Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Litter Bugs!

Prepare for ranting in 3....2....1.....

Nothing annoys me and ruins my joy on the trail more then coming across litter. There is absolutely NO excuse for it. Even if you feel that the garbage is "icky" it is up to you to pack it out. Here's a tip, if you think it may get "icky" it probably will. Make sure you plan accordingly and bring a plastic bag to put the "icky" substances in and carry it out. It could be a damn banana peel, natural or not, it doesn't change a thing. Pack it the hell out! Here's another tip for dealing with "icky" garbage, grow a pair. I've carried out a trash bag that leaked day-old Mountain House chocolate cheese cake (scary stuff, cheese cake was never meant to be dehydrated and made into backpacking food...) and smelled terrible but I'm still alive. It won't kill you, I freaking promise. Some people even pack out their own feces out in a bag on multi-day trips. Thats to be respected.

On my latest hike I left the park with a cargo pocket full of garbage... that wasn't mine. The fact that other hikers have to clean up after these slobs is outrageous. Water bottle wrappers, water bottles, candy wrappers, energy bar wrappers, tiny pieces of wrappers, plastic baggies, all of that stuff should not be found out in nature. Not only is it ruining the ecosystem, its ruining the experience of others. In my opinion, knowingly leaving behind trash is one of the most selfish, arrogant, and rude things you can do to the outdoor community. If your willingly leaving behind litter maybe you should rethink how you feel about nature. Chances are you probably really don't care.

Last Sunday when I came to the top of a mountain with a beautiful view I found clear plastic wrappers, candy wrappers, baggies, a little bag of potato chips, and more. It looks like someone took a small child up there and just let him discard his wrappers without care. This is almost to be expected in a young child, but whoever was supervising him should  have stepped up and taught him how wrong that really is. I get this disgusting image of some chubby little brat sitting there scarfing down a bunch of damn food packed by his mother and letting wrappers fly away in the wind. Rather than baby little Johnny, or probably fat Johnny, someone should have made him pick up his garbage, put it in his pack, and told him about how its up to us to take care of these lands, or at least taught him about respect and not dropping your crap where ever you want.

I implore all those who follow Leave No Trace principles ( to spread them to those who do not. At times we will break them, but it is important that we do what we can to keep nature how it should be.

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