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[l/m 8/22/95] Questions on conditions and travel DW (13/28) XYZ

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 - Part11 - Part12 - Part13 - Part14 - Part15 - Part16 - Part17 - Part18 - Part19 - Part20 - Part21 - Part22 - Part23 - Part24 - Part25 - Part26 - Part27 - Part28 )
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Panel 13

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Travel questions:

	"...the guided tour was profoundly depressing.  When we told
	our guide that we didn't want to go to all the tourist places
	he took us instead to the places where they take tourists
	who say that they don't want to go to tourist palces.
	These places are, of course, full of tourists.
	Which is not to say that we weren't tourists every bit as much
	as the others, but it does highlight the irony that everything
	you go to see is changed by the very action of going to see it,
	which is the sort of problem which physicists have been wrestling
	with for most of this century."
	--Douglas Adams, on visiting Bali in Last Chance to See

Rec.backcountry is perhaps among the newsgroups where a certain limitation
of information takes place ( is another, see
how they solve this).  The situation is similar to reading a book
or watching a movie and knowing the ending.  Most net newsgroups
encourage the free flow of information.  Not nearly so r.b.  Why?  Because
some of us realize that is where some of the "adventure" lies.

Several problems come about:
1) What are the conditions in XXX location (e.g., Yellowstone National Park)?

Use the telephone.  Information from the Park tends to be far superior
and more currently knowledgeable than most net information, and
it comes from an official source.

2) Another comes with the trashing of so-called "secret" or popular
places.  It will not take you long to realize this, and it will not
take you long to become protective of your own information.  With the
popularity of outdoor recreation comes the problem of loving the
wilderness to death.  A common activity is ignoring (not posting) trip
reports.  Reports are long (expenditure of poster's time) and regarded with
some sensitivity.  Some people regard those posting trip reports as having
arrogance as if they were the ones responsible for finding and "opening"
up new terrain.  This does happen on rare occasion, but you will be able to
tell otherwise.  Save yourself the time and trouble.

"Yeah, secret.  For how long?"

There is nothing inherently "wrong" about asking where to go or visit
or post trip reports. BUT, there is an important environmental under-current
which underlies the way many readers read this group.  This might seem
hard on the beginning outdoors person.  One reason for this is that the
more senior outdoors people have seen a few of their favorite areas
trashed over time.  Climbers, backpackers, paddlers, skiers, cavers, etc. the
comment has been voiced by all at some time.

One counter-argument is that a) the more people who know about nice
places, then b) the more people there are appreciate and can defend
the wilderness.  This is known as "the greatest good for the greatest number"
argument which has existed over a century.  The problem is that this argument
does not scale, and it gave way to the "loving the wilderness to death"
counter argument of the 1930/40/60s/70s.

The solution isn't simply to broadcast a request, the answer is to ask
individuals on a one-on-one basis.  They will tend to be more polite.
Determine their location from the message header.

3) Broadcast information is suspect due to the wide variety of skill-levels.
If you are beginning, you might be getting advice from some one assuming
too much experience on your part.  Remember that advice taken here, improperly
might KILL you, and YOU otherwise HAVE NO LEGAL RECOURSE when you are dead.
Such posts might begin with "I hear that...," "I have not been, but...,"
"I am not certain, but..."  More than once, armchair climbers and
others have given dangerous advice.  If you take it, that's your life.
Think about.

4) If your system has a Distribution: field, limit it to the smallest
distribution possible (local, state, country, continent, etc.).
[E.g., ba [bay area], ca [california], usa, na [north america], world]
You will look silly on a 'world' distribution when you ask about a
location a short distance from you.

5)  "Where should I go?"  "What are THE BEST places?" posts.
Points: making your own decisions and planning where to go are
an integral part of the learning process.  One noted wilderness
historian compared Guidebooks to sexual "How-to" books.  Asking too
much like like turning the process into mechanical sex.  You should
figure these things out for yourself as this is part of a critical skill
you need to pick up.  You go there because YOU want to, not on some other
person's recommendation.  Besides, how you YOU know you won't get in trouble
when you get there?  "That way, Mr. Sulu...."

6) What you might do is inquire via email or post BUT offer specifically
to NOT broadcast the information.  The issue is broadcast.

7) Other groups call this sort of information "Spoilers" or "Spoiler
information." (E.g. rec.arts.movies, etc.)
They place "Spoiler" warnings in text along with control characters (^L)
to offer to halt reading beyond a certain point.  Not all news readers
can handle this control information.  And a few cases, the news reader
gets sent into bad states.

Note that this is a description, not a prescription.

It's a jungle out there.

Rec.backcountry IS a wilderness compared to the urbane exchange of
information in other newsgroups.  You have to watch out for some posters
(including the fellows who composed these panels).  They represent
the wild and untamed part of the network.  Be warned!  Do not feed
the animals artificial foods.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

		"This would be good country," a tourist says to me,
	"if only you had some water."
		"If we had water here," I reply, "this country would not be
	what it is.  It would be like Ohio, wet and humid and hydrological,
	all covered with cabbage farms and golf courses.  Instead of this
	lovely barren desert we would have only another blooming garden state,
	like New Jersey.  You see what I mean?"
		"If you had more water more people could live here."
		"Yes sir.  And where then would the people go when they
	wanted to see something besides people?"
		"I see what you mean.  Still, I wouldn't want to live here.
	So dry and desolate.  Nice for pictures but my God I'm glad I don't
	have to live here."
		"I'm glad too, sir.  We're in perfect agreement.  You wouldn't
	want to live here, I wouldn't want to live in Cleveland.  We're both
	satisified with the arrangement as it is.  Why change it?"
		We shake hands and the tourist from Ohio goes away pleased,
	as I am please, each of us thinking he has taught the other something

		--Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

-- the appointed rec.backcountry.nimng ranger
		Not to rescue beginners in the mire.

0) there is a fallacy of secrecy here.  Realize this: there is very little
secrecy. Your ignorance (i.e., not doing the research, going to the library
or book store, getting say the Lonely Planet guide or the maps,
calling up a Park or a travel agent, learning the skills to hike, climb, etc.).
does not constitute secrecy.  That's ignorance.  Those who do such things
aren't the "elite."  They are merely educated.  The US has an interesting
chip on its shoulders regarding people who have learned information.
That's, for instance, what's special about things like The Special Forces.
There's no conspiracy to hide information about Oregon from you.  There's
no documents stamped "Secret" or "Confidential."
Well, we make an exception for certain people we don't like out there.
1) That a writer even mentions "secret" spots, especially those reachable
by car is a joke.  It's an advert trying to say "Read me."  Oregon in
particular is criss-crossed with roads.  Don't get the AAA maps, I
collect the USFS maps and most non-residents would be amazed by the logging
road coverage (this is the long time r.b. thread about how the highways
are tree lanes which go to clear cuts after 1/2 mile or less away from
the main roads).  The USFS maps are far from complete showing roads.
The writer of the article is playing on your paranoia.
Maybe you deserve it?

2) degree (scale): broadcast posts are part of the problem.
You can ease the problem by exchanging information on a lesser scale by
using email.  Direct one-on-one contact is far slower in propagating
the information.  It is far more personal, and you get a better sense.
But the proliferation of guidebooks have some advantages with editoral
checking (limited, but sometimes helpful).
You can ask calibration questions.  And they will do the same of you.
3) Simply having more people come to any area on the basis of democratic
voting to try to preserve something doesn't always scale.  We can and are
finding that we are loving wilderness and parks to death.
Spending money, paying fees, writing politicans isn't going to inherently
help by itself.  The majority of Park money for instance comes from
taxpayers who will never visit Crater Lake.
As I look back, I think that what the group has done by assembling
panel 13 on travel is probably the best balance of things.

Current weather conditions and the NWS forecast for most major cities
in the United States and Canada are available via the Internet.  The
following is a brief description of how to obtain forecasts from the
Weather Underground server at the University of Michigan.

First use the command 'telnet'.  When asked "Which
Host?", type 'um-weather'. This should connect you to the Weather
Underground server.

Once you are connected the Main Menu will be displayed.  Type '1' at
the main menu to obtain the City Forecast Menu.

To lookup a city code for a state, type '3' in the City Forecast Menu.
You will then be asked "Enter 2-letter state code:"; enter the two
letter abbreviation for the state, like 'MD' for Maryland, etc., and the
server will display a list of the major cities for which forecast
information is available and the three letter abbreviations.  Choose
the one you want to use for the next step, like BWI for
Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

To obtain the forecast for the chosen city, type '1' at the City
Forecast Menu.  You will then be asked, "Enter 3-letter city code:";
enter the three letter abbreviation from the previous step.  A listing
of the current conditions and the 2-4 day forecast will then be
displayed.  After this the forecast has been displayed you will be
asked to type 'M' to return to the menu or 'X' to exit the server.

TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain:

13/ Questions on conditions and travel		<* THIS PANEL *>
14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold
15/ Leopold's lot.
16/ Morbid backcountry/memorial
17/ Information about bears
18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question
19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question
20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test
21/ AMS
22/ Babies and Kids
23/ A bit of song (like camp songs)
24/ What is natural?
25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment
26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking
27/ Films/cinema references
28/ References (written)
2/ Ethics
3/ Learning I
4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments)
5/ Summary of past topics
6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion
7/ Phone / address lists
8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke
9/ Water Filter wisdom
10/ Volunteer Work
11/ Snake bite
12/ Netiquette


Looking for an H-912 (container).

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM