50-Miler and Service Hours

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50-Miler and Service Hours

Postby alex gregory » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:23 pm

The 50-Miler Award says in relevant part:

"During the time on the trail or waterway, complete a minimum of 10 hours each of group work on projects to improve the trail, springs, campsite, portage or area. If after checking with recognized authorities, it is not possible to complete 10 hours each of group work on the trail, a similar project may be done in the unit's home area ( There should be no unauthorized cutting of brush or timber.)"

It occurs to me that 10-hours of group work during most 50-mile treks is not that common. We're thinking about a combo backpack and kayaking trip, and really don't want to bring all the heavy implements of destruction that are required for trail maintenance. Other than small stuff around campsites that don't require lots of tools, what bright ideas can anyone suggest for service hours on the trail?
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Re: 50-Miler and Service Hours

Postby Quailman » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:06 pm

When my son and I did a 50 miler a few years ago, I contacted the NFS local office beforehand. We were traveling through the Teton Wilderness, near the headwaters of the Snake River and the Continental Divide. Two days in, there was a backcountry ranger living in a log cabin. As fate would have it, it was due for a fresh coat of shellac that summer. The forest service arranged to have several gallons of shellac packed in by horse, and my son and I spent a day applying it. We finished a bit early, and we helped fell some trees for the ranger, who was building a rope corral next to the cabin. The next morning, the ranger made us a pancake breakfast before sending us on our way.

So contact the land manager and ask if he has any ideas. If you're doing work at or near the trailhead, he'll probably supply the tools.
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