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What interesting gear have you found on the trail?
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(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
[...] on 07/12/2013 05:23:33 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 06/12/2015 11:44:33 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 08:46:26 MDT Print View

Found a Columbia nylon hat on the LT last year.. cleaned it up.. quite comfy. Also found a pair of cheap flip flops and since i didn't have any camp shoes they came with me the rest of the way.

I've found a bunch of mini baskets for trekking poles.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 09:10:44 MDT Print View

a tent, ice axe, random single gloves.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Road Presents on 07/12/2013 09:51:59 MDT Print View

Not a backpacking story, but on our 2012 bike trip, myself and two friends had to replace a tube on my buddy's univega four times. Doing so stripped our wrench terribly. We were worried we wouldn't e able to fix it a fifth time.

Then, we found a brand new Mini Craftsman monkey wrench on the side of the road. Worked for the rest of the tour!

I also found a sweet L.L. Bean ranger hat.

James DeGraaf
(jdegraaf) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 10:07:19 MDT Print View

Went on a trip with my younger brother in law. It was colder than expected the first night. The second night we were expecting the same. While we gathered wood for a fire we found a heavy synthetic L.L. Bean sleeping bag and a couple of bags of Ramen. We unzipped the found bag, shared it as an overbag and ate hot Ramen. We hiked out the next day and brought the "new" bag with us.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
Stuff on 07/12/2013 10:08:22 MDT Print View

Too many broken water bottles. Too much trash :( My friends found a titanium .44 mag hiking outside of Fairbanks. Checked it out with the cops, now they are the proud owners.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
leave it on 07/12/2013 10:21:10 MDT Print View

I have found a ton of things over the years.

But I leave it where it is... in case the owner returns looking for it...


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: leave it on 07/12/2013 10:25:38 MDT Print View

me too.

Jeffrey McConnell
Cuben on 07/12/2013 10:32:20 MDT Print View

Besides the random water bottle or bear canister one time I found a cuben duomid...just sitting there I took it. I figured carrying the extra weight the rest of the trip would be worth it. ;)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Pack it out! on 07/12/2013 10:41:40 MDT Print View

I hope I'm not the only one, but I have never left the woods without somebody else's trash in my pack.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Cuben on 07/12/2013 10:42:25 MDT Print View

HA! Any BPL members lose a DuoMid when they went peak-bagging?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 10:45:49 MDT Print View

1. Lots of rubber caps for trekking poles.
2. Lots of lens caps for cameras. Mostly Nikon, oddly enough. Mostly small ones.
3. Coins. I generally score about 25 cents per day.
4. Ballpoint pens.
5. Bandanas. I could go online with a used bandana store.


Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Re: Cuben on 07/12/2013 10:50:38 MDT Print View

WOW a cuben duomid? I hope that was really something that was left behind. I would hate to be that guy coming back to my camp to find out my $H17 was $%#&@ with.

Wish I was as lucky to find something like that...only things I've found were bandanas, hats, glasses, etc. nothing major.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Nikon on 07/12/2013 11:01:06 MDT Print View


I've lost two Nikon lens caps.


Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 11:19:20 MDT Print View

I was day hiking a fishing trail and came across a couple of young guys that had backpacked in and set up camp right on one of my favorite fishing spots. I stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes and they were planning an extended stay. When I returned a week later, their camp had been washed out by a flash flood (I knew they had set up in a poor spot but figured they knew what they were doing... apparently not). I figured they must have abandoned their stuff in the middle of the night because the entire camp was still there, soaking wet tent, sleeping bags, fishing rods etc.). I left everything as it was, thinking they would return to claim their gear. I returned a couple of times over the next month and scavengers and the river took care of the gear.

On the flip side, I was on a backpacking trip with my kids when they were young teens and we had an apparent communication problem. I thought my son had gone and grabbed the bear bag but apparently he thought I had gotten it. We had left my bear bag up a pole and since we hiked out in one day, we didn't notice it was missing until we got home (600 miles away). I lost my stove, a gas can, my pot and some food utensils (as well as the bag). I always imagined it hanging there until the fall when nobody was around and a ranger would retrieve it.

Edited by skopeo on 07/12/2013 11:20:05 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Nikon on 07/12/2013 11:21:37 MDT Print View

I lost a Nikon. Or was it some other brand, I forget.

If anyone found it would you please send it back to me? : )

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: What interesting gear have you found on the trail on 07/12/2013 11:33:32 MDT Print View

Snotty industrial-strength handkerchief/bandanna. To my wife's horror I washed it and now use it.

Baby's bib, to my kid's delight I wore it down the trail, then tied it to a post at the trailhead.

Assorted fishing lures, often in trees near a river or lake.

30 feet nylon parachute cord.

Many tent stakes from many sites.

I generally carry out any garbage I come across.

I left food hanging once, discovered it at the trailhead, always wondered what happened to it.

Many years ago some friends had their off-trail campsite raided while bagging a peak, they lost everything of value.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Cuben duomid on 07/12/2013 11:38:30 MDT Print View

You took it? How could you know it was forgotten? A pitched cuben shelter was unlikely to be forgotten. If you are not joking and trying to bait a reaction here you have questionable ethics in my book.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 11:49:33 MDT Print View

Found a campsite with cheap tent, sleeping bags, and rotting food and package scraps in Yosemite near Cloud's Rest in the springtime, looking like it had overwintered. We were on the way in for a week so I just left it. All I could guess was that the owners got hit by a fall storm and left the tent and bags to let them travel light.

Couldn't find my Timex Indiglo watch packing at home in California. Then on the trip, my wife fell partly down a cliff on the West Coast Trail in Canada. Luckily a branch caught between her back and pack stopping her. During the fall, as she was grabbing at brush she managed to grab a... Timex Indiglo watch matching mine.

Forgot to pack my water bottle when heading for Mt. Whitney this spring. Planned to dig in the trash for a used soda bottle, but found a bike bottle in the parking lot. Then saw the same Nalgene going up, and back down the trail two days later so I snagged that.

Lost 2 pair of gloves in different parking lots two winters ago, but found two pair of gloves under chairlifts when skiing the same year.

Just call me even steven.

kevin timm
(ktimm) - MLife

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Garmin Rhino on 07/12/2013 11:51:15 MDT Print View

THat wintered at 13000 feet and still worked

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 12:22:51 MDT Print View

I've seen a bunch of gear a number of times - tent, sleeping bag, a few other items, fairly low quality, laying on the ground. I just leave it because it's too heavy to carry out.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 12:47:36 MDT Print View

Yeah, flannel-lined, polyester-filled sleeping bags are the most common, large item left behind. Depending on the setting, I suspect teen-aged lovers or someone who wasn't going to camp again and didn't want to carry it back.

Glass bottles. When left in a USFS cabin, I imagine someone rationalized it as, "Someone could use it as a drinking cup or candle holder." But really, it was heavy trash they left behind.

Hunting camps will get things brought in but not out over the years. Some woodcraft stuff - tables and chairs from saplings, some thing flown or hiked in. There does seem be enough "pride of ownership" that they don't leave trash. And in bear country, they don't leave food waste.

A lot of things I'll carry out. Especially if it's my last day out.

Edited to add: walking my beach there is lots of sport and commercial fishing gear. My best finds were a Casio dual-time-zone, analog/digital wristwatch. And a Leatherman in good shape. On another beach, we found an upper-end halibut rod. In Prince William Sound we found a fiberglass kayaking paddle. We returned it to the kayak rental company who said the last renter would be happy to have the $200 charge reversed.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 07/12/2013 12:54:57 MDT.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Similar on 07/12/2013 13:04:54 MDT Print View

Rubber pole tips.

Titanium spoon, at Guitar lake. Feels better than most, it has a place in my pack now.

Full mountain biking gloves. They go in my kite buggy bag now.


Zach Waller
** on 07/12/2013 13:34:32 MDT Print View

....found more trash than anything, and discarded clothing. But one time while setting up camp in what i thought was a scarcely traveled area i look down and see something shiny in the dirt below my hammock. Reached down and pulled it out and it was a mens gold wedding band. The most odd part about it was i wasn't at a campsite. I had just tied up between two trees a good bit off the trail and had to be atleast 10 miles or more from the trailhead. Made me wonder how it got there/how old it was all night...

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 13:48:38 MDT Print View

Speaking of which, if someone found a faded green "John Deer" hat between Redfish Lake and Flatrock Crossing, I'd love to get it back. Was trying out my new pack last year and not being used to it, forgot to buckle one of the buckles that was holding my hat in place. It's only a hat, yes....but it's a bit sentimental to me.

A long shot, I know....but thought I'd throw it out there. Anyone?

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Cuben duomid on 07/12/2013 13:53:43 MDT Print View

"You took it? How could you know it was forgotten? A pitched cuben shelter was unlikely to be forgotten. If you are not joking and trying to bait a reaction here you have questionable ethics in my book."

Come on now...sarcasm - hence the emoticon. I would hope no one on this forum would steal someone's gear. Besides, if someone lost a cuben duomid I'm sure the entire forum would know about it. :)

Edited by Catalyst on 07/12/2013 14:02:11 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 13:59:50 MDT Print View

Innumerable plastic bags of dog poo left on the side of the trail. I'd rather they flipped it into the bushes with a stick than render it a permanent part of the trail side. My dog has his own pack to avoid such things. He makes a good trash hauler with that rig.

Toby with luggage

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 14:02:04 MDT Print View

What a beautiful dog!

What breed?

James DeGraaf
(jdegraaf) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 14:20:59 MDT Print View

On a day hike with the family, my daughter in a child carrier, dropped her ruffed monkey without us knowing. We didn't realize did we had everyone back in the car. I was about to go hike the whole 7 miles again to look for it (yeah it's that important) but found resting on a fence post near the trail head, much to the relief of my daughter , and wife! Thanks to whoever found it and brought it back!

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: lost ring on 07/12/2013 15:08:00 MDT Print View

If it was in large cavern by a pool... Mine

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 15:31:24 MDT Print View

Hiking in the desert I found a whole bunch of water stashed under a bush. I drank it all and left the empties behind...

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 15:34:43 MDT Print View


I hope it was not so somomes stash.

Richard Fischel
and every once in a while you read a post on 07/12/2013 15:40:05 MDT Print View

like this

in a lost-and-found section.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
AT in the spring on 07/12/2013 16:16:07 MDT Print View

If collecting gear is your thing then hike the AT approach trail in the spring during peak thru season. I have found tents, cook sets, bear canisters, axes, food bags, sleeping bag and countless articles of clothes plus hordes of smaller items. Local Boy Scout tripos could be completely geared up if they hiked that trail on a regular basis.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/12/2013 18:23:42 MDT Print View

A case of gelatin dynamite, 200' of primer cord, 24 blasting caps and 50' of 1 ft/min fuse. I'm not sure this counts as gear but it does count as a find. BTW, I left it where it was and reported it to the USFS. A trail crew had left it there by mistake. I wouldn't have wanted to be the crew foreman on Monday.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 18:33:59 MDT Print View

>"I hope it was not someone's stash."

I had a regular route with the dog and I'd leave a gallon jug of water and a water dish tucked under a tree to give her a drink mid-hike (there was road access to the mid-way point).

I'll cache food and drink in advance of a very long (40-60 mile) day hike. It wouldn't be a survival situation if someone took it, but it would bum me out to do 10 miles without the food and water I'd planned on.

In a SW desert, taking a few gallons of water from someone's cache of water could result in a few dead undocumented immigrants.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 19:05:26 MDT Print View

Sarcasm. It's hard for some to fathom.

Found $2 today in the woods with the dog.

A liter Nalgene bottle filled to the very brim with some excellent tequila. Found amongst a bear ravaged campsite on the Lost Coast. Improper food storage. 1 Lara Bar also there untouched.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 19:42:26 MDT Print View

CharlieDog found a yellow tennis ball at a totally off-trail lake in the Winds. He was thrilled.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Found on Trail on 07/12/2013 22:01:21 MDT Print View

Garcia Bear Canister on JMT. First thought was some unwitting traveller dropped his food. Further inspection of the water logged contents revealed the ugly truth. Misc. trash including a pair of soiled tighty whities and possibly the remains of a WAG bag. Though tempting to score on a canister, I could never bring myself to store and eat from the soiled container as such would be a constant reminder at mealtime.

Edited by Mtngeronimo on 07/12/2013 22:02:04 MDT.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Trail Finds on 07/12/2013 23:47:16 MDT Print View

I found a hat once on the trail. It took me awhile to realize it was mine. I'd lost it the year before.
I have a theory that if you look hard enough you'll find a tent stake at every camp and I've found some and lost some.
I really feel guilty on the trail when I realize I dropped something out of my pocket, mostly trash. I double up on my trash pickup on the way out when that happens.
And by the way, if anyone found a long handle titanium spoon about halfway between Muir Pass and Le Conte canyon a few years back just keep it. I learned to carve spoons out of sticks and ended up switching to plastic spoons as a result of that loss. I haven't lost a spoon since.
Over the years I've continued to renew my rights to my trail name.

Still Lookin'

Tanner M
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/13/2013 04:41:02 MDT Print View

Well, this has been fun and I have literally laughed aloud.

3 red tent poles. Person came by the next day hunting them.

2 times, small piles of human waste. 1 on the trail, 1 with some little effort to conceal it. Bears don't use tissue...

1 hunting dog that missed the ride home. He staid with us until we had to go home...

Countless piles of stone. Some large some small. All mysterious...

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Damn, forgot something! on 07/13/2013 11:07:13 MDT Print View

I was wondering where I'd left all my stone. Thanks Tanner!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Pack it out! on 07/13/2013 15:24:21 MDT Print View

"I hope I'm not the only one, but I have never left the woods without somebody else's trash in my pack."

You will rarely see me packing out other people's trash.


I did find this, but someone grabbed the gear(s) before I got to it. Too heavy for me to pack out.


We left this magazine where we found it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
lots! on 07/13/2013 16:26:33 MDT Print View

Sleeping bag (cheap)
Tents (2 or 3) (cheap)
Packs up trees and contents everywhere (probably lost during flood)
Cigarette lighters (plural)
Sunglasses (plural)
Shoes (usually one at a time)
Trekking pole (Makalu Titanium)
Camera lens covers
Food (including 1 kg block of cheese in good condition)
Fuel bottles
Ancient rifle (not historic, just rather old)
Ancient ammo for rifle
Ancient saddlery - possibly even 'historic'
Ancient waterbottle - probably historic
Ancient cannon - definitely historic
Ancient gold stamping battery, definitely historic
Antique cars, rusting
Remains of (many) pot (grass) plantations, with tools, pots, chicken wire etc etc

I could go on ...


Edited by rcaffin on 07/14/2013 01:40:35 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Love your Mother on 07/13/2013 21:59:51 MDT Print View

I encourage everyone to pack out other people's trash, when reasonable.

Leaving it better than you found it is a courtesy that more than makes up for the disregard of others, and seeing a pristine wilderness might keep would-be litterbugs from justifying their actions.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Love your Mother on 07/13/2013 22:30:55 MDT Print View

"I encourage everyone to pack out other people's trash, when reasonable."

When contradictions exist, check your premise.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Love your Mother on 07/13/2013 22:53:35 MDT Print View


I'm with you on this topic. I guess I've been a professional babysitter for enough years and have been on enough police calls in the military that it doesn't bother me to pack out the occasional water bottle or whatever.

That is with the exception of this "artifact" that I found in the Juniper Dunes Wilderness. I figure he's been sitting there since the '70s or early '80s without hurting anyone so I left him alone.


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Love your Mother on 07/13/2013 23:52:28 MDT Print View

+1, Max.

Personally, when I've hiked 20 miles without seeing any trash and then there is a piece, (1) it typically is a little scrap that most likely got dropped accidentally as someone pulled out a bandana or some such, and (2) it is jarring enough to see it and more upsetting to know if it remained there after I passed. Sure, it "belongs" in someone else's pocket. But I'd rather it was in my pocket than on the trail.

We are social creatures. Most people comply with most societal norms. If the norm (as evidenced along the trail) is "some people litter" then lo and behold, some people will litter. Whereas in places where "essentially no one litters", then almost no one litters. So I skew the results. I try to make hikers, collectively, look better than they actually are. A small fraction of people doing a little more than their share can change the mindset of the masses. I've seen behaviors improve over the decades (not perfect, but improved) about litter, cutting live trees, fire circles, not cutting switchbacks, etc despite there being many more people on the trail now.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Love your Mother on 07/13/2013 23:58:58 MDT Print View

Ian, at what point does an old pepsi can turn from garbage to a relic of archaeological significance that needs to be left in situ so that future generations will be able to study them?

Given enough time even the contents of feces can become an object for study by the professional archaeologist, but I'm not sure where the demarcation point is for a can.

Edited by millonas on 07/14/2013 00:01:44 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Massive amounts of trash, on 07/14/2013 00:00:02 MDT Print View

I've been to a couple places where I could not pack out the trash. I would need a pack animal to pack out the trash, and even then it might be a couple trips. It's really depressing.
Maybe I should burn it all? It would be better than just leaving it there.

Yes, I've left a few items in the wilderness. A couple water bottles, a pair of synthetic socks, a few tent stakes. I do feel bad about that.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/14/2013 00:10:21 MDT Print View

10" cast iron skillet, if you consider that "gear".

Fortunately, a USFS ranger out on a really long day packed it back out.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Love your Mother on 07/14/2013 00:10:37 MDT Print View

"Ian, at what point does an old pepsi can turn from garbage to a relic of archaeological significance that needs to be left in situ so that future generations will be able to study them?"

If my first reaction is "What kind of a &%#$%^& arsehole would just leave that here?!?" then I pick it up.

If my first reaction is "Holy crap! I was wearing bellbottoms the last time I saw one of those!" then I leave it alone.

Edit: I couldn't remember for sure but per wikipedia, that has been sitting there for at least 33 years. Was it left there by some Palouse farmer? Maybe an unsung hero of the Cold War from Hanford? Kennewick Man's great great great great great great great grandson? Dunno.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 07/14/2013 00:17:22 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love your Mother on 07/14/2013 00:12:39 MDT Print View

I'm not %100 sure how, but I think that logic is a bit like only wanting to save the "cute" animals from extinction ;-).

Edited by millonas on 07/14/2013 00:13:40 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love your Mother on 07/14/2013 00:19:22 MDT Print View

"I'm not %100 sure how, but I think that logic is a bit like only wanting to save the "cute" animals from extinction ;-)."

I'm ok with that.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Just remember.... on 07/14/2013 00:22:06 MDT Print View

...every arrowhead you find in the wilderness is the result of someone who wasn't yo diggity down with LNT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Just remember.... on 07/14/2013 00:26:03 MDT Print View

Cans fro the 70's are a no, but pottery shards from the 1870's is OK? Where is the line? I find condensed milk cans in the middle of the desert. I leave them. Mylar balloons I'll pack out, The can is no threat to anyone.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Just remember.... on 07/14/2013 00:31:06 MDT Print View

If you hike around the Death Valley National Park backcountry a little bit, you will come across some great collector's items in the way of dead automobiles on and off trails. It's fascinating to try to identify the make and model based on a rusted hulk.


Tanner M
Re: Re: Just remember.... on 07/14/2013 02:04:01 MDT Print View

The ghost of an AMC Gremlin trying to make it to Disneyland.

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 07/14/2013 05:48:11 MDT Print View

Speaking of rubber pole tips? I leave mine on because they tend to leave fewer marks on the trail and are a whole lot quieter than hearing click, click, click as I go down the trail. But I have to confess that I have also lost a couple over the years.

Twice in the last five years I have had my cache of water stolen. I wish people would not steal water unless it was an emergency.

I have not been lucky enough to find anything "good" on the trail that others left behind. I have only found their trash, which really pisses me off!

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
no one on 07/14/2013 07:22:44 MDT Print View

I checked this thread, but seems no one found, my bpl1100 pot with bushbuddy and myog spinntex bag that my wife lost the first day of a 5 day winter hike in the Vercors mountain.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
This weekend in Indiana on 01/18/2015 07:03:55 MST Print View

Two bandanas, a Mora knife in good conditions (someone regrets dropping that, I expect), and a two-foot handsaw (trail maintenance? Horsepacker?).

Also more beer bottles than I could have carried in a shopping cart. Those stayed. I definitely blame the horse riders for those. Backpackers would have more sense than to carry cheap beer in bottles that many miles.

Things get a lot easier to spot off-trail in the underbrush in the winter.

Dan Goggins
(hjuan99) - MLife

Locale: Mountain West
Unintentional littering on 01/18/2015 10:26:16 MST Print View

We always hike gear out.....I hiked out a 3 man Ozark trail tent that was destroyed/abandoned once. The tent poles were shattered....Not exactly sure what cheap Ozark trail tent poles are made of (they are extremely thin by the way...not sure how a 5 mph wind doesn't destroy them instantly), but that stuff was nasty with micro splinters...had to be real careful with it. Plus plenty of shoe soles, sunglasses, an inflatable sit pad once, and....usually its just simple candy or granola bar wrappers and ...#1 item I find is water/Gatorade bottles.

I know a lot was just from a habitual litterer...but I still like to think that 75% was unintentional littering. Forgetting a water bottle at a rest stop, or it popped out of their side pockets when trying to sit down, or a candy wrapper that fell out of a pocket while trying to dig out something else....

I hike trash out to teach my kids the old scout motto of leaving a campsite and the wilderness better than we left it. But honestly....I'm just trying to make up for all of the unintentional littering that I have done.

For example....while packrafting the escalante I found a 2 liter platypus on a beach....only to realize later that I accidentally left my sunglasses on that same beach.

Is the person that finds the sunglasses going to think that I was littering or just accidentally forgot them? I do hope that most hikers realize that a lot of littering is by accident.

(FarWalker) - M

Locale: On a trail
Finding stuff and litter on 01/18/2015 11:09:53 MST Print View

..."every arrowhead you find in the wilderness is the result of someone who wasn't yo diggity down with LNT."

Yea I tell that to my archeologist spouse each time he finds artifacts....he gets real excited, takes lots of photos, me not so much.
"One man's trash is another's treasure" kinda thing I guess.
Down here on the Mexican border you can judge how long an illegal trail has been used by the age of the steel juice cans littering acres of shady spots.....

Due to fire pressures where we live the recreational opportunities got shrunk down to basically three canyons out of six so those left that are worth hiking are experiencing much more pressure, trampling, biking and of course trash. I keep a surgical glove and zip locks in my pack to carry out the mounds of TP that appear, especially after holidays. Thanksgiving beat the daylights out of the only place with trees here and I was picking up poopie papers for days.....gross. I wonder what goes thru people's minds when they walk away from mounds of TP within three feet of a popular trail? Like It's actually OK for the rest of us to have to look at it forever? UGH! Just two days ago I found an unopened 7up right in the middle of a could a person miss dropping that?
Oh and I've got a pile of bike parts....and walking pole tips.
By far the worst was the biking club that decided to do a night ride...some idiot decided it would be a good idea to put up HUNDREDS of reflectors on every tree, rock and USFS sign for two and a half miles using ammonia based plumbers caulking.....made me just about as angry and sick to heart as I'd been in years....of course I reported it. I will add that I in no way resent bikers, except those that are not courteous, even after that farce. I just pick up the parts they leave behind....and jump out of their way when they bomb on by.....😁

Edited by FarWalker on 01/18/2015 11:13:34 MST.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 01/18/2015 15:40:58 MST Print View

Apparently, a lot of you are finding those rubber pole tips -- damn, I need a pair of those, but haven't found any!

On trail, I've mostly found the usual stuff, abandoned hat, gloves, bandanas. My best haul was a yellow Garmin GPS (which I can't find around the house, no matter where I look - Karma!!!). I examined it carefully, and started it up, but there was nothing that listed the owner. If it's garbage, we usually pack it out (my husband brought out an old Mateus bottle today -- heavy SOB).

Living in the desert, we don't touch water caches. It could be a matter of life or death for someone -- wouldn't want to be morally responsible for someone's death.

Off trail, I've found lots of stuff: a powder horn (!), shell casings, pens, bottles and cans (some old), bandanas, the odd climbing nut or carabiner, bits of old climbing rope -- and a (used) pair of boxer shorts printed with roast turkey legs (!!!). I can't even imagine what the story was on that last item. My buddy & I couldn't stop laughing -- he put them in a plastic bag, and brought them home!

As for stuff I've lost, well... I'm probably not ahead of the game over all.

What I have NOT found: The Lost Dutchman Mine.

Edited by Wildtowner on 01/18/2015 15:53:03 MST.

Nathan Wernette
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Found on 01/19/2015 06:16:36 MST Print View

I found a large container of Vaseline once.

Also, towels for some reason...

Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Re: Found on 01/19/2015 06:58:15 MST Print View

Aside from numerous cheap sleeping bags, the only piece of actual gear I've found was a R1 hoody that someone apparently tossed after it got a small rip in it. Wasn't my size, but I had it repaired, and gave it to someone who could use it.

Edit: forgot that I found a Buff on the ground at a TH. Kind of ironic that it's the only Buff I've lost, and have no idea what happened to-I know where the other one I lost went, but it's 1500 miles away with my Suunto M3-DL. So much for LNT...

Edited by OwenM on 01/19/2015 07:01:24 MST.

Donald Browning
(docdb) - M

Locale: SE USA
Left behind on 01/19/2015 08:31:04 MST Print View

I hike in North Georgia, Tennessee and N. Carolina.
I've found old steel beer cans with "church-key" openings (I call that a condensed milk can). Also, lots of hats, shoes, a patagonia jacket, a tent, bags of trash, lots of mylar balloons, paracord in trees, sunglasses, tampons inserters, etc

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
re: found items on 01/19/2015 09:06:02 MST Print View

A pillow, several lights, water bottles and Nalgenes, sleeping pads (usually foam, which seem to escape cord or strap with regularity).

I found one Nalgene standing alone in the middle of a meadow once. Took it home after trying to find the owner in the crowd at the trailhead (it had a name on it). A year later, on a whim, I returned to the Dinkey Wilderness with it (I don't usually carry Nalgenes in summer) and was holding it in my hand as we climbed to Dogtooth Peak - a group going the other way included a young lady who recognized it as hers. Evidently she takes disadvantaged youth from Orange County up there every summer, and forgot it last year on a break. I offered it back to her but she let me keep it.

One time we found a stainless steel pot full of flatware next to the trail. It'd been collecting rain for a while. Obviously no one who came here (or to any store with outdoor equipment) first.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
Re: re: found items on 01/19/2015 09:46:18 MST Print View

I can't be the only one who turned around at the parking lot and hiked back three miles to pick up an escaped sleeping pad, can I?

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: re: found items on 01/19/2015 10:23:52 MST Print View

watch, hat, pole baskets, various climbing booty while climbing... including a patagucci Nano puff that fits perfect (no one at the cliff, not anyones i asked about it)

found a water bottle coming down mt washington this fall. dumped it out cuz i'm not carrying water i won't drink. found the ownder up the trail a while later and he was like is there still water in it? "there was" haha at least he knows it didn't break falling out of his pack.

Peter Boysen
(peterboysen) - MLife
circular saw on 01/19/2015 10:33:59 MST Print View

I once hauled a completely rusted out circular saw that I yanked out of an iced over log. It was a little wildlife refuge about 10 minutes from my hometown, so it's not like somebody hiked 20 miles with it, but it was probably a mile and half or more, and depending on the time of year it might have been compete bushwhacking to get there.

I was just snowshoeing out there (thus, not bushwhacking since all the brush was down) so I have no idea how long it was there, but it probably weighed 15 pounds, and I had no pack to carry it in. They apparently didn't forget to bring the battery out though.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Most interesting on 01/19/2015 18:07:04 MST Print View

My most interesting is probably a lawn chair. The old alum. kind with the wide fabric straps. Carried it out. Also found a full sized coleman white gas lantern, my buddy carried that one out. He used it for car camping for a long time.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
ha! on 01/19/2015 20:01:30 MST Print View

Some awesome quotes in this thread

A liter Nalgene bottle filled to the very brim with some excellent tequila. Found amongst a bear ravaged campsite on the Lost Coast. Improper food storage. 1 Lara Bar also there untouched."

As well as the Gatel "check your premise"

And what is with the Leki Makalu? I also found one, on an alpine route in NOCA. Weird.

Always sunglasses. Lens caps. Once some full cans of beer that had obviously taken a tumble, but the majority were unbroken... and delicious.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 01/19/2015 22:02:52 MST Print View

This weekend I found an old tobacco tin on a remote slope in Anza Borrego. I have never seen another person in this area, it is rarely hiked.

It was one of the slender ones with a flip top lid, similar to this:


The outside was burned and completely rusted. Inside were a couple pages of folded onion skin paper, the edges were charred. There were written instructions (navigation instructions) on the paper, barely legible. The ink was from a fountain pen. There was no sign of a recent fire, or even a long time ago fire. Since fountain pens went out of favor for the most part in the 60's, I am guessing this thing was from the 50's or even earlier.

Being that I am sure it is over 50 years old, I left it where it was. I did find one mylar ballon, long deflated and disintegrated. I packed that out. The only other thing I found were animal tracks and a lot of big horn scat.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
The Duct Tape Miracle on 01/19/2015 23:51:34 MST Print View

Many years ago, a group of college students, me included, were on a week-long trip through the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. It was spring break, and so perfect time to be in the desert. We were a mixed group in our experience level with the backcountry, with this being the first trip for about half the group. We were of course heavy hauling (think 30 years ago). Much of our load was water, as most campsites were dry.

I was a little smitten, in that not so discerning way that college freshman boys tend to be, with one of the young ladies in our group. She was from the half of our group that was new to backpacking, and was struggling.

On our second day her hiking boots, which she had borrowed from her mother, started failing. The glue holding on the soles was not holding. The boots were were probably 20 years old, although the suede looked almost brand new. Her mother had probably bought them before her daughter was born, but never used them.

At this stage I was getting nervous for her and our ability to complete the trip. As we had a lot of miles to cover. The boot was probably only a few hundred steps away from total failure. I started asking the group if anyone had some duct tape that we could wrap the boot and hold on the sole. No one did. I start encouraging her saying we would figure this out while I ran through my head what other fix might work to salvage the boots.

I was in the lead at that point. We probably went another 15 minutes down the trail. Everyone was quiet. You only heard foot steps and the occasional flapping of her boot sole as it continued to work its way free. With the sole on the other foot not far behind.

It was a typical hot sunny blue sky day. We had not seen anyone else the entire trip so far. And we were miles from any campsite. As we walked, right in front of me, sitting on the dry rocky ground, dead center of the trail. A quarter role of duct tape.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What interesting gear have you found on the trail? on 01/20/2015 01:41:09 MST Print View

Collection of very old saddlery and horse gear in a cave on an old cattle duffing route in remote bushland.

Rusty remains of a very old rifle in another cave.

Very, very old (>100 yrs) water bottle deep in remote bush.

Convict crowbars and rock gads from about 1888 in a cave (we know how they got there, and they were from convicts).

That's not counting the usual yobbo tourist junk like trashed tents and lost sleeping bags and chips of blue foam.