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Thread: Trail Etiquette

  1. #1
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Trail Etiquette

    I know that most of us use hammocks because they are comfortable, but also because of the ability to leave no trace. On a recent hike I was flabergasted everywhere I hiked the trail was filled with trash. About one mile in someone decided to make a fire right on the trail and cover up the ashes with rocks. Where did they get the wood to burn, not the thousands of fallen limbs nearby, but they just decided to hack a sapling 3 feet off the ground. On the same hike I spotted 3 camps 2feet from the trail, again trees cut, firepits etc. One camp was 1/2 mile from an actual legal camp. I carried out 2 gallon ziplock bags of trash (not mine but what I picked up), plus my pockects were full. My personal favorite was the hacked up Dinty Moore Beef Stew can. It was hacked up because the genius that brought this weight saver forgot his can opener.

    Do you guys have this big of a problem where yall hike? There are signs everywhere talking about leave no trace. I thought we could discuss it here to let people know the importance of keeping our hiking areas (the world) clean. I go into the woods to see the woods, not to see trash, and places where others have left their mark. Some people wonder why I purify my water even from natural mountain spring water, well with all the trash and etc. You can't trust people to properly take care of their body waste either.

    Please leave the woods better than when you went in. If there are no camps set up, go at least 200 yards off the trail to camp. If you do not have to have a fire, don't, and you do not need rocks around your fire either, just clear the area (blackened rocks are not natural). Bury your poo, and poo at least 200 yards away from water.

    If any of the rest of you have some neat tips ( I know you do) please share.
    Last edited by Preacha Man; 01-21-2008 at 16:59.
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  2. #2
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacha Man View Post
    I know that most of us use hammocks because they are comfortable, but also because of the ability to leave no trace. On a recent hike I was flabergasted everywhere I hiked the trail was filled with trash. About one mile in someone decided to make a fire right on the trail and cover up the ashes with rocks. Where did they get the wood to burn, not the thousands of fallen limbs nearby, but they just decided to hack a sapling 3 feet off the ground. On the same hike I spotted 3 camps 2feet from the trail, again trees cut, firepits etc. One camp was 1/2 mile from an actual legal camp. I carried out 2 gallon ziplock bags of trash (not mine but what I picked up), plus my pockects were full. My personal favorite was the hacked up Dinty Moore Beef Stew can. It was hacked up because the genius that brought this weight saver forgot his can opener.

    Do you guys have this big of a problem where yall hike? There are signs everywhere talking about leave no trace. I thought we could discuss it here to let people know the importance of keeping our hiking areas (the world) clean. I go into the woods to see the woods, not to see trash, and places where others have left their mark. Some people wonder why I purify my water even from natural mountain spring water, well with all the trash and etc. You can't trust people to properly take care of their body waste either.

    Please leave the woods better than when you went in. If there are no camps set up, go at least 200 yards off the trail to camp. If you do not have to have a fire, don't, and you do not need rocks around your fire either, just clear the area (blackened rocks are not natural). Bury your poo, and poo at least 200 yards away from water.

    If any of the rest of you have some neat tips ( I know you do) please share.
    I see some disturbing crap when I hike sometimes. Pardon the pun. Usually I find it pretty clean on the AT though. I see a good bit of trash and much more toilet
    paper than I ever want to see on some trails. Those who wonder why you purify your water really are clueless.
    I think most here know the importance of leave no trace. I could be wrong though. Hope not. I think it is a reflection of the downward spiral of society.
    Those lowlife have no business in the woods. Kinda like going to church and talking to your friends during the sermon.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  3. #3
    slowhike's Avatar
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    it's not to often i see as extreme of examples as yours, but on occasion i do.

    a couple weekends ago i went for an overnighter & carried out a couple zip lock bags of broken glass & other trash from a campsite near the linville river, NC.

    i also get really ticked picking up trash along the edge of my yard on a regular basis. i live on the corner of two roads.

    i call it "stupid people's trash".

    i hope that most of the people who choose to use hammocks are more thoughtful than that, but sometimes people just seem to have missed that lesson & the importance of caring about this really awesome planet we have been blessed to live on.
    and of course caring about people goes hand in hand.

    yep i think it's a reflection of the downward spiral of our society too FF.
    sometimes it seems hopeless, but it's not.
    i know we have plenty Chuck Norris fans here. go to Utube & search chuck norris to see some of the ways he's trying to take part in bringing America back into focus.

    sorry, i know i've drifted away from hammocks for a moment, but i thought it was worth the risk of getting slammed

    BTW... did you know that every night before the boogie man goes to bed, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #4
    I see these sort of things more on hunting trails than hiking trails. Many of the hunters here don't see a problem with a hacked up can of beef stew or a fire on the trail because they are not out there for the beauty, but for the game.

  5. #5

    Post

    I have seen some trash in fire pits in the middle of nowhere on the AT, but not much along the trail. I have hiked a bit in New Mexico and saw nothing there. Most of the serious trash is within a half mile of the road crossings. My daughter and I always do a "police call" (military for cleansing an area) prior to leaving. I am hoping she will do this and her kids, and her kids...

    I think littering is as much a habit and people just don't think about it. Just like being a good person, it has to be passed down IMHO.

  6. #6
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Parts of the RRG are pretty trashy. The area that we stayed at the hang out was not that bad but when Doctari and I went to Indian Staircase the trash was horrible. There were broken glass bottles, batteries, cans and other assorted trash everywhere. I try to carry out what I can.

    It's really sad that people have no respect for nature and treat it as a big garbage can.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  7. #7
    Senior Member mataharihiker's Avatar
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    The closer the campsite is to the road...the more trash it collects...and the easier it is for me to haul the same trash out...luckily, most of the hunters I meet backpacking are as conscious and careful to preserve the pristine quality of the woods as I...

    I think I shall risk a non-hammocking post here and tell a story of a trip I took a few years ago, in Upper Michigan's Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park.

    I met a couple of bear hunters as I began my hike...they were going to get some bear-bait...they asked me what my favorite beer was..."Leinenkugle Red" was my response. At sunset later that day, 5 miles from the trailhead where I had first met them, they arrived with a 1/2 gallon of cold milk, a loaf a white bread, ketchup, mustard, jar of mayo, peanut butter, jelly, pound of butter, 2 pounds each of smoked and Polish sausage, 3 Jiffy Pops and a 6 pack of BOTTLED Leinenkugle Red and proceeded to trash the site...sausages were slowly allowed to drip into the fire...Jilly Pop was liberally spilled everywhere...sandwiches made and put along the trail...it was hysterical! I have never before, nor since, ever seen or participated in such an example of Leave-a-huge-trace campsite in bear country.

    When I woke late, after 6am, they were gone and so was their mess...not a piece of popcorn was visible...the firepit had been swept clean and everything looked like no human had ever been there...

    For the most part, I think hunters are some of the best conservationists we have...ignorant and inappropriate outdoor behavior happens more often at places close to cities...sometimes people just don't think...the same people who ask Yellowstone rangers where they keep the animals at night...
    Last edited by mataharihiker; 11-25-2007 at 09:23.

  8. #8
    i went down into linville gorge to hike the river trail once. it's about 1000+ ft down hill from the road. we were blown away. a group had apparently not wanted to hike back up to the top with what they came down with, which included several large kitchen sized pots and pans and tons of silverware. probably 20-30 pounds worth. they just left it next to their huge fire pit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rock_rat's Avatar
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    We don't have a huge trash problem in most places but along some of the "multipurpose" trails that see ATV's and such there can be some. I think it's mostly from kids partying. A local Jeep club does a huge cleanup every year and have been known to haul a lot of trash out. One word to the wise meth labs are becoming a real issue and the leftovers are down right toxic. If the trash has any chemical oder at all or is holding any kind of substance you can't positively identify "DO NOT PICK IT UP". Report the location to the appropriate people and let them handle it.

  10. #10
    sandrock in alabama is the worst place i've ever been. you can drive right in to the top of a cliff. the locals go there to party. they throw everything off that cliff. trash, bottles, tires, and there is spray paint everywhere. it is ridiculous. these people are from a rural area not the city. just a bunch of crazy drunk rednecks on a friday night. i've seen the same thing at black mtn, in TN. it's always somplace they can drive into. people like that just don't give a f#$% about the places where they live, even though they live near some of the most spectacular wild places around. they just don't have a clue, and thats what they do for fun.

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