When I go camping it is supposed to be about me and the outdoors and the last thing I want to be doing is taking care of someone else’s responsibility. But it seems that is happening more and more each trip into the backcountry. I just plan on doing it each trip now and call it “Doing The Right Thing”.
The family and I met up with some friends for a camping weekend. After we do the camp setup, my daughter and I went for a ride on the ATV. About a mile down the trail was a SUV in the middle of the trail maneuvering to back into a camping spot.
It was a young couple and after the guy got the SUV positioned the way he wanted he got out and apologized for blocking the trail. He mentioned that they camp up in this area a lot and usually camp at a spot further on down the trail but it was occupied.
I said it was a shame that someone left this spot with so much trash as there were beer cans in the fire pit and some other trash scattered around the campsite. He replied that was how most of the sites looked in the area and that he was used to it. I told him my opinion of people that leave their trash behind and he chuckled. We said our goodbyes and went on down the trail.
We past another occupied campsite further on down the trail and I did not see any trash lying about. We did stop a couple of times during the ride to pickup some trash on the trail. It is nice with the Polaris X2 to have the pickup bed in back to put any trash you find.
The next morning after breakfast I saw the young couple in the SUV leaving the area. They waved as they drove by and I waved back. Shortly afterward my daughter and I went for another ride on the ATV.
As we approached the campsite where the young couple were camping I began to get very irritated.
They not only did not pickup any trash but left even more trash plus a trash bag partially filled hanging from a tree. Why? What the hell is wrong with these people? As we stopped by the campsite my daughter, 11 years old, said “look at the mess those people left Dad”. Wanting to shout some explicit terms for the way I felt, I refrained.
We took the trash bag off of the tree and filled it with the rest of the trash from around the campsite. Between the two of us it took us a whole five minutes to pick up the trash. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, I am seeing it more and more. The people that do this kind of thing are the low-life armpits of society today.
I am trying to raise my kids to recognize the value of nature and the outdoors. Picking up trash left by others is just doing the right thing in order to maintain the outdoors we enjoy so much. It’s unfortunate that these people, who were driving a $50,000 SUV, go on in life as corporate scumbags or politicians always expecting others to clean up their messes.
I am an outdoor enthusiast and I will continue to pickup after others in order to enjoy my recreation. I encourage others that doing the right thing is the only way for our next generation to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Leave your campsite better than you found it. For those that don’t understand this concept see the image to the right and get in line!
This article originally appeared on CampingATV.com and is republished with permission.