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HitTheTrail
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Joined: 30 Oct 2007
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Location: Rescuing Shackleton
HitTheTrail
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PostSat Aug 19, 2017 7:13 am 
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When Steve and I were hiking up to Pomas Pass yesterday I started seeing trees with a double blaze. The top blaze was small and the bottom one larger. Steve said he had read an old off-trail route finding book years ago that talked about the style of old blazes. The double blaze was used to show it was a trail blaze and not a natural scar. Interesting.

Double blaze
Double blaze
Older double blaze
Older double blaze
Yet another double blaze
Yet another double blaze
And another
And another
Burned double blaze
Burned double blaze
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Brian Curtis
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
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PostSat Aug 19, 2017 8:34 am 
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That is quite true. Blazes should also show ax marks (as all your examples do). Those trees would have all had blazes on the back side, too. Those blazes would point to the next blaze in line.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Aug 19, 2017 9:03 am 
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Usually two chops like that mean "straight, to the next blaze." If the next blaze is the same, keep straight. When you see a triple blaze, it's a switchback, so look uphill and behind you for a double chop, and go up there and to the next blaze.

This isn't a consistent method on all old trails,but I have seen it on several including remnants of old trails now rerouted in the suiattle watershed. Snowy Creek (Smithbrook) has double and triple blaze as well, though many blaze trees have fallen in the last decade or so.

I love seeing them! Thanks for the photos!
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jinx'sboy
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Location: on a great circle route
jinx'sboy
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PostSat Aug 19, 2017 5:54 pm 
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The classic 4" or so 'short' above a 8-12" 'long' scar was a common USFS trail blaze.  I'd guess from about the 1930's to maybe the early 1960's?

I used to see it a lot.  Including scars that had bark growing over them....

Thankfully....we mark trails, today, with less impact!
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Bernardo
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Bernardo
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PostSat Aug 19, 2017 7:00 pm 
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The Appalachian Trail is blazed with rectangular  white paint marks.  One means carry on, two means turn.  Blue and yellow paint indicate something off the main trail such as a path to a spring.
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RodF
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RodF
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PostSun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 am 
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See the 1935 USFS Forest Trails Handbook

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Leafguy
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Leafguy
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PostSun Aug 20, 2017 6:26 pm 
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RodF wrote:
See the 1935 USFS Forest Trails Handbook

Thank you for providing that. Some good reading.
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Pyrites
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Pyrites
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PostMon Aug 21, 2017 8:34 pm 
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The problem is that once you recognize them you'll see them all over the NW.
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Old trail blaze conventions
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