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7973Re: packers, impact etc

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  • John
    Mar 5, 2010
      Yep, impacts are impacts and the more we can reduce ours the better we leave the place. And since many of you have children, perhaps you would like to leave the place in as good or better shape for them. In 35 years of working in the backcountry I've yet to find anyone TOO concerned about leaving impact.

      There used to be a saying in backpacking; "watch the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves". In some ways this can also be applied to minimum impact.

      During my patrols I have seen first hand the result from people sitting on a log, rock, tent etc. with heavy soled boots, unwittingly grinding their heels into plants and soil. Watch this day after day, week after week summer after summer and the impacts become quite apparent (and measurable), especially in and around camp.

      I'm not saying everyone needs to go out and buy camp shoes, or hike in running shoes, I'm merely stating the facts.

      All of the above has nothing to do with horses, dogs, bikes, motorcycles; it has to do with us, hikers.

      If we want to talk about horses we can do that, but I don't think there are many people on this forum using them.

      Lastly, yes, we are all hypocrites, the only species on earth that are.

      Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:
      > On 3/4/2010 10:26 PM, John wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > >
      > > > I find it ironic that people here are concerned about wearing rigid
      > > > boots in camp, when on the next day a group of 10 horses and pack
      > > > animals can make camp in the same area, giving camp erosion a whole new
      > > > meaning.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Chances are, if you are smart, you won't be camping in a "horse" camp.
      > > Therefore in a hikers camp, the impacts are all ours.
      > >
      > so it is ok for horses to tear up another area? this makes no sense to
      > me. Impact is impact.
      > >
      > > Just because pack trains cause more damage than hikers do, isn't a
      > > valid reason not to care about our impact.
      > >
      > agreed, but I don't see how the type of my footwear will make any
      > measurable difference anywhere, while cutting back on stock will
      > dramatically change trail erosion and get rid of those ridiculous stock
      > gates on the trail. Also, if everyone was so concerned about their own
      > impact to go as far as to pick footwear based on soil erosion potential,
      > we should all just stay home - nothing better for the wilderness than
      > your complete absence. But then we are selfish and want to be there, and
      > that comes with impact. We accept that, and don't deal with that very
      > basic initial choice we make. Once we arrive at that point, we suddenly
      > care and make these band-aid fixes to feel like we are doing all we can.
      > We are such hypocrites :-)
      > Peter
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