Camp Sites

Yesterday I went camping on Holston Mountain. The trail was muddy from all the rain,

but there were no puddles because they had been used up by other off road vehicles already. It

takes about 20 minutes to get to the spot I like to camp out at, and when I pull in, I see garbage

and glass everywhere. I think to myself, ”Why would people be so inconsiderate? It’s not like

this will all just decompose in a day, or even years.” I go ahead and start setting up camp. I put

up my hammock and start working on a fire. The fire takes a while because of the wetness from

the rain. Eventually, I get a fire going and work on burning the trash that can be burned. Later,

I make my dinner (ramen noodles, haha) and head to bed. The next morning I get out of my

vehicle and see fresh bear poop about two feet away. I started thinking about how this trash

affects the animals out there. I don’t understand how people can be so un-thoughtful. I eat my

breakfast: a can of pears, a can of pineapples, and a pop tart. I start back down the mountain,

enjoying any bit of mud I can get my tires into along the way. Along the trail I catch a glimpse

of smoke in the corner of my eye. I slow down and realize that there was another campsite,

and I didn’t see anyone there. I back into the campsite and still saw no sign of anyone there.

So, I got out and looked at the fire pit. It looked like someone thought they had put the fire out

and decided to leave some cereal boxes to help the next person make a fire. They didn’t wet

down the pit so there were still some embers. Those embers had started a very small fire in

the boxes. I get out of my truck, find my lighter fluid, and make the fire bigger in order to get

rid of it all. While the fire burns I look around the campsite and see more trash that I put in the

fire as well. The boxes needed to be moved around to be able to burn better, so I move them

and see a used condom left at the site- another example of people showing disrespect. I burn it

along with its wrapper. After everything burned, I mix the ashes and pour water on the fire pit,

making sure there was no way a fire could reignite. This camping experience has shown me why

people must be charged to have access to some mountains, such as Mt. Monadnock in New

England, which is now the most climbed mountain in the world. Hikers are charged in order to

have access to the mountain, so that people can be employed to clean it up. If everyone took

care of their own messes, mountains, like Monadnock, would be much more enjoyable.

-Seth Studer
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