Cleaning up

balzaccom

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As a part of my commitment to do more trail work in the Amador District of the El Dorado National Forest (just South of Tahoe) I spent a day hiking and cleaning up the trail to and from Lake Margaret.

This is a popular trail, partly because it is almost walking distance from the Kirkwood resort...so lots of visitors take advantage. And it's an easy hike. I met one family of five doing the trail with a four year-old, and another backpacking group with four kids all under the age of twelve.

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But there are issues. I cleaned up way too much TP on this trail. For some reason, people seem to think that leaving TP under a rock, or burying it in shallow and light duff isn't going to be a problem.

It is. And it makes the whole scene quite unappealing--especially for those hiking with young kids. There were a couple of campsites here that were disgusting.

Meanwhile, the same kids were probably responsible for the more than 100 cairns I knocked down. There were cairns on the ends of logs that had been cut through for the trail. There were cairns immediately across from each other on both sides of the trail. There were cairns next to cairns next to cairns, and there were cairns built on top of cairns.

I knocked almost all of them down, as per USFS policy.

Still, I had a nice hike, met some lovely people, and left the place better than I found it. All in a good day's work.
 

Jackson

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and another backpacking group with four kids all under the age of twelve.
@WasatchWill would be proud of them!

My friend and I were just talking on our backpacking outing last weekend about toilet paper and human excrement at heavily used camp sites. He thinks there may be a future where at all popular camp sites/areas, there are either backcountry pit toilets (as in some NPs), or you have to use a wag bag. Honestly probably worth it when it's clear there will always be a large number of people who think it's fine to just plop a rock on top of everything and call it good.
 

Bob

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@WasatchWill would be proud of them!

My friend and I were just talking on our backpacking outing last weekend about toilet paper and human excrement at heavily used camp sites. He thinks there may be a future where at all popular camp sites/areas, there are either backcountry pit toilets (as in some NPs), or you have to use a wag bag. Honestly probably worth it when it's clear there will always be a large number of people who think it's fine to just plop a rock on top of everything and call it good.
Better than just leaving the white blossoms blowing in the wind ... Like you see in S Utah and the Winds
 

Jackson

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Better than just leaving the white blossoms blowing in the wind ... Like you see in S Utah and the Winds
At least for the desert, I always wondered how much of that was due to people digging cat holes in loose sand, which subsequently gets washed away or blown away. No excuse for it in the Winds though. I hear Titcomb Basin has quite the poop problem now.
 

balzaccom

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Sep 30, 2014
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The Ten Essentials needs go to eleven, to include a ziplock bag. I am sick of seeing (and now cleaning up) other hikers' TP! Here's a more in-depth rant:

 

balzaccom

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By the way, my last work crew, in the Clavey watershed with the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, showed me that OHV campers are far worse than backpackers. Forget TP--we had diapers and open latrines. We filled in one, and took out the other. You guess which is which.
 
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