers. Or, more precisely, tourists close to a TH.
Glad I’m not the only one who finds that intense artificial dryer sheet smell repulsive. As much as I dislike being stung by hornets nearly every August in the Olympics, I can’t bring myself to carry dryer sheets on the outside of my backpack, even if they work.Sep 5, 2019 at 4:57 pm #3609070
Kat, I did that because I like my mail lady. She said that she and several of her co-workers had been stung multiple times when opening mailboxes to deliver letters.
That year, I placed 2 yellow jackets traps in my back yard, and I kept track of how many I killed – 750 from April to October! Like I said, it was a bumper crop that year. Most years I’m just snagging about 2/day per trap – far less than in 2017.Sep 5, 2019 at 7:34 pm #3609086Katherine .BPL Member
Who knew what I’d learn on this thread? Now I’ll be packing emergency dryer sheets.Sep 6, 2019 at 12:00 am #3609108
Just to clarify…I was calling out the lady that had a problem with your deterrent…Sep 6, 2019 at 12:25 am #3609109Tom KBPL Member
Why respond at all? Maybe just smile pleasantly and keep on trucking? No need to get into an interaction that might end up taking the edge off both of your days in a beautiful place. Let him go his smug way thinking he just enlightened you, while you continue taking beautiful pictures, all the while secure in the knowledge that you know exactly why you added that weight to your load.
“That year, I placed 2 yellow jackets traps in my back yard, and I kept track of how many I killed – 750 from April to October! Like I said, it was a bumper crop that year. Most years I’m just snagging about 2/day per trap – far less than in 2017.”
You wiped out 750 of Mother Nature’s most efficient garden pest predators. I used to have the same attitude, because I have had my share of losing encounters with the little ba$tards up in the Cascades, and once had to esort to the same tactic when they set up a nest that made it risky to harvest my raspberries. But overall, I have come to appreciate them for their place in the broader community of living creatures. Not an easy decision. I’m only posting this to perhaps broaden your perspective, not as a criticism, because believe me I understand where you’re coming from.Sep 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm #3609163
Tom, I’ll have to study up on the overall effect of yellow jackets in the ecosystem. Up until now I’ve just seen them as rather aggressive pests that chase off the hummingbirds from their feeder, fly around my face (and my cat’s, when I had one), and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves. But if they have some redeeming qualities, I should know about them.Sep 11, 2019 at 11:37 pm #3609857BudBPL Member
I have run into people like that as well. Take them with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, what matters is that we all love hiking. Some people love carrying more gear than others and UNDERSTAND what their objectives for being in the backcountry are, while there are admittedly many that seem to have one foot in the hiking-big-miles world and one foot in the backpacking-is-why-I’m-here world.
Sounds like you know who you are. That’s good! That right there is a WIN! For me, I bring the gear I need to meet my objectives and goals. Most of the time, I’m between 7-7.5 lbs as a base weight, and other times, I creep up to 8 – 8.5 pounds and bring Moment lenses with me. Doesn’t bother me much to bring them IF they are serving a purpose.
Happy trails!Sep 12, 2019 at 4:29 am #3609905KarenBPL Member
I was crossing a small creek this year on the JMT, and a guy was standing on the other side, watching me cross. He then commented on what hiking poles I should be using, instead of the ones I had with me (cheapos). One pole tip had slipped just a bit on a rock midstream, no big deal to me. I just said, okay thanks, and kept walking. He asked me where I’d come from, and I said Donahue pass. He asked where I was going, but I ignored him at that point, getting a bit of a creepster vibe at so many questions without any attempt at a real conversation. A little later I noticed he was following me. I pulled off trail and let him pass, then later passed him again. He then told me he had been going the wrong direction and realized it after talking to me. After that he seemed a bit more normal. Maybe the weird gear comment was nervousness? I hiked faster than he did, so I never saw him again.
The only other comment anyone made about my gear was a gal I met in Lyell canyon, coming toward me. She noticed we both had the same pack so we stopped to chat and I asked her how it was holding up (she was doing the PCT). All others I talked to just focused on what they had seen, where they had been, or how far it was to somewhere. All pretty friendly, except for a few souls who looked utterly exhausted. I didn’t burden them with chitchat!Sep 18, 2019 at 6:19 pm #3610721Tipi WalterBPL Member
What Paul N calls Lightsplaining I call Fat Shaming. It happens alot but for me it mostly happens on internet forums—and happens often here on BPL.
Want to carry an 8 lb tent? You’ll get a boatload of opinions on how it’s both wrong and stupid. Want to pull a 3 week trip with 50 lbs of food and several books and pull 4 or 5 miles a day?? You’ll be up against Trail Gurus recommending pulling 3 day trips with 2 days of food and 30 mile days with a 10 lb pack.Sep 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm #3612209Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Franco stated “The first post can’t be edited.” And that’s correct.
The question is WHY??? Many have complained about this problem in the past. A few have even made a “Topic Only” first post so they could edit their real 1st post. Good solution, IMHO.
** I’ve stated here that the very best forum software example I’ve ever used is the one on the “LONG RANGE HUNTING” site.
I mean c’mon, most of us pay to use this forum so let’s have the best software possible.Sep 30, 2019 at 9:06 pm #3612230
You can edit the first post.Oct 1, 2019 at 4:04 am #3612261Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Poor Eric, always playing catch-up.Oct 29, 2019 at 11:28 pm #3616409Brad WBPL Member
Carrying around that resentment goes against UL philosophy and is the cheapest way to lighten your load.Nov 3, 2019 at 1:25 am #3617053Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
Egads these newer dryer sheets they make now are seriously poisonous. I found a shirt in a free box and took it home. I washed it, but that dryer sheet smell was so strong it didn’t come out. So I washed it again. I washed it with every load for over a year. The smell never came out. I brought the shirt back to the freebox and left it there.
As far as comments from other hikers, I have had a few experiences on both sides of this. On the JMT I was doing a solo hike wearing a skirt and Chacos and carrying ultralight gear. I was stopped by a ranger wondering if my pack was so small did I really have a bear canister?
All along the trail it was nothing but comments from JMT thru-hikers. Most of the comments were along the lines of “we don’t care about making miles, this is a trip of a lifetime and we want to go slow to savor it.” A couple of men drying their feet and putting their boots back on commented that Bear Creek didn’t even break my stride and then asked a million questions about hiking in sandals and other stuff. On that same trip I met a barefoot lady. My sandals were no big deal compared to her. All along the trail people made so many comments, but they were always unsolicited. I almost never spoke first. If I did, it was always just along the lines of “Hello, this is so pretty, isn’t it?”
But I’ve had the opposite, too. Such as taking a picture from this very same trip and posting it here and talking about how all these JMT hikers wouldn’t stop commenting and someone here saw a picture of my pack and said it looked pretty huge, not ultralight at all.
People who really like to take pictures carry big heavy camera gear. That’s what they do. I carry a musical instrument because I hike solo and get lonely. That’s what I do. No big deal.Dec 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm #3621040
”Just tell him that he’s ugly, and you can buy a lighter camera.“
To the OP, that would irk me too. If I wanted a sermon I’d go to church. I would’ve been less polite.
On the other side of the coin, gear has sparked up some interesting conversations. While hiking the Wonderland, a nurse started a conversation with me about my LS Wildcats which quickly transitioned to her experiences with them in the CDT. Similar experiences with my MLD Burn and other gear where they serve as ice breakers.
To walk up to anyone and thrown down unsolicited opinions of what they’re doing “wrong” is a jerk move. If they didn’t ask or aren’t actively complaining about their pack weight, mind yo own business.Dec 1, 2019 at 6:12 pm #3621059
*throw down. I guess editing has been turned offDec 1, 2019 at 8:10 pm #3621074Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
The only experience I’ve had similar to the one described in the initial post was a few summers ago in Glacier Peak Wilderness (Washington). What was most odd about it was that the “shaming” didn’t even involve gear, but rather what the purpose of my backpacking trip was.
I arrived at a small subalpine lake fairly late in the day (it was about an 11 mile hike in with around 4,000 feet of elevation gain) and there was a group already there, but plenty of places to camp in the general area. I had to hike through their camp to get to the other campsites and, after exchanging general pleasantries, a member of their group asked me if I was planning to climb a nearby peak the next day (the area I was in is popular with climbers, but not so much backpackers because of the rough approach).
I replied, “Nope, I’m just going to check out some of the nearby lakes, do some fishing, and I might head up one of the smaller unnamed summits on my way out”. What he said next, in a somewhat condescending tone (at least that’s how I interpreted it), caught me off guard: “That’s a long way to hike just to look at some lakes”.
I waited a few seconds to reply, as I was surprised at the implicit judgment and absurdity of his comment, looked around at how beautiful the place I was in was and how trivial the conversation I was having was, cheerfully replied “Yeah, I suppose it is. Have a good evening!” and continued on to camp.
He seemed as surprised at my reply as I was to his. But he wasn’t wrong. Objectively, it was a ways to hike “just to look at some lakes”. And I wouldn’t have been wrong to reply “Yeah, it’s a long way to hike just to climb a mountain, too.” But looking back I’m glad I was able to just shrug it off as one person thinking their hobby (climbing) was superior to mine (backpacking) and perhaps trying to show off for the women in their group.Dec 1, 2019 at 10:02 pm #3621086
Weird. Mark can edit his post but I can’t.
The good news is that 99.999% of the people I encounter on the trail are courteous of others, limiting the encounters that make me go “hmm” to about one per year (eg camp fires during a ban, blasting music, etc). The short conversations I have on the trail generally are with interesting and nice people.Dec 2, 2019 at 10:42 pm #3621247Gerry B.BPL Member
@taedawoodLocale: Louisiana, USA
Unscented dryer sheets are my preferred option at home to reduce static…and cat hair!
I remember being asked a few years ago by a 30 something couple how old I was. I told them I was 60 at which the husband said, “WOW, I sure hope I can still hike when I am YOUR age”! I said thanks and hiked on, not knowing whether to laugh and take it as a compliment or give him the finger. Either way, it gave me a smile.Dec 2, 2019 at 11:42 pm #3621251bradmacmtBPL Member
Question: “How do you know an Ultralight Hiker?”
Answer: “Give them five minutes, they’ll tell you.”Mar 15, 2020 at 10:21 am #3635993Anonymous
I’m usually looking pretty much straight down so I don’t trip over myself to notice anybody else is on the trail.May 18, 2020 at 12:02 pm #3647906GarrettBPL Member
I don’t backpack where there is people, so…. ; )
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