What color flagging tape to use in the long run?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What color flagging tape to use in the long run?

    I helped design a new trail system in 2003. We used pink pin flags and flagging tape of three different colors.

    I spent this past weekend "tight flagging" the last 2 of 6 loops we will build this fall. It has taken these years to get the NEPA done, the grants written and to build the first 4 loops.

    If your flags are going to be in the woods for a long time try to use pin flags. They don't fade as bad as flagging tape and are in a predictable postion - 2 feet off the ground or lower every time.

    If you have to use flagging tape, I'd use orange. Orange is the best combo of short and long term use. Orange can be seen well and doesn't fade to a color that is really hard to see. Red isn't the best for the short term, but it fades to pink and can be seen pretty good after 4 years in the field. Pink is great for the short term, but fades to white and is really hard to see after 4 years in the field.

  2. #2
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    mostly agree

    our red flagging tape also faded to pink and then off white. In northern WI just about every deer hunter uses orange tape to blaze a trail to their stand. I think orange must be the only color the hardware stores stock up North. We have had good luck with dark blue tape. it shows up year round and so far no other users are choosing blue.
    We flag as high in the air as we can reach because of either brush, or snow.

    I like these kinds of posts. everybody has unique quirks in their trail and proven ways to solve them.

  3. #3
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    Check with the local land agency to see what color code they use. You do not want a conflict or confusion.

    Locally, red is used to mark property lines, and blue is used to delineate project area boundaries. Other colors and combinations have various meanings, and yellow is used to mark trails (unfortunate, because yellow is sometimes hard to see against green foliage in bright sunlight).

    Distance between flags -- use the double intervisibility rule. At any point along the trail you should be able to look forward or back and see two flags. Three if the trail makes radical direction changes.

  4. #4
    The Voice of Reason
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    we used orange but here in the florida sun they faded to nothing in a year. pink seems to have lasted longer. good thing it's all gps'd.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  5. #5
    HIKE!
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    Pin flags disappear in spots as mullen, poison ivy, chokecherry bushes and such grow. And we have logging sales, property lines and corners, and various odd things out there, so you have blue, red, striped, pink, yellow, etc tape all over the woods.

    Anyone have custom tape printed? Like pink with a group's logo on it?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by seenvic
    I helped design a new trail system in 2003. We used pink pin flags and flagging tape of three different colors.

    I spent this past weekend "tight flagging" the last 2 of 6 loops we will build this fall. It has taken these years to get the NEPA done, the grants written and to build the first 4 loops.

    If your flags are going to be in the woods for a long time try to use pin flags. They don't fade as bad as flagging tape and are in a predictable postion - 2 feet off the ground or lower every time.

    If you have to use flagging tape, I'd use orange. Orange is the best combo of short and long term use. Orange can be seen well and doesn't fade to a color that is really hard to see. Red isn't the best for the short term, but it fades to pink and can be seen pretty good after 4 years in the field. Pink is great for the short term, but fades to white and is really hard to see after 4 years in the field.
    I like black and white striped. Easy to see if you know what you are looking for. Not likely to be used by anyone else. Does not fade. Have found 6-8 year old B&W tape in the woods that looks like new, just crunchy to the touch.
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  7. #7
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    One of the people we had working in our crew laying out trail was color blind. He could not see the particular color of tape we were using at all. Something else to consider.

    Ted
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  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedsti
    One of the people we had working in our crew laying out trail was color blind. He could not see the particular color of tape we were using at all. Something else to consider.

    Ted
    Which is another reason to use black & white stripe.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    Pin flags disappear in spots as mullen, poison ivy, chokecherry bushes and such grow. And we have logging sales, property lines and corners, and various odd things out there, so you have blue, red, striped, pink, yellow, etc tape all over the woods.

    Anyone have custom tape printed? Like pink with a group's logo on it?
    Spend the money on two colors and double flag. Orange/blue or pink/blue will be best.

    Logos don't mean anything if there is already a bunch of pink ribbon in the trees. You will still be confused when trying to look at the big picture. You will have to walk to each pink flag to verify the logo.

  10. #10
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    I'm an advocate for not leaving the ribbons after the trail has been put in as are most people in our group. As for color choice, those in our group use their own color so that we know who flagged what trail. For instance, when I see the black and white ribbon, I know that shiggy flagged that trail and forgot to pull his ribbons down after the trail was finished.

    See ya Saturday morning Shig to kick off this seasons trailwork'n. Exciting!

    white and black; on the right track

    Caz (fat orange ribbon)
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    I'm an advocate for not leaving the ribbons after the trail has been put in as are most people in our group. As for color choice, those in our group use their own color so that we know who flagged what trail. For instance, when I see the black and white ribbon, I know that shiggy flagged that trail and forgot to pull his ribbons down after the trail was finished.

    See ya Saturday morning Shig to kick off this seasons trailwork'n. Exciting!

    white and black; on the right track

    Caz (fat orange ribbon)
    Nahh...I flagged a couple of trail routes last spring and they have not been built yet. I too prefer to remove the ribbon after the tread goes in.
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  12. #12
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    Along those lines, you can get tape that says remove after a certain date, that works pretty good too.

    We get all sorts of tapes survey,sesmic,bikers, quads,snowmobiles, hunters each group seems to need there own.

  13. #13
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    I've always been a fan of pink. I get it (and pink pin flags) at survey supply stores (or my survey office ). I like it b/c there are very few things (plantwise) in nature (at least locally) that are pink, so it stands out. I have a couple of friends who use blue, and I always have trouble seeing it from a distance. I haven't had problems with it fading, but I also haven't had to leave any up for 4+ years.

    One thing I learned from surveyors is to not be stingy with your lengths, and tie it as high as possible. If you leave long "legs" on it and tie it high, you'll have better long-distance visibility, b/c it's up above the undergrowth, and the long "legs" catch the wind and you notice the movement.

    I took a year or so off of trailwork last year, and I'm finally getting dragged back in. I can't wait to get back out in the woods.

  14. #14
    sunnyside up
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    Also, some types of flagging tape are meant to be biodegradable. Good if you are a logger and won't be going back to pull the flags. Not so good ifyou are waiting on a NEPA and want them to last. I order through Forestry Suppliers. good choices, and you can get stripes, etc.

    Patty

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