Garbage Wreckin’ My Zen

One of the reasons that we selected a challenge for this week all about picking up garbage along the trails is because nothing wrecks a beautiful, pristine place more than a site like this.

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Or this.

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Or toilet paper hanging out of someone’s poop nugget on the side of the trail because the outhouse either smelled too bad for them to use it or they don’t know how to dig a cathole (c’mon people my 3-year-old can do that).

I’ve gone on rants before, about people leaving bags of dog poop alongside the trail or jerks carving their initials into trees.

But rather than just whine about it online I wanted to do something about it in person.

What if every hiker picked up just 5 pieces of garbage when they were on the trails?

What if every hiker tried to leave the natural world better than they found it?

What if our entire community were to spend a few hours hiking with the sole purpose of picking up garbage. Think about how much good we could do!

If you’re here and participating in our first #Hike2015 challenge we’re kindred spirits and I’m sure that I’m preaching to the choir.

If you’re like me you probably already finish every hike with a pocket full of trash that never belonged to you in the first place.

And that’s why you’re awesome and this week’s challenge is really no big deal just an extension of the kindness we show to others by picking up what doesn’t belong in nature.


This afternoon we were able to catch a break in between thunderstorms to head to our closest local trail network. Armed with grocery store plastic bags my kids and I picked up just one bag full of litter in about 75 minutes and over just a mile of trails. We were honestly just scratching the surface of all the work that needs to be done at this particular trailhead.

Some of our more interesting finds:

  • A pair of glasses
  • 4 plastic bags full of dog poop
  • 2 ski baskets & 8 lids for Swix kick wax (this trail network is also groomed for cross-country skiing all winter)
  • 1 pacifier

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It’s interesting because last night someone posted on our facebook wall that their trails are already quite pristine. While I’m a little bit jealous of that, I think that if you look for trash on the trails you’re gonna see trash on the trails. We kept finding all sorts of garbage that I’m sure wouldn’t have caught our eye had we been focused on moving down the trail, not hunting for garbage.

Ironically, the thing that made me upset wasn’t so much the garbage on and off the trails but all of these big massive wanna-be bonfire pits that we kept finding right next to existing Forest Service approved fire pits. Seriously, firepits exist for a reason and if you have to chop down 3 trees to build a campfire you’re doing it all wrong.

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I was pretty psyched to find a dime though, making it all worth my while 😉

We’re headed out on a group hike tomorrow and once again we’ll be armed with grocery bags because when you’re hiking at the pace of a 2-year-old you might as well stop and pick up the trash too.#Hike2015 (7)

I’d love to hear about your experiences hiking this week and picking up the trash. I want to know the most strange thing you run across, the most unique thing. I want to know how you feel when you look at a “dirty forest” and how you felt after you picked up a bag full of garbage. So chime in below in our comments section, or on our facebook, twitter, or instagram feeds.

Thanks again for being part of the Hike Like A Woman community. I’m SO glad you’re here!


5 comments on “Garbage Wreckin’ My Zen

  1. It really does impact your time outdoors when a place is trashed. Some of it is accidental but so much is just laziness and disrespect.

    Moved into camp at Great Sand Dunes yesterday and had to pick up a bunch of trash left by the previous occupants before we could make camp. Argh!

    • Ugh, seriously. You feel good about cleaning up but no one wants to spend their adventure time cleaning up someone else’s trash.

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