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Not all rangers are experts

"I realized that most of the NC State Park rangers around here - male and female, from what I've seen on guided hikes and around the parks - use the same pack. So if the experts are using it, I think I'm on the right track."

I was startled to read this in another thread - what a quaint notion!  Based on my career in the NPS, I would say that many of us were competent, a few highly so, but there was also a few who were total duds. 

So when you ask a ranger for info on a particular route or hike, etc. you may get an answer based  on personal experience, or what he overheard at the last coffee break.

Rangers closely resemble normal humans in that they have different abilities, interests, and abilities, which might or might not include the outdoors.

Competence in the outdoor arena is broadly spread among the population.  People that I would label "highly competent include two university faculty members, about two rangers, and at least two Native Americans  whom I had the pleasurer of knowing.

I'll bet the personnel in the park mentioned above probably got a really good deal on their packs or they were standard issue

 

 

 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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It seems like you might have very, very high standards for what counts as competence.  It seems like a person who carries a backpack all the time would have opinions about what makes a good pack. 

 It's interesting to think about what qualifies someone to be the guide or instructor.  A lot of outdoor expertise just comes from experinece-- you learn by doing it and watching what other people do.  If you are not a guide, there are some skills you don't get a chance to practice very often.  For instance, the other day I wanted to tie a double fisherman's knot, but I forgot how to start and had to look it up.  I had the expertise to know what knot to use, but not the competence to tie it without cheating.   








Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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