Bringing our Noise to the Backcountry

Bringing our Noise to the Backcountry

Posted on: July 10, 2018 2:44 pm

Call this a rant.  From  my observations of trends over several decades, it would appear that we are determined to bring our human noise to the backcountry.

In a group hike recently, there was 3 hours of opportunity to hear the songs of birds, the hum of insects, and the quiet of the forest.   Instead we heard 2 hours of personal histories, delivered with loud voices.    Good for scaring off bears, but not very connected to the natural environment.

On another hike into alpine meadows, we came upon a young hiker who decided to wear a bluetooth speaker on the outside of her backpack.  We quickened our pace to be free of the blare.

While we were hiking in Peterson Creek, a young man decided to use his drone to “buzz” the hikers.   I am going to bring a slingshot next time.

We come across motorcycles, quads, and 4 X4’s  revving their motors far from road, ripping up the hillsides and filling the air with noise pollution.   On lakes we see motorboats race loudly across the lake for 30 seconds to sit and fish for 3 hours, then they race back, adding some extra decibels just because they can.

We were camping at a backcountry campsite and one of the nearby campers decided to play their music loudly for most of the day, as if all of us wanted to listen to their music too.   It was country music too.   What’s wrong with the peace of the forest?

More and more RVers are bringing their generators with them to power their devices and appliances.   RVs are less camping and more bringing the conveniences of the home to the campsite.

A few people, though, retain their sense of being in the moment.   They observe and listen for the sounds of nature as they hike.   There are conversations,  but the voices are muted.    They are more open to being connected to nature, not imposing the noise of the city on the peaceful forest.

A quiet rant for now.   To the backcountry tomorrow.

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About the Author

Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at:


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