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[pct-l] LNT 7- PiiPio

Hello All -

Finally...we get to one of the most intuitively obvious principles of all:

                  Pack It In, Pack It Out

I am going to start out with a flat statement and, for the sake of brevity,
I am not going to spend much time supporting it.  I have been involved
(listened to, started, participated in, got mad and walked out of, learned
from, etc.) a LOT of debate surrounding this statement...and it has always
held up in the long run.  Let's see how it does on this list.  The
statement goes as follows:


  There is nothing...absolutely nothing...that we can bring
    into the backcountry that is good for the backcountry.
 Everything...absolutely everything...always somehow winds up
  violating Aldo Leopold's credo ("LNT 4- How?") in some way.



Hooboy...how's that for letting you know where I stand <g>.  It certainly
makes our choices obvious...if you bring it in, you either remove it or you
WILL do damage to the backcountry.

Remember the context...nothing we do is unique...whatever we do has
probably been done MANY times in the past and will most likely be done MANY
times in the future.  We are not talking about me bringing in and leaving
one teabag here...we are talking about me, and you, and you, and you (and
on and on...) each leaving a teabag (or two...or ten).  How many orphan
teabags does it take for it to become obvious (to even the most obtuse of
us <g>) that all these teabags ARE somehow damaging the ecosystem they were
dumped in?

And...teabags are one of the nicer things that get left behind <g>.

I like to tell my Scouts:

If we are big enough, strong enough, tough enough, and had room enough to
pack it in...then we dadgum sure are big enough, strong enough, tough
enough, and have room enough to pack it back out!

It didn't take the kids long to add "and dumb enough" to the left side of
the above equation <VBG>.  We do a LOT of planning in an effort to keep
that particular brand of dumbness down to reasonable levels.  If "Pack It
In, Pack It Out" doesn't do anything else for us, it certainly rubs our
noses in the useless stuff that we don't need to be hauling around in the
first place <g>.

If we try to burn it, the fire itself becomes a significant ecological
problem (more on this later).  If we try to bury it, a shallow hole is
quickly dug up by critters and a big deep hole becomes a significant
ecological problem itself. If we toss it into the water, we wind up
polluting our water supply (happens a lot faster than on land!).  If we try
to scatter trash (pollution by dilution!), the downside is obvious.  If we
try to scatter garbage, we either wind up with a lot of chunks of stinking
rotten garbage in the woods or we disrupt the local critters feeding
patterns (doing them no favors...they become habituated to coming to humans
for food, resulting in critters that can't forage for themselves when
humans leave and/or nuisance-critters that too often have to be trapped or
killed by the managing agency folks <f>).

There ARE some things that are really obnoxious to pack back out (human
waste, dish/bath water, dead horse, etc.).  There ARE some ways to at least
help minimize the damage caused by leaving them behind (see the next
message <g>).

But...let there be no doubt...we WILL be doing damage if we don't pack
everything, including even this most obnoxious stuff, out to the more
robust disposal facilities we have at home!

The next message covers the LNT principle: "Properly Dispose of What You
Can't Pack Out"

Meet you at "LNT 8- Wimp-out!

- Charlie II  AT (MEGA'93)
             PCT (Mex@Can'95)

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