leave no trace

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trekkin_gecko
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leave no trace

Post by trekkin_gecko » Jul 01 2012 1:44 pm

the latest poll question: do you seriously practice LNT ethics?

i answered no because
a. i don't pack out my waste
b. i don't pick up after other people
c. i've thrown a few apple cores in the bushes in the past

curious what others have to say
where do you draw the line?

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BobP
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Re: leave no trace

Post by BobP » Jul 02 2012 11:15 am

According to LNT, building rock cairns is a bad thing. So I guess by knocking them down, I'm doing my part with LNT. ;)
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gummo
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Re: leave no trace

Post by gummo » Jul 02 2012 11:37 am

cactuscat wrote:
Grasshopper wrote:I read that entire LNT ethics article and then voted "Yes" (yes not because I haven't tossed an apple core in the past, but because I felt that anyone who abides by ~90% of this article's requirements can say they practice acceptable LNT ethics.. I consider apple cores (not banana & orange rinds) and off-trail hiking where it is legal to be part of the acceptable 10%).
Well put! I answered "yes" too, for the same reasons. I think most of us "responsible" hikers leave as little trace as practically possible. And I have picked up a whole lot more trash than I have ever left! Besides the obvious and common plastic bottles and various snack wrappers, I have hauled out things like an entire tent (cheap walmart type, still in bag), piles of shotgun shells, and of course that bowling ball from hieroglyphic spring ... I also used to take large trash bags to papago park - not exactly wilderness, I know - and I would fill up the bag on one loop of the buttes. It made me feel good to do what I could, and it was a nice surprise when another hiker would notice what I was doing and thank me.
I would've kept the bowling ball there just to give people, who've happened to stumble upon it, an interesting story to tell. Maybe you removed an artifact from the Flintstone era.

As for apple cores, I performed an experiment (because that's what I do) where I place multiple apple cores in the desert and noted how long it would take for them perish. In about 10 trials, they mostly disappeared after 10 days. One lasted 3.5 weeks and some last a few days and some disappeared in a day (probably eaten by an animal). To me, it's not litter. If anything, it adds some nutrients to the soil and gives some creature an easy meal. When I throw an apple core out, I'm not being lazy. I'm actually being mindful. Plus, it's dangerous to hold apple cores in your backpack in bear country.

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Tough_Boots
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Re: leave no trace

Post by Tough_Boots » Jul 02 2012 12:52 pm

I think there's gonna be differing opinions on all this stuff. For example, I've heard more than one stranger on the trail complain about the HAZ logo made with rocks at Horse Camp Seep. I remember it being referred to as "graffiti" by one. :STP: I don't think that I would necessarily disagree. No one want to hike 10 miles from the trailhead and find a website advertisement. If nothing else, its definitely not LNT.

*note: this is just an example-- not meant to be a jab (well, maybe a little :lol: ).
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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chumley
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Re: leave no trace

Post by chumley » Jul 02 2012 1:28 pm

While we may not all agree on the stipulations set forth by the official LNT coalition, I think that most on this site can agree with a broader concept: minimize your impact.
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nonot
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Re: leave no trace

Post by nonot » Jul 02 2012 5:03 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:I think there's gonna be differing opinions on all this stuff. For example, I've heard more than one stranger on the trail complain about the HAZ logo made with rocks at Horse Camp Seep. I remember it being referred to as "graffiti" by one. :STP: I don't think that I would necessarily disagree. No one want to hike 10 miles from the trailhead and find a website advertisement. If nothing else, its definitely not LNT.

*note: this is just an example-- not meant to be a jab (well, maybe a little :lol: ).
I meant to dismantle that...I'm not completely sure whether I actually did before leaving the next day. I thought I did scatter it so it wasn't recognizable... If anyone is sure that I didn't I'll go out there this fall and take care of it.

Y'all can sit on the ground and improve your own campfire ring next time as well.
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Tough_Boots
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Re: leave no trace

Post by Tough_Boots » Jul 02 2012 5:16 pm

@nonot

:lol: It was still there a few months later when I did an overnight. It may or may not still be there. One of the guys that mentioned it is the AZT trail steward for that stretch so I wouldn't be surprised if he scattered them. I'm sure I'll be out there at some point this fall as well and can check on it. Just givin' you a little guff! :lol:
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mazatzal
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Re: leave no trace

Post by mazatzal » Jul 02 2012 5:25 pm

:lol: It wasn't there in March.

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te_wa
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Re: leave no trace

Post by te_wa » Jul 02 2012 7:24 pm

Image
:D

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base871
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Re: leave no trace

Post by base871 » Jul 02 2012 7:56 pm

I picked c. Ill admit, I have been known to leave a vague trail of sunflower seeds behind me. And there is one boot in Little Colorado canyon.
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Tough_Boots
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Re: leave no trace

Post by Tough_Boots » Jul 02 2012 10:00 pm

@te-wa
nice! Shawn's not the steward for that section, though. :sl:
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
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mazatzal
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Re: leave no trace

Post by mazatzal » Jul 02 2012 10:26 pm

he should be! because he is a huge fan (i don't know who else is?) :sl:

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BobP
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Re: leave no trace

Post by BobP » Jul 03 2012 6:47 am

Tough_Boots wrote: Shawn's not the steward for that section, though. :sl:
Yeah.....but he's the "big boss" of all the stewards :)
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Hippy
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Re: leave no trace

Post by Hippy » Jul 03 2012 8:03 am

I had to answer yes, LNT goes so much further than picking up trash and a few people don't know that, although i am sure most you do!!!

When we go on our trips to the supersition wilderness we never camp in the same place twice, we spread out as we walk through the pristine wild lands, we stay quiet we don't test the echoes in the canyons and spook the wildlife.
there is no trash from other people out there so we don't need to pack it out but every single thing we do bring in goes out with us.

we do our business 200+ away from water, we are actually looking into the "poop tube" it seems so simple!! and we pack so light it wouldn't be bothersome to pack out at all...

yes, i practice leave no trace as much as possible, and what's better, my 4 year old daughter is a litter bug nazi! she sees trash anywhere we go she cries "litter!" i had her a napkin or small trash bag and she will collect it and dispose of it properly followed by a spritz of hand sanitizer... :)

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kingsnake
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Re: leave no trace

Post by kingsnake » Aug 06 2012 3:56 pm

rlrjamy wrote:According to LNT, building rock cairns is a bad thing. So I guess by knocking them down, I'm doing my part with LNT. ;)
You'd have a hard time knocking them down on Brin's Mesa, as they are all encased in heavy wire mesh. :D
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SgtLumpy
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Re: leave no trace

Post by SgtLumpy » Mar 04 2013 12:00 pm

I pack out ANYthing I pack in. Apple cores etc. I'll pack out other people's gum wrappers, Starbucks cups, water bottles, plastic bags etc. I'll kick dog poop out of the trail. I draw the line at poopie diapers and used TP. That someone would change their baby or "use the log" and not even attempt to bury it is just irresponsible and gross. I'll try and cover it a bit if possible. But I'm not picking up other people's feces.


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azfatboy
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Re: leave no trace

Post by azfatboy » Mar 04 2013 12:29 pm

Well, I don't know how old that poll is, but I would have to answer "no" as well.

First off, I don't agree with the "no campfire" dictum. It's fun, warm, and can imo be helpful to the environment to clean up some of the dead detritus on the ground. I don't always make one, and certainly abide by all fire restrictions, but sometimes, there is just no substitute for a warm cheery campfire.

Second, the whole pretense of "apple core = beer can" is BEYOND laughable. It's ridiculous sentiments like that that give LNT a bad rap.

As a hunter, I also find the "stay on the trail" idea to be untenable. Yes, if I am hiking, for hiking's sake, I stick to the path, but you just can't do that hunting.

Lastly, I am never going to do the "poop-tube", until someone attaches a poop-tube to every deer/mouse/cow/horse too. I bury the business, and pack out the tissue, but that's where it ends...

The sad thing is, I consider myself a conscientious outdoorsman, but sometimes I think "why bother", because according to some posters here, I am no better than a spray-paint-can wielding, bowling-ball-carrying, ATV off-roading, pissing-in-the-creek-upstream-from-your-camp, shooting-my-emply-bottles-of-bud redneck. :gun:

Oh well... :?

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te_wa
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Re: leave no trace

Post by te_wa » Mar 04 2013 12:59 pm

laughable argument? laugh away.

just to clarify: deciding the best part of the package is used, so now the package is useless, and littering it, is equal. no matter what the packaging is.. either can or core. same thing.
i did not imply that the two materials are the same, or that they last the same time before degrading. simply that the package is considered useless after the usable stuffs is used.

got that?
:D

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chumley
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Re: leave no trace

Post by chumley » Mar 04 2013 2:27 pm

azfatboy wrote:I am no better than a spray-paint-can wielding, bowling-ball-carrying, ATV off-roading, pissing-in-the-creek-upstream-from-your-camp, shooting-my-emply-bottles-of-bud redneck. :gun:

Oh well... :?
I think I probably feel similarly to you, but just to :STP: there are some observations to take note of: an apple-core (or two) is not a big deal, just like an occasional campfire isn't. However once everybody thinks that way, the impacts are much higher and especially in high-traffic areas they can become a problem. Unless you are in an orchard, apple cores are not part of the natural local environment. If everybody chooses to throw out trash because it will decompose, there would be a lot of apple cores, orange peels, banana peels, etc. all over the place. Besides being unsightly for the weeks or months before it decomposes, it may affect the local habitat by creating a food source for insects and rodents which may in turn affect nearby plant life, larger species, and erosion. Everything is linked! A study by the National Park Service showed that paper towels and newspaper decompose much faster than an apple core. But most people who throw out an apple core would never do the same with paper towels! Would you throw out corn? It's mostly natural. But I've seen some cobs in Indian ruins here that might be many, many hundreds of years old!

As for the poop-tube, until humans (and their dogs) eat what every wild deer/mouse/cow/horse, etc. eats the poop we create won't break down quite the same way. Processed foods and the overall crap in our diets are a whole lot different than eating local grasses and berries, and the waste is different too.

Here's the result of the NPS study:
Time it takes for garbage to decompose in the environment:

Code: Select all

Glass Bottle................ 1 million years 
Monofilament Fishing Line... 600 years 
Plastic Beverage Bottles.... 450 years 
Disposable Diapers.......... 450 years 
Aluminum Can................ 80-200 years 
Foamed Plastic Buoy......... 80 years 
Foamed Plastic Cups......... 50 years 
Rubber-Boot Sole............ 50-80 years 
Tin Cans.................... 50 years 
Leather..................... 50 years 
Nylon Fabric................ 30-40 years 
Plastic Film Container.....  20-30 years 
Plastic Bag................. 10-20 years 
Cigarette Butt.............. 1-5 years 
Wool Sock................... 1-5 years 
Plywood..................... 1-3 years 
Waxed Milk Carton........... 3 months 
Apple Core.................. 2 months 
Newspaper................... 6 weeks 
Orange or Banana Peel....... 2-5 weeks 
Paper Towel................. 2-4 weeks 
Information Source: U.S. National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, FL.
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Hippy
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Re: leave no trace

Post by Hippy » Mar 04 2013 4:52 pm

chumley wrote:until humans (and their dogs) eat what every wild deer/mouse/cow/horse, etc. eats
so if someone eats a crapload of fruits and vegetables they don't NEED to bury it...but it's probably the POLITE thing to do...I do recall a triplog or two complaining about poo and TP or poo smeared rocks all over trail sides and saddles and such. (Dog poo in the middle of trails gets me worst but that's a whole other thread!!)

LNT isn't just about how long stuff takes to decompose, I see it as a necessity to keep things beautiful, I don't wanna be climbing up the side of a mountain and slide into someone's refuse pile or step on their soggy banana peel or take the perfect photo of a deer grazing only to notice the dirty diaper two feet behind it...

On the other hand I am guilty of an apple core or two here and there and being a vegan I have no qualms about leaving poo well off trail as long as it's covered by some dirt or something... I've never left any sort of paper or plastic behind though and certainly not a dirty diaper, my daughter learned a young age to squat in the desert!!

Picking up other people's trash is good karma, do it!
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azbackpackr
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Re: leave no trace

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 04 2013 5:21 pm

Some of the LNT rules seem silly unless applied strictly to busy national parks and urban/wildland interface hikes. I particularly mean the "stay on the trail" and "no campfire" rules. In the White Mtns. as long as it is not fire season a campfire is fine. You can either use an existing ring, or make a new one and then eliminate traces of it when you leave. In Grand Canyon it is not fine, because it's against their rules, and the rules were made for a reason (too many campfires causing damage).

In the White Mountains and the Blue Range it is okay to hike off-trail just about anywhere. In fact, there are few trails. In one of those busy parks the stay-on-the-trail rule is probably the only way the land managers can prevent unsightly social trails and erosion.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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