As most of the camps on Mount Baker have finally melted out to dry tent pads, it seems to be a good time to discuss systems in which overnight visitors can use to lessen their impact on the fragile alpine environment.
A piece of gear that the rangers don't leave home without and strongly encourage others to bring along is a simple strainer that is used to remove small pieces of food from your grey (dish or wash) water. By straining your grey water you can prevent fragments of food from being dispersed in and around camping areas. This in turn will decrease the activity of small critters, as well as the frequency and aggressiveness of their nightly visits. Strainers, like the one pictured here, should not cost more than five to ten dollars and will do a great job catching food particles. The remainder of the scraps in your strainer then gets put into your garbage rather than into the delicate alpine ecosystem. Practicing methods such as this one can go a long way towards preserving the health of Mount Baker's wilderness.