3 Comments

  1. Kathy
    Kathy July 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you for this. Although I think the majority of people who hike the JMT want to do the right thing, I’ve seen some appalling behavior.

    An 8 foot high fire at 10,400. When I very politely told them that fires weren’t allowed over 10k, they replied, “My taxes pay for this land. I’ll do whatever I want.”

    I know 2 rangers, and the stories they tell are absolutely horrible. A backcountry ranger is more likely to be assaulted than any other law enforcement official, including ATF. The amount of crap they take is crazy, and I think some people forget they are commissioned law enforcement officers. There are lots of stories out there, about people claiming rangers “harass” them, but in my experience, they have to put up with a lot, and this sometimes makes them a bit guarded. I love that you volunteer your permit. That alone, will put the ranger more at ease, and yes, they are grateful. It would be wonderful if everyone volunteered their permit. After all, a JMT hiker should want the rules enforced, as that is what keeps these lands so beautiful.

    I know it’s popular to bash the government with its regulations, and think it is an infringement on our “rights” to have to comply with the rules, but those rules are there to protect all of us. Anyone who remembers the solar latrine at Trail Camp, wishes that people would have followed the rules and not dumped their garbage there….we might still have that option, vs. the wag bags, (which a high number of people just dump on the trail). OK, descending the soapbox now!

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