Jun 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm #1237087
Leave No Trace Ethics, simplified.
Just thought I'd share :)Jun 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm #1508322
@auradarLocale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
>>The Rule: Pack out all food wastes – even crumbs that >>fall to the ground.
>>Common Sense: Gimme a break! Humans and other animals have been dropping crumbs from their dinner for ages. Don't dump half a pan of noodles next to the tent where it is ugly and attracts animals, but don't worry if a few of your sunflower seeds or corn chips escape. (By the way, I am not making these up. I just read a description of how to strain your camp dishwater – using a strainer brought for this purpose – so you can pack up and carry out any food particles that are in it.)
well, some food isn't as biodegrable as you would think. My first hike, at the campsite, someone had left dog food out on the ground. That stuff don't biodegrade.
But then at scout day camp this past week, they were getting onto the scouts about tossing water from their cups out into the woods. That seemed a bit to much.Jun 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm #1508328
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
I think that list forgot one of the major LNT ethics;
Keep your hiking group small.
I've seen some rather large groups of backpackers on trails (10-15 people) and I find that parties this size actually do cause a higher degree of general trail damage than smaller groups (five or less).Jun 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm #1508335
If they went in 3 groups of 5 instead would that help?Jun 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm #1508366
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> at scout day camp this past week, they were getting onto the scouts about tossing water
> from their cups out into the woods. That seemed a bit to much.
Some people WANT rules, then they take them to extremes. Beats having to think for themselves.
CheersJun 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm #1508422
Robert BleanBPL Member
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
> I've seen some rather large groups of backpackers on trails (10-15 people) and I find that parties this size actually do cause a higher degree of general trail damage than smaller groups (five or less).
Are you saying that a single group of 10-15 causes more trail damage than 2-3 groups of five hiking over the same trail? Why would that be?
— MVJun 16, 2009 at 4:46 am #1508456
"Are you saying that a single group of 10-15 causes more trail damage than 2-3 groups of five hiking over the same trail? Why would that be?"
I'd say yes, but not 100% of the time. It's more of the group mentality. Larger groups tend to spend more time milling about as they stop for breaks, chat with each other along the trail, etc. Large groups of people wandering around, stepping off trail in the same spot for a water break… that can make a big ol' mess. Also, less people hiking together can give wet trail more time to dry between feet churning it into softer mud, which is what causes a lot of erosion on the trail.
I think the LNT foundation has some research about group sizes correlating to increased impact, but I don't know where to find it. On the other hand, just look at some of the groups in the White Mountains and the wake of sliding mud they leave behind. I ran into a single group of over 50 people going to a hut once, and before I could find a good spot to step off trail to let them go by the person in the front of their pack hopped to the side of the trail and called for everyone behind him to do so. One person standing off trail versus fifty… ouch.Jun 16, 2009 at 7:04 am #1508476
Uh oh. One of our favorite topics here…
Okay, I have to say it.
Burying TP is not LNT. It's littering. Why not just bury your paper trash too?
I completely don't get people that quibble over leaving crumbs and then bury wads of toilet paper all over the wild.
OK, I said it.Jun 16, 2009 at 7:09 am #1508479
Scott BentzBPL Member
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
Many of the Parks allow groups up to 15 on a single permit. When I hike with my friends, it's always small.On scout trips i often find myself in a group of 12-15. Just a different way of doing things. We want those kids to get out and experience the outdoors, especially backpacking, while under supervision of people that can train them properly.
Our large groups never hike off trail. We always camp on durable surfaces, never cut switchbacks, respect others and wildlife. Along the way we try to emphasize LNT. One of our habits is to take along a trash bag and take out others trash. There is a lot of it out there. We just tie it to the back of someone's pack each day.
I think 2-3 people can do damage just as easily as 12-15 can if they do not respect the environment they are in.Jun 16, 2009 at 7:35 am #1508486
@maynard76Locale: New England
LNT is just more dogma. It encourages extremism just like all dogma.
Even the wording encourages extremism -leave NO trace!
An impossibility. The rules themselves seem reasonable enough when you read them but there is always people who want to make commandments out of them and interpret them in the strictest most puritanical way.
I prefer the term 'minimal impact" –
right away the term recognizes that you WILL have an impact and it is not necessarily a negative thing. It is entirely possible for a reasonable person to accomplish.
LNT views man as an invader, negative, and alien.
Minimal impact views man as part of nature, one of earths creatures who belongs.
LNT is Scientology
Minimal impact is pantheism
Of course "common sense and decency" is also an acceptable substitute.Jun 16, 2009 at 8:04 am #1508502
Chill out brother, I think you're getting way too deep into a semantics game.
LNT is nothing but a goal to aspire to, something to practice to the greatest extent possible.
Of course everything leaves a trace. Let's not get into the "what if I fart in the woods" vs. LNT argument, please…
But as far as actual PRACTICE goes…
I stand my ground. TP is litter, buried or not.Jun 16, 2009 at 8:11 am #1508505
@maynard76Locale: New England
LNT is semantics so playing the game is the whole point.
I don't want to aspire to something unattainable.
Its not what reasonable people do. And practicing something to the "greatest extent possible" is pretty much the definition of extreme.
I also bury my TP. Why is it not littering? Well what if I fart in the woods?Jun 16, 2009 at 8:11 am #1508507
So do you use leaves instead? Or burn the TP? Or just use water and your left hand? Or take it home? Or what?
I guess leaves rot down, but so does buried TP eventually.Jun 16, 2009 at 9:32 am #1508520
Yep, it's water and the left hand for me.
I guess it's OK to bury macaroni and cheese boxes, paper towels, whatever other paper garbage one might carry. Don't stress, they'll all rot down eventually.
Cool, I never thought of myself as an extremist.Jun 16, 2009 at 10:16 am #1508527
Jim MacDiarmidBPL Member
Stuff like this sign:
Because all those those people defecating all over Half Dome either didn't care, or didn't think one person's p00p could matter, and of course, one person's doesn't unless everybody thinks that, and then that's a lot of poo.
And responsible people sometimes seem to take these rules as a personal attack; they aren't, but there's a lot of stupid lazy people who need the rules. As the ranger explained to me at Yosemite, the reason they make you camp 200' from water is that in the middle of the night, when it's cold, and you're in your underwear, are you REALLY going to make sure you walk far enough that you aren't urinating in a drinking water source? Okay, so you might, but plenty of people won't, and we can't tell by looking who those people are and aren't, ergo the 200' rule.
As for burying food, it's acceptable to widely disperse the watered down bits and pieces left over in after you wash your dishes. But I camp in bear country, and I DO NOT want to worry that I set up my tarp over (or near) a spot where somebody buried (not deep enough) all the extra food they over packed and didn't feel like carrying out, and have a bear come visiting in the night because it smells food *in* my tarp. Again, YOU probably don't do these things, but other people do, and those are the people who need the rules.Jun 16, 2009 at 10:26 am #1508530
"I guess it's OK to bury macaroni and cheese boxes, paper towels, whatever other paper garbage one might carry. Don't stress, they'll all rot down eventually."
Slippery slope. Obviously if you allowed TP you don't have to allow all paper garbage. Please.
So what is the complaint about using biodegradable TP and burying it with your excrement?Jun 16, 2009 at 11:14 am #1508539
"So what is the complaint about using biodegradable TP and burying it with your excrement?"
"Biodegradable" is a silly word often used to do nothing more than greenwash a product. Ultimately, everything is "biodegradable".
My question stands.
Why not just bury all your paper trash too?
Would it be OK if the macaroni boxes, paper towels, misc. junk, etc. were all made just a little bit thinner and labeled "biodegradable"?
That's my complaint…but I'm an extremist, so watch out (the feds could be listening right now). I'll be darned, but I just keep having these extreme ideas…like not wanting anyone else to ever have to accidentally dig up a bunch of MY used toilet paper or trash.Jun 16, 2009 at 11:28 am #1508542
>My question stands.
Why not just bury all your paper trash too?
Would it be OK if the macaroni boxes, paper towels, misc. junk, etc.
Well shiny surfaced card is a bit of a different proposition to TP is it not?
> I just keep having these extreme ideas…like not wanting anyone else to ever have to accidentally dig up a bunch of MY used toilet paper
It could serve as a warning not to dig any deeper…Jun 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm #1508554
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
As a trail adopter I try to leave the backcountry better than I found it.
I break up fire rings and scatter the ashes.
I carry out other people's trash.
I erect barriers to short-cutting.
LNT assumes that all human activities are destructive. Self-loathing was a characteristic of the 50ish beat generation.
How about making the world a better place, both in the frontcountry and backcountry?Jun 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm #1508555
It's one thing to advocate responsible burying of TP which degrades on a similar timescale to excrement. It's another issue completely to advocate the burying of all trash just because it can degrade on an infinite timescale.
Do you fail to see the logical fallacy? It's called a strawman.Jun 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm #1508556
I cannot help but find it strange that I'm the only person advocating not burying ANY sort of trash and it's my ideas that are extreme and full of logical fallacy.
All I'm trying to advocate is coming as close as one can to leaving no trace, having a minimal impact, treading lightly, being a conscientious hiker, or whatever the catch phrase of the day is…That's how the wild doesn't end up getting trashed.
Good day all.Jun 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm #1508560
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
You have a valid point.
In answer to your questions (maybe they were rhetorical, not sure), there is a difference between TP and other paper or cartons. TP is designed to break down faster to help with sewage systems. Cartons can have some wet strength agents added and sizing (which helps to prevent water from wetting the surface)…both of which helps the carton to last longer. Cartons are also much thicker, so you could be talking about more mass.
The shiny surface is a clay coating (maybe with some CaCO3 and talc). The layer of white clay will remain and not break into nything different than a looser layer of clay. Sometimes you can also have a plastic layer (LDPE).Jun 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm #1508566
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I also prefer the term minimal impact, and also believe in (and practice) positive impact where I try to leave an area better off than I found it. LNT to me would mean not p00ping or peeing at all, or carrying it out. LNT would not allow me to make fires. Minimal impact allows me to p00p and pee discretely and hygenically, to make small cooking fires (which are also handy for burning mine and other people's paper rubbish) but otherwise take everything else out with me that I *reasonably* can.Jun 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm #1508569
Jim MacDiarmidBPL Member
There seems to be a lot of different ideas of what exactly LNT is. I've never read a lot on it, but always assumed (and practiced that the 'common sense' suggestions in the original link *were* the basic principles of LNT.
Here's what the United States BLM represents as their version of LNT.
It seems to me the author might have taken the principles of a particularly zealous branch of LNT, made those out to represent LNT philosophy generally, which then enables him to step in as "Mr. Common Sense" and just present the most common LNT principles as products of his common sense mind. I don't really agree with some of the more zealous principles that may be espoused as LNT, but in this case, I don't think the author is being fair in his represenation of LNT as commonly understood.
Humans are part of the natural world too, and the overzealous schools of LNT (if they exist) would seem to forget this fact. The other people that don't think of people as being part of nature are people like Anne "God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours" Coulter As has been pointed out more than once, stepping into the wilderness is impactful, and we humans have a right to be there with the rest of the animals.
And of course there are whole schools of thought regarding the idea of wilderness, and the wisdom considering wilderness as something apart from non-wilderness . . .Jun 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm #1508571
Joe ClementBPL Member
I'll come as close I can to leaving no trace, but I ain't packing my poo out. Sorry.
And the only natural end to LNT as it is currently evolving is to say that people are the problem, and shouldn't be in the wilderness.
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