Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do people go camping or go to the lake?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43354points) June 6th, 2011

As you come up with an answer, counterpoint it with WHY do people trash those beautiful places? We have one simply beautiful place by the lake that we go to. However, when we go I invariably have to spend 30 minutes cleaning up other people’s trash. WHY do they do that? Why do they even go to the lake at all? What is wrong with them?

Sometimes they’ll go as far as piling all the trash in the cold campfire, which I don’t get at all. Not only is the fire cold, but even if it was burning aluminum and glass don’t burn, and that’s what a whole bunch of it is. So why pile it in the campfire?

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40 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Because people are thoughtless idiots.

Coloma's avatar

Lack of respect and laziness I suppose.

I hate litterers, so reflective of low consciousness and ‘trashy’ values.

Otherwise, people go camping to get away from it all, to commune with nature and recharge in a beautiful environment.


I haven’t been camping since 2005 when I camped at the beach in the Redwoods.

My house IS a campground, 5 acres of woods and privacy. :-)

Jude's avatar

Because they’re lazy sons-of-bitches and don’t put that stuff in the garbage.

I do it to enjoy a little bit of nature and some away time from the city.

YARNLADY's avatar

Unfortunately, people are ignorant about camping rules. The thing about piling the trash in the firepit is supposed to make it easier for the workers to pick it up.

This is wrong, of course. The rule there is always remove everything you bring.

marinelife's avatar

@Dutchess_III It seems to have been a disingenuous or poorly worded question. If you like going to the lake, then you know why people go to the lake.

It is good of you to pick up the trash. Are there trash receptacles there? How about lobbying the lakeside owners or managers to install them if there are not and/or to post signs about picking up your trash.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@YARNLADY there ARE no “workers” to pick the shit up. The first time we went there I spent two hours cleaning stuff up…and I mean OLD stuff, like from the 70’s. Now it’s just maintenance but it sucks.

@marinelife The point of wording it like that is to show that trashing those places totally negates every reason anyone even HAS for going to the lake.

The grossest is freaking dirty diapers. I want to cry for whatever baby has a parent like that.

@Coloma just…shut up!! You and your five acres! I’m gonna drive by and throw a beer can on your lawn!

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dutchess_III I should have put workers in quotes. Many people don’t realize that there is no weekly or any other service involved. Don’t even get me started on people who don’t want to pay taxes or fees, yet think they are entitled to campgrounds and amenities.

Coloma's avatar


Haha…well, we’ll have to have a few on the lawn, and then, I’ll pick up your litter. lol

I remember once years ago being outraged at someone who left a pile of dirty disposable diapers in a fire pit at a campground. Gah! Really? :-/

tom_g's avatar

I have known many people who “love” the outdoors. They express this by:
– driving ATVs through the woods, scaring the crap out of everything in sight, stinking up the place, and making the woods sound like an airport.
– driving their snowmobiles if it’s winter (see above)
– bringing their guns into the woods to kill stuff
– sleeping in a tent or “camper”, which means they must get drunk and play loud music

How this relates to nature is beyond me. Maybe it’s some attempt to conquer nature in some way – some kind of big fuck you.
What really gets me is that I used to try to go for walks in the woods with my young kids and hear gunshots nearby and then have an ATV nearly run us over. It was about as relaxing as the city.
I don’t get it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@marinelife I just read the rest of your answers….the place where we go is super isolated. The nearest dumpster as a about a 15 minute drive away. They don’t have individual trash cans at the sites, either simply because there are no specific “sites” per say, with the exception of the camper pads in one little section at the lake. People just wander along till they find a place they like and camp there. I have a feeling that even if they DID put out cans, those would probably get trashed somehow too. Some people are such assholes.

@Coloma I’m on my way! You’re right…I need to start will full cans of beer before I litter! That thing about the diapers…that is just SICK!

@tom_g Good answer. Exactly my point.

Coloma's avatar

There is this little old couple near my house that walk the highway into the state park every morning for about 2 miles with their litter bags and pokey stick things. haha

They are so cute, they wear orange reflective vests and cool hats and toddle along doing a great, self designated, community service.

I have to be careful to watch for them on some of the blind curves on our winding road into ‘town.’ They litter-ally risk their lives to keep that stretch of road beautiful. :-)

BarnacleBill's avatar

“Ewww. Put trash in my car and drive it home? You’ve got to be kidding!” Or so said a friend’s wife on an annual camping trip that I no longer attend.

bkcunningham's avatar

Because they weren’t raised by my father and mother. The only thing you should leave is the echo of your laughter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@BarnacleBill What a jerk!!!!!

@bkcunningham The place is just pristine when we leave. : )

I got out of a dog-at-large ticket once because of my cleaning! It was our first time there and, as I said, I’d spent a LOT of time cleaning up. Lake ranger showed up. Female. Petted the Lab we had then, then looked at us sternly and said, “Your dog isn’t on a leash.”
I paused then said, “No, but I cleaned up!!”
She looked around, her face softened and she said, “Yes. Yes you did.” Not another word was said even when I confessed we actually had two dogs at large, and moved a little piece of something to show her the tiny, tiny 3 week old puppy who wasn’t on a leash either, sleeping by the cooler. : )

Coloma's avatar


You gotta get in good with the rangers.
I have a ranger arrangement at my local riverfront state park.

I had a discussion with one of the rangers last summer about the parks definintion of ‘dusk’, as opposed to mine. haha

I won, and, as long as I park on the outside so he can lock the parking lot gates, I can sit by the river all night if I want.

One of the ‘perks’ of being a ‘local’. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m, uh, sleeping with one of the rangers, actually. Well, he was ranger for the 06 – 07 camping season. So I’m in pretty good, I guess. He lets me sit anywhere I want to! Except not in his recliner. And I can’t use his remote because I always lose it.

Blackberry's avatar

I almost want to cry every time I see the beach late afternoon after everyone has been on it. It’s just a sea of trash blanketing the sand. You can’t blame some of us for hating the human race lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry Ya…I remember how odd it was when we went to the beach in Florida. It was always so spotless. Then I realized their were assholes in Florida throwing their shit on the beach, but the ocean would come in at high tide and pick it all up…..kind of made me want to cry too.

Berserker's avatar

I don’t like going camping or going to a beach or lake. Not when they’re resorts made for this. There’s always people around, and commodities necessary for the activity, and to me, that defeats the purpose of camping.

I went wild camping before, with nothing around. (not true, it’s a fishing and hunting place, but we took a boat out to some far off island and camped there) While I don’t generally like to poop in the woods, or almost drown in the lake…I’m serious, that did almost happen…it is a cool experience when you gotta tough it up. Wouldn’t always do it, and a lot of it just pissed me off actually, but once in a while it can be interesting.

Maybe people do stuff like that to give routine a break; fresh air and the great outdoors never hurt anyone. Unless there’s bears…and all you have is an axe…or when your friend gets stung by a wasp and passes out for three hours in his tent…or you go too far out in the lake like Symbeline an idiot.

As far as polluting and littering goes…people have no damn respect. Maybe they think the Earth will last forever. They’re lazy. It’s not theirs, so they’re all like, who cares? I’m a huge recycling freak and I hate litter, so those resorts piss me off for that. Not just because it ruins the view, but because it hurts the environment. All the more reason I like to go out camping in places people usually don’t go…just not too often.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Symbeline Yeah…it’s primitive where we go. No hook ups, no running water. No one around for a long ways. We invited a friend down on Friday. He’d been coming to that lake for 30 years, thought he knew every inch of it. We told him where we were…and he could not find us!

I invented a portapotty. I cut the bottom off of a 7 gallon Rubbermaid cooler. I dig a hole and set the cooler over it. Works like a charm. And it’s heaven compared to squatting in the freaking weed and on possums!

I also invented an oven. Didn’t get a chance to try it out, though. I buried it when we left….

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Laziness. People are too lazy to feel it’s important to read rules or instructions and also to clean up after themselves because their time to get back to wherever is more important than have respect for the surroundings or the people to use the areas after them.

I love the idea of camping but not when I’m going to a place glutted with people blaring boomboxes, set up gazebos with electric lights, huge ass propane bbqs, unleashed dogs and kids leaving garbage behind from whatever cache load of fast food their parents trucked in. Dirty diapers gets their own sentence, because.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Neizvestnaya My feelings exactly!

Berserker's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Aye, I get real annoyed at annoying dogs…I do love those colourful camp site lights…but that’s about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t get how people could enjoy camping in big, old, air conditioned campers, side by side with 20 other big old honkin campers. They have TV and stoves and running water and stuff. Why bother leaving home? Why bother going to the lake?

Berserker's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah. Camping is about outdoor fires, sleeping in tents, waking up in the morn cuz you’re boiling in there, and exploring the nature around you. And other shit that doesn’t include air conditioning and TV. If I want that I’ll go to the mall.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I’d almost feel like I was the one out of place with just my little pup tent, firepit put together from rocks and luxury rubber bag of warming water hanging from some tree branch.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait…I have a pop up camper. I’m feeling so guilty now!

@Neizvestnaya Your what? Luxury rubber bag of warming water? Um…remember the old days? Women had things like that….Anyway… what do you do with a luxury rubber bag of warming water? I brought a big pot this time to heat water in over the fire for dishes. Didn’t use it though. It nailed 100 degrees the whole time we were there. Didn’t want anything hot!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It’s an outdoor shower but looks like a black rubber bag to me. You hang it from a tree branch and the sun warms it until you’re ready to defunk. Omg- you got that pop-up camper after all ;p heh heh heh. Sellout.

Berserker's avatar

Another cool thing about camping; big, puffy sleeping bags! I like the ones that make all that noise when you move in them.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Symbeline: my friends and I were complete goobers who’d pull the drawstring taut around our faces and roll around pretending we were Shai Halud worms from the Dune books.

Berserker's avatar

@Neizvestnaya That’s awesome! I do that too, but because I like how soft it feels.

perspicacious's avatar

People just love being around water. It’s pretty, makes air feel cooler and cleaner, and produces soothing sounds——not to mention the boating and swim/ski fun. I’ve never been around anyone who trashed the areas so I can’t address that.

meiosis's avatar

I’ve tried, and failed, to work out what goes on inside the head of litterbugs. Quite how they think it’s appropriate/sensible/not totally disrespectful is simply beyond me. Maybe they’re still ickle babies at heart, waiting for their mummies to clean up after them.

As for beautiful places, I was raised to “Take only photographs, leave only footprints.”

ucme's avatar

We go camping on rare occasions because I can’t stand tent wrestling…...I always lose see.

Cruiser's avatar

The Boy Scouts practice a code called Leave no trace behind and we police each and every campground after we are done camping there and of course we find items and trash that others had left behind.

I also conduct an annual River Cleanup project on my local river with the Scouts and it is very obvious that a large portion of the trash is from the boaters and fishermen….the very people enjoying the river. It is so easy just to take your trash home with you and if everyone did this simple thing….there would be none in our great outdoors!

bkcunningham's avatar

@Cruiser my nephew just joined a Boy Scout’s troop. He was telling us about a recent camping trip. When they were packing up to head home, one of the troop leaders said he’d hid some money around the campsite and asked the boys to look for it while they policed the area one last time. The money would belong to whomever found it. I loved the story. He laughed about where and how they looked careful not to break any of the leave no trace behind rules. No one found the money but he will always remember the lesson.

Cruiser's avatar

@bkcunningham I do the same thing except I remember “exactly” how much and the types of coins and they have to find them all pennies included or they do push ups for the penny amount of the missing coins. They only did pushups once in the 4 years I have been in the troop.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I need one of them douch rubber bag thingys @Neizvestnaya! I WANT ONE!!!!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Dutchess_III: places like Big 5 Sporting goods and Cabela’s for sure has them.

mattbrowne's avatar

Variety is the spice of life.

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