Leave no trace?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by fester, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. fester

    fester Paddler

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    I did it again yesterday. I got out of my boat on a rocky islet in the little group, climbed up to the height of land and restored the ecological integrity by dismantling someone's "Inukshuk"

    Why do people feel compelled to scar the landscape with these annoying little piles of rock? :evil:

    High above the treeline they are aids to navigation, waypoints if you will.
    In the tundra they serve to influence the migration of the caribou, and assist inland eskimo travellers on thier way.

    But in the gulf islands or anywhere else for that matter, they are a loathsome eyesore. :wink:
     
  2. glock

    glock Paddler

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    Hey ya poachin in my field!

    Glock :p
     
  3. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I'm with you on this one. I'm not a big fan of the vanity inukshuk.

    I do have to admit however, that I'd rather see an inukshuk than a fire pit scar.

    *****
     
  4. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    LOL!

    [​IMG]

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  5. Doug

    Doug Paddler

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    They sound kind of silly to me too (haven't seen one on a beach). They wouldn't bother me too much though, having grown up hiking all over the rockies and purcells where cairns are in abundance. I suppose the Inukshuk is just a type of cairn which has become popularized because of 2010-you-know-what. In that respect I would say that outdoor enthusiasts in BC having been building them for decades...

    d
     
  6. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Driving your SUV to the put in.
    Taking a dump in Victoria (no sewer treatment)
    fertilizing your lawn.
    etc. etc..

    Those and a LOT of other day to day things we do, scar the landscape.
    A pile of rocks on the beach...
    not so much....

    MHO.


    But hey, whatever turns yer crank :?
    I hope you wash the "product" out of your hair when you practice your rolls.
     
  7. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    hey darren
    which category do i fall under by driving a toyota echo (5liter/100km), buying as much as possible local and organic and also only using biodegradable soap for *everything* and living down town so we can walk everywhere?
    can i build a inukshuk to compensate now? :wink: just kiddin :lol:
     
  8. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Have at er.
    I plan to build a huge one this weekend :twisted:
     
  9. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Don't forget to take a picture. :lol:

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  10. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Hey fester, I'm curious, do you go around when it snows knocking over snowmen? Just wondering. :p

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  11. fester

    fester Paddler

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    The topic is " leave no trace"

    It is entirely appropriate to raise this issue on what is supposed to be a forum on sea kayaking as judging from the frequency and location of these "cairns" they are very likely the work of kayakers. This self serving, inconsiderate behaviour needs to be brought to light

    Creating this "visual polution" is no different leaving an empty beer can or other detritus perched on a prominent feature for all to see. I dismantle these structures for the same reason I collect litter when I paddle. As much out of consideration for those who follow in my wake as for the satisfaction I get from cleansing the visual landscape.

    Lastly,I admit to having an average of three large, satisfying bowel movements in the greater victoria area every two days. Although I try to take the time to chew my food well, there is not much I can do about that or the fact that I drive a car.
     
  12. fester

    fester Paddler

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    Snow men melt and fade away,

    does that answer your question?
     
  13. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Not really. But you knew it wouldn't.

    It's really cool however, watching you on the beginning stages of your crusade against the dreaded stacks of rocks.

    Like I said earlier, I'm with you on this one -- I don't particularly like the way they interfere with the natural surroundings. Only thing is, I think it bugs you a whole lot more than it bothers me.

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  14. fester

    fester Paddler

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    You presume that it bothers me more than it does you. What really bothers me is how a relevant, topical post in this forum, can be so readily hijacked by those with nothing better to do than engage in mindless banter. :wink:

    More importantly it reflects poorly on the paddling community. I believe kayakers are largley responsible, as is evidenced by the locations chosen. They are erected presumably to make the statement "I was here" . Much the same as spray painting a rock or carving into a tree

    I can't imagine anyone enjoys looking at these things any more than any other form of man made intrusion. I'm only hoping to provoke some thought on the part of those who might think that this is an appropriate form of self expression.
     
  15. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I've wondered about this too.

    I truly doubt that kayakers are largely responsible for all the inukshuks that I've seen. But I have no doubt that kayakers might be responsible for some of them. What's really needed is proof. We need pictures. Pictures of people in the act with paddles in hand, constructing inukshuks.

    Now come on, stacking a bunch of rocks is not like carving into a tree -- the permanence (or the damage) is hardly the same. Not even close.

    There are people who actually like looking at buildings. I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true. 8O

    While I'm certain that you've provoked thought, I'm highly doubtful that you'll change the minds of those who like constructing these little obnoxious sculptures.

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  16. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    Is that stack of rocks that bad?

    I thought the mountaineers make it to mark their presence and also to dedicate it to mountain god like a shrine. I read the eskimos made a lot of them to scare elks to chase them to certain direction.
    I might use that to scare some wild life away, bear, craw, deer,...I don't know... they might be whole a lot smarter than 100 years ago.

    Anyway I did not know it bothers some of the people that bad. ( I never built one on the beach thogh, beause I just started kayak) If I make it to utilize it, I will make sure I will knock them down before I leave my camp.

    Setsuko
     
  17. fester

    fester Paddler

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    The examples to which I've referred, mostly in the greater Victoria area area typically located on rocky islets accessable only by small boats. Very likely kayaks.

    It is "leaving your mark"much the same as spray painting or carving a tree. Temporary or permanent they are no less obnoxious for forcing everyone to see it.
     
  18. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    I'm with Fester on this... to a point. Yes, they're obtrusive and unneccessary. But obviously they are not damaging like paint or permanent scars to a tree etc. And I've been with Fester and others while they dismantle these creations. He may not like them but he can't deny that he takes a certain pleasure in their destruction. Am I right? :wink: :p

    Having just gotten back from a week in Clayoquot Sound, I have lots to say about the level of pollution that we, as a race, are inflicting upon the planet that we like to assume was created solely for our enjoyment and destruction. I was pleased to find that there are limited 'traces' of paddlers and campers on most of even the most popular beaches around Vargas and the southern end of Flores Islands - sure, a few fire pits here and there (on the beach so they'll be wiped out after each winter storm). But otherwise, very little trash and permanent damage. It seems to me that kayakers as a whole (and perhaps moreso the kayakers who come to this type of rugged coastal environment) are quite good about being as 'eco-friendly' as possible.

    What does bother me is the amount of plastic that washes up on the beaches. A large portion of it comes in the form of plastic drink bottles (bottled water - you know, evian and the like). I seriously doubt that these are from kayakers - while most of them are locally available products I've collected one or two from across the oceans (Japan and other distant shores). Where are they all coming from!?!

    The rest of it is typical flotsam, mostly from the commercial fishery. Crab trap floats, huge 40-gallon plastic barrel floats, and every type of rope, line, net, crate, and other trash seems to scar the shoreline. On many of these places, including a 4-km long beach I had all to myself, it could be impossible to walk more than about 30 feet without seeing more plastic on the beach. And unless you had a huge powerboat, trying to collect this stuff - even collect it into a pile to burn or something, would be just about impossible. Not that I'm condoning the burning of plastic - the chemical and particulate matter it releases may just be more damaging than the plastic itself.

    I'm not saying the place is a garbage dump - far from it. I paddled within 50 feet of gray whales in Ahous Bay, enjoyed surfing and playing in rock gardens among some 3-4 metre swells, and camped under the stars every night but one, while the mild October weather was sunny and 20'C almost every day (despite falling to around 2'C at night, with very heavy dew!). It was a fantastic trip and I'm planning a longer journey in early spring next year to explore the farther reaches of the area. But I'll certainly be practising the same (or better) level of 'leave no trace' camping while I enjoy what I'd like to have reported was a 'pristine' wilderness.
     
  19. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    I suggest more bran.
     
  20. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    maybe less:
    then fester really would be fester . . .