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  • Writer's pictureJak

Something silly

I have over 90 of these things.

I have been picking them up from mountain trails, here, since mid April of this year. Currently, they live in my spare parts box; I have a multitude of colours: red, yellow, purple, navy, cyan, purple, brown, green, black and grey... lots of grey.

In all the different countries I have climbed and explored, I have never seen so many just lying around.

Is it something unique to Korea - the way people wear their backpacks? Or is it more to do with the weather and trail conditions? - that these bands just remain where they fall.

I started picking them up as part of a contest with a friend, who'd also commented on their peculiar prevalence here.

The contest lasted a month, and this collection probably doesn't fairly represent just how many of these things are actually lying around.

I only really pick them up on hiking tours, not canyoning or climbing trips, or even kids activity sessions.

I tend to pick them up as I happen upon them - I don't go out with the intention of searching for them - but I do wonder just how many are out there...

There are more than a few specific items of mountain trash that I suspect are particular to this part of the world, but limited travel over the past 3 years makes it hard to compare. Korea certainly has a problem with litter, but I have no idea how it relates in scale to other countries.

I don't want to go on endlessly about trash, at least not now, but there are an abundance of abandoned wet wipes, masks and snack wrappers on and off the trails here. These items do reflect modern culture here. I physically wince every time an individually wrapped tissue is placed before me in a coffee shop, or restaurant, and I am forced to confront the costs of my consumption.

Anyway, maybe I'll find a way to repurpose these little bands of webbing.

I have, in the past, had to replace multiple strap retaining bands on canyoning harnesses at other companies I've worked for. We'll see...

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