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Trash in the wilderness

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Postby Cascade Scrambler » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:42 pm

I pick up trash every time I see it. It frustrates me that I have to play housekeeper to the wilderness, but if I'm not going to do it, will the next person do it? Who knows?

On two occasions I've slogged through waist deep snow just to get a Nalgene bottle that escaped my grasp and slid down a chute. I don't want to litter, I'm also superstitious about leaving crap behind.

If I was with someone who left trash behind, they'd hear about it. If they didn't pick it up, I would, and that'd be the last time I hiked/climbed with them.
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Postby Clydascope » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:18 pm

It depends where I am and what the trash is.

I used to pick up all the trash I found.

Then I had an awakening of sorts.

I found some "trash" that was over 100 years old.

Had someone picked it up way back then I would not have found it.

So now when I see trash I question whether someone in the future might enjoy finding it.

When does trash become treasure?
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Postby Day Hiker » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:20 pm

The attitude about cigarette butts not counting as trash drives me nuts, even in the city.

One time, on the summit of Whitney (yes, I know, it's already a cluttered mess), some guy smoking a cigarette overheard one of my involuntary rants that included something about throwing someone off the cliff if I catch him throwing cigarette butts on the ground. Apparently he made a point of being discreet about it, because I never did see what happened to that cigarette butt. I'm a lot bigger than most. I'm also not physically violent towards people, but of course this guy had no way of knowing that.
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Postby Day Hiker » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:22 pm

Clydascope wrote:So now when I see trash I question whether someone in the future might enjoy finding it.

When does trash become treasure?


I have seen used toilet paper and even used diapers on trails. :lol:
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Postby Clydascope » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:29 pm

Day Hiker wrote:
Clydascope wrote:So now when I see trash I question whether someone in the future might enjoy finding it.

When does trash become treasure?


I have seen used toilet paper and even used diapers on trails. :lol:


Did you enjoy it? :wink:
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Postby Day Hiker » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:35 pm

Regarding the question posed in the original post: As long as it's not unreasonably inconvenient to do so, I pick up trash that has been blown in from afar and trash that seems in my mind to have been accidental.

But I admit I have a real problem with picking up someone else's intentional mess. You know what I'm talking about, things that were obviously intentionally thrown there by some inconsiderate asshole: A pile of orange peels near a sitting place; some toilet paper or a damn diaper on the side of the trail -- these things likely didn't get there accidentally.
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Postby Day Hiker » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:38 pm

Clydascope wrote:
Day Hiker wrote:
Clydascope wrote:So now when I see trash I question whether someone in the future might enjoy finding it.

When does trash become treasure?


I have seen used toilet paper and even used diapers on trails. :lol:


Did you enjoy it? :wink:


No, but I left it there for someone in the future who might. :D
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Postby WoundedKnee » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:45 pm

I'm a most times kind of guy. Of course in the southeast, we have 'big trash.' Some folks down here think the wilderness is a great place to relieve themselves of mattresses, dishwashers and old tires. I leave these be.
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Postby mrh » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:50 pm

Clydascope wrote: When does trash become treasure?


I believe its about 50 years, depending on what it is. At least thats what the archeologist in the next cubicle has told me. If you picked up something 100 years old, the feds will have to come and arrest you.
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Postby rhyang » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:56 pm

I usually pack trash out if I have space. Otherwise I let the llama carry it :mrgreen:
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Postby Sarah Simon » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:00 pm

DMT,

I'm a "most of the time" trash pickup person. Sometimes I don't pick up trash under the following circumstances:

1. The junk is too sharp (e.g. broken glass, rusted metal, etc.)
2. The junk is too disgusting (e.g. used toilet paper, women's sanitary items, etc.)
3. I am fed up with picking up other people's trash (e.g. so many spent shells my zip-lock bag is full).
4. I am just too crapped out to step off trail and bend over and grab more garbage.

Etc.

Sarah
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:04 pm

I don't use trails much. Off-trail, I mainly find water bottles that have fallen out of packs, mylar balloons, and very old cans left by miners and hunters. If I'm heading back, I generally pick up the mylar and bottles.

In areas DH and I frequent, such as the Spring Mountains, one finds a lot of abandoned dirty diapers and sledding materials in the winter. Some times the diapers are within a few feet of trash cans near parking areas. I don't pick those up; the amount is too overwhelming. As soon as one passes by the popular sledding areas, the amount decreases to 0.

In lots of desert areas near Vegas, the old roads are overwhelmed with glass, beer cans, spent ammo, sofas, refrigerators, etc. Once off drivable roads, the trash goes to 0 (except for mylar balloons). I pick up the smaller stuff if I'm on the way home.
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Postby drjohnso1182 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:09 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:My GF and I took the trail up Lassen in July. About a third of the way up we found two empty cans of Keystone Light. From that point we were on a mission to find the rest of the six pack, which we did.

We felt pretty good about that until on the way down we found two more empties! Crap! they had a 12er! And these weren't sitting next to the trail, the piss water drinking assholes had chucked them off the trail.

We got back to the TH with only nine empties and felt that we had failed. There were three more up there.

I've got bad news for you - I buy Key Light in 30-packs. :twisted:
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Postby jspeigl » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:13 pm

I'm sometimes. One recent hike I picked up a rubber balloon. A while later I picked up another. By the end of the hike, I had 8 rubber ballons and one mylar.
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