Aside from getting caught with your pants down, there is a very valid reason for not peeing near a trail in Olympic National Park in Washington state. According to msnbc.com, park officials are asking visitors to refrain from urinating along backcountry trails so they don’t attract mountain goats. The goats are attracted to the salt content in the urine.
But what’s the big deal if a goat comes over to say hi? Well last October, a man was gored to death by an overly-aggressive mountain goat in Port Angeles. This order is part of a plan to avoid that happening again. Hikers are being told to pee at least 200 feet away from trails to avoid turning them into “long, linear salt licks.”
Some other rules you should heed when camping in the park:
- Dead wood for campfire use is only to be collected within one mile radius of the campground.
- Pets need to be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
- Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited.
- Backcountry camping is only allowed if you are more than 1/2 a mile into the backcountry, otherwise camping must only be done in authorized sites.
- Pack it in, pack it out
- Leave everything as is
In other words, use your common sense in the wilderness and think of others, including the forests and the animals that inhabit them.