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uncompromise

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Traveler I

327
Siran, Hérault, France
First Name
Cameron
Last Name
Burgess
Member #

29202

If more overlanders and campers spent more time long-distance hiking they would soon learn the value of carrying significantly less, and stripping out as much packaging as possible before hitting the road. We pack everything out - including human waste - and dispose of it at home with the rest of our trash. And like most everyone else here we carry extra trash bags to clear out anything we find. We don't abide by 'leave no trace', but instead operate by 'remove all trace' - whether ours or anyone else's. Stewardship never ends.

As far as preventing the closure of wilderness areas, I agree that it's our responsibility to:
  • model better behaviours
  • clean up after others
  • educate others as to how to take care of the environment; and
  • report those who break the rules
I've decided that after thirty years, I'm less interested in the ongoing unpaid work of educating those who clearly don't give a fuck about the environment, and instead take photographs of license plates and report them to the relevant authorities. A fine will either:
  • encourage them to be more responsible in future; or
  • find another pastime
Either result is a win.
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
.
Member #

6589

If more overlanders and campers spent more time long-distance hiking they would soon learn the value of carrying significantly less, and stripping out as much packaging as possible before hitting the road. We pack everything out - including human waste - and dispose of it at home with the rest of our trash. And like most everyone else here we carry extra trash bags to clear out anything we find. We don't abide by 'leave no trace', but instead operate by 'remove all trace' - whether ours or anyone else's. Stewardship never ends.

As far as preventing the closure of wilderness areas, I agree that it's our responsibility to:
  • model better behaviours
  • clean up after others
  • educate others as to how to take care of the environment; and
  • report those who break the rules
I've decided that after thirty years, I'm less interested in the ongoing unpaid work of educating those who clearly don't give a fuck about the environment, and instead take photographs of license plates and report them to the relevant authorities. A fine will either:
  • encourage them to be more responsible in future; or
  • find another pastime
Either result is a win.
.
Agreed.

It was hiking many years ago that got me in the habit of picking up cotton filters left behind from smokers. They last forever, it seems.

Then I started picking up gum wrappers and plastic and all sorts of trash. It was usually spread out over distance, not concentrated, though after busy weekends in popular spots whole campsites often need to be cleaned up from careless families.

doyourpart_0216-700.jpeg....doyourpart_9150-700.jpeg
This was all from one campsite that I'd already cleaned a week before. I always have heavy duty yards bags in my spare tire bag for big trash and other projects.

I also have a bright orange day-pack I like to use when hiking, biking, or canoeing, in case I need it as emergency distress color, and have HD orange gloves I keep for changing oil, etc. Then I started keeping a couple pair of the orange gloves in the orange day-pack along with a couple lightweight biodegradable bags for when I'm picking up trash.

When using both one day and collecting trash, people would stop and ask "You work for the park?" and similar. Being color-coordinated in bright orange denotes official worker, evidently.

I'd tell them "No, just picking up trash left behind by others." It most always started a conversation about Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace type principles. I don't get preachy or go way out of my way to correct or educate folks, but when asked questions like that, will talk to them as long as they're interested about the importance of leaving places better than we find them.

Now, when out walking, I carry my orange day pack with a couple ziplocs, each packed with a pair of orange gloves and a few biodegradable bags. When folks stop to ask questions and are interested in what I'm doing, I give them a ready-to-work ziploc and encourage them to do their part.

doyourpart_6068-700.jpeg.....Orangeglove-biobag_5515-700.jpeg

.
 

uncompromise

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Traveler I

327
Siran, Hérault, France
First Name
Cameron
Last Name
Burgess
Member #

29202

I also have a bright orange day-pack I like to use when hiking, biking, or canoeing, in case I need it as emergency distress color, and have HD orange gloves I keep for changing oil, etc. Then I started keeping a couple pair of the orange gloves in the orange day-pack along with a couple lightweight biodegradable bags for when I'm picking up trash.

When using both one day and collecting trash, people would stop and ask "You work for the park?" and similar. Being color-coordinated in bright orange denotes official worker, evidently.

I'd tell them "No, just picking up trash left behind by others." It most always started a conversation about Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace type principles. I don't get preachy or go way out of my way to correct or educate folks, but when asked questions like that, will talk to them as long as they're interested about the importance of leaving places better than we find them.

Now, when out walking, I carry my orange day pack with a couple ziplocs, each packed with a pair of orange gloves and a few biodegradable bags. When folks stop to ask questions and are interested in what I'm doing, I give them a ready-to-work ziploc and encourage them to do their part.
This is a brilliant approach; creating a scenario that encourages engagement. Will be gearing up to do the same from now on.
 

Alex Brame

Rank IV
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Enthusiast III

1,080
Woodburn, Oregon, USA
First Name
Alex
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Brame
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20855

I'm thinking there's actually great value in complaining. Sounds funny, but it's a tried and true way of getting peoples' attention. No one likes to find trash in the outdoors. Michael's campaign holds true: Leave it better than you found it, which is a positive, inspiring message. So says the dork from Oregon (can I call myself a dork?) :grinning:
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
.
Member #

6589

I'm thinking there's actually great value in complaining. Sounds funny, but it's a tried and true way of getting peoples' attention. No one likes to find trash in the outdoors. Michael's campaign holds true: Leave it better than you found it, which is a positive, inspiring message. So says the dork from Oregon (can I call myself a dork?) :grinning:
.
It does get people's attention, though I've found it too often sets the tone, invites more complaining, and is not too often followed with positive action by those complaining. Positive modeling invites positive action.

And yes, absolutely "Leave it better than you found it" is positive modeling and inspiring. I've tried to embrace it as a way of being since learning it from both my father and the Cub Scouts in the 50s. It goes back much further than that, of course, to at least Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1800s. It was repeated by Sir Robert Baden-Powell in his last message to the Boy Scouts, as well, in 1941:

"Try to leave this world a little better than you found it, and, when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best."

It's great to see it repeated online in adventure forums.

.
 
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Anak

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,271
Sandy Eggo
It was hiking many years ago that got me in the habit of picking up cotton filters left behind from smokers. They last forever, it seems.
I don't know what those things are made of anymore, but cotton it certainly is not. Among other reasons, cotton would burn. Of course, being essentially a flower it would bio-degrade before long. And as you have noted they seem to last forever.

Among the materials those filters have been made of, in the past Kent cigarettes used asbestos for their filters. I find it most interesting that is not common knowledge. For all the passion against asbestos I would think more people would be aware of that detail.
 
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Road

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Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
.
Member #

6589

I don't know what those things are made of anymore, but cotton it certainly is not. Among other reasons, cotton would burn. Of course, being essentially a flower it would bio-degrade before long. And as you have noted they seem to last forever.

Among the materials those filters have been made of, in the past Kent cigarettes used asbestos for their filters. I find it most interesting that is not common knowledge. For all the passion against asbestos I would think more people would be aware of that detail.
.
Interesting, @Anak. I say that out of old habit, and was probably wrong even when I first started saying it 50 yrs ago.

Just looked it up: "95% of cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate (a plastic), and the balance are made from papers and rayon. The cellulose acetate tow fibers are thinner than sewing thread, white, and packed tightly together to create a filter; they can look like cotton" says Clean Virginia Waterways, Longwood University, Farmville, VA in their page about Cigarette Filters

Gracias on the correction!
.
 
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Anak

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,271
Sandy Eggo
.
Interesting, @Anak. I say that out of old habit, and was probably wrong even when I first started saying it 50 yrs ago.

Just looked it up: "95% of cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate (a plastic), and the balance are made from papers and rayon. The cellulose acetate tow fibers are thinner than sewing thread, white, and packed tightly together to create a filter; they can look like cotton" says Clean Virginia Waterways, Longwood University, Farmville, VA in their page about Cigarette Filters

Gracias on the correction!
.
Thank you for the education on what they really are. At least anymore.

Those materials would probably at least break down with UV exposure (i.e. sunlight). Buried in the dirt they probably last a long time.
 

Road

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Advocate III

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On the road in North America
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Thank you for the education on what they really are. At least anymore.

Those materials would probably at least break down with UV exposure (i.e. sunlight). Buried in the dirt they probably last a long time.
.
Yeah I don't know, and don't know how long they've been making them like that. I don't see as many on the trails, though plenty around towns and in street gutters. The outside paper deteriorates and the remaining filter sticks around long time. I suspect we don't see as many as we used to because there is simply not as many smokers are there used to be. Used to be even homes who had no smokers kept ashtrays around for friends who did, and you could smoke on airplanes not that long ago.

Same with trash in general; there used to be SO much more along highways and interstates and in small towns and large. I knew guys who made a living from collecting returnable glass bottles that had been thrown out along the road.

Then Lady Bird Johnson started her Beautification Project and people all across America--kids especially--started learning "don't trash trash" type slogans. When kids embrace it, they pressure the rest of the family to follow.
.
 
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Road

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Advocate III

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i remember the public service advertisements of the 60s and 70s...haven't seen them in a long time for some reason

View attachment 195573
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Campaigns like that come and go...enough people show interested or write their elected officials and keep up the pressure, another campaign of some sort will emerge. They do need a champion in a place of power and persuasion though, like Lady Bird.

side note: Did you know the man used for this ad (and who appeared in a bunch of movies, even with Bob Hope in Pale Face), was actually an Italian guy from Kaplan, Louisiana. Iron eyes Cody.
 
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Anak

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,271
Sandy Eggo
side note: Did you know the man used for this ad (and who appeared in a bunch of movies, even with Bob Hope in Pale Face), was actually an Italian guy from Kaplan, Louisiana. Iron eyes Cody.
OMG!!

Cultural appropriation!!

Maybe it doesn't matter if it is for a good cause?

:wink:
 
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slomatt

Rank V

Influencer I

1,723
Bay Area, CA
I don't like how our country is moving to a model of punish everyone instead of the people responsible.
As with most things it just takes a few bozos to ruin it for everyone. This is especially true in the back country where there aren't enough rangers/police to catch the responsible parties, and unfortunately the easy solution is to just put up gates and keep everyone out.

Personally, I think the best thing we (as responsible offroaders) can do is model positive behavior and educate people where possible.
 
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leeloo

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Enthusiast III

1,003
Luxembourg
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Mihai
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Doros
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I don't like how our country is moving to a model of punish everyone instead of the people responsible.
It has always been like this. Society moves forward at the pace of its slowest member. All the rules are made for them.
For example, we all know a guy who after 2 bottles of wine can still drive better than 80% of people. And than you have Suzy, who after a light gluten free diet beer at lunch, crashes in a bust stop killing 3 people while texting. Being impractical and costly to test everyone's driving skills after a few ones, to determine the breaking point for each, what do you do.. you ban alcohol completely.
This is exactly what happened with access to forest, off road tracks etc and what will continue to happen.
 
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Road

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Advocate III

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On the road in North America
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Road
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Member #

6589

OMG!!

Cultural appropriation!!

Maybe it doesn't matter if it is for a good cause?

:wink:
.
Oh, I wasn't saying it matters at all, but thought it interesting and amusing what advertising agencies do. But more that he was from Kaplan, down grubworm's way; that was the main point.
.
 

Ragman

Rank III
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Enthusiast II

509
Geneva, IL, USA
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Gearhart
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15373

It has always been like this. Society moves forward at the pace of its slowest member. All the rules are made for them.
For example, we all know a guy who after 2 bottles of wine can still drive better than 80% of people. And than you have Suzy, who after a light gluten free diet beer at lunch, crashes in a bust stop killing 3 people while texting. Being impractical and costly to test everyone's driving skills after a few ones, to determine the breaking point for each, what do you do.. you ban alcohol completely.
This is exactly what happened with access to forest, off road tracks etc and what will continue to happen.
I concur with the first sentence absolutely here. There is a reason that we have warning labels that tell us not to lick live wires, pour caustic acid down our throats or get drunk at a campsite and throw a rave causing distress for all those around us-the majority of people would never do something like that but then you get the few and boom...we have a label (or a law)=so many examples it could be its own thread. With so many people new to camping and overlanding, really since the financial crisis, it is incumbent on everyone of us to pass on knowledge, etiquette, experience, and safe practices. Places like this forum, Tread Lightly, Leave No Trace, etc.. are critical to that mission; so is a bit of empathy fo those that think a bit differently about things..I have always been a tent camper and, candidly, always looked at those in big RVs as a blight on the land whose drivers should have just gotten a hotel room (and I am still totally against privatizing and upgrading National Parks in order to accommodate land yachts which turns a wild place into a KOA [sorry KOA, love you but you have your place in the scheme]-then I read on some forum the RV crowd sneering down on us tent campers as though they had let the Untouchables into the camp site-guess it is all perspective.

Anyway-the point of this is that we all are on this forum because we love the outdoors, exploration, camping /overlanding, and outdoor activities so speaking up on issues that negatively impact that is an obligation if we want to keep it for future generations. It is also an obligation to take the time to pass on good stewardship of the wild places to the next generation so that there is no reason to close down access. As they say, we can be part of the solution or part of the problem.
 
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leeloo

Rank IV
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Enthusiast III

1,003
Luxembourg
First Name
Mihai
Last Name
Doros
Member #

19403

I started overlanding mainly to get away from people to go to remote places. This popularity is not good for me. If this continues and they keep putting restrictions in place for me it means I will have to go further and further away and I lack the time to do that. So in a couple of years I might need to start looking at spelunking if this keeps up.. :grinning:
Too many bloody people in the world... why they say negative population growth in the West is a bad thing is beyond me..