The Expanding Log Theory


We tend to trip on not only rocks, but on logs used on trails to slow down erosion. We felt there had to be a natural explanation for this, as well. This one was a bit tougher. But once one has solved one of the great mysteries the great outdoors, other great insights come easier.

Key facts and observations:

  1. Obviously logs used on trails are dead.
  2. Dead things decay.
  3. Now it is our belief, that although one normally sees decay on the outside, the decay must also exist in the center. Think of a compost pile.
  4. As the log decays on the inside heat is generated - again, like a compost pile.
  5. Cold tends to slow down the generation of heat at night
  6. Consequently, the log shrinks a bit.


And, as we know from the expanding rocks, warmer things get bigger (Please, stay on the subject of the log - not night thoughts!) The expanded log is now bigger than we'd remembered this morning and, consequently, we trip. But, the hiker is not to blame.

Theory--Expanding Log:

A log, that is easily stepped over in the morning, will be harder to step over in the afternoon--due to expansion caused by the heat of the day

Contents Page