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Agree and disagree. I'm not a fan of the LNT mentality. Nature doesn't work that way. A deer eats a leaf, it leaves a trace. A leopard takes a stroll, it leaves spoor. Leaving a trace is not the problem, leaving an unsustainable trace is. Camping over a previous camping spot lacks awareness, littering is an obvious no no. But what if I want to find a new route, is that against the rules? One of the things I love about being in nature is I dont have to listen to somebody tell me what to do, I just interact. Who is going to curate LNT? It's not always black and white. But other than that you make some great points :)
Agent Smith's response best captures what was bothering me about this article. While most of the examples given by the author Emily Noyd of "bad behavior" by humans I 100% agree with (and I also really liked her comments about the product placement Instagraming problem/phenomenon), it is indeed possible to get carried away with the author's idea of what LNT MUST mean. I was particularly bemused at the don't-you-dare-lie-down-and-sleep-in-a-meadow; or even on GRASS! Really, in the wild??? Can I step on some? Pretty please.
And can we get those animals to stop doing it? You know, those pesky bears, moose, elk, etc. all of whom weigh way more then moi?
Seems to me, animals do NOT trump humans in the primitive aspects of life. I'm not talking about parking a Class C RV in an Alpine Meadow... but rather backpacking into remote areas. Animals get to burrow, nest, chomp on trees, etc. And they have been doing so long after humans moved out of the woods and into cities. Sarcasm alert: My how do these wild places survive such onslaughts???
Maybe LNT extremists need to preach like this because too many folks have zero common sense or zero concern for nature? So much so, that preaching nonsense like I MUST bed on rock and/or dirt... ONLY... and the animals can bed in a comfy nest by "destroying" all those things we mere humans are forbidden to... is the only way to get some modified behavior out of the worst offenders???
I certainly advocate for Agent Smith's rule of not "camping over a previous spot." But even there... with discernment! That's NOT 100% always true or even necessary.
Most people think of LNT as a carry in, carry out rule... maybe even burying your poo! Making habitats, foundations, fire rings... cutting branches, brush... the list of "absolute" do's and dont's can be very long and are often actually conditional - requiring judgment.
In my experience, getting people to just 100% obey a Leave No TRASH rule would indeed be a major victory.
The difference is that for animals "destroying" the meadows ect is that this is their natural habitat. The wildlife population is natural and less than the human population. The number of humans exploring this area is simply too many to go into these areas.. off trail without killing off these areas. We are guests so to speak.. and should not trample the sensitive areas. As far as poop... while it seems natural.. one need only to travel a trail infested with human poop to know it should be disposed of properly so as to preserve the beauty of these trails for others.
I don't think it's that you couldn't explore a new route as much as it is when doing so, make sure you aren't crushing any small growth when you could be sleeping in an area that is just needles and dirt.
Agree with every word. Unfortunately, those who really NEED to click on a title like this probably never will. Those that do likely already know. Maybe they should put a Pokemon-thingy over a sheer drop and let them sort it out Darwin-style as they chase it over the edge. Sorry, just kidding. Kind of.
Holy Crap THANK YOU! I admit my addiction to Instagram. I think it is fantastic and a great self and company marketing tool, but seriously sometime it goes to far. I am doing my best to make sure what I like isn't violating the leave no trace rules. This is a perfect article.
Amen! Everyone has their own motivations for getting outside (often a number of them) and if social media likes are your primary reason I guess that's OK (though I can't help but feel it's shallow).
But please heed the warnings in this article, don't forget to check your surroundings a realize if you're collecting likes by the hundreds, you're setting an example -- so set a good one.
Very moving article. Lots of commenters agree that something needs to be done. Let’s do something! This is the age of crowd sourcing and viral trends. Change starts with those who believe in it. I propose that those people who choose to be so bold, comment on those photos with #pleaseLNT and/or #enjoyNatureResponsiblyLNT, to remind Instagrammers that natural places are beautiful because they are natural, and respect for them will keep them that way. Maybe it will catch on! Maybe this hashtag will reach thousands. If it does, maybe it will get Instagram’s attention and we can ask for application features that discourage compromising nature to achieve a popular pic. After all, a popular image and social media platform [https://www.instagram.com/k...] shows that the CEO is quite the nature lover.
Be the change!
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I instantly knew which photo/company you were talking about... For sure one of the downfalls of social media, people see something and think they can just set up camp where ever they want...