[pct-l] Water Caches - A rant from the trail

Hootie Martin hootie2006 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 15:26:45 CDT 2011

First of all, I will admit that I scraped this direct quote from a
trail-journal without the author's prior approval, so I may be doing an
unlawful act, based on past discussions on this list, however, if this is
troubling to anyone, just delete this now.  With the historical discussions
re: water caches on this list and the list filled with both those that
approve and not approve of water caches on the trail, I thought this was an
interesting rant.  The entry from the journal is:

*"A quick rant*: Some people drop off gallon bottles of water in the woods.
One I saw today had a note with it that said "Would the last hiker to finish
off each bottle, please take it with him/her and dispose of it" I didn't
take any of this water and if I had, I would leave a couple of teaspoons in
the bottle so I wouldn't have to cart out the bottle. If you put plastic in
the woods, I think you should be responsible for removing the empties. I
just can't see a thru-hiker carting out the empties for you."
I had to laugh about this from several different angles.  First, I would
agree that caches left in the woods are not always well maintained and can
often create an eye-sore when not maintained.  This is why I tend to agree
with the comments for several folks on this list that water caches might be
better placed some distance off-trail (is it really that difficult to walk
100-200 yards off-trail?).  Second, I had to laugh at the idea that one
might consider the idea of carrying an empty water bottle a significant
inconvenience to the point that you would leave just a couple of drops of
water if the cache owner had left a note as in the case above.  Wow, how
much does that empty water bottle weigh?  Earlier this year, I was section
hiking a part of the Norcal PCT and I came upon a soda cache.  While others
(based on the log the majority were those attempting a thru-hike) simply
drank and discarded the empties at the cache, I chose to carry my empty to
the next available disposal site (turned out it was nearly 20 miles up
trail).  I gotta say that I could feel the weight of that empty soda can on
my back the entire way :)  Man, I wish I would have simply discarded it at
the cache as others had done.  Lastly, I suppose I find it humorous that
this hiker above would find it to be incovenient to do so, when the the
intention of the water cacher was to help you out a bit.

Very humorous no doubt!

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