Running with Rhyno: Real, not noise, pollution something to squak about

A large empty Doritos bag, granola bar wrappers and other trash lined the trail to the summit of Tuff Puff.

Amanda and I were disgusted at this complete disregard for the trail on our Wednesday hike up Tuff Puff and Kinglet Lake in the David Thompson area.

Littering is something to get upset about.

Hikers brought this trash into the mountains, and they should take it out with them.

Recently a self-proclaimed avid hiker caught a lot of media attention because he was so engaged that hikers play music (and gasp) make noise while hiking. He called it noise pollution.

It reminded me of an email I received a couple weeks ago.

A reader wanted to offer her two cents on my music-playing and singing while I hike alone in the mountains.

The well-intended reader said 99 per cent of the people who use the trails want it quiet in order to see wildlife and nature.

She did not appreciate someone else’s music coming into her space and ruining her experience.

Her advice?

“I suggest she stays to the treadmills in a gym and watch the nature on TV and listen to music there.”

Point taken. I can see her perspective.

But what I think many people fail to realize is not everyone hikes or runs in large groups.

I’m mostly a solo runner/hiker. I play music when I am in unfamiliar places and in areas that are not well travelled.

I take safety extremely seriously, and I will play music or sing off-key if it will scare away bears or cougars.

Often if I am playing music and other people approach, I turn off my music. I have seen those hikers with external speakers.

It may startle me at first, and the worse thing that can happen is I have some ridiculous song in my head for the remainder of the day.

Everyone has their own definition of what is and not appropriate on the hiking trails.

Yes, music and be an assault on our ears.

I am just happy those hikers are outside. Let’s all take a deep breath and relax. Bigger things to worry about, folks, like global warming.


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