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View Full Version : LNT PRINCIPALS - Do You Agree?



Wise Old Owl
10-23-2008, 10:34
This month's issue of Backpacker got my testosterone going again. Although I can agree on most of the principals, now they want you to dig a 8 inch cathole for your wash water. Now after years of walking well away from camp and spreading wide and far I need to dig a hole? Has anyone here tried to dig a 8 inch hole with a orange plastic junk trowel? The last time I "cat-holed" some grease & wash water outside of camp I was "Surrounded" by large skunks in NH. Sometimes I find some of LNT just plain stupid.

Lets see if anyone else has an issue with a LNT principal.

Oh FYI there is a big article on the AT this month - Haven't read it yet.

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 11:50
Wow, what happened to this website? A year ago a topic like this would have had 20 replies by now.

I like to think of LNT as more of a guideline that's influenced by what I see others doing in a particular area that leaves a trace. Mostly I see trash scattered around campsites and also the campsites themselves (not so much talking about the official camping sites on the AT, but on trails in general). So I tend to be very careful not to leave a huge scar on the forest floor when I make camp. If possible, I will push away the leaves when I clear a campsite, then push them back to where they were when I leave.

One thing I take issue with is the burying human waste 6" under ground and packing out used TP. That's just too ridiculous for me. I tend to just find a spot far removed from the trail, go on top of the ground and cover it up with some rocks or heavy sticks. As the sticks decompose, so will the toilet paper, and being exposed to the sun, air and rain I have a feeling it can even decompose faster than being fossilized in a hole underground. An exception is that when I'm out west, in a desert-like area, I always bury TP because things decompose so slowly if you leave a piece of toilet paper exposed to the air, it's likely to stay intact for 10+ years.

KG4FAM
10-23-2008, 12:00
Bury wash water? That is stupid. I usually dont use soap so I drink it, but if I did use soap I would just walk away from camp and fling it.

I dont bury my poop either. I just cover it up with sticks and duff and rocks or whatever, just like my dog does.

Cuffs
10-23-2008, 12:09
IIRC, that article was by the magazine writers, NOT LNT. If you check out LNT, it states very clearly 6 to 8" and 200 feet away from camp. This is in specific regards to human waste, not gray water.

Doctari
10-23-2008, 12:22
Your first mistake was reading BP Rag :p

As to burying your poo or whatever that deep, it makes no sense, I bury it under the "duff" but atop the "Mineral soil" so sometimes I do go as deep as 6" to 8" but that is if the duff is that deep. And Yea, I have never been able to get that deep with a camp trowel. Many critters can smell something several FEET* below the surface, what is a few inches going to matter.

So Yea, I suppose there are times I disagree with LNT.


* My cats know in less than 8 seconds when I have opened a bag of treets from the basement thru 3 rooms to where they get fed! The rats are even quicker at smelling the "Nummies", even when asleep.

Tipi Walter
10-23-2008, 12:36
It's hard to figure where LNT fits into southeast backpacking while surrounded with near constant jets overhead and the endless whine of motorcycles on the roads below the ridges. You may bury your poop 8 inches down and slant each turd 10 degrees to the left and boil your toilet paper down to a mush, but meanwhile the 75 acres across the ridge is being bulldozed for roads and clearcut for logging trucks.

Maybe it's important for you to carry out your own waste and urine while moving thru a soupy mix of toxic air covering the TN valley from Virginia to Georgia. The rigorous backpacker may leave no trace, but the jackals all around his postage stamp "wilderness" are doing all in their power to smoke up more foul air and cut more roads. And yes, even a few of them pull out of their rolling couch-potato cars long enough to befoul whatever they can reach on food. If humans are fire ants, our purpose as seen from an objective observor from above must be to soil and cement what little is left.

Whenever LNT is brought up, I think of a guy swatting off a fly while a rhino is charging. And exactly how does one get motivated to practice LNT when confronted with the AT shelter system? Aren't firerings supposed to be removed? Aren't camps supposed to be far off the trail? Aren't we supposed to camp many yards from water? Shelters for the most part ignore these rules. And the shelters themselves leave a big troubling trace.

KG4FAM
10-23-2008, 12:38
And Yea, I have never been able to get that deep with a camp trowel.I tried it one time and about broke the little orange thing. Never carried the thing after that.

Rain Man
10-23-2008, 12:56
I agree with most of the principles of LNT, even if not always with the principals of LNT. ~wink~

And Tipi Walker, I'll try to remember your excuses (?) for ignoring LNT principles, the next time I walk past some "defecant" and TP smack dab on the trail itself. Something I've seen more than once, so somebody must be following your philosophy of "if there's a plane in the sky or vehicle on the earth, then why should I bother with LNT." Frankly, I wish those SOB's would swat their own "flies"! That's what I think of when LNT is brought up.

Rain:sunMan

.

Tipi Walter
10-23-2008, 13:27
Did my sarcasm imply that I leave turds strewn and fail to practice LNT? And it's just not an amorphous plane in the sky or a generic vehicle on the earth, a comment which is a far stretch from a particular plane directly overhead or the loud whine of tangible traffic closeby. Sure, swat your own flies, use a micrometer and tape measure for camp set up and turd patrol, but don't be surprised when the bulldozers come thru the place you just left with no trace to cut a road and leave only stumps.

And the more roads that are cut, the more toilet paper and turds you'll see by the trailhead. Close the roads and road building, stop the logging, clean up the air, consider noise pollution and fix the AT shelter blight, and then we can talk about LNT. If these things cannot be done, then LNT principles mean little.

berninbush
10-23-2008, 13:28
It seems to me that Leave No Trace is about two questions:

1. Does what you're doing harm the immediate environment (plants, animals, geological features)?

2. Does what you're doing leave a visible evidence of human activity that may be noticed by other humans enjoying the wilderness?

Clearly, some things do both (extreme example, starting a forest fire). Some things may do the first without doing the second (example, dumping chemicals in a creek that can't be seen but poison the wildlife). But a lot of "leave no trace" seems to be aimed at things that do the second without doing the first (or at least you'd have to work pretty hard to make a case that they actually harm the environment in any significant way). Packing out TP instead of burying it seems to me to be one of those things.

Hard to say where burying your gray water would fall into that. I can't see that it harms the environment OR creates an unsightly area. It's water. It evaporates.

Anyway, I think there's a different ethical level when you're talking about harming nature vs. annoying fellow hikers. Yes it's rude to destroy other people's illusion that they are setting foot where no other human has trod this week. (Can't say "ever"... after all the trail itself is "trace."). It's polite and environmentally sound to restore your campsite to its original state when you're done with it. It's definitely rude to leave toilet paper in the middle of the trail. But will that destroy the woods and cause species to go extinct? Pretty unlikely.

emerald
10-23-2008, 13:33
Although I can agree on most of the principals, now they want you to dig a 8 inch cathole for your wash water.


If you check out LNT, it states very clearly 6 to 8" and 200 feet away from camp. This is in specific regards to human waste, not gray water.

I believe LNT specifies catholes are to be be 200 feet from water. If I'm incorrect, someone please link the information.

ATC's LNT page (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.788825/k.8CB0/Leave_No_Trace.htm)

I don't subscribe to Backpacker and don't have access to the article. What's the stated rational for digging catholes to dispose of gray water? It would seem to me it should be clearly specified in the article and here if we are to have an intelligent discussion. Perhaps the concern is with food waste attracting animals?

Tipi Walter
10-23-2008, 13:37
It's polite and environmentally sound to restore your campsite to its original state when you're done with it. It's definitely rude to leave toilet paper in the middle of the trail. But will that destroy the woods and cause species to go extinct? Pretty unlikely.

Basically my point though it took me several paragraphs instead of one sentence.

JAK
10-23-2008, 13:40
I try and learn from others, but apply common sense appropriate to the region that I hike.

Leave No Trace has a certain element of "Sound of Thunder" I find disturbing and misguided, though understandable. In the long run we should co-exist with nature by making ourselves a better part of it, not apart from it. Are we doing that? No, we a messing up big time. LNT isn't quite the answer, though it is appropriate to some places which are particularly sensitive and high traffic. LNT is a dangerous concept to apply universally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnLZjBnVm38

Cuffs
10-23-2008, 13:45
I believe LNT specifies catholes are to be be 200 feet from water. If I'm incorrect, someone please link the information.


Camp water and trails.... http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles_3.php

JAK
10-23-2008, 13:48
People need to roll around in dirt and sticks and stuff more often whenever they get a chance, and stop trying so hard to protect nature without really getting to know it while at the same time screwing it up from a distance. Learn as much you can about the place you hike, preferably directly from the source or as near as practicable, then apply what you know. Learn from others, and other places, but be mindful when applying concepts developed elsewhere. Nature is connectivity but also diversity. Learn from nature. Be aware globally. Conform locally.

emerald
10-23-2008, 13:54
Close the roads and road building, stop the logging, clean up the air, consider noise pollution and fix the AT shelter blight, and then we can talk about LNT. If these things cannot be done, then LNT principles mean little.

Isn't the purpose of building trails and shelters to encourage people to get outdoors and experience the backcountry in a manner which minimizes impacts? If no one cares, there will be no desire to conserve and protect what you profess to hold dear. You are right, lock it up and throw away all the keys, except yours!:rolleyes:

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 13:54
A discussion about LNT in the context of the AT is perhaps doomed to begin with since the AT is one big trace highway, but I thought Wise Old Owl was starting a topic about LNT not in the context of anything, am I wrong?

You don't have to go over your campsite with a micrometer to leave it the way it was. All you have to do is practice a few non-intuitive habits, like not building a fire ring; building a fire on mineral soil, rather than on forest duff; not trampling or pitching a tent on vegetation, rather than trampling vegetation and pitching a tent on a bed of moss or something; not cutting trees for firewood, but rather gathering dead and down wood from a wide area; and not littering, not even into your campfire. So many backpackers just don't understand why they shouldn't build fire rings or cut down trees for their campfire so they end up doing it anyway and leaving a trace. All it takes is not doing those things and all of a sudden they just left a no trace campsite. Not that hard, folks.

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 13:58
Isn't the purpose of building trails and shelters to encourage people to get outdoors and experience the backcountry in a manner which minimizes impact? If no one cares, there will be no desire to conserve and protect what you profess to hold dear. You are right, lock it up and throw away all the keys, except yours!:rolleyes:

I'm pretty sure most of the shelters are leftovers from an era when backpackers didn't have the convenience of ultralight tents, and carrying a 15 pound canvas tarp on your back was impractical, particularly considering that such things can get heavier as they get wet. So the shelters were, in a way, necessary in the early days of the trail, just to hike such long distances. These days, they are not necessary in any way at all, and really only encourage irresponsible behavior on the trail, like idiots not packing a shelter on their backpacking trips.

MOWGLI
10-23-2008, 13:59
My LNT practice includes rarely building a fire. That's one of the biggest impacts you can have. Just scavenging firewood can cause trampling all around the campsite of shelter.

There are several Whiteblazers quoted in the AT article, including me, The Goat, and Jack Tarlin. I haven't read the article yet. I only skimmed it.

jhick
10-23-2008, 14:01
Camp water and trails.... http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles_3.php

fromt the site... "Popular types of natural toilet paper include stones, vegetation and snow. "


can't say I've tried a stone... or snow for that matter. :-?

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 14:03
Snow is pretty painful when used like that. Paticularly since once your get it crushed down into something that can be used like this, it ceases to be very soft. I can't imagine using a rock. Good lord....

jhick
10-23-2008, 14:06
but how about a nice cool, smooth river rock? ;)

emerald
10-23-2008, 14:10
These days, they [shelters] are not necessary in any way at all, and really only encourage irresponsible behavior on the trail, like idiots not packing a shelter on their backpacking trips.

Is today the first day of trout season? Sure seems to be plenty of fishermen here today casting their bait across this broad topic.

Dirtygaiters, you should actually read my earlier link to ATC's LNT page. I'd explain to you how shelters reduce impacts to the backcountry while permitting higher user levels, but you probably wouldn't listen any more than you would read.

You should also read ATC's Camping and Shelters (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.789299/k.F8E4/Camping_and_Shelters.htm).

JAK
10-23-2008, 14:32
fromt the site... "Popular types of natural toilet paper include stones, vegetation and snow. "


can't say I've tried a stone... or snow for that matter. :-?I've used snow, and water, but never rocks. Leaves are my first choice, some leaves and some dry leaves. Moss or loose wet cedar bark can be a good alternative in winter when there are no leaves, and then I use snow for the final cleanup and check. Rocks I don't get. Maybe, if I could find a smooth stone and had no moss or bark handy. I could see using a rock down on the shore below the tide line but at that point you got you might as well use your hand and get it over with as you are going to end up wanting to wash your hands regardless. Still, like most people I always like to use something else first, and use my hand as a last resort, if neccessary. Sometimes you get lucky and get away with a clean pinch, but you it just as important on a long hike to wipe clean as it is to wash your hands when your done, because your clothes get everywhere. I've warmed up to the idea of bring that alcohol gel, for after #2 and before meals, but such precautions are probably less important as I hike solo, and more important in the city. I am not entirely sure how important it is to protect ourselves from our own feces, but I know its important to protect ourselves from others, and others from ourselves. Our primary responsibility is really to protect others and nature from ourselves, and not the other way around. It's just easier to get into good habits when we think of it as self-protection. Anyhow, DYB DYB DYB, DOB DOB DOB DOB.

Mags
10-23-2008, 15:19
I like the old saying as it is pretty straight forward and simple. (And god knows I am simple minded. :) )

Leave only footprints, take only pictures.

JAK
10-23-2008, 15:36
I agree with leave only footprints, take only pictures, or memories. It's a matter of interpretation. When I cook with my Kelly Kettle, using birch back and spruce sticks, in the fulness of time I am leaving only footprints. If I was to lug fuel cannisters in and out that would be different. That's what's wrong with LNT. It doesn't take full responsibility.

JAK
10-23-2008, 15:45
What we need really need to develop and advocate is sustainable hiking.
Leave No Trace doesn't address sustainability.

Leave only footprints take only memories, is better, as long as it is applied locally and advocates sustainability rather than advocating some extreme overgeneralized total separation and isolation of nature from civilization, which is equally undesirable and impossible to achieve.

I say...

Learn to Hiking Sustainably. Learn to Live Sustainably.

JAK
10-23-2008, 15:46
OK, lets try that again.

Learn to Hike Sustainably. Learn to Live Sustainably.

OldStormcrow
10-23-2008, 15:54
Seems to me that digging more holes for waste water would leave 'way more trace than just slinging it into the bushes a respectable distance from any place that people could conceivably be camping in the future. As for the little orange trowel, don't need it.....my size 12 boots can kick a fine small trench for the "morning constitutional". I practice LNT camping, or try very hard to, and would gladly challenge anyone except a native tracker from Borneo to find where I have camped the night before.

Peaks
10-23-2008, 16:01
Leave no trace is a set of principals designed to minimize our impact. How they are applied depends on who is the managing authority (who turn them into rules), and where you are. Even in places like the White Mountains, there is one set of rules for above treeline, and another for below tree line.

When it comes to waste, the principal says dispose of properly. Many places, a cathole suffices, but in other areas, this is no longer acceptable.

JAK
10-23-2008, 16:21
Well said Peaks. The most sustainable solution depends on the area.

Also, in some areas local sustainability is more important,
in other areas global sustainability is more important.

NICKTHEGREEK
10-23-2008, 16:59
Full blown LNT on the AT is stupid, it's like no powered vehicles permitted on I95. No littering and no crapping, peeing or washing your skivvies in the drinking water is about the best you can expect.

JAK
10-23-2008, 17:09
It's even worse than that.

Taken to an extreme it means overly protecting areas when do not require protection from certain acts, while using materials and methods causing greater harm globally, to more sensitive areas, and to a more senstive future. Leave No Trace is a fallacy, unless it is practiced within a context of global sustainability.

Learn to Hike Sustainably. Learn to Live Sustainably.

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 20:50
Leave No Trace is a fallacy, unless it is practiced within a context of global sustainability.

You're making this way more complicated than it actually is. Of course on many parts of the AT, it's just a matter of not littering and not leaving toilet paper on the trail, but it's not that hard to take it one step further and have a no trace campsite.



Is today the first day of trout season? Sure seems to be plenty of fishermen here today casting their bait across this broad topic.

Dirtygaiters, you should actually read my earlier link to ATC's LNT page. I'd explain to you how shelters reduce impacts to the backcountry while permitting higher user levels, but you probably wouldn't listen any more than you would read.

You should also read ATC's Camping and Shelters (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.789299/k.F8E4/Camping_and_Shelters.htm).

Calm down... Sorry to ruffle your feathers, but I wasn't trolling. I realize there's a certain advantage to minimizing the area covered by a high impacted area, which I think is what you're referring to when you say that shelters reduce impacts in the backcountry. However, designated campsites do the same thing. Designated campsites have several advantages over a shelter in this regard, since they can be easily closed and re-located when one of them becomes too overused, and doing so they won't leave a permanent mark on the land when they are re-located. For instance, shelters are permanent structures and relocating one would mean a lot of labor to remove the materials.

So, I said that shelters are not necessary and you took issue with that because shelters permit higher user levels while reducing impact, however designated campsites do the same thing. So what I'm wondering is, do you really think shelters are necessary in spite of this, or that they don't promote irresponsible backpacking practices like people not packing tents, and why?

Tin Man
10-23-2008, 20:58
Note to self: don't introduce myself as Tin Man when I am keeping warm by my blazing fire. :)

Tin Man
10-23-2008, 21:04
I realize there's a certain advantage to minimizing the area covered by a high impacted area, which I think is what you're referring to when you say that shelters reduce impacts in the backcountry. However, designated campsites do the same thing. Designated campsites have several advantages over a shelter in this regard, since they can be easily closed and re-located when one of them becomes too overused, and doing so they won't leave a permanent mark on the land when they are re-located. For instance, shelters are permanent structures and relocating one would mean a lot of labor to remove the materials.

So, I said that shelters are not necessary and you took issue with that because shelters permit higher user levels while reducing impact, however designated campsites do the same thing. So what I'm wondering is, do you really think shelters are necessary in spite of this, or that they don't promote irresponsible backpacking practices like people not packing tents, and why?

I must say the AMC has done an excellent job reestablishing vegetation around designated campsites in the White Mtns. I talked to several caretakers who described the camp areas before the re-vegetation program was put in place several years ago. Big difference today - most areas are lush with vegetation now. It gave me new respect for the AMC and what they have accomplished in the high use areas. I even managed to control myself and go an entire week with only one stealth campsite and fire. :)

River Runner
10-23-2008, 21:14
The LNT website still says to scatter dishwasher, so I'm not sure why Backpacker is saying dig a cat hole. That seems rather worthless to me.

Tin Man
10-23-2008, 21:23
The LNT website still says to scatter dishwasher, so I'm not sure why Backpacker is saying dig a cat hole. That seems rather worthless to me.

Sometimes I wonder if the writers actually backpack.

JAK
10-23-2008, 21:25
You're making this way more complicated than it actually is. Of course on many parts of the AT, it's just a matter of not littering and not leaving toilet paper on the trail, but it's not that hard to take it one step further and have a no trace campsite.

Not sure you get my point. A no trace campsite is not always best for the environment. Sometimes small wood fires are better for the global environment than canister stoves and such. That's just one example. Where I hike the woods are very robust, and human foot traffic is minimal. That's not to say we don't cause devastation and destruction, but its from human development and industry and the way we live the rest of our lives. Walking in the woods is a time to reflect, and to be part of nature, and to consider such things as whether it is better for the environment to go out and buy the latest canister stove or to just make a small hobo stove out of a can of soup; and whether it is actually better to go out and buy a book and a an orange shovel with a 6" marker, or just squat down and **** in the woods like all the other animals. Now if you ever did come across one of my campsites off in the middle of nowhere you might wind some traces here and there a day or two later, but a month later, doubtful. But what about that fuel canister, or all that plastic, or all the fossil fuels burned to manufacture and distribute and dispose of it all? Where does all that end up? What's the total impact, down the road.

It's not about practicing what is the easiest to practice universally.
It's about learning what is the most sustainable to practice locally.

JAK
10-23-2008, 21:31
My main point is this. LNT isn't about sustainability. It's just crowd control.
We need to care less about crowd control and learn more and think more about sustainability.

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 21:37
No I think I get your point, and it's a valid one to be sure. It's just that I don't see the relation to LNT. LNT is pretty simple: as a hiker, it says, try to keep the things you enjoy as they are. I'm not saying that it's not a good idea to apply the philosophy to global economics and waste management, but it sounds like what you're doing is basically making LNT out to be something so complex that it's impossible to even attempt and therefore trying to justify not practicing it at all, when in reality it actually is a simple enough thing that even ordinary people can wrap their minds around it.

Tin Man
10-23-2008, 21:38
My main point is this. LNT isn't about sustainability. It's just crowd control.
We need to care less about crowd control and learn more and think more about sustainability.

Wow! And I thought LNT was about hiding your poop.


seriously, minimizing your camping impact is fairly easy and no big deal if you put any effort into it. but, who really knows what trace we leave in our daily lives?

Dirtygaiters
10-23-2008, 21:45
I think I figured out why we're both talking to two different ends. LNT, as I view it, is something that an individual does. What you're talking about (crowd control) is called park/recreations management and is something that's affected by implementation of a policy. LNT isn't really a policy, it's just a set of good habits so as to try not to trash the woods. Air traffic, logging, roads, these don't really fall under the heading of LNT either. Sure, they are traces, in a similar sense that a non-LNT camper leaves traces, but I would define them as completely different kinds of traces than the ones that hikers use LNT philosophy to try to avoid leaving. A fire ring ten feet from the trail with a half-melted power bar wrapper and a crushed beer can in it is a much smaller "trace" than what a logging truck causes just by driving 5 feet off a road; however, the trash-filled fire ring is much more likely to seem unsightly to other hikers than anything done on or near logging roads. It's a double standard in the bigger picture to be sure, but there's a consistent emphasis on "traces" that are near trails, and within a hiker's power to prevent from happening.

JAK
10-23-2008, 21:49
No I think I get your point, and it's a valid one to be sure. It's just that I don't see the relation to LNT. LNT is pretty simple: as a hiker, it says, try to keep the things you enjoy as they are. I'm not saying that it's not a good idea to apply the philosophy to global economics and waste management, but it sounds like what you're doing is basically making LNT out to be something so complex that it's impossible to even attempt and therefore trying to justify not practicing it at all, when in reality it actually is a simple enough thing that even ordinary people can wrap their minds around it.I think done properly LNT should fall under the broader context of sustainability, which is more important. LNT is easy, and its fun to, like stealth camping. I really gotta draw the line when it comes to buying crap like fuel canisters, or to preach about LNT when I make a small wood fire but not giving a damn about all the useless clothing and gear people buy and sell and lug into and out of the woods before it all ends up in land fills. That's just not neccessary or appropriate or helpful in my neck of the woods.

Stealth camping is fun, and sustainable. LNT the way it is practiced is not.

Fiddleback
10-23-2008, 22:03
My one overriding practice is to leave the trail and campsite so that no one can tell I had been there. Sure, there's some broken twigs and bent grass here and there, but it'd take a good tracker to identify my camp sites or find my cat holes, etc.

I think it's simple, logical, clean, and...polite.;)

FB

Wise Old Owl
10-23-2008, 22:16
Wow Ok folk's its not about trolling each other, I was asking if you disagreed with a few principals. What do I mean by that? Some of the stuff such as not peeing in a shelter or deficating in the middle of the trail- I think I have, and all agreed not to do. And Tipi Walter is correct-it appears a little pointless when you have so much humanity around the postage stamp of wilderness. At one time the entire Eastern Seaboard was a deep forest. It has been removed to provide wood for homes, heat, and steel before the discovery of coal. We strip deep woods today far more than Brazil and the Amazon, right up to the boundries of Yellowstone or the state of Washington. Our logger's haven't a clue. We might feel better about following a few rules and perhaps that was the intent. But as I said before. Some of the Ideas of LNT lack substance.

Here is another graphic example

LNT ="Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. "

Yea I get the idea, now look at Shanadoah National Park & their numerous controlled burns. They have dropped so many ping pong balls in the past they loose control and have taken out skyline drive several times over the years. We are talking thousands of acres, Nature cleans it up in less than 20 years. LNT is about 3 foot by 3 foot and gee you better clean it up! Now if we all pick a different spot - ohh my that would be bad. Yes Jak it is about crowd control.

Tipi Walter
10-23-2008, 22:33
Isn't the purpose of building trails and shelters to encourage people to get outdoors and experience the backcountry in a manner which minimizes impacts? If no one cares, there will be no desire to conserve and protect what you profess to hold dear. You are right, lock it up and throw away all the keys, except yours!:rolleyes:

If a place is locked up and the keys are thrown away, what makes you think I'll be the only one able to get in? Unless you mean I might be the only one willing to go in on foot and not rolling atop four wheels. And with LNT, only the miniscule minority(backpackers)seem to care about it, the rest of the population is either indifferent, mesmerized by Dancing With The Stars, or actively destroying what's left.


I'm pretty sure most of the shelters are leftovers from an era when backpackers didn't have the convenience of ultralight tents, and carrying a 15 pound canvas tarp on your back was impractical, particularly considering that such things can get heavier as they get wet. So the shelters were, in a way, necessary in the early days of the trail, just to hike such long distances. These days, they are not necessary in any way at all, and really only encourage irresponsible behavior on the trail, like idiots not packing a shelter on their backpacking trips.

The history of shelter intentions should be studied, as in: Where did they come from and why. I think the grand plan of the AT 80 years ago was a hotel/bed and breakfast every 10 or 20 miles, nixed thankfully by wiser souls. Beyond this, mountain climbers and vagabonds have been backpacking and camping for at least the last 200 years, and I believe silk tents were the rage many years ago before nylon. They were light though subject to abrasion, etc.

Another aspect of LNT is the upcoming US population explosion whereby 330 million become 440 million by 2040 or thereabouts. By then traffic and jet noise and dirty air will be so bad it won't matter if we wipe our butts with green toilet paper, leaves, or aluminum foil, or if we tilt each turd to the east to greet the morning sun. By then each thruhiker will have to get a permit with every night's projected camp designated in advance along with a 5 dollar nightly camping fee. Just some reasoned projections. By then, will anyone care about leaving no trace? There's a slim chance that LNT will protect an area from within, but the much greater threat to an area is from without, especially as the population explodes, while meanwhile the LNT types argue about graywater, creek bathing, toothpaste spit, and uncontrolled pee spray.

emerald
10-23-2008, 23:36
Sorry to ruffle your feathers, but I wasn't trolling.


There's a slim chance that LNT will protect an area from within, but the much greater threat to an area is from without, especially as the population explodes, while meanwhile the LNT types argue ...

Today was long, tomorrow will be longer still. I read your responses and will reply, but not likely before Saturday.

JAK
10-24-2008, 00:11
I agree that LNT is a good policy in high traffic areas for not offending people. I don't mean to troll either, but my point is that LNT is not the most environmental approach in all cases, like it purports to be. I use LNT in high traffic areas for people, but I use more sustainable practices where I can for the planet. Alcohol stoves and such where fire can't be used or people might get offended. Kelly Kettle or Hobo stove where fire can't be used and people aren't so easily offended. Still no trace when I am gone, and better for the environment, but still offensive to some LNT folks. I do some heavier bushcraft stuff now and then, maybe once a year in winter if neccessary or for the practice, but not in a place that other people might discover, and not in a non-sustainable way. Thick brush that doesn't get hurt by a little thinning, and I leave the best trees and rare species alone. The biomass is minimal, and grows back quickly. It's not clearcutting. It's just living, and its more sustainable than all the consumer driven LNT crap. If I hiked in the desert or above the treeline of on high traffic trails it would be different, but I don't.

LNT is not the be all and end all solution some people think it is. It is more of a symptom of a greater problem, in my opinion, but I can see both sides of the argument, as should most people. The truth lies in the middle, and depends on the location and situation. We need to keep thinking and not stop learning about such things. We haven't mastered the whole sustainability thing yet. We haven't even started.

Lone Wolf
10-24-2008, 06:27
This month's issue of Backpacker got my testosterone going again. Although I can agree on most of the principals, now they want you to dig a 8 inch cathole for your wash water. Now after years of walking well away from camp and spreading wide and far I need to dig a hole? Has anyone here tried to dig a 8 inch hole with a orange plastic junk trowel? The last time I "cat-holed" some grease & wash water outside of camp I was "Surrounded" by large skunks in NH. Sometimes I find some of LNT just plain stupid.

Lets see if anyone else has an issue with a LNT principal.

Oh FYI there is a big article on the AT this month - Haven't read it yet.

i poo on top of the ground and just toss a handful of leaves and sticks on it

rickb
10-24-2008, 06:51
Why? Doesn't the sun help it decompose?

rickb
10-24-2008, 06:55
Lets see if anyone else has an issue with a LNT principal.

On a serious note (my last post about the sun wasn't) I have to take an issue with some people's assertion that we should walk 100' or more into the woods to pee. I think I recall reading one well known hiker/author in BP Mag suggesting that 200' was appropriate.

Not only isn't this needed, if everyone subscribed to the practice there would be much more damage to the vegetation along the trail as people trampled through it.

rickb
10-24-2008, 07:00
Then there is the whole idea of needing to walk 200' away from a stream to wash up with a little soap.

While its a good idea not to wash in the stream itself, the earth is a pretty good soap filter if you take your pot of water a short scramble away from the stream and wash you hair there.

Tin Man
10-24-2008, 08:31
I suspect the 200' warning crowd are bigger into books and pontification than actually hiking. People who love hiking are much more practical and nurturing of the trail than they ever get credit for.

JAK
10-24-2008, 08:34
Little bit of u-rine never hurt nobody.

Tipi Walter
10-24-2008, 08:54
On a serious note (my last post about the sun wasn't) I have to take an issue with some people's assertion that we should walk 100' or more into the woods to pee. I think I recall reading one well known hiker/author in BP Mag suggesting that 200' was appropriate.

Not only isn't this needed, if everyone subscribed to the practice there would be much more damage to the vegetation along the trail as people trampled through it.

One time I moved a total of 7 inches to pee(during a blizzard inside my tent into a pot), and another time I moved about the same distance to defecate(also in the tent, also during a nonstop snowstorm with high winds and cold--onto paper towels this time--not into the pot!! That would've left a trace . . .). The next morning the turd package was hand-carried to a prearranged birthing station--cathole, and deposited with the proper ceremony, etc.

One time I was camped at 5000 feet in the snow at a trail junction of four trails. At the trailheads of 3 of the trails some newb miscreants deposited turd piles in the center of each trail, along with the necessary toilet paper. A fairly common sight in the winter and atop the snow. They were so perfectly placed I thought it was some kind of stone age tribute to the Four Directions.

JAK
10-24-2008, 09:13
Yeah, desperate winter storms calls for desperate measures. Still, I take a lot of pride in hand delivering my frozen turd prizes to the next available appropriate location. I don't go to altitude so it is usually not too far from my bivy site. Sometimes when the ground is really frozen hard I might have to hike a ways before I find a spot. Tossing it into the ocean works, but only once its totally frozen though, especially in an onshore breeze.

Generally I like to can get buy without using toilet paper, just 'cause its fun to do.
Birch bark makes an excellent wrapper for frozen turd packages, and I always have a few scraps on me for my next fire, and such things, and so I try and gather a little extra before a good storm. Such measures are always much easier in the woods than above the tree line though. Frozen turds don't burn good though. We all know that. But of course we have to prove this for ourselves, at least once right?

JAK
10-24-2008, 09:15
I mean, who here can honestly say they've never tried to burn a frozen turn package?
I know I have.

JAK
10-24-2008, 09:17
I mean, who here can honestly say they've never tried to burn a frozen turd package?
I know I have.Not in my Kelly Kettle of course, though I would like to try it with llama dung some day.

Tipi Walter
10-24-2008, 10:35
Sometimes when the ground is really frozen hard I might have to hike a ways before I find a spot.

Here's a trick I learned: When an angry turtlehead pokes out his head in the middle of the night and you have to leave your tent to find a place to dig a frozen hole--forego the whole and just crap right next to the tent on the snow. Go to sleep. In the morning Young William will be frozen and can be hand-delivered to any distant cathole-resting place of your choice.


I mean, who here can honestly say they've never tried to burn a frozen turn package?
I know I have.

I learned an old trick from Alaskan sourdough types and used this technique often in my tipi during hard winter storms: Squat over newspapers and produce your young offspring(offaling?)and then wad up the works and throw into the woodstove. In several hours the entire post-gestation remains will be ashe.

JAK
10-24-2008, 10:43
Aha. More fibre. I suppose dry sawdust might work also.

I understand bones can be burned also if the fire is hot enough. Burning clean wood will
give you potash. Burning bones will give you bone ash. Burning poop, not sure, ass ash?

Summit
10-24-2008, 21:30
Leave only footprints, take only pictures.To 'leave only footprints' involves packing out your crap and TP! :eek: Do you do that? :D

I pack and use a trowel when not near a shelter privy, but I'll be honest, when I gotta go bad and the ground isn't cooperating with digging very deep, I do the best I can and then make sure my business is covered real well when done. As someone said, I think the decomposing of TP takes place faster when it gets a little air (but not left visible on top of the ground).

As for LNT principles, I agree in principle, but I don't get anal about it. Use common sense. Treat water sources the way you would want the folks there recently before you to have treated them. Leave campsites in as good a condition or better than the state you found them in, etc. ;)

buff_jeff
10-24-2008, 21:35
I like what summit said, I'm an advocate of common sense...

River Runner
10-24-2008, 22:13
This month's issue of Backpacker got my testosterone going again. Although I can agree on most of the principals, now they want you to dig a 8 inch cathole for your wash water. Now after years of walking well away from camp and spreading wide and far I need to dig a hole? Has anyone here tried to dig a 8 inch hole with a orange plastic junk trowel? The last time I "cat-holed" some grease & wash water outside of camp I was "Surrounded" by large skunks in NH. Sometimes I find some of LNT just plain stupid.

Lets see if anyone else has an issue with a LNT principal.

Oh FYI there is a big article on the AT this month - Haven't read it yet.

Hey Wise Old Owl,

Did you read the backpacker article?

The way you have presented it is not the way the article is written.

Backpacker did a reader survey on how they dispose of dirty dishwater, and 42% said they pour it into a cathole at least eight inches deep.

Backpacker then goes on to say that the preferred method, favored by hardcore Leave No Trace advocates is to drink the gray water. And they go on to say that it is okay to strain out the chunks then scatter the water.

You might want to read closer the next time before you state something as a Leave No Trace principal that isn't.

Dirtygaiters
10-24-2008, 23:34
To 'leave only footprints' involves packing out your crap and TP! :eek: Do you do that? :D


Letter of the law vs Spirit of the law. Since LNT is by no means a law, I think there's a much stronger case to be made for intelligent interpretation.

Example: In an eastern hardwood forest that gets a lot of rain and has a long growing season, decomposition rates are going to be very high and since you can pick any old spat of ground to do your business, dispersal is also very high. Meaning, in short, that not only are other people unlikely to find your waste, but even the TP will decompose in a year or less, so there's not a huge lasting impact.

At the other extreme, consider that you're on the saddle of any popular mountain in the west, above treeline. It's cold and rocky enough in such a place that decomposition rates are extremely low, and given that a place like that sees a lot of human traffic, safe dispersal is also pretty low. Even if you do hide your cathole, chances are high that someone will come along and discover it before it decomposes. However, because decomposition rates are so low above treeline, both the human waste and the TP would likely remain relatively intact for many years to come, both as obvious litter and as a contaimation to the water table.

Therefore, when just hiking through the woods, I tend to leave my waste on top of the ground or in the upper few inches of soil. However, if I find myself above treeline when nature calls, particularly on a popular mountain, I will definitely pack it out.

take-a-knee
10-25-2008, 00:40
It's hard to figure where LNT fits into southeast backpacking while surrounded with near constant jets overhead and the endless whine of motorcycles on the roads below the ridges. You may bury your poop 8 inches down and slant each turd 10 degrees to the left and boil your toilet paper down to a mush, but meanwhile the 75 acres across the ridge is being bulldozed for roads and clearcut for logging trucks.

Maybe it's important for you to carry out your own waste and urine while moving thru a soupy mix of toxic air covering the TN valley from Virginia to Georgia. The rigorous backpacker may leave no trace, but the jackals all around his postage stamp "wilderness" are doing all in their power to smoke up more foul air and cut more roads. And yes, even a few of them pull out of their rolling couch-potato cars long enough to befoul whatever they can reach on food. If humans are fire ants, our purpose as seen from an objective observor from above must be to soil and cement what little is left.

Whenever LNT is brought up, I think of a guy swatting off a fly while a rhino is charging. And exactly how does one get motivated to practice LNT when confronted with the AT shelter system? Aren't firerings supposed to be removed? Aren't camps supposed to be far off the trail? Aren't we supposed to camp many yards from water? Shelters for the most part ignore these rules. And the shelters themselves leave a big troubling trace.

You know Tipi, I really think you are a nice guy, and I hope to meet you someday, but you really need to quit reading all that earth first propaganda, you might really "nut up" someday if you don't.

Don't worry about the bulldozers, the tumbling DOW will silence them for quite a while.

Wags
10-25-2008, 00:49
the reason shelters are in existance is to minimize the # of random campsites set up along the trail. it is 'bushwacking' and 'stealth camping' that so many people think is cool b/c they heard some douchebag say 'shelters suck omfg there's mice there' - but it really destroys a lot of environment, especially plant life. the 'bulldozing' tipi is talking about takes place whenever people stray off the trail and set up their tent outside of designated tent areas and spend a number of hours walking around on the immediate habitat. that is the LNT i am most concerned about. i can pick up someone else's garbage but i can't bring plants back to life someone killed by stepping on them or sleepign on them...

and i tend to disagree w/ tipi's argument. following his 'others are doing way worse than me' principle is a recipe for bad news and could lead to justification of nearly anything...

Dirtygaiters
10-25-2008, 03:05
the reason shelters are in existance is to minimize the # of random campsites set up along the trail. it is 'bushwacking' and 'stealth camping' that so many people think is cool b/c they heard some douchebag say 'shelters suck omfg there's mice there' - but it really destroys a lot of environment, especially plant life. the 'bulldozing' tipi is talking about takes place whenever people stray off the trail and set up their tent outside of designated tent areas and spend a number of hours walking around on the immediate habitat. that is the LNT i am most concerned about. i can pick up someone else's garbage but i can't bring plants back to life someone killed by stepping on them or sleepign on them...



Considering the fact that shelter system along the AT dates back to 60+ years ago when trail traffic was significantly less than it is today, I seriously doubt that.

If you think people only do 'stealth camping' and 'bushwacking' because they think it's cool, I think you're being extremely thick headed and thoughtless about a number of things. What you say about LNT is true, though. By carelessly trampling around a campsite, it's possible to leave a pretty big trace on the forest floor. However, this is not really an example of LNT, or stealth camping, just an example of an idiot needlessly trampling plants. It is possible to leave a virgin campsite looking just like you found it, most people just don't do it or know how to do it. The key... is not trampling plants in the first place. Sounds obvious, right? but it's actually possible if you can believe it.

As for going off trail causing a bulldozing effect on the environment, that's absolutely ridiculous. It's true that some leaves and sticks become displaced or broken, perhaps some spots of soil become compacted as well. These are "traces" in a certain sense. However, they are not unnatural traces. As long as there are deer, black bear, and other heavy quadrapeds that wander around off trail, leaving their own footprints on the forest floor that compact spots of soil and damage leaves on a daily basis, trust me, a few human footprints are not going to disrupt the natural order of things. The exception is if a lot of people keep walking in the same path back and forth, for instance from a campsite to a water source. This creates a "trail" which might last for a few years before becoming obscured by time and is definitely a trace. However, this is as easily avoided as trampling plants is: just try to take a different path each time you go to and from the water source. Simple as that.

By the way, if you're so concerned about plants, don't you know that those shelters you laud so highly were made of wood that was cut right out of the virgin forest? Those trees will never come back to life, and currently a bunch of people are sleeping on them and feeding mice that hide between them. I don't get how you can rationalize bemoaning the deaths of some plants but turning a blind eye to the slaughter of many others. Seems like a double standard to me. :-?

JAK
10-25-2008, 09:23
I like what Summit said also. Golden Rule.

I also think LNT needs to be updated to better conform with our emerging better understanding of the science and ethics of sustainability.

Have I beaten that one to death yet? :D

Tipi Walter
10-25-2008, 10:54
You know Tipi, I really think you are a nice guy, and I hope to meet you someday, but you really need to quit reading all that earth first propaganda, you might really "nut up" someday if you don't.

Don't worry about the bulldozers, the tumbling DOW will silence them for quite a while.

Earth First propaganda? I suppose the only way a person could know if I'm spewing their rants is to have read their stuff. But no, the only brainwashing I get is from spending time with Miss Nature on her ridges and in her valleys. She meekly teaches and sometimes thunders. There's two choices before us: Wilderness or development. For several billion years Miss Nature produced wilderness in all its forms(some lethal to animals), and for several hundred thousands of years modern humans kept their numbers low and figured out symbiosis, living more or less in harmony with Miss Nature's edicts. Modern humans, somehow losing the wisdom needed for long-term survival on this planet and proving it by their numbers and behavior, seem to have made the choice for land exploitation and development and not for wilderness. Nearly every aspect of human life is now determined by over population, air pollution, and land disfigurement. Is this not apparent??


the reason shelters are in existance is to minimize the # of random campsites set up along the trail. it is 'bushwacking' and 'stealth camping' that so many people think is cool b/c they heard some douchebag say 'shelters suck omfg there's mice there' - but it really destroys a lot of environment, especially plant life. the 'bulldozing' tipi is talking about takes place whenever people stray off the trail and set up their tent outside of designated tent areas and spend a number of hours walking around on the immediate habitat. that is the LNT i am most concerned about. i can pick up someone else's garbage but i can't bring plants back to life someone killed by stepping on them or sleepign on them...

and i tend to disagree w/ tipi's argument. following his 'others are doing way worse than me' principle is a recipe for bad news and could lead to justification of nearly anything...

First off, the only bulldozing I'm talking about is actual bulldozing by bulldozers. There's no way it can be confused with foot traffic as real bulldozing cuts deep scars and leaves stumps. Has anyone seen a national forest mountainside crisscrossed with new logging roads? And it's happening very close to where backpackers camp and try to leave no trace. As I said before and let me repeat: "There's a slim chance that LNT will protect an area from within, but the much greater threat to an area is from without, especially as the population explodes while meanwhile the LNT types argue about graywater, creek bathing, toothpaste spit and uncontrolled pee spray."

How does this sentiment make it sound that others are doing way worse than me since we're all in this together?

Wags
10-25-2008, 11:09
just like you have, i gave my opinion about LNT

Bob S
10-25-2008, 11:23
LNT on the AT???


4,000,000 + people walk some part of the AT, I donít think anyone can reasonably expect 4-million + people to leave no trace that they have been there.


Not to say people should not clean up after themselves and try to not destroy the outdoors. But tine and untouched is a foolish wish that is not based in reality.

JAK
10-25-2008, 12:11
Anyone else think the Leave No Trace mantra needs to be updated to speak more about Sustainability?

Tin Man
10-25-2008, 12:47
Anyone else think the Leave No Trace mantra needs to be updated to speak more about Sustainability?

NO! You are mixing apples, oranges and beaten down dead horses.

Time to move on... please. :)

trouthunter
10-25-2008, 12:56
LNT principles are good to a point, after that you have to think for yourself and try to follow the intent of the LNT principles and not necessarily the letter of the law.
Every region has different variables and concerns and restrictions.

LNT is a good concept, but one that can not be applied universally.
You have to educate your self and make decisions on your own sometimes. Also the environment is not nearly as fragile as a lot of people have been led to believe. That is not in any way meant be an excuse to trash the environment.
I lead a very environmentally friendly lifestyle, but some people accept everything they read put out by environmental groups as the holy gospel, when in fact many groups put out some very erroneous and misleading information in an effort to promote their cause.

JAK
10-25-2008, 13:12
Thanks for the feedback Tin Man. That is kind of what I was looking for. I agree with you, and with trouthunter. People need to study and work things out for themselves, not to contribute in their own way to trashing the environment, but to contribute in their own way to finding their own understanding and lasting solutions.

There, I did it without the dreaded 'S' word. :)

Mags
10-25-2008, 14:25
To 'leave only footprints' involves packing out your crap and TP! :eek: Do you do that? :D




You can make a simple statement complicated..or KISS.

Being as simpleton, I choose the KISS principle.

Cheers!

(In some fragile/high use areas, though, you do have to blue bag it (http://www.backpacker.com/june_2008_pack_out_waste/nature/12424). In heavily wooded areas such as the majority of the Appalachians, I don't bother)

trouthunter
10-25-2008, 14:43
If me stealth camping is destroying precious plant life, and should not be permitted, then what ever will we do with the millions of creatures both big and small that spend their entire lives walking around in the wilderness.

That is a very short sighted argument against those of us who leave the beaten path sometimes, and a great example of the kind of nonsense some special interest groups spew forth.
Me pitching a tent off trail does no more harm than a couple deer laying down for the night, mother nature has fabulous recuperative abilities.

JAK
10-25-2008, 14:51
I agree with trouthunter on that one also. There are some sensitive area we shouldn't tread, and others we shouldn't tread very often, so we simply need to go somewhere else. But there are some that think that all humans should live in cities and only travel through wilderness on gilded monorails. God help us if we every come to live like that, and God help nature.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnLZjBnVm38

JAK
10-25-2008, 15:00
http://www.lasalle.edu/~didio/courses/hon462/hon462_assets/sound_of_thunder.htm

He indicated a metal path that struck off into green wilderness, over streaming swamp, among giant ferns and palms.

"And that," he said, "is the Path, laid by Time Safari for your use,

It floats six inches above the earth. Doesn't touch so much as one grass blade, flower, or tree. It's an anti-gravity metal. Its purpose is to keep you from touching this world of the past in any way. Stay on the Path. Don't go off it. I repeat. Don't go off. For any reason! If you fall off, there's a penalty. And don't shoot any animal we don't okay."

"Why?" asked Eckels.

They sat in the ancient wilderness. Far birds' cries blew on a wind, and the smell of tar and an old salt sea, moist grasses, and flowers the color of blood.

"We don't want to change the Future. We don't belong here in the Past. The government doesn't like us here. We have to pay big graft to keep our franchise. A Time Machine is finicky business. Not knowing it, we might kill an important animal, a small bird, a roach, a flower even, thus destroying an important link in a growing species."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkLT57mVnGE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqd4Ol8FlGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xuq3kOwGGw

rootball
10-27-2008, 20:51
The roads are covered in SUVs and someone wants me to bury some wash water?? Who cares. When folks quit wasting and they quit trying to get more more more oil out of Alaska I will bury my wash water-- hell, I might even drink it. Put it in perspective people.

Tipi Walter
10-27-2008, 21:52
It's therefore very easy to go over the edge in PC fashionable etiquette and enter the world of sarcasm and comedy. We've beat this horse before on other threads, especially the whole section on Turd Removal and Urine Sampling/Recycling, like some Fremen Still-Suit on DUNE. Do I even want to go there?

I could bring up the whole reconfigured water bladder with catheter attached leading to a lower platypus-style urine tank and penile collection tubing ad-insanitorium . . . . . Is there a way for one person to carry out every last drop of urine? His own and even his dog's? 24 hour catheterization is probably the answer, with controlled blowback and head-to-shaft ventilators to lessen venturi-whatever heat buildup and the eventual disfiguring urethra bursting, etc. My dog shows interest.

randyg45
10-28-2008, 11:07
No, I don't agree. As someone before me said, it takes a Hottentot tracker to find my camps. I don't pollute the water supply. I pack out trash. I consider myself one of the good guys.

JAK
10-28-2008, 11:22
Thought I would try and lighten the tone again.

"It floats six inches above the earth. Doesn't touch so much as one grass blade, flower, or tree. It's an anti-gravity metal. Its purpose is to keep you from touching this world of the past in any way. Stay on the Path. Don't go off it. I repeat. Don't go off. For any reason! If you fall off, there's a penalty."

LOL

Gumbi
10-28-2008, 14:03
The roads are covered in SUVs and someone wants me to bury some wash water?? Who cares. When folks quit wasting and they quit trying to get more more more oil out of Alaska I will bury my wash water-- hell, I might even drink it. Put it in perspective people.

So.. because others pollute and waste, it is ok for you to pollute and waste?
Does this apply to every area of your life as well? (because others steal, it is ok for you to steal, etc.?)
Two wrongs don't make a right! I do what I can, using common sense and decency! It is not pleasant to see trash all over the place in the woods, so I pack mine out with me even though others may not.

JAK
10-28-2008, 15:26
Gumbi,
I think that is somewhat of a mischaracterization of what rootball said.
His point is very clear in his last sentence. 'Put it in perspective people.'

He also said nothing of littering. Try using a little more common sense and decency. ;)

JAK
10-28-2008, 15:39
Thought it might be helpful to provide a link to these LNT principles.

http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php

I would say they are worth reading, but are not that useful. I have three main criticisms.
1. They make no mention of the need to minimize our global rather than local impact.
2. They make no mention that some ecosystems are alot more sensitive than others.
3. They make Leave No Trace out to be a general over-riding principle, which it isn't; without any reference to Sustainability, which is.

JAK
10-28-2008, 15:40
4. It perpetuates the false and dangerous ideology that Man is separate from Nature.

NICKTHEGREEK
10-29-2008, 18:56
It's therefore very easy to go over the edge in PC fashionable etiquette and enter the world of sarcasm and comedy. We've beat this horse before on other threads, especially the whole section on Turd Removal and Urine Sampling/Recycling, like some Fremen Still-Suit on DUNE. Do I even want to go there?

I could bring up the whole reconfigured water bladder with catheter attached leading to a lower platypus-style urine tank and penile collection tubing ad-insanitorium . . . . . Is there a way for one person to carry out every last drop of urine? His own and even his dog's? 24 hour catheterization is probably the answer, with controlled blowback and head-to-shaft ventilators to lessen venturi-whatever heat buildup and the eventual disfiguring urethra bursting, etc. My dog shows interest.
You need to come inside and warm up till you regain your senses

Wise Old Owl
10-29-2008, 19:43
i poo on top of the ground and just toss a handful of leaves and sticks on it


You Know LW, I actually found that very funny.

I had a "comedy moment" a mini movie of years later the U.S. guys all died out and the Indians make a come back. Dad is walking the earth with his son, the young buck kicks over a large round rock, exposing a crap & t.p. - Dad say sign of "White Man" Son say Ohhh in great understanding...


It was a moment...


Wow TP you remember Dune? Way too cool!

JAK
10-29-2008, 19:46
I do the same as Lone Wolf, but I layer between turds for better composting. :D

Wise Old Owl
10-29-2008, 19:56
Hey Wise Old Owl,

Did you read the backpacker article?

The way you have presented it is not the way the article is written.

Backpacker did a reader survey on how they dispose of dirty dishwater, and 42% said they pour it into a cathole at least eight inches deep.

Backpacker then goes on to say that the preferred method, favored by hardcore Leave No Trace advocates is to drink the gray water. And they go on to say that it is okay to strain out the chunks then scatter the water.

You might want to read closer the next time before you state something as a Leave No Trace principal that isn't.

Ok RR, you have me! apparently my leave no trace thought, kicked in at the same time my ADHD medicine wore off......Just kidding. When I wrote this I had the article in front of me - now I don't. That 42 percent mentioned in the article, do they drink Southern Comfort?:eek:

smokymtnsteve
10-29-2008, 20:09
Letter of the law vs Spirit of the law. Since LNT is by no means a law, I think there's a much stronger case to be made for intelligent interpretation.

Example: In an eastern hardwood forest that gets a lot of rain and has a long growing season, decomposition rates are going to be very high and since you can pick any old spat of ground to do your business, dispersal is also very high. Meaning, in short, that not only are other people unlikely to find your waste, but even the TP will decompose in a year or less, so there's not a huge lasting impact.

At the other extreme, consider that you're on the saddle of any popular mountain in the west, above treeline. It's cold and rocky enough in such a place that decomposition rates are extremely low, and given that a place like that sees a lot of human traffic, safe dispersal is also pretty low. Even if you do hide your cathole, chances are high that someone will come along and discover it before it decomposes. However, because decomposition rates are so low above treeline, both the human waste and the TP would likely remain relatively intact for many years to come, both as obvious litter and as a contaimation to the water table.

Therefore, when just hiking through the woods, I tend to leave my waste on top of the ground or in the upper few inches of soil. However, if I find myself above treeline when nature calls, particularly on a popular mountain, I will definitely pack it out.

in the case of a dry climate, the rock smearing method is very appropiate, the feces should be smeared in a thin layer over an outof the way rock, the sun then dries the feces and it flakes away ...LNT does advocate this method.

Lone Wolf
10-29-2008, 20:12
intelligent mammals like me just **** where they get the urge and move on

smokymtnsteve
10-29-2008, 20:16
intelligent mammals like me just **** where they get the urge and move on


yes that is why they make doggie pooper scoopers for canines:rolleyes:

JAK
10-29-2008, 20:24
Lone Wolf makes a good point though. Some folks put themselves through extreme discomfort for miles. Nothing worse than hiking when you need to take a crap, especially when its cold and miserable. Any port in a storm I say. Toilet paper I avoid at just about all costs, but I've learned to crap just about anywhere when neccessary.

Lone Wolf
10-29-2008, 20:27
i did a BM in the dumpster at the Backtrack Inn so-called hostel cuz no ****ter was available

smokymtnsteve
10-29-2008, 20:31
when it is really cold like forty below..I crap on newspaper and then put it in the woodstove fire instead of running to the outhouse..incinderation

saves space and your outhouse pit doesn't fill up as quick

JAK
10-29-2008, 20:36
My last stealth dump was in the Irving Nature Park. They have plenty of very nice outhouses but this came on too quick and I couldn't go back anyways as I was on a time crunch. Anyway, easy enough to head off trail 'where the rabbit people go'. LOL

I gave it a good pile of wet leave and sticks and I'm sure the trees will appreciate it.
I don't make a habit of it, but I'm only going to hike so far in discomfort when there are perfectly good woods all about yearning for my nutrients.

Tin Man
10-29-2008, 21:30
just poop out of the way, duff it up a little and move on already. it ain't all that serious, it's just pooping.

River Runner
10-29-2008, 21:58
Ok RR, you have me! apparently my leave no trace thought, kicked in at the same time my ADHD medicine wore off......Just kidding. When I wrote this I had the article in front of me - now I don't. That 42 percent mentioned in the article, do they drink Southern Comfort?:eek:

The article didn't say. Maybe you'd had one too many too when you read it? ;)

JAK
10-29-2008, 22:35
When I was 4 and we were all playing around in the woods while the bigger kids were in school we all got pretty good at pooping in the woods, and keeping track of one another. "Hmm, that looks like Eva. Still fresh. Her mothers making raviolli again."

Bob S
10-29-2008, 23:54
When I was 4 and we were all playing around in the woods while the bigger kids were in school we all got pretty good at pooping in the woods, and keeping track of one another. "Hmm, that looks like Eva. Still fresh. Her mothers making raviolli again."



Tooooo much information...:eek:

NICKTHEGREEK
10-30-2008, 07:10
i did a BM in the dumpster at the Backtrack Inn so-called hostel cuz no ****ter was available
Any hints on dumpster crappin? Stuff like check to see if any low budget UL types are inside first, Sit on the side door or wide straddle the top? Bail out plans incase the dumpster truck comes along while you're hangin' so to speak;)

nitewalker
10-30-2008, 07:37
i always practice LNT no mater the situation. some of the policies are a little over the top and can be interpeted in different ways but we should all try our best to keep from droping a steemer rite on the trail. there is nothing worse than hiking the trail to only stumble upon a fresh steemer. get off the trail, kick aside the leaves and top layer of duff then proceed with caution as to not drop it on your heal....LNT is common sense for the most part, if it feels wrong than it probably is wrong....

peace, nitewalker

rootball
11-02-2008, 10:12
To some degree LNT helps - especially on heavy use trails. In the areas that I frequent the most it is usually the occasional hiker, redneck, hunter, and horsepeople that leave the most debris and destruction. The only one in that group that could be excused for leaving a mess is the redneck. They are brought up that way. I recently hiked past a group of rednecks with their offspring -'This river don't go to Aintry.' When I came back through a few days later I had to get out my garbage bags and clean up all kinds of glass and bean cans -thanks, a-holes. The crap piles and paper (at least they used paper) were all over the place and close to where they had tents set up, NASTY! Catholes would have been nice in this situation. So basically the tradition of leaving a nasty mess at a campsite has been passed on to the next generation, and most likely when those boys I saw there grow up they will teach it to their kids the same way. Hunters should know better, but they drop pop cans/bottles and candy wrappers. Horsefolks always seem to be able to pack in more than they can pack out, and occasional hikers are either lazy or haven't learned yet. Bean cans don't burn. Candy wrappers don't dissolve. And glass should never, ever enter the woods -- ever. By the way - not all the glass melts - so stop trying to melt it - idiots. And stop trying to hide your trash in the ashes, it makes it harder for me to pick up. And stop slinging your water bottles off the trail, I can still see them - just drop them on the trail and I will not have to bushwhack off the trail to get them. And quite driving nails in the trees. When you leave the fishing hole take your corn can with you, or at least rinse out that sticky juice for me. And stop leaving cheap string hung from tree to tree. And don't carve your name in trees or sign posts. Stop chopping half way through a tree and then leaving it. Quit leaving stobs from green saplings around the camps. And quit leaving those Walmart insulated flannel shirts - you bought it, you brought it, you keep it. Those frickin things are heavy when they get wet.
I almost always carry two kitchen trash bags for the last days hike out. And don't leave your leftovers on a rock at streams edge. I double bag to keep the glass from ripping through and clean the trail as I come out. I cuss the whole time, but it makes me feel good at the end. I should write Coleman and ask them to make those green propane bottles a little lighter so I can pack more of them out.

Dogwood
11-02-2008, 10:44
So.. because others pollute and waste, it is ok for you to pollute and waste?
Does this apply to every area of your life as well? (because others steal, it is ok for you to steal, etc.?)
Two wrongs don't make a right! I do what I can, using common sense and decency! It is not pleasant to see trash all over the place in the woods, so I pack mine out with me even though others may not.

Thank U!!!

Dogwood
11-02-2008, 11:01
Just my guess, but I assume the Backpacker article and LNT advocates simply want U to consider the impact that U can have on the environment and others. Is that wrong??? In high impact heavily used areas, like at AT shelters, people indiscriminately disposing gray water can lead to attracting rodents/unwanted wildlife, altering wildlife's natural behaviors, and creating a smelly greasy unattractive camping site. Use your common sense!

JAK
11-02-2008, 11:18
I will change my view here somewhat and say that LNT should be kept in mind at all times, and practiced most rigidly in high traffic and other sensitive areas. Sustainability should also be kept in mind and practiced, but that is more of a work in progress. LNT is one of the things that will help get us there. It's not an either or situation.

SassyWindsor
11-02-2008, 11:34
After several recent hike-trip(s) in the GSMNP I can vouch that LNT is NOT "alive and well" everywhere. What a foul mess left at shelters, in fire-pits(legal and illegal), and just about anywhere along the trails, we hiked in the Park. I'll admit the trail(s) are worse closer to the tourist access points, but still really bad miles from the roads. Ice Water Spring Shelter needs relief, an expanded facility, or something.

Lone Wolf
11-02-2008, 11:39
After several recent hike-trip(s) in the GSMNP I can vouch that LNT is NOT "alive and well" everywhere. What a foul mess left at shelters, in fire-pits(legal and illegal), and just about anywhere along the trails, we hiked in the Park. I'll admit the trail(s) are worse closer to the tourist access points, but still really bad miles from the roads. Ice Water Spring Shelter needs relief, an expanded facility, or something.

yup. LNT is a joke at shelter areas. i've been going to georgia in the early spring for 22 years now. what a freaking mess

Dirtygaiters
11-02-2008, 15:05
To some degree LNT helps - especially on heavy use trails. In the areas that I frequent the most it is usually the occasional hiker, redneck, hunter, and horsepeople that leave the most debris and destruction. The only one in that group that could be excused for leaving a mess is the redneck. They are brought up that way. I recently hiked past a group of rednecks with their offspring -'This river don't go to Aintry.' When I came back through a few days later I had to get out my garbage bags and clean up all kinds of glass and bean cans -thanks, a-holes. The crap piles and paper (at least they used paper) were all over the place and close to where they had tents set up, NASTY! Catholes would have been nice in this situation. So basically the tradition of leaving a nasty mess at a campsite has been passed on to the next generation, and most likely when those boys I saw there grow up they will teach it to their kids the same way. Hunters should know better, but they drop pop cans/bottles and candy wrappers. Horsefolks always seem to be able to pack in more than they can pack out, and occasional hikers are either lazy or haven't learned yet. Bean cans don't burn. Candy wrappers don't dissolve. And glass should never, ever enter the woods -- ever. ....

I think I know exactly what you're talking about (I've seen those half-buried walmart flannel insulated shirts, shoes, and all the rest of that litter before, and even tried futilely to clean up some campsites once), although I don't think Rednecks really can be excused for doing that sort of thing. Contrary to how you are painting your picture, Rednecks are just as capable of independent thought as the rest of us and should be able to figure out that littering is wrong. They're not really a different species that's unable to see the world from any perspective other than as a place to throw their garbage...

Dirtygaiters
11-02-2008, 15:08
Personally, though, I think equestrians are more to blame than the Rednecks. At least from what I've seen, if somebody is too lazy to walk into a campsite on their own feet, they're probably too lazy to do a decent job at cleaning up their campsite, or pack out all of the gear and food that they packed in, or throw their garbage into a garbage bag rather than just dropping it at their feet. I could be wrong about that.

emerald
11-03-2008, 15:16
In the areas that I frequent the most it is usually the occasional hiker, redneck, hunter, and horsepeople that leave the most debris and destruction. The only one in that group that could be excused for leaving a mess is the redneck.

No excuses! Everyone is responsible for his or her own behavior.


At least from what I've seen, if somebody is too lazy to walk into a campsite on their own feet, they're probably too lazy to do a decent job at cleaning up their campsite, or pack out all of the gear and food that they packed in, or throw their garbage into a garbage bag rather than just dropping it at their feet. I could be wrong about that.

Just a hunch -- you are wrong.:eek: Because equestrians prefer to ride that doesn't make them too lazy to walk. Caring for horses involves quite a bit of work and where they are riding legally they have every bit as much a right to be there as you.


Too much us and them and attempting to lay blame at the feet of others in these LNT threads. Why not discuss what you can do or how the principles should be applied when it's not clear how to proceed?

How can you get those who do not do their part to take more of an interest since all outdoorsmen and women share responsibility for the future we collectively create?

smokymtnsteve
11-03-2008, 17:37
horse riders bring in more stuff, garbage and horse ****, which includes invasive weed seeds,,so yes horse folks do make a mess.

emerald
11-03-2008, 17:41
So whatcha gunna do about it?

smokymtnsteve
11-03-2008, 17:45
So whatcha gunna do about it?

well last winter we feed a horse to the dog team.

Darwin again
11-03-2008, 17:53
LNT, aka PNF (pay no fees)

emerald
11-03-2008, 18:42
well last winter we feed a horse to the dog team.

A man of action!

NICKTHEGREEK
11-03-2008, 18:54
Personally, though, I think equestrians are more to blame than the Rednecks. At least from what I've seen, if somebody is too lazy to walk into a campsite on their own feet, they're probably too lazy to do a decent job at cleaning up their campsite, or pack out all of the gear and food that they packed in, or throw their garbage into a garbage bag rather than just dropping it at their feet. I could be wrong about that.
I'd have to think may be. Horses are pretty high maintenance and by no means cheap to get or keep. Seems to me the weak minded and lazy just aren't generally well off enough to be members of the horsie set.

smokymtnsteve
11-03-2008, 18:59
horses make good dog food.

why do horse folkies think it is OK to leave horse **** laying in the trail?

Tin Man
11-03-2008, 22:10
horses make good dog food.

why do horse folkies think it is OK to leave horse **** laying in the trail?

on bridle paths or designated trail where horses are permitted, it's kind of expected, no?

berninbush
11-03-2008, 22:18
Not really possible, when trail riding, to stop the whole line each time one horse poops, scoop it up, dump it elsewhere or (eww) pack it, and re-mount (miles from any mounting block). Poop is just a reality of life on a multi-use trail.

Dirtygaiters
11-04-2008, 16:56
Just a hunch -- you are wrong.:eek: Because equestrians prefer to ride that doesn't make them too lazy to walk. Caring for horses involves quite a bit of work and where they are riding legally they have every bit as much a right to be there as you.


Just a hunch, but why is it that every horse campsite I've ever seen has been completely trashed. Ditto for horse trails. Droppings all over the place, the trails themselves are mud highways, and yes there tends to be more garbage than on hiking trails that don't get a lot of horse traffic.

emerald
11-04-2008, 19:55
I don't understand your passion for calling your observations to our attention. Although I can think of some who post here who appreciate horses and enjoy riding them on trails, you are not reaching the audience you need to reach unless you are intending to foment hatred toward equestrians among hikers.

Why don't you simply hike elsewhere, join an equestrian organization and attempt to educate them or help to organize clean-ups of those areas about which you care most deeply?

By the way, I won't be posting any more on the topic of horse manure and equestrians not picking up after themselves or policing their ranks, since the issue has little impact upon me. Save for a few locations, horses are not permitted on the AT.

Those who care about the issue you've raised should organize themselves and do something rather than rant about other groups of outdoorsmen and women on hiking forums.

Maybe you could provide some useful information which would benefit hikers and help us police our own ranks since, given what I've read in this thread, we have not yet attained perfection ourselves.

SOG

Pedaling Fool
11-05-2008, 08:02
LNT is a joke http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=40479

Dirtygaiters
11-05-2008, 12:36
I don't understand your passion for calling your observations to our attention. Although I can think of some who post here who appreciate horses and enjoy riding them on trails, you are not reaching the audience you need to reach unless you are intending to foment hatred toward equestrians among hikers.

Why don't you simply hike elsewhere, join an equestrian organization and attempt to educate them or help to organize clean-ups of those areas about which you care most deeply?

By the way, I won't be posting any more on the topic of horse manure and equestrians not picking up after themselves or policing their ranks, since the issue has little impact upon me. Save for a few locations, horses are not permitted on the AT.

Those who care about the issue you've raised should organize themselves and do something rather than rant about other groups of outdoorsmen and women on hiking forums.

Maybe you could provide some useful information which would benefit hikers and help us police our own ranks since, given what I've read in this thread, we have not yet attained perfection ourselves.

SOG

It's not like I'm organizing a protest rally. "Calling my opinions to your attention" takes me 1 minute. It's the same as what you and I do in every other post, just here you think you have more of a right to state your opinion than I have to state mine. What I don't understand is why you care so much about my opinions if they have no relevancy to you.

emerald
11-05-2008, 13:50
It's not like I'm organizing a protest rally. "Calling my opinions to your attention" takes me 1 minute. It's the same as what you and I do in every other post, just here you think you have more of a right to state your opinion than I have to state mine. What I don't understand is why you care so much about my opinions if they have no relevancy to you.

A protest rally at MCNP or a petition to its supervisor might be constructive. There is relevancy to me in that your crusade is a distraction. I'm suggesting you're off-topic.

Dirtygaiters
11-05-2008, 15:19
So sue me.

smokymtnsteve
11-05-2008, 16:50
So sue me.


yes contact THE WEASEL!

Bare Bear
11-07-2008, 01:30
That orange thingie is for poop????
I thought it was a big spoon for when you are really hungry!

Monkeyboy
11-08-2008, 23:56
That orange thingie is for poop????
I thought it was a big spoon for when you are really hungry!


It's really great with chocolate pudding.........

Wise Old Owl
11-09-2008, 01:56
Save for a few locations, horses are not permitted on the AT.


SOG

SOG - you peaked my curiosity - where are they allowed or not any info would be appreciated. back in the day the connecting Horseshoe Trail (Phila - to AT) was just that a Horse trail. - Guess we will have to start a new thread.

Mark