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#95513 - 05/01/08 09:40 PM Selfish hikers.
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I don't mean to get on my soapbox, but there is something I need to vent out and am curious of your opinions. The area I like to backpack and dayhike is a popular area for hikers and campers. A few weeks ago I was at an outfitter getting some small odds and ends and had an interesting conversation with some of the stores staff. I told the staff where I was going and heard "horror stories" of redneck's locals robbing backpackers, a couple getting raped and killed, and other various stories. The amusing aspect of these stories, is that I heard of almost all of these stories 15 years ago when I first started hiking. But these stories only happened "a couple years ago."

One of the map books I have read about marked and unmarked trails in the area I hike has a Forward in the book explaining where the author admitted he used to tell other hikers "horror stories". He did this so hikers wouldn't hike where they were going to hike with the reason that too many hikers were "demaging the earth". He admitted his actions were wrong, and instead informed people how to take care of the area you hike in.

Selfishness masked by "environmental concern". (whether the concern is valid or not.)

Of course it is important to leave no trace, to carry out your trash, and generally care for the area you visit. After I read this, one of the guys I know who works there stated that some of the employees say that because they get tired carrying out trash when they hike, and figure the less hikers the less trash and destruction. Funny that these employees are trying to scare customers that are buying expensive gear where some of the profit goes to paying them.

It's not your trail, not your mountain, not your stream. We all have the right to be hiking. A trail is not "yours" unless the land has your name on the deed. If you are concerned about the area you love to hike, inform and educate others. That whole I deserve to hike here, not you crap is a joke.

The boogyman will get you...lol.


Tom


Edited by 12Step (05/01/08 09:42 PM)
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

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#95514 - 05/01/08 10:21 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: 12Step]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Jimshaw and i will be hiking the Oregon coast this week and it's our LAST resort. Mt. Hood has become an active volcano, Crater Lake has actually sprung a leak and gone dry and the coast is the lesser of these evils. Oregon has become more like downtown N.Y. city in recent years, what with all the expat Californians' moving up here (no offence, Jim!). We figure that we only have to deal with drug addled hippies from Eugene or, at the worst, a "deliverance moment" from some of the out of work salmon fishermen. Acceptable risks in my book. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Stay away from Oregon, what ever you do!

BF
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#95515 - 05/02/08 05:57 AM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: bigfoot2]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

And for god's sake don't come north - we camp in igloos and hike by dogsled in august, and the bears eat 1 out of every 3 tourist <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

But seriously, I agree with the sentiment of the OP completely, However as some of you may know while I do prefer solo trips, I think it's my responsability to ensure newbies can get out and exposed to my way of doing things where i do it - keeping things "secret" just means nobody will stand up with me when the mining, oil, logging, ski resort, etc. lobby wants to take over.
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#95516 - 05/02/08 05:57 AM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: bigfoot2]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Some people are responsible, but most are just there to use the area. Our last trip to the buffalo river was an eye opener. First we tried to follow the LNT mindset and camp at least 200 or so feet from streams, pack out trash etc. We passed up by the stream sites with established fire rings (native rocks) to try to be more stealthy. As soon as we set up our camp in the woods, three young hikers set up camp at the site we passed up. They passed by us to gather wood (breaking tree branches) to build a roring fire. We heard them breaking wood constanly. We tried to fish and the 20 somethings that were coming down the river in conoes totally ran us out of the place. I hate to resign to the fact that that is how it is and will continue to LNT and try to find areas that I can briefly visit and enjoy. Where are the rangers etc? I'm not the cops, but they need to enforce some of the rules.
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#95517 - 05/02/08 06:24 AM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: chaz]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Even though it appears that there are a lot more younger hikers out there, I think their behavior makes it seem as though there are twice as many as there actually are. By this I mean the kind of activities you noted together with much yelling, boom box playing, frizbee flinging, and general drunken debauchery. Fortunately, these sorts tend to be concentrated in the first 3-4 trail miles from the parking and are thin on the ground beyond that. Kind of reminds me of the way it was when the baby-boomers first took to the woods after having invented backpacking.<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Not much has changed in the past 40 years on that score.

The one thing I have noticed is that, overall, back-country use seems to be less now than it was ten to fifteen years ago. A lot of the lesser-used trails seem to be growing over again and a lot of established campsites are reverting back to nature. I suspect that there are many older, former backpackers who have switched to golf and the younger, generations generally have more interest in computer gaming than in the outdoors, or at least the non-gasoline powered part of the outdoors.

We definitely do not want our numbers reduced too far as pleasant as it may be while on the trail. We need a critical lobbying mass to resist the developers, loggers, miners, oil explorers and ORV crowd.


Edited by Pika (05/02/08 08:22 AM)
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#95518 - 05/02/08 12:14 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: chaz]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I wrote about a collection of experiences I had on the Buffalo River several years ago called "Saving the Endangered Buffalo River Boneheads". It was kind of harsh so I took it off my website. I've mentioned some problems I've had there on these boards a few times too and if you talk to the canoe outfitters there they'll tell you some horror stories as well.

One key to enjoying the Buffalo River is to go during the work week and never, ever, go on holiday weekends. Leave on Sunday afternoon, get off before Friday afternoon. Another is to hike the forests there from mid-october to mid-april and stay out of the forest otherwise.

Whenever I break those rules I end up spending my trip saving Buffalo River boneheads instead of enjoying my time there, or scratching a zillion tick and chigger bites when I get home.

Bill

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#95519 - 05/02/08 12:54 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: chaz]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
Where are the rangers?

Apart from the fact that rangers have always had large areas of backcountry to cover, the mania for cutting taxes has left all areas of park and forest management badly, badly understaffed.

Apparently the only way to have enough rangers is to pay for them. What a concept! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

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#95520 - 05/02/08 03:13 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: 12Step]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Well since "going green" is popular now, perhaps the younger crowd will be more concerned about the environment their hiking in. From what I see there are 5 basic types of visitors that visit the Gorge area I hike in.

1) The backpackers/day hikers, canoe/kayakers.

2) Sight seers

3) Professors, scientists

4) Fly fisherman/hunters (turkey hunting right now)

5) The partiers


The partiers are usually the worst. They usually bring many coolers loaded with beer that end up being tossed off cliffs. They usually have and are doing some kind of drug. They also carve into the sandstone, and are the ones that end up getting themselves killed from falling off the cliffs.

Not all people that are there on weekends to party are bad. Some of them actually carry out there trash, bring there own firewood, and use existing pits in the "car side camping" areas.

They better be careful though. Rumor has it that the local sasquatch broke into a ranger station and stole a rangers AR-15.

Bigfoot's goin postal. Stay away!


Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

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#95521 - 05/02/08 04:51 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: 12Step]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
I have done the same by using bear stories and snake stories. So what if I lie? I hate crowds. I never gave away the REAL location of my favorite fishing hole either.

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#95522 - 05/02/08 05:46 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: Pika]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Baby Bommers invented backpacking? I think Otzie the Iceman would beg to differ! Yeah...and Al Gore invented the World Wide Web!

http://www.smm.org/buzz/blog/the_toughest_iceman_ever

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#95523 - 05/02/08 07:14 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: bigfoot2]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Naw, they didn't, some of them just seem to think they did. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#95524 - 05/02/08 08:17 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: bigfoot2]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
Well, to some extent they re-invented backpacking, but it's hard to say exactly whether they actually improved it in doing so, or just changed it superficially.

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#95525 - 05/03/08 01:33 AM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
My first backpacking trip was in 1941, long before the baby-boomer generation was a gleam in their parents' eyes.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#95526 - 05/03/08 11:10 AM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: OregonMouse]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
Yup. It's pretty hard to reinvent the wheel until there is a wheel to reinvent. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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#95527 - 05/03/08 06:40 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: 12Step]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
They also carve into the sandstone, and are the ones that end up getting themselves killed from falling off the cliffs.


Sounds like the solution is to have more parties by cliffs. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Of course, Big Foot with an AR-15 is a good one as well. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#95528 - 05/03/08 09:25 PM Re: Selfish hikers. [Re: finallyME]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Hey....i resemble that remark! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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