Nov 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm #1309456
"Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!"
I was day hiking with some friends on the Cumberland Trail, Laurel-Snow Section, when we came across "Psalms 40:13" spray painted on a large rock.
My heart started pounding, wondering to myself… was it a snake, a twisted ankle, or were the rumors of the panther really true?? (No joke, this was an actual rumor)
Of course, neither of these dangers were the root cause of why someone spray painted a rock alongside the trail. The real cause was an apparent lack of knowledge of what "Leave No Trace" means.
Being a Christian myself, I am not against sharing with people that I see God as my ultimate Helper. I am, however, against spray painting bible verses, penises (peni, penis', plural for penis), Jim "hearts" Alice (only later to return to say "You broke my heart" beneath the earlier inscription), and just feeling the need to tell people that you were there 'first'.
I am aware that the culprit is not going to read this, but please… Stop ruining the experience of the existential peace true outdoor enthusiasts find by reminding us that there is an entire society of people like you that live not but an hour away.
Thank you for bearing with me through this time of venting, I hope you were able to laugh at my exaggerated sarcasm. I am not a hateful person, only hopeful that I can one day take my child hiking without having to tell him/her why there is a giant spray painted penis next to our favorite overlook.Nov 4, 2013 at 9:25 am #2041128
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I agree with you. Being a person of faith myself, I feel God most particularly when I'm in the wilderness and I like that. But I completely agree that LNT philosophy should prevail in all but the most extreme circumstances. I could totally understand if someone wrote on a rock or tree their direction of travel if they were in a survival situation and were trying to self-rescue, for example. But to just write or draw on rocks or trees just because…yeah, that's uncool.Nov 4, 2013 at 9:56 am #2041134
I appreciate the like-mindedness, happy trails!Nov 4, 2013 at 10:34 am #2041148
Lol. Small world. I was also on the Cumberland Trail recently and someone spray painted "Amy sucks a big xxxx" on a shelter. That trail must bring it out in people.
RyanNov 4, 2013 at 11:55 am #2041166
@andysLocale: Midwest USA
These small cans are the UL vandal's choice.Nov 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm #2041177
Thanks for the link. Good to know what's out there.
There's some stuff I want to obliterate with brown/gray/green but I wasn't looking forward to the regular sized cans.Nov 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm #2041202
Another Cumberland Trail hiker! Have you done any over night section hikes?
Andy and Greg,
All UL base-weights should include small cans of spray paint now. UL VigilantesNov 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm #2041251
No overnight sections yet, only day hikes from the Bruce Gap/Cove Lake trail head. I've gone up and over Cross Mtn down to Montgomery Fork(~8.5mi), and then back the other way, up over Devil's Racetrack and down to the Tank Springs trail head in Lafollette(~11mi). My uncle does trail building for the CTC so he is always telling me about the trail, bridges they have built, etc. They are near Soddy Daisy right now. What section are you near?
RyanNov 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm #2041255
I've done a lot of graffiti cleanup in the outdoors.
For painting over stuff on rock, I like the flattest generally matching color I can find. Masonry paint is the best. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a liberal amount of local dirt and sand into it for texture and even better color match.Nov 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm #2041257
Craig, I like the "sprinkle local sand" idea. +1.
Mostly my clean-ups are in caves which are more delicate and harder to work in.
I'll disagree a little that route-finding graffiti is okay. In a true survival situation, sure. But to find your way out of a cave? NO, not spray paint. String is better than paint and far easier to clean up. Or do what real cavers do in very complicated maze-work: dip popsicle sticks in fluorescent (or reflective) paint/tape on one end. Leave the bright end pointing towards the exit. Pick them all up on your way out.Nov 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm #2041262
And I'll disagree with the OP that graffiti for God is okay while expressions of romantic love and anatomy lessons are not.
I find it all to be undesirable graffiti, arguably criminal on public land, and a distraction from the inspirational thoughts I have in the outdoors which are more than any human words or diagrams invoke.
People draw all of those things on my beach, but it's gone within 12 hours with the next high tide.Nov 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm #2041271
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
When you consider that Christians (and many others) believe that God created all wilderness, you have to wonder what they're thinking when they spray paint it.
Do they also spray their pews in church>?Nov 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm #2041299
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
hush my big mouth
Yeah I decided against jumping here. I have nothing to add but hurtful words to some, which I don't wanna do.
…well I WANNA but I'm not gonnaNov 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm #2041308
G, G, and G – don't go there….Nov 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm #2041310
Speaking of removing spray paint…Some brain surgeon put big red bands of spray paint on a trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest, on the trees themselves. Anyone know of an effective way to deal with it? I guess I'm afraid that if I cover it up with (brown) spray paint, that eventually it will chip away and you'll see the red again anyway. May be best to just let it weather.
KellyNov 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm #2041312
"And I'll disagree with the OP that graffiti for God is okay while expressions of romantic love and anatomy lessons are not."
I can't speak for the OP but I don't believe that is what he was saying.Nov 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm #2041315
I've used ultra flat camo paint for this. I use tan, gray, green and black. I spray just a just little of each in a random "impressionistic" style, a little wider and irregular than what's there, then step back 10' and squint. Repeat as needed. Don't try to completely cover the spot. Just break it up. It takes a little practice but although "something" will be there, it won't be a glaring blotch of red or blue or whatever.
I'm also toying with the idea of "stencils" to approximate the vertical barring of the bark. Just a chunk of light plastic (milk jug?) with a rough slot to restrict the black to a vertical path.Nov 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm #2041317
I'd forgotten there was camo spray paint. That should cover up really well. Now I just need to get there. The snow has seriously started on Mt. Hood. Might have to wait until the snow is gone :)
KellyNov 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm #2041319
"Some brain surgeon put big red bands of spray paint on a trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest, on the trees themselves."
Check with Forestry to make sure those aren't trees marked for removal…
Around here, if it goes all the way around the tree, the "blues" remain and "yellows" go.
Here the bozo mountain bikers just spray a blue circle on a tree on each side of the (poached) route, so it's pretty obvious what's going on.Nov 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm #2041349
I am not claiming that it is appropriate for Christians to spray paint the wilderness. My intention is to say that I don't think anyone should be spray painting the rocks and trees unless covering graffiti or marking trail..and that should be done in a way that leaves a minimal impact.Nov 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm #2041351
Jeremy: I'm sorry I misunderstood your meaning.
Generally, whatever you'd do with spray paint is done just as well but more reversibly with flagging tape (that inch-wide brightly colored tape with no stickum – you can tie it around a tree or bush.)Nov 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm #2041354
It is quite alright.
Thank you all for the discussion/suggestions for how to cover graffiti. I am interested to try this myself.Nov 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm #2041665
Fair point Greg, but pretty sure these aren't official marks. They are nothing like the usual marks I've seen elsewhere in this forest, and this particular area is actually a wilderness trail that is already wide and well-maintained. Couldn't hurt to call and ask though. With the snow, it'll be a while before I can get there.
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