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I don't like exploring. I don't even like riding bike parks without some kind of clear idea which trails to do. Nothing worse than spending an hour or two riding up a trail that's two-way on the map, only to discover no one in their right mind would ride up it.
 

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I enjoy exploring if I’m with someone. I don’t have the survival skills to get lost on my own. I should probably work on that.
 

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I don't find there's a lot of exploring to be done in my area. There's a big inner city park, yeah, but you can't be anywhere in the park without being in sight of a marked trail. There's the mountains nearby but it's a 40 minute drive to get past the private land. After that, most of the trails are accounted for.
 

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Not getting lost per se, but most of my hiking/foot adventures involve traversing mountain ridge lines where there are no trails. I simply pick a high point/summit or long ridge and then follow my nose on the best way there.

I will say I've done a few of these longer, above treeline, ridge hikes where I try to make a loop and have had to really do some critical thinking, backtracking, and experimentation to find a viable way off the ridge that didn't end in a cliff. One in particular I tried and failed 3 different gullys before finding one that "went" and made it back in one piece just as the sun set after a stressful 12 hour day. After I was home safe it was a great day, during it, not so much.

Caveat: this is in Colorado. I see now this is the NorCal group. Whoops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Not getting lost per se, but most of my hiking/foot adventures involve traversing mountain ridge lines where there are no trails. I simply pick a high point/summit or long ridge and then follow my nose on the best way there.

I will say I've done a few of these longer, above treeline, ridge hikes where I try to make a loop and have had to really do some critical thinking, backtracking, and experimentation to find a viable way off the ridge that didn't end in a cliff. One in particular I tried and failed 3 different gullys before finding one that "went" and made it back in one piece just as the sun set after a stressful 12 hour day. After I was home safe it was a great day, during it, not so much.

Caveat: this is in Colorado. I see now this is the NorCal group. Whoops.
No this not the NorCal group, that’s just my user name 😂 I’m NorCal born and raised, but now live in AZ so there you go…

Your description of hiking ridge lines, make you sound like a high mountain sheep hunter.
 

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Cycologist
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Come on, this thread needs more pix!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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So our winter trails (put in with snowshoes, skis, etc.) are so numerous one can easily get lost, but it’s fun to get lost. Some nights the city lights or mountains in the distance help guide you, but you will often take wrong turns or find a new trail and that is all part of the fun. It’s all in a relatively small area, but you have to “let go” to have fun there…
 
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I've loved exploring ever since I was a kid. I'm 52, and I know parents have been doing things a lot differently for a long time, but I was a free-range kid. I've always loved exploring or just being in the outdoors since I was little. I lived a couple blocks from the school in kindergarten and first grade, and walked that by myself after the first time. Second grade and up, living in a new place, I'd bike the ~1/2 mile to school... and the bike racks, a lot more than you'd see today in front of schools, were full! Kids weren't really driven to school then, at least in my neighborhood. (On the other hand, my 8 year younger sister was driven to school every day of her life after the closer school was shut down - her school still within easy biking distance though).

Ever since then, I've spent about 2 hours a day, 7 days a week average of doing stuff outdoors, mostly on my own. After school, I'd go home and dump my backpack off, and then be wandering/exploring the neighborhood on my bike in the hours before dinner. My only organized group activity as a kid was soccer for about 5 years, and then cross country/track for two years in high school, but I'd still be outside doing my own thing too. I don't think too many middle school kids these days go on 20-30 mile road bike rides on back roads by themselves without adult supervision, but that's what I was doing back then.

I know all the trails in my area, as well as all the off trail woods/mountains too (competed in orienteering locally for a decade), so there is little new ground to be found most days. But I like going on trails that I haven't been on in a while, experience a place in different seasons, that kind of thing. For instance I was biking at a local park with top notch flow trails the other day. However, half the time I was doing hike-a-bike by choice, including some (familiar) overgrown trails that obviously haven't seen much travel since early summer.

Though biking all the way through, I've primarily been a runner overall (lifetime running miles probably 100k+ miles) partly because many of the trails I liked and wanted to explore were closed to bikes, partly because the racing is way cheaper and more accessible. I also cross country ski (and raced), and was a climber. It's kind of all the same to me - being outdoors is the key. That's also why, when my newer 29er XC hardtail was stolen last year, I've not replaced it, instead making my vintage mountain bike that I've had since new (1993) a bit nicer to ride. For the kind of riding experience that I seek, the old bike is just as good.
 

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To be fair it's not easy any more unless you really screw up. You kind of have to get lost on purpose, and then are you really?
 

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Exploring is how I got into MTB in the early 90's and it is still my favorite type of riding especially in the summer since there are just so many miles of unknown routes, old mining roads, etc. here in Colorado. Winter of course is more limited except for the lower elevation trails which tend to be smaller and surrounded by private property but you can literally ride for days in the summer (and a lot of people do bikepack). If you know where to go you only need to be 20 minutes away from some of the bigger towns to have hundreds of miles of unmapped singletrack to explore and not see anyone. Plenty of hike a bike, stream crossings, and getting lost to be had.
 

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furker
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Top 3 threads that showed up when I logged in were this thread, the thread about the missing van girl, and the Donner pass thread. Odd coincidence.

Failing to have a good plan for rides has gone bad for me a number of times. Consequences ranged from simple problems like ending up on a hiker-only trail and having to backtrack, to worse problems like bonking, or running out of water, or having to sleep in the woods for a night.

The worst was when I accidentally ended up on private ranch land while riding a powerline trail. I was chased down by an absolute raving loon property owner who accused me of stealing all his "no trespassing" signs. Hey, I respect your private property rights, but take the ranting and threats down a notch when you know your property line isn't marked.
 

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No known cure
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I love to explore and get lost. I'm never really lost I can look at a map and transform it into 3d in my head and apply it to what I'm seeing quite easily. I carry a lot of maps. What has thrown me off living in Socal/AZ is the sun movement at latitudes. That's got me into troble above the 45th when I was young. Heat has chased me off trails too, ditching my bike and scrambling sideways to a road for a ride to the ER.
 

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Yes, I have been stymied by many a no trespassing sign, including this past weekend. I was on a paved road and looking for another entrance back into the WMA. I found what I thought was it and it was marked no trespassing with a human skull lashed to a post (ok, ok, MAYBE it was a deer). Ended up backtracking. When I got home and looked online, I saw the paved road was not the one I thought I was on, idk how I didn't see that on my gps, maybe the type was too small for my aging eyes.

RideWithGPS just introduced surface types. I checked some of my routes and they were wrong on some roads (shown as paved but they are gravel). You can correct on your rides and they also tell you how to go onto Open Street Map and make corrections.

I had searched for one route that some maps showed the road going through and others didn't. Rode out the gravel road last summer and it ended up going through private property. Then this summer I just happened to come across someone's ride that went through and went searching for it again. Found it, goes off to the right here where the main road on the left cuts left.

Plant Plant community Sky Tree Natural landscape


Plant Tree Natural landscape Terrestrial plant Trunk


Water Plant Water resources Plant community Fluvial landforms of streams


Big hike a bike after crossing.
 
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