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Gmorgan
member (40)member
 
08/17/2017 11:37AM
I read just about everything on this board, but post very infrequently. After our recent trip, I feel compelled to share this. I apologize up front for my jaded tone at times.

First, we had a great trip and it was a big trip. We covered 100 miles over 8 days during the last week of July. Started at Prairie Portage traveled up through the Man Chain, Saganagons, Falls Chain, Kawnipi, Kahshahpiwi Creek, Cairn, Keefer, Kahshahpiwi, and out through the small lakes into North Bay and back to Prairie Portage. The weather was awesome and we caught some spectacular fish along the way. Massive star night on our second night on Saganagons.

This was my 10th trip to the Quetico and for the most part I have never had a campsite that I felt was overly abused. Sure, we have had the occasional foil in the fire pit, twisty ties, a cigarette butt, etc. All things you can toss in your pocket or trash bag and move on. This was different and for the life of me I just can’t understand how people could do this to a place that you must work so darn hard to get to.

Campsite on Kenny Lake – great site and awesome place to end a great day of travel. Defecation trail was astounding in the few places at the back of the site where it is good to go. I actually found myself burying other people’s $h#t, but there was one area I just couldn’t get myself near. It was a massacre. Whoever you are that was gross!

Kawnipi – Stopped for a shore lunch about half way up the lake on a great elevated site. When we got up to the fire pit there was a half-eaten package of hot dogs sitting on a rock. It didn’t even come close to stopping there. We surveyed all the tent sites and found empty cans of OFF, countless wrappers, plastic trash and about 50 cigarette butts not even close to burned in the fire pit. We burned the hot dogs at our next site and packed out the un-burnables. Unless a bear chased them off in the middle of the night there is just no excuse.

Kahshahpiwi – Nice site on south end of lake. We turned the corner through the channel and you could smell a fishy smell. It is shallow off the campsite (about 6-8 fow). 3 large walleye carcasses were shallow sixed off the campsite in plain sight. My brother tied up a treble hook and fished them out. Took them over to a nearby island and the gulls surveying the site took care of the rest. It was a solid 45 min of work. Come on people we need to drink that water off the campsite.

South Lake – Our last night in the Quetico. Canoed up to the very nice campsite and once again fish carcasses this time in 3 fow. This one was even better. 3 beautiful SMB cut up, but the fillets not even fully taken off the fish. Why? At least this was a little easier to clean up. I reached down picked them all out of the water and delivered them to an exposed rock across the lake. At least we had a great bald eagle show as a thank you for our cleanup efforts.

My guess is that the people doing this are not reading the material on this website. Not to mention the Canadian rangers are very clear when you check in what the rules are on human waste and fish disposal. I am at a loss.
 
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08/17/2017 04:27PM
Thank you for caring about the Q. I commend you and your friends for cleaning up the messes left by others. It takes real fortitude to clean up human waste. I hope the trip was enjoyable despite the problems. I envy the route you chose.
Guest Paddler
 
08/17/2017 06:27PM
quote Ausable: "Thank you for caring about the Q. I commend you and your friends for cleaning up the messes left by others. It takes real fortitude to clean up human waste. I hope the trip was enjoyable despite the problems. I envy the route you chose."

Seconded.
Eyedocron
distinguished member (309)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/17/2017 08:00PM
Sometimes I am astounded by the lack of care for preserving the wilderness purity, but it has almost always been, in my experience, within one day travel of the entrys. Those who travel farther in have always been so careful and courteous. I am especially sorry to hear about the island in Keats, with the three waterfalls visible; one of my favorite sites, although this is the site of our only vandalism experience with a deliberately burned camp while we day tripped to Chatterton Falls.
Overall, through 27 trips since 1967, I have found the visitors to the Quetico to be the kind of people I would welcome into my camp.
Just got back 3 days ago from Beaverhouse, Quetico Lake area. Best fishing I have ever experienced.
08/17/2017 08:42PM
In early August got back from a 19 trip up the Brightsand Rv to the headwaters of the Kopka Rv and down the Kopka to Lake Nipigon. On the Brightsand we encountered numerous fish camps all loaded with trash and on the Kopka and associated lakes we found more trashy campsites. The one thing these sites all had in common was motorboat access. One would think if you motor it in you could certainly haul it back out. Sometimes I think the people who litter in these areas are leaving their mark just as a dog does.
mgraber
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08/17/2017 11:29PM
Unfortunately this is becoming more common. Thank you for doing more than your part. I guess all we can do is keep trying to educate and clean up what we find. Makes me angry.
jeroldharter
distinguished member(1485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/17/2017 11:56PM
Good work cleaning up for the morons. In my view, smokers trend toward the worst stewards. Somehow, most smokers view a cigarette butt as a natural part of the landscape. Kind of like aluminum cans and fish carcasses. I just wish there were more boomboxes up there to break up the dreadful quiet.
rdricker
member (22)member
 
08/18/2017 04:09AM
With the exception of some foil in the firepits, I'm glad that I've only seen one incident. The backside of the campsite looked like a portapot had been upended, crap and TP everywhere. It was one of the first lake in sites though.
missmolly
distinguished member(6149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/18/2017 07:01AM
Yes, thank you for your restoration of the wilderness.
RC
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2017 10:24AM
Thank you for cleaning things up.
Gmorgan
member (40)member
 
08/18/2017 10:48AM
quote Ausable: "Thank you for caring about the Q. I commend you and your friends for cleaning up the messes left by others. It takes real fortitude to clean up human waste. I hope the trip was enjoyable despite the problems. I envy the route you chose."

Rest assured this did not impact the enjoyment of our trip. I think I might do a trip report on this one. Great route and very interesting group of characters. I caught a once in a lifetime walleye (at least for me) at a very special lake. It was a real drag screamer. Thought we had a big pike. Wish I would have measured it but we were more concerned about returning it to where it came from. We did get a picture that I will post. Maybe some can guesstimate it. We were thinking 30+in.

We were certainly disappointed that people could be so inconsiderate of their environment for which they are dependent on for both survival and enjoyment. It's just hard for me to understand and took me by surprise because we have never seen 1 site like this let alone a stringer full. I forgot to add that on the Kahshahpiwi site that we were able to re-stoke the fire by just putting a handful of pine straw and sticks in the fire pit. Poof - fire started.
QueticoMike
distinguished member(3688)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2017 12:46PM
Thanks for helping to clean the place up. Sorry to hear about all of the bad places you found.
AdamXChicago
distinguished member(1035)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2017 03:08PM
Disgusted to read about this. SMH.
Thanks for your clean-up efforts.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2017 05:28PM
Current Quetico policy is that campers burn or pack out their TP. Judging from what I saw on my trip last week there are a fair number of campers that are unwilling to follow this policy. It is one thing to leave your TP, it is considerably worse when you carry out your business in close proximity to the campsite and the lake shore or both. One site on Sarah had TP piles on the secondary tent sites and along the bank above the lake. Common sense and courtesy suggests heading relatively deep into the woods, beyond the trampled ground and trails of the site. Burying TP is not a solution- critters are digging up your leavings for a meal but they leave the napkins behind. I can't figure out whether folks are too lazy or too freaked out by being in the woods to venture a decent distance from camp. As for disposing of the TP if you're too ashamed of being a mammal that engages in pooping how can you be expected to be responsible with disposal. It seemed worse this year than in the last couple of years. I am very disheartened by this behavior.
Canoe42
distinguished member(1007)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2017 08:34PM
I totally agree. I always carry out more garbage than I create. Last week we went up the Falls Chain. We stopped at an island on Saganagons for lunch before the first portage. Behind the site we stopped at, we found a screen shelter that had been ripped stuffed behind a tree. I put it back in its stuff sack and brought it closer to the fire pit area along with the steel poles. Given the size and weight of it, we did not take it with us. I did advise the outfitter we went out of to contact Quetico authorities as to its location. I know we should have packed it out, but at some point you need to draw the line as to how much of other peoples stuff you are willing to carry.

I also found a zip lock bag in the woods with a whole roll of TP in it. It was totally soaked. We kept it in the fire pit during our layover in hopes it would dry out. It did a little, but not enough to burn. Hopefully it will dry enough so someone can eventually burn it or carry it out once it is not soaking wet.

When we would go as a family, I would make all three kids find a piece of garbage, not ours, before we left camp. No one ever failed. I still do the same now when I leave a site. I also always come home with more lures and fishing tackle than I brought.

I like to think when that when I use a site, the only evidence of me being there is some disturbed pine needles and fresh kindling near the fire pit. I know you have to watch a video before going into BWCA. Maybe Quetico needs to do the same. I would like to think people are just stupid and not ignorant.
08/19/2017 05:31AM
I see this trend as a barometer of society and values in general. Core character values including but not limited to hard work, honesty, respect and integrity are rare in society today. Unfortunately Quetico Park and the BWCA are not immune from these disrespectful and lazy people that apparently didn't go to kindergarten and weren't brought up with core family values. Similarly I find it amazing how many people look for any opportunity to cheat, steal or otherwise deceive others for personal financial gain rather than work to make an honest living whatever that might be. I assume at some point the trolls will ruin everything they touch.

Oh what the heck, lets go erase some more history of America because we don't like that either.
mapsguy1955
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2017 09:49AM
To have a place like the BWCA and Quetico within a few hundred miles of major civilization is a gift. To abuse it is a blight on us. I always take out more than I bring in, but have not, yet found the kind of abuse I have heard of this year. I am going in in 3 weeks for 3 weeks and am hoping I don't this time, but will clean up what I find, if in fact I do.

People have been abusing the outdoors for way too many years and I don't believe it is today's so called "immorality" that is the cause of what we see today. Even people that would call themselves protectors of the environment/wild places in the past would "leave a trace" of their passing. The problem is lack of simple appreciation. We don't appreciate each other, unless we see things primarily through the same lenses, and we don't appreciate what is going on around us. Some of us don't even NOTICE or care about what is going on around us. It seems that many Q visitors only go for the fishing or the challenge of difficult miles of paddle/portage with a few "sights/sightings". Is it a big shift to stop and take a big breath of clean air and say thanks for this absolutely amazing chance to physically experience something most will never see? The quietest, most seemingly inconsequential place, in Quetico, has magic. It isn't about more; it is about being there.

Can you teach our part in the ecosystem and why it is important to leave no trace? Does everyone even understand? Garbage is literally blanketing the planet. Our lifestyle is a big part of that. If we can't protect even these cherished places from abuse, we don't stand much of a chance in cleaning up what has already been spoiled. This is up to us.
Podunk
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
08/19/2017 08:44PM
When I was a kid if a threw a candy bar wrapper or pop can on the ground anywhere my dad would have knocked me into next week. Didn't matter if we were in the nat'l forest or some county park. By the age of 10 or so didn't even cross my mind to litter. Thats where it starts. I'm 54 and we didn't have kindergarden we were just raised right.
jeroldharter
distinguished member(1485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2017 09:39PM
A couple of trips ago, we found all sorts of stuff at our next-to-last campsite. I took out about 13 tent stakes, spare aluminum tent poles, a complete cardboard container of aluminum foil. I had to leave behind some sandals and miscellaneous other crap. Hard to believe that someone left and forgot all of that.

In fairness, I once forgot my PFD at the final portage. Believe it or not, my PFD plus the tools in it was worth about $500 to replace. Remarkably, someone on this forum found it, took it home, responded to my "lost item" post, and shipped it to me for free even though I offered to pay. Shows you what good people are on this forum.
TomT
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08/19/2017 10:31PM
Nice post Mapsguy1955.
mapsguy1955
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2017 01:13PM
Thanks Tom! I have done a lot of traveling around central, eastern and northern Canada and Quetico is magic to me. There is NO place like it. Whatever we can do to keep that experience for all visitors, we should.
Gmorgan
member (40)member
 
08/20/2017 03:57PM
It's generally not my style to broadcast my experiences publicly, but I hope my post at least has some redeeming value if it changes the behavior of at least one reader that may have been inconsiderate to fellow Quetico campers in the past.

I can only be optimistic and believe that someone will read this and think:
1. Gee whiz maybe I should bring a light weight trowel or 2 on my next trip so that campers that follow me don't have to see and smell my s$@t.
2. Probably might be a good idea next trip to do a walk about my camp when all packed up to look for things I might have left behind.
3. Maybe I should take the time to put my fish remains on a rock so that I don't spoil the campsite water for the next group that might have had a really long and hard day of travel. I do think it would be cool to see the Bald Eagles battle the gulls for the spoils.
3. That was bad form to leave a bed of hot coals in the fire pit as it is getting pretty dry out here. I would hate to be responsible for causing a major forest fire and possibly hurting someone.

Just maybe.
MichiganMan
member (8)member
 
08/20/2017 08:04PM
Saw similar issues on Beaverhouse in early August. One campsite had probably 10-15 poop piles scattered around it, all unburied. These folks didn't even go into the woods very far to do their business. There was plenty of other garbage strewn all around as well, I'm guessing from the same party.

Difficult issue, and I'm not sure what we can do about it. Obviously any kids I've ever taken into the Q (or backcountry camping anywhere for that matter) have gotten a lesson in taking care of business in the woods. Other than teaching kids the right way, I'm not sure what the solution is.
mapsguy1955
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/21/2017 07:27AM
I don't know the answer either. It is caused by one of three things: Anger at the world and just don't care, lazy, or simply don't understand wilderness camping etiquette. I really don't think these YouTube survival videos help the cause. LNT is completely alien to the vast majority of humans who have never even heard of symbiosis.
mutz
distinguished member(1145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/22/2017 07:52PM
I haven't read every response completely so hopefully I'm not repeating what has been said. I don't think I have seen any more trash left at campsites in the past few years than I did before, but I am reading about more because everyone has access to sites like this where they are discussed. I think if I was looking at a first trip and reading this I would be under the impression that many of the sites are trashed, when this is far from the truth, from what I have seen a very, very small percentage of the sites are trashed. Maybe I have just been lucky in what I have seen, but I think overall it is amazingly clean. I just don't get upset over a crawler harness hanging in a tree, a tent stake at a tent pad and a couple of cigarette/cigar buts on the ground, pick it up, set up camp and enjoy.
MichiganMan
member (8)member
 
08/22/2017 09:57PM
Good point Mutz. It is very rare to see a trashed campsite in the Q. I agree with you- I also don't get torqued off over minor litter. On the other hand, piles of human crap all over a campsite is a little much.

But on the whole, that isn't going to stop me from going. It is still an incredible place and the vast majority of those who go there are awesome people with much respect for the Q and their fellow voyageurs.
mapsguy1955
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/23/2017 12:15PM
quote MichiganMan: "Good point Mutz. It is very rare to see a trashed campsite in the Q. I agree with you- I also don't get torqued off over minor litter. On the other hand, piles of human crap all over a campsite is a little much.


But on the whole, that isn't going to stop me from going. It is still an incredible place and the vast majority of those who go there are awesome people with much respect for the Q and their fellow voyageurs."


Good!!
Moonbeam
member (21)member
 
08/23/2017 05:07PM
My wife and I always wondered why in all these posts about leave no trace that no one ever mentions the soap suds and foam that accumulate on shore lines.
We have even cut back on soaps we use to wash our clothes at home, since it is quite noticeable when entering the water in Quetico
We can remove foil from fire pits but we can do nothing about the suds!
Banksiana
distinguished member(1408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/23/2017 09:19PM
quote Moonbeam: "My wife and I always wondered why in all these posts about leave no trace that no one ever mentions the soap suds and foam that accumulate on shore lines.
We have even cut back on soaps we use to wash our clothes at home, since it is quite noticeable when entering the water in Quetico
We can remove foil from fire pits but we can do nothing about the suds!"


Most of the foam/suds you observe are a natural phenomena resulting from the agitation of water (due to wind and waves) and natural surfactants that are released by vegetation and the soil. Lake Foam
OldFingers57
distinguished member(5140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/06/2017 07:16PM
Well we just got back from doing a 9 day trip to the Q. Did Beaverhouse, Quetico, Conk and Jean Lakes. Found very little garabage this time. Mostly just aluminum foil in the fire pits and twist ties and the tops of coffee mate creamer packets and other drink mix packets.
One think that irked me this time was that everyone seems to think it is OK to dismantle the fire pits/fireplaces to use the rocks for anchors for their tents although some of the rocks around the tent pads would in no way hold a tent down in a strong wind as they were too small and light. Maybe people are using the rocks to put by a tent stake so they don't trip on the stake but trip on the rock instead.
Moonbeam
member (21)member
 
09/07/2017 08:57PM
quote Banksiana: "quote Moonbeam: "My wife and I always wondered why in all these posts about leave no trace that no one ever mentions the soap suds and foam that accumulate on shore lines.
We have even cut back on soaps we use to wash our clothes at home, since it is quite noticeable when entering the water in Quetico
We can remove foil from fire pits but we can do nothing about the suds!"



Most of the foam/suds you observe are a natural phenomena resulting from the agitation of water (due to wind and waves) and natural surfactants that are released by vegetation and the soil. Lake Foam "
Moonbeam
member (21)member
 
09/07/2017 08:57PM
quote Banksiana: "quote Moonbeam: "My wife and I always wondered why in all these posts about leave no trace that no one ever mentions the soap suds and foam that accumulate on shore lines.
We have even cut back on soaps we use to wash our clothes at home, since it is quite noticeable when entering the water in Quetico
We can remove foil from fire pits but we can do nothing about the suds!"



Most of the foam/suds you observe are a natural phenomena resulting from the agitation of water (due to wind and waves) and natural surfactants that are released by vegetation and the soil. Lake Foam "
09/08/2017 12:44AM
quote OldFingers57: "Well we just got back from doing a 9 day trip to the Q. Did Beaverhouse, Quetico, Conk and Jean Lakes. Found very little garabage this time. Mostly just aluminum foil in the fire pits and twist ties and the tops of coffee mate creamer packets and other drink mix packets.
One think that irked me this time was that everyone seems to think it is OK to dismantle the fire pits/fireplaces to use the rocks for anchors for their tents although some of the rocks around the tent pads would in no way hold a tent down in a strong wind as they were too small and light. Maybe people are using the rocks to put by a tent stake so they don't trip on the stake but trip on the rock instead. "


My impression is people are dismantling the fire pits due to their over hyped leave no trace they scatter them because the fire pit is not natural.

T
OldFingers57
distinguished member(5140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/08/2017 05:59AM
No they aren't totally dismantled. Just some of the rocks are taken off of them to use over in the tent pad areas. You can tell they use them either instead of stakes or by them by the fact that they are arranged in a square or rectangular pattern and then there are rocks where tie outs would be.
Plus there seemed to be multiple fire pits at different campsites too up in the Quetico/ Jean lake area. One site had about 8-9 small fire pits made up.
rdricker
member (22)member
 
09/08/2017 09:06PM
I'll admit to dismantling a makeshift fire ring at a Qeutico campsite. It was a smallish site with three fire rings within a 15 foot perimeter. We left the two nice ones and took apart the most makeshift one out on the rocks. I think in that case though it was reasonable.
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1295)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2017 08:29PM
some people just don't care, doubt if they will ever be back at their dumping ground.
slobs!
 
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