Random staircases are a common sight in the woods
There are many reasons that random stairs may be found in the woods, mainly because of old mine sites and underground storage spaces for oil or gas.
When an area is mined, often heavy machinery is used to dig the holes for the mines. When those mining holes are no longer needed, they are abandoned and left as waste products.
It is cheaper to just dump the dirt over themselves than to properly care for them. So what happens is there are large piles of dirt over here and rock formations all around where once was a hole.
All of this debris has been posing a problem for wildlife for decades. Lost animals can get caught in traps set off by the rocks, while others have fallen into one of the holes and couldn’t escape.
Others have tried to climb out but gave up before giving their legs a good test. What most people don’t realize is that these problems were caused intentionally.
They can happen to anyone
There are very few people who haven’t at some time thought about going up or down a staircase as they move through a house, or when outside walking around.
But what many people don’t know is that for others this becomes a significant obstacle that prevents them from moving forward in life, becoming fully functional members of society, or even ending their lives.
These individuals cannot manage public transport, find it difficult to stay alone in a home with no one else there, and have problems interacting with others.
Many institutions (hospitals, assisted living facilities, etc.) do not provide services for these issues, so why bother trying to fix them? It’s easier to put someone in a nursing home than it is to get them help!
Stairs are obviously an important part of any building, but if they are built the wrong way then everything else in the room will be messed up too.
If you build stairways instead of stepping stones, then every time you come into the hallway you need to deal with the stress of, “Is this the right stairs/staircase?”
There is a solution to this irrational fear- which is to build your stairs after seeing the two most common mistakes we see over and over again.
Build each step at least twice the normal height, and make it slightly curved. The brain realizes soon enough that something is off, and adjusts accordingly
They are often caused by construction sites
If you go to the woods, do yourself a favor and check out any potential digging or disruption of soil. Because trees have such deep roots, disrupting their root system can cause significant damage to the soil structure.
When building a house, builders will break ground (i.e. open up) until they reach “ground level”. What they don’t tell consumers is that they also dig down through all the existing soil layers until there is contact with underlying hardwood floors.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether this should be done. My opinion as a homeowner is that if it’s not necessary — and I say this as a professional builder– then why would I want to put myself through the hassle of having to maintain an older home like mine where there are many things wrong with the plumbing because we dug into an old stone foundation and ripped out what was there?
I think most people realize that random staircases in the forest is probably an accident, but that perception helps keep our woodlands intact for future generations.
They are here to stay
No, I’m not talking about the random staircase that suddenly appears in your backyard or someone else’s yard every once in a while. (I have no idea how it got there!)
But what if I told you that throughout history, various tribes would leave notes for each other indicating where hidden valuables were located.
They used paint markings on tree trunks as codewords and acronyms for “treasure”.
These codes indicate that there must be something valuable somewhere within striking distance of these coded clues.
So why don’t people just walk up to a door and knock on it and ask, “Is this place safe? Is anyone home? All I want is food and water!”
Good question. And the answer was also given by Columbus when he discovered America. He believed that all nations encompassed by the Atlantic Ocean were joined together in an entirely new way by his discovery of America. It connected them all into one big community.
He didn’t realize that they spoke different languages and lived in different villages. Their only connection was through the ocean.
By discovering an unknown world, we expand our understanding of ourselves and what is around us. I think that same applies today.
Discovering some unexpected aspect of yourself or your team’s potential can be life-changing. When you look back at your past accomplishments, you see only steps along the
Keep away from them
It’s not safe to wander around off path, especially at night. The woods can be intimidating and there are many threats that may seem harmless but aren’t. Take care of yourself and see what happens.
Many people suffer from hypothermia or other serious dangers by getting lost or having a medical emergency while wandering the forest.
By staying on marked paths, you will have better luck if something goes wrong. You also don’t want to risk losing a foot/hopelessly injure your kid by taking him or her into the woods without enough safety measures.
Stay home when it is raining. If you need to go out for a run or work up a sweat, try running, yoga or walking. Find easy walks inside (inside means outside), no hills!
Finding trails is another problem. Most state parks have signs marking pathways, sometimes even with posts about how to find branches next to those branches. But smaller roads often don’t have any signage, which makes them harder to find. Many sites claim to be untouched by humans, making them even harder to locate.
Keep looking ahead while hiking and watch where you step. By being aware of your surroundings, you can avoid unexpected encounters. Remember that someone else could encounter you before you reach your destination.
Watch out for falling branches
Another danger that people face when walking in woods is falling trees or branches. When this happens, it can be very dangerous. Not only does it hurt someone else, but it could harm yourself if you are not careful.
When a tree falls, it can damage cars, break windows, or even fall down onto your house. If you hear something crashing through the woods, get out of there! It could be an old man with a cane or a child who thinks they are being super brave.
Stay away from places where trees have recently been felled; if possible, avoid these areas altogether. Also watch out for places where trees are getting close to hand-thirty years ago all the trees were cut off here which makes sense because kids don’t know how to handle them.
Finally, keep an eye out during spring time when everything starts growing again. Someone has said that about half of all trees die every year due to severe weather conditions and infectious agents. Though humans probably help cause that by cutting down forests, reducing sun exposure and over-hunting animals, now we as individuals actually affect the environment more by destroying its habitats.
Use designated hiking routes
It is not safe to wander off route. Even if you are experienced, there are unexpected hazards that can arise.
There have been times when I’ve run into other hikers while out walking. Although we were exercising at the same pace as one another, they were going much faster, which made me feel nervous.
I know how to walk quickly, but I didn’t realize how fast others might need to walk to get somewhere. This can make people feel anxious or insecure, whereas someone who knows their way around long walks may feel more secure.
It is best to stick to the marked trail whenever possible. If you see some branches or sticks overhead, it could be an animal crossing your path or something else entirely.
Stay away from streams and try to avoid steps in the water unless you’re prepared for a day of camping. Check maps and consider taking a guidebook; many public parks have foot trails that go through forests. Search online for “foot journeys” and “hiking tours” to find guided hikes!
Stay on paved paths
Do not take any drugs or alcohol, especially before hiking at night. It is very dangerous to do so while also exploring off-trail. Serious illness such as vomiting and diarrhea could mean saving your vacation from losing you forever!
Follow all signage and let other people know that you are going into the woods. It’s better for everyone if we have someone with us.
Many trails are open only to horses, dogs and bicycles. Others are closed due to hazardous conditions (like mud/water/marsh) or extreme temperatures (heat index of 106 degrees Fahrenheit can be deadly).
Some areas require a permit either online or at the visitor center to access information about how to minimize risk, report fires and stay safe.
Do not remove or damage any branches
This is your first line of defense when it comes to unexpected visitors, as they will hear a noise before seeing anything else. The sound they make is difficult to describe, but it’s something like “Ker-chunk!”
Most people with dogs have heard this sound at some time; it’s similar to what a dog makes when chasing its tail.
This single chirp/sound can easily be avoided by simply being aware of your surroundings and listening for unidentified voices or noises. They may even give you a head start into the wooded area if you find yourself afraid or nervous.
That said, all that rattling around up there scares away a lot of potential customers, so I would recommend investing in some higher quality ear plugs. You can also try playing some music through them to help block out other sounds.