706 forum posts
OK, it's true. When I started backpacking, I used a bright orange tube tent, and it served its purpose. And there's a reason that alpine shelters are bright orange. When you need a rescue in the snow, that orange color can help get you seen, found, and rescued. But what does that have to do with backpackers today? Not much. And frankly, I've grown a little tired of seeing bright orange and yellow blobs of color decorating so many photogenic sites, as if they are posing for the cover of a magazine.
If we really subscribe to Leave No Trace principles, shouldn't that also apply to leaving the landscape views unmarred by glaringly unnatural colors? It's a little like those hikers in the Southwest who insist upon climbing up into the rock arches, and then staying there for hours, ruining every other hiker's hope for a more natural photo.
So when was the last time you saw a magazine photo of a backpacking camp that didn't feature day-glo colors blobbed onto the wilderness? That's hardly the epitome of the natural world. We hope that tent manufacturers will take note: stop polluting the views with your logoed eyesores.
Epic campsites? They should be quietly hidden in among the trees, where they can't be seen (and where you can also enjoy some shade during the day), not plopped into the view of every other hiker who makes the effort to enjoy the wilderness. When I started making my own tents, I began with a neutral slate blue material. And then later on, I used an even lighter pale granite color. This was so successful that we once found that another group had set up their camp within 25 feet of ours, because they didn't realize that our tent was a tent, not a granite boulder among the trees. And today, I have to give kudos to our Tarptent. I'm delighted with the performance of the tent. And I'm delighted that it fades nicely into the landscape with its soft grey color. LNT indeed.