Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vandalism in the Wilderness

Recently, a friend tweeted a picture to me while we were chirping about a totally different topic, chirping about our backpacks. On the photo, her backpack was leaning on a sign that states the wilderness place they were exploring at the time the photo was taken, the Golden Trout Wilderness. I can't post the picture on here since I do not own that photo, but I was able to dig up mine  from a different place, the San Gorgonio Wilderness, on our way up to it's namesake's peak. It's a little bit better than the sign that I saw on my friend's tweet, some of the letters on that sign have already been scraped out.

I get sad with vandalism period. And I get even deeply saddened when I see vandalism in the wilderness, a place where I, as like many others, deem this place as an escape from the hubbub of the city. Seeing these vandalism, I do not want to be reminded of what I'm temporarily leaving behind. I can wield my cellphone for that!

I think I've been lately shrouded with this curtain of knowledge that everyone who ventures to enjoy the wilderness has the same love for it as I do. Can respect it and have the need to leave it as natural as we can possibly can for the next onslaught of hikers who'll want to enjoy the same space that we just did. And learn the basic Leave No Trace principles.

I can still hear the voice of my mother when we were just kids; "Leave everything as you found them!".. and "Put back what you took out!" and of course "Close what you opened!". I'm just now realizing that even my mom, who was born and raised in the rural area though not outdoorsy, have always been teaching us the LNT principles, even before the educational program even started. If you really think about it, the LNT principles does not even have to only apply to the outdoors, it is quite applicable in everyday life, too.

So what are the Leave No Trace Principles?

There are 7 Leave No Trace Principles:
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surface
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors
If the enumeration or outlining seems a bit too much or it may seem to "textbook-y" , this quote is easier to go by, and my personal favorite.

"Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints"

For a more extensive read on the 7 principles click here or visit the Leave No Trace website at www.lnt.org