WARNING, this post is a bit of a rant. This is a result of coming across the same problems over and over and I'm baffled by the lack of people's common sense and courtesy. This is a short list of things NOT TO DO while out enjoying the outdoors. Be this in a vehicle, any OHV (off- Highway Vehicle) or side by side or other ATVs, bikes, biking, hiking and camping.
(I know that most people reading this won't be the ones I'm addressing this to. But if you do any of this, please learn from it and adapt your behaviour).
1 - Beer cans. Top of the list is the most obvious, the one thing we always come across. Beer cans! If you can carry your beers out to the trails, why can't you take them back after you're done? Is it too hard for you? Too much work? Or are you just a human waste of space, being so ignorant that you see nothing wrong with this? Are you that much of a simpleton? First problem with this is that you are clearly drinking and driving and the second is you're littering! Both of these things are illegal, and if we catch you you will be FILMED and PHOTOGRAPHED and we will submit the evidence to the authorities. If you can't collect your weak ass BUD LIGHT and MOOSE LIGHT after you are finished, then keep your lazy useless ass at home! Man up, take your garbage home and dispose of it properly! I'm tired of cleaning up after all you simpletons!
2 - Poop. If you spend more than a day out on the trails or camping, chances of having to "use the bathroom" increase dramatically and you have most likely had to do the business in the woods like the bears. Only difference is, you are NOT a bear and human shit is disgusting! Oh and in case you didn't know, dogs like to eat human shit! Go ahead, throw up in your mouth, it is fucking disgusting! Maybe you were thinking that it decomposes, so it's not a problem. Well yes it will decompose, but you can help that process along and do it the right way. This is the MAIN reason people carry shovels, although some think it's for recovery purposes, which can be the case, but is usually not required, others think they are roof rack ornaments. The main use of a shovel is to dig a hole, at least 6 inches (15-20 cm) deep, or more if you are so inclined. But in that top layer of the soil is where all the organism live that will take care of the decomposition process in a timely manner. Cover it all up after you are done so that no dog will eat it and nobody will accidentally step into it and nature can take care of it. Leave no sign of your business!
3 - Fire wood. I alluded to this in Episode 2 of the N-S traverse series, but just to iterate and educate people on this. This isn't something I'm frustrated about like the other 2, so there is no swearing or cursing people in this paragraph; sorry to disappoint. Wood has tiny micro-organisms and bugs living on it and can also carry plant seeds. Often these bugs are breaking down the decomposing wood. But these organisms and bugs aren't the same everywhere. To avoid spreading pests from region to region and risk moving a species of bugs from their native habitat to a new area, you can risk spreading a potentially invasive species or pests, that can have devastating effects on the environment
. Not to mention, movement of firewood outside of its local area is prohibited without a permit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (CFIA).
4 - Garbage in general. Pack it in, pack it out, simple as that! And while you're at it, clean up anything else that might be laying around. This is gaining traction lately and to all of you that do this, I thank you!
5 - Stay the trail. Don't diverge off the designated trail or go driving off on the edges to make new tracks or go play on a rock or whatever might draw your attention off the trail. If you can't make it over an obstacle, and your winch or recovery aids aren't getting the job done, consider turning around before cutting down trees all around to bypass. This should only be a last resort if turning around isn't an option.
Thank you for reading, please keep others in mind as you use our lands, be respectful, give respect, get respect, leave it better than you found and tread lightly. And always pack a shovel!
PS - buy a GARB (Garbage and Recycling Bag) it will make your life easier with some of these things.