Let the flame orange wars begin

11:46 a.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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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. DSCF3518.JPGBut 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.

IMG_2347.JPGEpic 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. IMG_1745.JPGWhen 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. IMG_3278.JPG 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.

12:05 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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I've been using bright red Hilleberg tents for the last decade and really like them in the "jungles" of the Southeast mountains of TN and NC.


TRIP-105-141-L.jpg
A much bigger "LNT" problem in the Southeast is the terrible noise pollution from airport jet traffic "interstates" criss-crossing the mountains from 6am to 2am.  This human sprawl and interference has ruined backpacking.

2:12 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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Other people's tents never bothered me, regardless of color.  If they affected me in any manner, I think the bright ones put me in a festive mood.  I am sure they are present among my panorama shots, but appear as only fly specs, given the way camera optics process distant objects.  Other than NF V series domes, my tents have always been earth and green shades.

What does bother me are the folks who wash bodies, clothes or cookwares using soap in water sources, or don't scatter their ashes when they leave camp, switchback short cutters, and folks who plop themselves down in the middle of the trail to take a rest.  I am particularly annoyed by THOSE WHO TAKE MORE THAN ONE SPACE AT A CROWDED TRAILHEAD TO PARK.

And then there are those who don't heed my get off the lawn sign.  BTW: do any of you notice when you have your hearing aid out it is also harder to see? 

Ed

2:50 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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What?

2:58 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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I rarely backpack where I can see another tent.  My current tarp is yellow so I can find my own camp. 

5:11 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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bright colors in the winter make a lot of sense to me. forget about marring the landscape - I need to be able to find my shelter, or my hiking/climbing partner, even if visibility sucks.  any little bit helps, sometimes.  

overall, I tend to agree with you about bright colors, though, and I like darker greens, tans, browns, grays to limit the visual pollution for most 3 season items, including clothing, tents, backpacks.  

sleeping bags....you kind of have to take what the manufacturers offer.  

5:40 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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Yes, this has been an issue since the international orange tents and packs of the early 1970s. Many including myself see these as an eyesore. Muted, easy on the eyes earth tones integrate perfectly in the wilderness. Prior to 1973 I didn’t travel with a tent and simply sought natural shelter but when I decided to adopt the tenting lifestyle international orange was all I could find, a nylon a frame with staked out sidewalls and three piece aluminum poles. The doors simply tied shut but it was light and roomy. That color was cheery on the inside but glaring from without.

Mountaineering tents are mostly super bright but we used a Hilleberg for years that was muted green for the canopy but bright yellow inside. I like my packs and clothing to be muted earth tones too. A young woman almost stepped on us once as we relaxed in Natural Bridges, we blended so well into the floor of the canyon. Woke that poor thing right up as she looked at her feet.

5:44 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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Andrew I agree on sleeping bags, gotta go with what is offered for your specs. Hidden inside the tent now anyway.

5:53 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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balzaccom said:

What?

 What what?!

Don't invite geezers to share what pisses them off - you never know what you might start! 

It occurred to me, I must be irritating to some, gallivanting around with my Hawaiian shirts in the BC with my red Kelty pack !)

Ed-in-Le-Conte-Canyon-02.jpg
Personally I think my mug is a worse blight on the scenery than my color choices.

Ed

6:26 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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I have that same shirt :)

10:40 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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Way back in the 1950's, milsurplus was very common - all those LNT muted tones of tan and brown.  We routinely tied bright flagging tape to our packs so we could find them.  Doing SAR, I have spent way too much time searching for victims attired in muted grays tee shirts and faded blue jeans.

You don't always have to wear bright clothing or tents, but for heavens sake have at least a few items which are quite bright.  The time will come when you will be glad to have them.

I don't worry too much about brightly colored tents.  If you carry the LNT to its logical conclusion, any tent is a "trace," and should be abolished.  Make campers  dismantle and stow their tents under a rock on a daily basis to avoid leaving no trace.  Brush away their footprints while you are at it.

I am happy if LNT means no one can tell that you have camped their once you have abandoned a site.  As an archaeologist, I am fearful that we are putting future archies out of business - Bring on the trash!!

LNT, lik any good principle, can be carried to absurd extremes...

2:07 a.m. on August 21, 2019 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

balzaccom said:

What?

 What what?!

Don't invite geezers to share what pisses them off - you never know what you might start! 

It occurred to me, I must be irritating to some, gallivanting around with my Hawaiian shirts in the BC with my red Kelty pack !)

Ed-in-Le-Conte-Canyon-02.jpg
Personally I think my mug is a worse blight on the scenery than my color choices.

Ed

 You made a comment about being hard of hearing.  I didn't catch that...grin

3:22 p.m. on August 22, 2019 (EDT)
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Hikermor said: 

You don't always have to wear bright clothing or tents, but for heavens sake have at least a few items which are quite bright.  The time will come when you will be glad to have them.

I couldn't agree more. This seems like a level-headed approach. You might not want to wear bright colors everyday, and that's fine, but as a safety measure, it might be a good idea to have something that is bright neon in case you need to be seen/found. 

But aside from needing rescued, the primary reason I typically wear bright colors is when I'm hiking or camping in an area that is open to hunters. When I do most of my hiking (and in many places across the States), there is almost always some sort of creature in-season for hunters. In this case, I want to be seen and heard. Surprising a hunter isn't on my bucket list.

7:21 p.m. on August 22, 2019 (EDT)
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KiwiKlimber said:

Hikermor said: 

You don't always have to wear bright clothing or tents, but for heavens sake have at least a few items which are quite bright.  The time will come when you will be glad to have them.

I couldn't agree more. This seems like a level-headed approach. You might not want to wear bright colors everyday, and that's fine, but as a safety measure, it might be a good idea to have something that is bright neon in case you need to be seen/found. 

But aside from needing rescued, the primary reason I typically wear bright colors is when I'm hiking or camping in an area that is open to hunters. When I do most of my hiking (and in many places across the States), there is almost always some sort of creature in-season for hunters. In this case, I want to be seen and heard. Surprising a hunter isn't on my bucket list.

 Could be the LAST item on your bucket list!

12:07 p.m. on September 3, 2019 (EDT)
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I prefer muted colors myself, but I had a friend who used one of those orange 70's tents, just an A frame with ties to close the door instead of a zipper and no bugnet.  I thought it was hilarious.  He was really cheap.  If it rained, I am sure he would have gotten soaked.

November 19, 2019
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