I can understand folks concerns.  You have the overcrowding, extra impact of camping and foot traffic.  There is also a catch.  if the "sport" does not grow, thee is less money to spend on items (i.e., facilities, camping sites, etc.).  Folks want more money to improve the parks and trails.  how do you do that if more folks are not using them.

Even Machu Picchu had to start limiting access due to foot traffic on the stone (and yes some trash).

Also, magazine often put out articles on less travelled trails (etc.) which can bring more folks to those locations.

As with anything (tools, etc.), the issue is not those items.  The issue is us (people/humans).

I know one place that suffers from trash and other items.  The plastic trail markers (blazes) can show signs of being used for target practice.  And, I don't think that backpackers are the only folks using the location as it has been quite trashy.

In Ohio the National forests are camp where you want.  At the one (which is the placed that is fairly trashed), there are plenty of sites that have already been created.  so, there is not much need to pitch your tent where ever you want.

In Ohio the State parks have established camp sites.  Those are where you have to pitch your tent.  However, this also creates some issues.  What do you do if you are hiking along and for some reason cannot reach the one further along the trail?  The distances between these campsites can be fairly large.

Also, what do you do about ones that require that you register for a particular campsite.  and that is where you have to stay.  So, either reach it or ...

I think we need to think about how do we create/maintain these areas.  Things like solar powered/composting toilets rather than outhouses (pit/hole in the ground).  Things like bear boxes.  Don't really need those hear in Ohio (at least yet).  More facilities and campsites more often (say maybe every 5 miles; just throwing out a number here).  More trails and those need to be maintained and blazed.

I am certainly not excusing folks for bad habits.  I am just thinking that we need to consider all things including bad habits.

John L.