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Park Ranger Shows Inconsiderate Campers' Messy Abandoned Campsite

Whether you're an avid hiker or can't get enough of camping, if you're a fan of the great outdoors, you've probably heard the phrase "Leave behind nothing but your footprints." Being considerate and cleaning up after yourself reduces pollution and keeps the area healthy and safe. But what happens when people don't heed that rule?

As a park ranger, TikTok user Mack aka @mmcdan27 has had to deal with the aftermath from many inconsiderate campers. She shows what happens when rangers come across a messy abandoned campsite.

This is what happens when people don't think to clean up after themselves- ultimately, someone is stuck with the dirty job of doing it. The campsite Mack had to clean up was crawling with maggots and  rotting food- disgusting. Nevertheless, she wasn't about to leave the litter behind, and packed up the remains of the former inconsiderate campers' site so the space could be safely used by future campers. 

Aside from being selfish and contributing to the already serious litter issue in our national parks, campers like these are actively making the site less safe for future visitors. When food refuse is left behind in abandoned campsites, such as it was here, bears and other wild animals are likely to come scavenge it. This builds an association of campsites with food, which can further desensitize these animals to human presence and increase the risk of dangerous human/wildlife encounters. This careless behavior isn't just lazy- it has serious consequences. 

"How common is this? Maybe I'm too poor to ever consider leaving a tent behind," wondered @thirtysomthingoldlady. Mack's response was shocking: "Let’s just say every time I patrolled I packed out something. Entire sites abandoned more common than you would think." That's a lot of trash and expensive camping equipment left behind!

"I guess not everyone was raised the “leave it better than you found it” way," lamented @xiii.jade. "Thanks for doing what you do. I appreciate the outdoors and this is sad," @michaelwifi7777 said appreciatively. 

Naturally, there are always exceptions,  and an emergency like a forest fire or sudden storm might force someone to evacuate without packing up. Barring these extremes, though, campers should always strive to leave nothing behind but footprints after their trip is through. If you aren't going to do your part to respect nature, don't bother engaging with it in the first place.

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