The Thrill of the chase – The Blaze is a Sign?

Signs, if positioned correctly are called “blazes”

Here comes the holiday season, and in my opinion, there isn’t a better way to curl up to some sort of knowledge after a good meal or dessert. So, I have been digging (no pun intended) for information that might help. I don’t give you potential “iffy” solves or any of that. I try to present references that may make your day a bit brighter.

I was on my favorite search engine. I decided to search for an “official” blaze. I ended up getting a pretty interesting list of items to look through. One of them was this:

The orginal link is: https://www.nps.gov/noco/learn/management/upload/NCT_CH7.REV.pdf

Or you can simply download it from here:

This is a small chapter about signs in general and how they should be displayed in the wild. This is a small chapter and starts on page 57 and end on page 70.

Page 62 grabbed my interest right away, as it seems to offer a trail which is a blaze in itself. Hey, Forrest Fenn said it wasn’t in “close proximity” to a human trail and then stated does he need to carry a caliper… Well, that could very well mean it’s near a trail but not too far.

For those that don’t care to download the reference and prefer to read it online, here are a few tidbits from page 62:

Reassurance Markers/Blazes

Reassurance markers are the paint or nail-on “blazes” that mark the trail.

Blazes are placed on trees or posts, slightly above eye level so that hikers can see them easily when traveling in either direction.

In areas where the trail receives winter use, blazes are placed higher so they are visible above the snow. Blazes should be within “line of sight”—when standing at a blaze marker, the hiker should be able to see the next one. Blazes should be placed on trees that “strike the eye.” One well placed blaze is better than several that are poorly placed.

Both paint and nail-on type blazes should be 2″× 6″ vertical rectangles. The 2″× 6″ rectangular shape is large enough to be seen easily without being visually obtrusive and is the most universally accepted style of trail blazing.

Throughout the trail, the color of choice is medium blue

In non-forested areas, blazes should be placed on wooden or Carsonite posts 4 to 5 feet above the ground. Round posts are acceptable for blazes only. Treated 4″ × 4″ posts or Carsonite posts are required if emblems or other signs/decals are to be attached.

Directional Change Indicators
These are necessary in places that require extra hiker alertness (e.g., important turns, junctions with other trails, and other confusing locations). They should be used sparingly so that they do not become meaningless or visually obtrusive. They are unnecessary at gradual turns and well-defined trail locations such as switchbacks. A reassurance marker should be placed so that it can be seen from the direction indicator. Signing for hikers coming from either direction should be done.