Officials have closed part of the Appalachian Trail to camping due to reports of aggressive bears approaching hikers, following several similar closures over the past few years. The closure of approximately seven miles of the trail was announced by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in collaboration with the Forest Service.
Bears on the Appalachian Trail
The closure is along the North Carolina/Tennessee border, extending from Tanyard Gap to Deep Gap, and has been implemented to restrict camping activities in response to numerous hikers’ reports of encounters with bears. This closure encompasses the Rich Mountain campsite and the Spring Mountain Shelter.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy wrote in a statement that all area visitors should use caution, never leave food unattended, and pack out all trash and food scraps. It also pointed out that overnight hikers should plan their itineraries to avoid camping in the closed-out section or find a different route.
Bears Are Getting More Audacious
For the past several years, hikers in North Carolina and Tennessee have been facing a recurring issue with audacious bears. These bears, which have become habituated to human food sources, have prompted temporary closures of various shelters and campsites as they actively seek sustenance from hikers. In 2021, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) responded to bear activity by closing off a section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Tennessee, specifically miles 451 to 464, prohibiting camping in that area. This was followed by additional closures in 2022. In October of that year, officials extended the camping prohibition on the trail from the Tennessee-Virginia border to its intersection with Highway 421. Earlier in the same year, a campsite in New Jersey was closed after a bear attempted to enter a hiker’s tent.
In the announcement made by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), it was mentioned that the Forest Service recently implemented a food storage order. This order, issued last month, mandates hikers along the trail in the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service (which encompasses areas south of Shenandoah) to store their items with strong odors in a bear canister, a vehicle, land manager-provided containers such as bear lockers, or properly hung from a bear hang. The ATC emphasized the importance of complying with these measures, implying that it should have already been common practice for hikers.
A woodworking project can be satisfying. It allows you to construct your furniture and also add a personal touch to your property. However, just like any endeavor involving power tools, you need to have a great deal of focus and precision. Even the most skilled woodworkers occasionally make mistakes. Here are some of these errors, involving taking the wrong measurements, and more.
Being Mentally Unprepared
Experts advise against using power tools if you are unable to fully focus on the task at hand. Before using any sharp blade or power tools, you should perform a quick self-check to guarantee that you are not distracted or upset about something else. If you are, you could easily make a mistake or seriously hurt yourself due to a lack of focus.
Not Wearing Woodworking Clothes
Before starting any woodworking project, make sure that you are not wearing anything that might get caught in a moving blade. This may include loose clothing or jewelry that dangles. Also, ensure that you are wearing clothing that is both form-fitting and comfortable. Secure any stray hairs. Safety eyewear and comfortable shoes are also required.
Taking Incorrect Measurements
Accurate measurements are very important for the successful completion of a good woodworking project. Even slight deviations from the goal can have a significant impact. Always measure more than once so you ensure that everything is accurate. If you spend more time measuring, it will be more precise. You should also verify the dimensions of the materials that you have purchased to ensure that they are accurate. Always make sure that you are using the same tape measure or other measuring equipment throughout the entirety of the project.
Using Wood of Low-Quality
When you are working with wood that has knots or other irregularities, this might make your woodworking task more complex than it needs to be. It can also make it more dangerous. When purchasing lumber, you should perform a thorough inspection of the lumber and avoid crooked, dented, cracked pieces, or those having a high number of knots. All of these characteristics are indicators of low-quality lumber. If you are making something that will be used outside, you should either buy pressure-treated lumber or you should eventually seal the wood yourself. This way, you protect it against the effects of ultraviolet light and moisture.
Angles That Are Not Square
A common error that is made in any woodworking project is regarding the lack of squareness. This can lead to edges or gaps that do not line up the right way. To make sure that your work is accurate, you should use tools that have straight and clean edges and pay close attention to the angles. The use of a speed square, a triangular carpenter’s tool that can quickly find and mark angles between 0 and 90 degrees and can be purchased at affordable prices, comes highly recommended by woodworking experts. Before cutting the actual materials for the project, you should cut a few test pieces to confirm that your angles are correct.