Trail markers make backcountry a safer, easier place to navigate

Posted on Posted in Blog, Trails&Access
Photo credit: Paul Kubick, BCMC

It’s been a busy summer for hiking clubs and outdoor groups around the province installing hundreds of reflective trail markers in a bid to make the backcountry an easier, safer place to navigate. As anyone who’s ever ventured into the woods can attest, trails can’t always be simply taken backward and forward: shortcuts, unmapped diversions and braided trails can make for a confusing, frustrating and potentially dangerous time. Trail markers do the important work of communicating where a hiker is, and where he or she needs to go next.

The FMCBC purchases trail markers in bulk and offers them to clubs at a subsidized rate of 85 cents apiece. The three-inch orange square markers are made of heavy-duty aluminum designed to withstand the elements and last for years outdoors. Some groups (like Coquitlam Search and Rescue) have added additional information to the markers, like the name of the trail and the elevation. That way, if someone is in trouble and needing help, the information they report can help rescuers pinpoint their location and reach them quickly.

trail marker1The trail markers are pre-drilled in the corners and easy to hammer into trees along the trail, however they can also go on large boulders and cairns, as demonstrated here. The bright orange colour is eye-catching and highly visible in daylight and also shines bright in the beam of a headlamp or flashlight after dark — a time when many people get disoriented and lost in the backcountry.

This year, the FMCBC purchased and sold out of 2000 trail markers quickly but hopes to be offering the same number to clubs next spring. Those clubs who are interested in purchasing some are encouraged to contact Jodi Appleton as soon as possible to reserve. Trail markers are executive.director@mountainclubs.orgsold by the FMCBC on a first come, first serve basis. 

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