Author Topic: Trail Angels  (Read 692 times)

jimbob

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #15 on: 14:15:12, 14/08/19 »
Actually there is an argument to be had that MRTs are taking the wages off skilled permanent staff that should be in full time employment, properly equipped at all times and correctly trained.

Then, as in Spain, anyone being rescued should be charged accordingly. Insurance is available to walkers for that purpose.
That way you are even more responsible for yourself and cannot claim to be nannied.

Enough for today. Off up to North Northumberland fora few days then maybe the Samaritan Way in the Cleveland Hills, on the way back down.

Anyone walking the Viking Way south of Lincoln can pm me for a lift to the pub, if I am available. 😊

Too little, too late, too bad......

vghikers

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #16 on: 14:28:51, 14/08/19 »
Quote
Then, as in Spain, anyone being rescued should be charged accordingly. Insurance is available to walkers for that purpose.

Now that argument brings back memories: were you online back in the heyday of Usenet when one guy in particular - I think he was named Angus somebody - made frequent newsgroup posts advocating exactly this for the UK and was constantly pilloried in response?. Undeterred he always took it on the jaw and kept coming back.

Edit: typo only.
« Last Edit: 14:34:54, 14/08/19 by vghikers »

archaeoroutes

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #17 on: 14:38:36, 14/08/19 »
Actually there is an argument to be had that MRTs are taking the wages off skilled permanent staff that should be in full time employment, properly equipped at all times and correctly trained.
If the government was prepared to fund that level, then great. As it is, MRT volunteers are properly equipped and correctly trained. What they don't do is cost the government much money. It's the same with the lifeboats - only the coxswain is an employed member of staff at most stations. Oh, and air ambulances rely on charity too.
There is, of course, RAF MRT...
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

archaeoroutes

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #18 on: 14:42:34, 14/08/19 »
Then, as in Spain, anyone being rescued should be charged accordingly. Insurance is available to walkers for that purpose.
That really rubs me up the wrong way (not you commenting on it, but the very existence of it as something that happens). I strongly believe that all healthcare and emergency response should be free to the user. Insurance doesn't count as free, seeing as you have to pay for the insurance.
In every system I know of, from US healthcare system to the olden days of private fire brigades, it has ended up with only those who can afford to pay the insurance getting looked after.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

ninthace

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #19 on: 16:24:53, 14/08/19 »
If the government was prepared to fund that level, then great. As it is, MRT volunteers are properly equipped and correctly trained. What they don't do is cost the government much money. It's the same with the lifeboats - only the coxswain is an employed member of staff at most stations. Oh, and air ambulances rely on charity too.
There is, of course, RAF MRT...
RAF MRTs such as are left - remember we are down to one station in Scotland - are also volunteers.  It is regarded as a secondary duty, like being in the station football team.  The SAR helicopters were privatised some time ago too.
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BuzyG

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #20 on: 17:58:21, 14/08/19 »
Well Florence, GWM found a non nanny reason for an angel.

Do you think MRT s are a step towards being nannied also?
I get your point Archeoroutes, but to be fair water sources can be extremely rare on the PCT, one stage has 27 miles between sources. Not the case in the UK as far as I am aware.I
MRT Coastguard and RNLI all. 


Yes they are part of a nanny state.  But a part that is well regulated and in general both respected and appreciated by the vast majority of folk, that enjoy outdoor activities.


I say this as an ex loan winter surfer, who has twice had the RNLI turn up to try and rescue me, after a call from an well meaning member of the public and twice politlty told them to go away. Then swam ashore myself. On the first occasion my wife was even sat in the car park,reading a book and wondered why the coast guard were there. LoL.


Personally I take part in extreme sports, for want of a better term, because they are a challenge. I set my own goals spend time learning and practicing any new skills required. To make myself or any party I am with, as indipendent as possible.


That said what we are talking about is basically infrastructure.  Should we mark a trail, should we build steps up a popular mountain, should we put a car park at the start, or build a railway to the summit.  All part of the same argument.


Personally I just hope there is always somewhere where we Can escape from each others from time to. time.


So no, I don't want some one offering me water, in the middle of nowhere, on my day off.
« Last Edit: 18:13:08, 14/08/19 by BuzyG »

Owen

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #21 on: 18:52:35, 14/08/19 »
I have heard of a weirdo hanging around the Appalachian trail posing as a Trail Angle in order to get women into his car. Don't know how true this story is or whether it's a one off or common. Does seem a sad reflection on the motivation of some men.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #22 on: 19:06:22, 14/08/19 »
I say this as an ex loan winter surfer, who has twice had the RNLI turn up to try and rescue me, after a call from an well meaning member of the public and twice politlty told them to go away. Then swam ashore myself. On the first occasion my wife was even sat in the car park,reading a book and wondered why the coast guard were there.
A late friend who was a very experienced hiker and climber once had the SAS insist that they rescue him while bivvying in the Black Mountains. They refused to believe that he knew what he was doing and had no need of their assistance.


I think it is good to know the MRT and RNLI are there for extreme situations, but I always go out with the attitude of that same friend - if I get into trouble then it is up to me to get out of it. He once drove himself and climbing buddy to Fort William hospital, both with severe injuries, having fallen from a pitch on Buchaille Etive Mohr, before MRT existed. Obviously, there are some situations where external assistance is necessary.

tonyk

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #23 on: 20:23:47, 14/08/19 »
 If people have so much spare time on their hands it might be better if they helped the elderly and destitute in their own community.Whilst well intentioned this practice does have a negative impact on the local economy.
 Anyone walking a route such as the Pennine Way should be self sufficent in terms of both ability and funding.

ninthace

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #24 on: 20:41:30, 14/08/19 »
I think it is an academic discussion.  Is there a trail in the UK that honestly goes so far without resupply opportunities that support is required.  We are not short of water sources, especially if you have a filter, and how many days do you have to walk between resupply points on most LDWs?
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #25 on: 13:50:50, 15/08/19 »
This is less of a problem in the UK - but supposedly Trail Angels in the USA are causing problems with the amount of waste they create by leaving huge amounts of water bottles and snacks.  Not least in the amount of non-recyclable waste which ends up dumped in the wilderness, but the problems many of the 'major trails' are having with overpopulation. 


Perhaps this is a function of younger people not using having enough funds to buy a house at the age their parents did and are looking for cheaper ways to find some space and freedom in their lives?  That sounds all good in theory, but we're seeing an explosion in numbers for trails like the AT and PCT in particular - to the point that you're all walking this corridor with a tonne of people, often still entirely connected on social media, walking the flat trails (the amount of trail conservation work has had to massively increase due to the damage this many people do to existing routes).  Now I don't want to sound like an old elitist, but for me a large part of the outdoors is the solitude and space you get from that - and the idea of walking in a line along the AT with thousands of others does have very limited appeal..


As for MR offering a bit of 'nanny state' - in the UK there wouldn't be the provision (that is to say, the amount of teams covering the areas they do) if it was to be full time only.  In many rural areas the other emergency services also use 'community healthcare responders' who are basically EMT/fire rescue/paramedics but they do it part time and usually in the middle of nowhere to offer a measure of capacity before the nearest larger base is able to get people there.  The fire services in particular do have a lot of cross over with mountain rescue and the water rescues/rope rescues - however if you look more closely you'll find teams have specialisms which are really hard to replicate in the paid emergency services simply due to the time they have to spend on some of these 'niche' things.


MR teams in my opinion aren't part of the nanny state and have came into being due to a number of accidents (usually causing death) caused by bad decisions in the wilderness.  People knowing they can stay put and wait for trained help has no doubt saved a lot of lives since these teams came into being.  At the same time, whilst everyone hears about the infamous callouts like the Lakes walkers who were walking in shorts and trainers and were 'too tired' to walk back down the mountain - these are few and far between.  Perhaps if there was an 'excess' you had to pay you'd only get the more serious incidents, but at the other end of the scale you'd much rather have someone lost (but still able to move and think somewhat clearly) be guided out instead of a full on airlift and the drama that ensues.


As to Bigfoot_Mike's point - sure you want to be as self sufficient as possible.  I carry a decent first aid kit when I walk solo, give someone I trust a route plan and have some basic rules to avoid most dramas. But in the case something serious happens there is an element of foolishness with the 'lets just bundle them in the car and fly to hospital' - especially with the nature of spinal injuries and falls where you really want to keep the bones as static as possible.  Nobody from the emergency services is going to give anyone a hard time with this sort of incident, and all have training in immobilizing a casualty for safe transport.  As someone who has had to deal with friends have lifelong paralysis injuries through a moment's bad decision - it really brings home the importance of realising how self reliant you are and also, perhaps more importantly where the limit is and where a good decision becomes seeking expert help.

Dread

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #26 on: 14:31:58, 15/08/19 »
In the US there is a long standing tradition of trail angels. Some pull up at a trailhead, set up a table and dispense free food and drink, some open up their houses for hikers to do their laundry, shower, eat and drink, some offer lifts to town for resupply, others will leave water and coolboxes on the trail. It is the last one that is controversial because of the mess that can be created. Often the trail angels are hikers themselves or they just want to be part of the experience.  Generally they are appreciated as long as they practice Leave no Trace. Of course if you want to go it alone you can just walk on by but realistically, after days hiking and camping in the Southern California desert who would turn down a free ice cold drink?

Doddy

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #27 on: 15:58:26, 15/08/19 »
I have experienced trail magic and trail angels on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Finding a bucket hauled in a tree with Snicker bars and the like in was great; also the odd full can of beer in a beck or cool box. I understand it is getting out of hand with Trail feeds with large Bar-B-Qs at trail crossings- although I appreciated one. Some trail angels are available on the phone and for the price of petrol will take you for resupply or to a shopping mall for pizza.
I remember well a small note on a tree near a trail crossing asking if you wanted apple pie and ice-cream to turn left and walk 200yds. Mmm tasted good.
Trail angels are often AT hikers themselves and know what you are going through.

gunwharfman

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #28 on: 17:20:59, 15/08/19 »
When was the term 'nanny state' invented and who would take the credit for it? To me, it sounds like a couple of words that the Telegraph, Mail and Express would like. I'm assuming it either originated from the Right to discredit those on the Left or did it originate from people that are well in mind and body themselves, but who dislike people who are already unwell in mind and body or become so and therefore become some kind of burden to us all? I suspect the term, in reality, is it just another umbrella word which appears to say something profound, but in reality, is nothing more than a polite way of insulting some people or sections of society in some way?

The best example that I can think of that might fit a Trail Angel definition is when I walked the GR65 (part of the French Camino to St. Jean Pied du Port) when at various churches and religious shrines en route, people were giving free water to everyone that walked by. Was this a 'nanny state' gesture? Personally, I took it as an act of kindness.


ninthace

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Re: Trail Angels
« Reply #29 on: 17:38:21, 15/08/19 »
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanny_state
There you are GWM - now you know.
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