How do you teach people to be responsible? I’m really asking. I want to figure it out. Is is possible? For years (especially in the last year) I’ve been watching the the wild spaces that I love get filled with people, covered with toilet paper and garbage, and burned down. Of course I would love it if fewer people came to these places, but that isn’t an option I suppose, so the next best option is to teach them to live responsibly in the wilds.
A few days ago we were way up on a dome climbing (which is another story in itself) when we noticed smoke billowing down in the valley. As we watched over the next few minutes, the field and forest below was being engulfed in flames. From where we were we couldn’t tell how it was moving, but it appeared to be moving towards where we were camped. It was a 45 minute hike down the mountain and a short stressful drive before we knew our camp was safe. That night, under a nearly fully moon we watched the embers glow and flames light up the night. The fire was started by people camping. This behavior is completely unacceptable. People need to be aware that their actions have enormous consequences. Seems like that should be common sense, right?
This is not normally my jam to be the one calling things out, but this is long overdue. These huge corporations have gotten everyone out camping, now they need to be responsible for educating people how to live in the wilds responsibly. I am also going to do what I can to educate and share what I’ve learned from the last 15 years of living largely outside.