Pandemic Hikers Creating All Sorts Of New Trash On Maine’s Trails
Several years ago, when 'Mad Men' was all the rage on TV, there was an episode where the Draper family was out for a picnic. At the end of the meal, as was semi-customary for the time period, Don Draper grabbed the side of the picnic blanket, and in one swift motion, flicks all the trash off the blanket. Right onto the grass.
Then everyone simply gets in the car... litter everywhere. I laughed because I'm old enough to remember when that way of dealing with trash wasn't such a big deal. Sadly, these days, if you spend any amount of time on the hiking trails around Maine, it's starting to look like the mid-60's all over again.
The pandemic has made 'hikers' out of just about everybody. With most forms of outside-of-the-home entertainment all but gone, folks have been heading out to the trails in droves. Is that exciting? Of course! It's Maine, and we live in a beautiful state that should be heavily explored. But, do you mind hiking out your trash?
My wife and I are casual hikers. I suffered a leg injury about ten years ago, so long ten mile hikes are out for this guy. But say, the trails around Bar Harbor. Love 'em. But even there, like may other trails around Maine according to the Portland Press Herald, trash is piling up pretty fast.
I was taught at a young age by my grandfather, that you leave absolutely no trace of yourself in the woods, other than if you're trying to be rescued. But these days, even in the Bangor City Forest, there are masks on the trials. Bags of dog poop. If you head out onto bigger trails, bags of dog poop are traded for toilet paper wads everywhere.
C'mon..... I guarantee your mama raised you better than that. If you're going to hit any trail, BE PREPARED. It's that simple. Oh no... you may have to bring a small backpack with you. What a hardship! But that's gotta be better than me seeing your left-behind potty pile in the woods.
People should brush up on their basic hiking etiquette before heading into any woods. Don't be that guy/girl. Be prepared, and most of all, be respectful. To the environment. To the person coming along behind you on the trail. To the animals. Just do your part, and be a grwon-up in the woods, would ya?