Last weekend my partner and I camped at Bannock Point, a user-maintained walk-in campground just outside Silverton on Slocan Lake (no facilities, only a couple pit toilets).
On Sunday we hiked back up to our car to go climbing in Slocan and came across a couple with their baby, just about to start a hike. We said hi and they disappeared down a trail for five minutes. They came back and asked if we had spare water because another group of young people had just left a campfire burning. Not just a few dying embers, but a flaming fire. We gave them some water to put it out.
When we returned to the campground later that day all other campers had left. Walking around we came across a huge mess of trash, mostly beer cans, left by a party on Saturday night at one of the sites. I took a photo (shown above).
When we got home I posted the photo above on Facebook and made it public. It got shared by over 460 passionate locals who were upset about it. I got a Facebook message a couple days later from someone who was in that party, and who saw the shared photo. He called someone he knew who was the last out and alerted him of it. This guy drove back out within the hour and cleaned it up (and sent a photo (below) as proof).
I work in digital media so know full well the power of social media, but it was great to see it working on such a personal level and within our community. I commend them for going back out and fixing the situation. I know the vast majority of campers in the area are responsible, but we know that it only takes a small percentage to ruin the fun for everyone.
If you were part of that group that left the fire burning, please stop and think for a minute. Try to be a little less selfish and reckless. If you can’t handle the responsibility that comes with the privilege we have in visiting such beautiful and pristine places in the Kootenays, please stay at home. Have a fun and safe summer, everyone.