We started Just Trails to show people the amazing places they can go and visit. And to make it as easy as possible for anyone to visit those places. But I feel compelled to say something about not ruining the scenery and history while exploring.
As a general rule, people should take only pictures and leave only foot prints. (I think I got that from the Leave No Trace website but I couldn’t find it when I went back to look) Speaking of leave no trace; for backpacking and camping, those principles are a no brainer and can be found on their website.
Think about it. You don’t really wan’t to know how many people your girlfriend slept with before you. It’s the exact same thing for your quiet secluded campsite. You want to believe you are the first human being to ever see that particular place and so is the person who comes after you.
But the thing that bothers me so much more than poor camping etiquette is when I find what would be an awesome old historic site in the middle of nowhere and it’s been wrecked. And not the kind of wrecked that winters above 10,000 feet will do, the kind that people do.
The excitement of visiting these places has a lot to do with imagining how the people lived and learning about their triumphs and struggles by studying and reflecting on what’s left behind. But if everything has been taken, or scrawled with graffiti, I can’t do that. I feel cheated and I want to get revenge on some selfish stranger who I will never meet.
By the way, damaging or removing anything from a historic site is against the law.
We aren’t going to stop sharing really cool places. We just expect that if you visit them you will leave everything like you found it, just like we did, because we can’t share it after its gone.
Also instead of getting all preachy I think I’ll just start putting pictures of lazy, careless, and selfish outdoor behavior on a facebook album and vent there.