Familiarity with the Land

Backcountry, Outdoor, related philosophical topics

Familiarity with the Land

Postby kevin_t » Mon May 12, 2014 6:02 pm

Perhaps, this is an odd topic. I know some people are very familiar with a section of dirt, or woods, or a part of a mountain near them. Does this familiarity, change how you approach this area or how you recreate in it ? I know myself, over the past few years, I have explored a lot of the mountain terrain nearby, but two real close areas get used the most by me for their convenience, and I have come to realize this spring that this familiarity is changing the way I recreate in those areas. It's hard to articulate, but for instance, one trail system I used to be fine to go for a hike, run or power hike on, but now it's hard to go for a run in that area, not because the area has changed so much but because I am so familiar with it I get easily distracted. What starts as a run , or maybe a power hike, turns into let me check this area for mushrooms, or this little depression, or this tree where I've found several sheds before. I now know, a million ways down the same area, and just sort of wing it. On one hand, the knowledge of the area is great, but on the other, I am finding it odd how it changes how I recreate there. I find myself now, if I just want some activity and a quick fix to have to steer towards another area, where I don't have the "history" of it.

Do you have any areas like this ? Areas , where over time you have become so familiar with it that your recreation style has changed in that area ?
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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby Rooted » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:07 pm

I really wish I did have a place like that. I've moved quit a bit and live in the city now. Working my way to the country. Great topic by the way. This is a goal of mine to get really familiar with land in a particular area. I think a lot of connection and learning comes from this. Tom Brown Jr, Jon Young and Ingwe speak a lot of this topic.

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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby Nathan C » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:19 am

I live very close to the land that my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents lived on. I grew up there. I know every bend of every creek, every game trail, and every rock outcrop.

Familiarity is good and bad. It feels like home, but if I want excitement I seek out new country to explore.


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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby Backpack Hunter » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:30 pm

There are not too many areas that I stay in long enough to know inside and out. Honestly, I learn an area enough to get a good general idea of what is happening when and where and then move to the next adventure.
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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby Lefty » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:34 pm

I live near a small range overlooking a small city. I realy overlooked it for years because of the closeness to town.
Started out ATVing some of the trails, then horseback riding. The past few years I discovered I could ATV in then have a great 2-6 hour hike and never see anyone
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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby Marlon » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:32 pm

I live in a large metro area where the population has exploded over the last 15 years. The area has several mountain ranges within 25 miles of the city. The places that were once only available by foot are now havens for all sorts of ATV's. These are areas that I have deer and quail hunted for years and unfortunately have suffered from over use. I own an ATV and I'm sympathetic for those who lawfully use them but this privilege has forced me and others to venture further for a bit of solitude. As I get older I realize that my ability to access areas will change, but my memories of the times of solitude will be fondly cherished. My concern is that we must find a balance so that all ages will be able to find their own areas of solitude now and in the future. I don' want my Grandson's future adventures to rely on an Old Man's Stories.
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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby kevin_t » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:53 am

The impacts of ATV usage certainly change the way we recreate.

I've seen several examples this summer . Some areas are doing a very good job, some places it is easier to find solitude and some areas will never be the same.

Overall, at least here, it's how the counties and towns deal with it. I'd love to elaborate but not now.
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Re: Familiarity with the Land

Postby fairhill hiker » Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:49 pm

The only thing that I can say about familiarity with an area is boredom sets in for me. If I get to that point, I have to find new trails or change up the location. When I was trail running really knowing the land let me run faster and be safer. I was able to change up trails depending on weather and trail conditions. So instead of looking for different things along the trail, I usually end up changing trails or parks. The good thing about my local park is that it is very big with a lot of areas and a great number of trails for horses, mtn bikes, hiking, and trail running. it is not difficult to get a 14 or 16 mile hike in this park. :)
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