Leave no trace
The Alvord Desert, where we’re meeting, is one of our favorite places in the world. It’s remote, and wonderfully unspoiled. We want to make sure it stays that way long after we leave.
We’re all used to camping in remote and pristine spots when we’re alone or with a few buddies. There’s a big difference when we all camp together in one remote and pristine spot. When you’re all by yourself, and take a crap in the woods: dig a hole and forget about it. Nobody’s going to camp there again for the next 20 years, and by then your poop will be recycled into a squirrel.
When there’s 100 of us camped together for 4 days though, different story… that’s a lot of poop, especially on a dry lake bed. We bring porta-potties to help with that particular issue, but the same principle applies to cigarette butts, banana peels, bottle caps, earplugs, etc.
When that gas station receipt blows out of your tank bag and goes tumbling across the desert… please please please chase that fucker down and retrieve it.
Remember: it’s each of us, times 100.
There’s a phrase you may have heard: ‘Matter Out Of Place,’ (MOOP.) In other words… I didn’t drop this thing, but it clearly doesn’t belong here, and therefore it’s out of place. Just because something is biodegradable doesn’t mean we should leave it. The question is, does it belong there? A banana peel might not be MOOP in a jungle, but it most certainly is on the Alvord.
When you see MOOP sitting or blowing around, regardless of whether or not it’s yours, grab it! If you see someone spreading MOOP, please call them out, in the friendliest way possible. Most of the detritus we leave behind is unintentional. We didn’t mean to. Thanks for catching it.
On the topic of waste, let’s each make sure we are responsible for carrying out our own. There will be a few central receptacles and recycling bins, but please collect and dispose of your own waste whenever possible. This is part of leaving no trace, and yet another UNRally principle… self-reliance.
The Alvord is pure magic. Let’s raise the bar, collectively.