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Backcountry ethical question - should you wear bright colors or earth tones?

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In known bear country, I have been known to make quite a bit of noise as well.  LNT does not over-ride safety.

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I wear neutral colors in the woods - except during deer hunting season when I will wear a blaze orange vest when hiking, even if I'm not hunting.  As has been mentioned, bright colors attract blackflies, mosquitos, deer flies and horse flies.  They are also a signal beacon to every animal in the woods - ever want a chance to see a deer?  Then don't wear neon colors - it's such an unnatural color that deer won't even wait around to determine if your a threat if they see it, they just go.  If you're wearing neutral colors, they tend to stick around a little longer to make sure you're a threat before leaping off.

 

I don't wear camo either - I'm not playing war games and frankly it's just silly.  The sporting gear folks make a ton of money off of camo gear having convinced hunters that it will increase their chances for game.  Last time I went turkey hunting, I wore blue jeans and a green plaid shirt - my hunting buddies all wore full camo and a couple of them even wore gilly suits and told me there would be no way I would even see a turkey - I was the only one to come back with a bird. 

 

But that's me - wear whatever you want - but on the safety thing, remember this - a Baltimore Oriole is a bright orange bird - and very difficult to find starting mid-May when the trees have fully leafed out. 

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It is believed that deer can distinguish blue from red, but not green from red, or orange from red.

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If one is really serious about his whole issue of getting lost in the woods kind of thing,   As a hunter, noise and movement are more noticeable than color.  Whenever I hear a noise in the woods hunting I just stare in the general direction of the noise and somewhere in my vision something will move and give itself away.  A turkey hunter walking through the woods wearing a gilly suit might as well be wearing a neon sign.

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If one is really serious about his whole issue of getting lost in the woods kind of thing,   As a hunter, noise and movement are more noticeable than color.  Whenever I hear a noise in the woods hunting I just stare in the general direction of the noise and somewhere in my vision something will move and give itself away.  A turkey hunter walking through the woods wearing a gilly suit might as well be wearing a neon sign.

 

Smell trumps sight and sound for many game too. They will smell you (if down wind) faster than hear you, hear you faster than see you and see you faster than you can react. Unless, of course, you are driving in West Virginia on Route 33 at 2am and the deer are on the side of the road....then those little buggers just jump at your car!! ;)

 

Deer whistles anyone? ;)

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Smell trumps sight and sound for many game too. They will smell you (if down wind) faster than hear you, hear you faster than see you and see you faster than you can react. Unless, of course, you are driving in West Virginia on Route 33 at 2am and the deer are on the side of the road....then those little buggers just jump at your car!! ;)

 

Deer whistles anyone? ;)

 

As a Wisconsinite I can assure you deer whistles are totally ineffective!

 

At night the lights "freeze" deer and they will not move.  Blowing the horn will scatter them.  So if one is cruising down the road at night doing 65 mph and there's a deer staring at you in the middle of the road" turn off the lights and lay on the horn.  :)  It does work! (if you have the nerve)

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The main arguments against bright colors is the 7th LNT principle (be considerate to others).  In other words wearing bright colors interrupts the solitude of people who go to the backcountry to get away from people.

 

I think that's going a little far.  I understand bright tents but never have heard any issues with clothing.  I am a LNT (Outdoors Ethics) Trainer.

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I think that's going a little far.  I understand bright tents but never have heard any issues with clothing.  I am a LNT (Outdoors Ethics) Trainer.

 

Same here. I can honestly say that topic has NEVER come up.

 

Now, I have had heated debates on packing your own poo. ;)

Edited by Krampus

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Same here. I can honestly say that topic has NEVER come up.

 

Now, I have had heated debates on packing your own poo. ;)

 

Really?

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Yah, if yeh have ever been in some of da popular summer hikin' areas and such yeh realize how much everyone with neon tents (more than clothing) and such disrupts da enjoyment of other visitors.   Especially the photography.

 

Clothin' choices also can be a reflection of our own personal attitudes, eh?   That's why we use uniforms in Scouting, after all.   Neon clothes say "Look at me!".  Neutral colors say "Don't mind me, look at the world around you."   If the lads are wearin' neutral colors you can even sometimes encourage 'em to stop well off trail and quietly out of view instead of droppin' packs in the middle of the trail. :D

 

So put me down for quality first, and reasonable price.  After that, I choose neutral colors that blend in.  Bein' courteous to other visitors is hard enough with a big group of kids without addin' in a neon "I'll do what I want" attitude.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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Really?

 

Yup. In LNT training the key issues are more noise, camping impact, garbage/refuse management. Cannot recall a single incident in 10 years where someone has complained that Mrs. Stosh was wearing pink camo. ;)

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Mrs. Stosh wouldn't get caught dead in pink camo!

 

Oddly enough it's a color spectrum deer cannot see. ;) It is actually harder to see by deer than regular camo. ;)

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post-4918-0-00796900-1462901889_thumb.jpg

Isn't green or brown a bright color for Brits? :)

Seems all you lot ever wear is black or shades of black.

We're not generally known for our outrageous dress sense! Including me. My dress sense is generally pretty conservative.

 

In the hills though it's different. I don't spend as much time in the Scottish Highlands as I would like but I do enough that my outdoors clothing is chosen incase things go horribly wrong. Selfie taken in the Cairngorms attached as a demo :)

 

In all seriousness there was a particularly nasty accident on Ben Nevis (our highest mountain) over the winter. A young couple out climbing were avallanched. Their bodies weren't found for weeks.

 

If it's ever me that it happens to I fully intend that my clothing will help them find me,

Edited by Cambridgeskip
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Sasquatch has been running around in forest neutral colors for years and is sighted quite frequently. Wear what you want.

 

 

I think that's going a little far.  I understand bright tents but never have heard any issues with clothing.  I am a LNT (Outdoors Ethics) Trainer.

 

 

yeah, interesting thread me thinks....

I use to wonder about this idea a long time ago....long before i saw mention of the concept with relation to LNT.

for example when buying a tent with multiple color options....buy the more brightly colored one, or the subdued brown/green color scheme?

I used to think along the lines that the brighter color would be better, so as to allow others to see and avoid easier....to stay out of my campsite, etc....

and it would also give the advantage of being a bit more findable if I come up missing for whatever reason...

 

Then, in some book or another, I read a suggestion that a more subdued color allows others to pass by on the trail (assuming I'm pretty well off it) without being distracted by unnatural clutter.

I'll admit that I would appreciate that..... I'd much rather be hiking down the trail and feel like me and my group are the only ones there

 

So

I'll agree with the sentiment of ignoring the LNT police

but on the other hand, I like to live by the golden rule, so there you go....

I think it makes sense to wear brightly colored stuff in situations where you might need it to be found & rescued, but otherwise be polite to others and turn down the volume (yeah volume of your radio and volume of your loud clothes too)

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