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Carrying things out of the backcountry?

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Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby maverick » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:57 pm

What is the biggest, or craziest thing that you have ever carried out from the backcountry
that someone left, or discarded?
Though nothing crazy, but it was bulky, and awkward to carry, I carried someone's ice
chest from Middle Paradise Valley once.



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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby dave54 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:49 pm

Back in my helicopter crew days in the Forest Service we were called upon many times to pull something out of the backcountry.

Trash and equipment from marijuana gardens many times. A dead horse. A stepladder. Many elaborate campsites with tables, BBQs, tables, chairs, etc (seasonal camps that expanded over the years).

The stepladder is a puzzler. It was in the middle of a brushfield in the Wilderness. No trail within a mile, and 3 miles straight line to the trailhead. We laughed at the wild speculations on how it got there.

Another crew found a fighter jet canopy. It came off in flight from a military jet several years before.

My favorite is a helium balloon with a letter inside. A school class in Eureka, CA sent it up with a request to send the letter back with a date and location where found. We did. :)
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby maverick » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:26 pm

Dave54 wrote "My favorite is a helium balloon with a letter inside. A school class in
Eureka, CA sent it up with a request to send the letter back with a date and location
where found. We did." that is pretty cool Dave.
The stepladder in the middle of no where is pretty weird.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby paul » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:18 pm

I once came across a well-used hunters camp with a huge pile of old rusty tin cans. We were only a mile or two from the trailhead, so we decided to carry out as much as we could. I took one of those old square five-gallon cans that had the top off, and filled it full of cans that I squashed flat. Strapped it to the back of my pack, and then found I couldn't lift it onto my back. So we propped it up on a rock, I slithered into the shoulder straps and stood up (just barely). I'm sure that was the heaviest load I ever carried on a trail, but I don't know how heavy it actually was. Oh - and with three of us carrying as much as we could, we barely made a dent in the pile!
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby dave54 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:52 pm

"... huge pile of old rusty tin cans..."

Reminds me of a humorous anecdote.

The Forest Service archaeologist had a clause written into the timber sale contract requiring no felling, skidding, any machinery, or any disturbance whatsoever in certain delineated areas -- old dump piles of trash. The loggers were upset at the ridiculous restriction, and grumbled about another goddam 'ologist' costing them money and making life hard, just to save some old trash piles.

Then she explained why she had the clause inserted. She was doing her masters thesis on life in the old logging camps, from when the loggers lived in the woods all summer in company camps. Those old dumps were the remnants of those camps, and a careful examination of the layers in the dumps would help her reconstruct the daily lives of those early loggers.

As if someone threw a switch, the loggers now became the biggest defenders of those old dumps, even expanding the protected areas and berating anyone who even accidently walked across the area. They threw flagging around every piece of trash they saw in the woods, whether it was part of the original list or not. "No, that is just a pile of campers trash not even 5 years old".

She eventually finished her research, submitted her thesis and was awarded her Master's. The loggers who at first grumbled and complained now were asking for a copy of her thesis so they could read about those logging camps. After all, some their fathers and grandfathers worked in those camps. It was relevant and personal now.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:45 pm

Not sure if this is related- but I've carried out mountains of stuff/trash in the area between Hwys 4 and 108, places not often visited by people on HST I'm guessing. What I wanted to say was that it seemed to be clearly related to the advent of the back country use of motorcycles, before those were banned on many of the back country trails. I recall finding big semi-permanent camps, that looked to be used mostly in hunting season that had big trash heaps: old dacron sleeping bags all rotten and strewn about, garbage, pots, pans, and lots of empty bottles, cans in heaps, gutted carcass hides, etc. These were not the camps of the cowboys who worked the cattle- let's be clear on that- (while I disagree with many of the aspects/abuses of grazing, many of the people involved are pretty stand-up in many back country respects).

Once the off-road motorcycles were no longer allowed, the problem melted away it seems. But I can't tell you how many rusty cast iron skillets, sheets of plastic and misc. pounds of crap I've hauled out from the lazy a-holes who left it behind...gggrrrrrr #-o
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby vandman » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:51 am

Back in the '70's my friend and I helped a backcountry ranger in Desolation Wilderness carry out the wreck of a single engine plane. The engine and seats are still there(eastern side of Mt. Price just above Lake Aloha), but we carried out most of the aluminum.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby Cross Country » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:19 am

I've carried out lots of paper and other lightweight trash, but was never willing to carry out any thing heavy (rubber raft for example).
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:27 pm

Wow, vandman! carrying out a plane. nice work.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby Cross Country » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:38 pm

I am disappointed that the rangers wouldn't carry out the plane.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby vandman » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:39 am

Here's a vintage Kodachrome from 1977. That's my friend Mitch holding up pieces of the aircraft. That's me on the right with more hair than I knew what to do with. I have tons of aluminum strapped to my Kelty. I was 18. The ranger was a guy named Mike Artemoff aka Mike Carver. I think he was the first backcountry ranger to patrol Desolation. He lived all year long in a cabin at the old Boy Scout camp on Upper Echo Lake. I have no idea where he is today, but he was a great guy. A hiking machine.
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Re: Carrying things out of the backcountry?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:26 am

Ive never hauled anything out that was that large. Typical litter nad pieces of stuff. I did once carry out a lawn chair from the Little Lakes Valley, but we were day hiking not backpacking.

Vandman, your story is epic :cool: and Im guessing were about the same age, cuz in 1977 I looked alot like you, long hair and all ;) .
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