I’ve been on a public land exploring kick as of late. I downloaded the On X Hunt app after seeing my friend Tom Hazelton use it while we were out on some small game hunts. If you’re in to hunting, hiking, finding fishing access, or anything outdoors and you want to be sure that you’re on public land, then you should definitely check the app out.

I was house and dog sitting in an area I’m not familiar with last month (February). So I pulled up the On X Hunt app and found some public land not far away from the house I was at. I filled up my water bottle, packed my camera, and went out to explore this new found public land.

Landscape photo of a trail on Minnesota public land.

It was a beautiful stretch of land and while I was walking the trail I was keeping my eyes peeled for any white tail deer antler sheds along the tree line and clearings. I didn’t spot any shed antlers, but I did spot quite a few pieces of trash. Most of the trash looked to have been there a long while, and it’s just getting revealed because of the melting snow.

landscape of public land in Minnesota.
Berries on a tree.

Next time I need to bring my Birds of Minnesota Field Guide, because, I spotted a few. I could only identify the crows out of all of the birds that I saw while out there.

Can of beer crushed and left in the forest.

One of the more memorable pieces of trash I found was a bottle of “Smart Water.” Seeing that bottle gave me a good laugh. Not so smart of the person to leave it behind. They also only drank 1/4 of the bottle, so, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t achieve the smartest version of themself.

trash left in the forest on public land in Minnesota.

It’s really a shame to find this amount of trash out there on land that is all ours, especially when the solution is pretty easy. If you pack it in, you pack it out. There weren’t any garbage cans in the parking area, but that’s no excuse not to take it with you. Leave it in your trunk, on the floor of your backseat or front seat, and toss it in the garbage can the next time you fill up at the gas station. If you’re me, you’re not doing anything but standing around and waiting for the pump to stop and let you know your tank is full.

It’s not that hard.

Pack it out.

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