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Backpacking Greener

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby dave54 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:55 am

I have not made a campfire in years, but is that any 'greener' than burning fossil fuel in a metal stove?

A quality made article of poly clothing with good care will last 20 years. So that footprint may be less than driving a Prius to the trailhead several times per year. The mere act of hiking on a trail impacts soil, watersheds, wildlife, etc. So backpacking itself is not a 'green' activity. Three miles of hiking trail built to current standards is the same as a one acre clearcut (actually, more erosive, since forest practices laws require more erosion control and soil stabilization than trail construction standards).

BTW a human footprint from a typically equipped hiker puts more pressure per square inch on the soil than a D9 tractor. And one study several years ago in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, showed human feces and the corresponding bacteria still identifiable and active after 18 months of proper disposal. Another study in Colorado showed detectable petroleum traces in Wilderness streams from accidental fuel spillage from backpacker stoves. Wildlife behavior impacts are well established in popular wilderness destinations.

I do not hike to be 'green' (I hate that term anyway. It's meaningless and condescending.) I hike because I enjoy it, and I know I am making an impact. I am selfish in that I am willing to make a small and mostly transient impact for my own pleasure.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby overheadx2 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:22 pm

I'm probably hypocritical myself since I buy products from patagonia and REI, but recycling a few water bottles while you purposely move manufacturing to some third world country so that you can take advantage of horrible labor practices and poor environmental regulations doesn't make you green. That's just good PR.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby 87TT » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:43 pm

I have a green tent :D
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby sparky » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:47 am

Mark: :thumbsup:

Humans are a natural part of the earth. We and everything we are has evolved from the physical and spiritual parameters of the planet and the universe. Is it even possible to transcend our connection with mother earth?

I look out upon the universe and see everything in its place, why are we any different? There is plenty of chaos and destruction out there. What if we are meant to pollute, exploit, and war? In the universe destruction brings about change. Who is to say what is good and bad?

Think about how preventing forest fires is bad in the long run, and compare that idea with human civilization on mother earth. Who is to say?
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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