Packing It Out
Inspire a greater sense of environmental stewardship within our communities by raising awareness for litter conditions along America’s trails.
Most people venturing into the outdoors are familiar with Leave No Trace ethics. If you’re not familiar with Leave No Trace, check out the link to their website below. Leave No Trace's seven principles are the standard for outdoor etiquette. One principle pushes the idea of -pack it in, pack it out- which helps us remain accountable for the things we bring into the outdoors. Packing It Out stems from this idea but focuses more on the things that haven’t been packed out, yet.
The name really speaks for itself- Packing It Out. By removing trash near trail-heads and along trails we can make our trails even more enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing for everyone. Packing It Out is also a call to action for anyone who goes out and enjoys our nation’s trails. Packing out what you pack in is not a new concept; though, I think making a point to pick up other peoples trash has become more or less an afterthought. How many people do you see picking up trash during their hike? How many thru-hikers stop to sweep the trail of litter? I’m by no means condemning those who haven’t been picking up other peoples trash along the trail. If you pick up a piece of trash while hiking you may feel obligated to pick up other pieces you see which in turn raises your pack weight. In the backpacking world additional/excess weight is the enemy. Is it worth the extra weight carried just to have cleaner trail? I certainly think so! Lets make trash removal a common practice regardless of how long we are on the trail. Whether we are going out for six minutes or six months, let’s make a point to clean up the trails we love.
In 2015, Packing It Out completed thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. Starting March 29, we backpacked over 2,000 miles from the AT's southern terminus, Springer Mountain, to the trails northern terminus, Mt. Katahdin. Along the way we put Packing ItOut's mission into practice on a daily basis. The end result was a very clean trail, tons of inspired hikers and over 1,000 pounds of trash removed from America's scenic trail.
This year our plan is to do what we did last year on the Appalachian Trail to another one of America's scenic trails. We have chosen to try the Pacific Crest Trail. On April 20, we plan to begin walking north from the border of California and Mexico to the border of Washington and Canada. We are unsure as to how much trash we might find on the PCT. Regardless of the amount we find, this years effort will have a much larger impact on our communities as a whole. We started the Appalachian Trail with no outside support. This year we will have a number of sponsors helping with our trail needs and also helping to spread the Packing It Out's mission. We couldn't be more excited and look forward to seeing you all on the trail this year!
Thank you for your time
Seth T Orme