Who's naughty?

posted Dec 19, 2010, 7:46 AM by Paul Wagner   [ updated Dec 19, 2010, 7:47 AM ]

The Top Ten LNT Naughty kids in the backcountry

Santa keeps a list, and so do we.  And the people who do these things in the back country aren’t going to find any presents under the tree from me this year!

10.  Micro-trash on the trails.  Yeah, I know it means you would have to bend over and pick up that tiny piece of foil.  But if you don’t, it will be there for years, telling everyone else on the trail that you were too lazy.  Not a good message to send.   We collect a pocketful of this stuff on every trip.

9.  Horses.  If you are going to leave no trace, a horse is a very bad piece of equipment.  They damage trails  and trample campsites into hard-packed pavement. 

8.  Fire rings.  OK fine, if one is there, go ahead and use it.  But please don’t create another one thinking that the person behind you is going to appreciate it.  We don’t. If you absolutely NEED a fire, pick a campsite that already has a ring. 

7.  Denuded campsites…from those same people who need a fire every single night, and will strip the bark off trees, hack off branches, and police the ground until there is nothing left but packed dirt.  Sorry, but if you want to camp that way, go to a car campground and have the time of your life.  In the wilderness, we’d like you to leave no trace. 

6.  Cutting switchbacks on the trail…because you are cooler than everyone else, and you get to damage the trails all by yourself?  Those trails will now erode into ruin, and somebody will have to fix them, instead of doing something more helpful. 

5. Carving your initials (or anything else) anywhere in the backcountry.  Please.  Write your name in yellow snow…but not on anything more permanent than that.  We don’t want to know that you’ve been here.  That’s the whole point.

4. Leaving stuff behind.  I don’t care if your tent leaks, pack it out.  If your fleece has a hole in it, pack it out.  There is no fun in getting to someplace beautiful and finding that some jerk decided to abandon his or her garbage in it. 

3.  Fishermen who think that they are special and can leave monofilament, powerbait containers, or other crap along streams and lakeshores.  The fish remember this stuff, and so do we. 

2.  Toilet paper.  There is nothing worse than arriving at a beautiful spot and finding the ground and bushes littered with toilet paper the rodents have dug up.  Nothing. Pack it out.

1.  Habituated wildlife—there is no question about it.  The worst thing that can happen to a wild animal is for it to become habituated to humans.  A pox on everyone who feeds (intentionally or not---there’s no excuse) or otherwise accustoms a wild animal to humans.