Visit Bend Blog

The 6 worst souvenirs imaginable (and why you should pick them up in Bend, Oregon)

March 2nd, 2017

You know those T-shirts that say, “My mom went to Yellowstone and all she brought me was this lousy shirt?”

Um, yeah. The souvenirs I’m about to suggest to you are way worse. Like “what the @#%$ are you thinking?!” worse.

Make sure you pick up Fido’s business when you’re recreating around Bend.

Nevertheless, there’s a reason you should pick up these six things in Bend, Oregon.

 

Dog doo

Bend was named the nation’s dog-friendliest city by Dog Fancy magazine, and you know what that means?

Lotsa dogs = lotsa dog doodie.

Fortunately, locals know that good manners (not to mention the law) dictate you pick up after your pooch. Even more fortunately, you’ll find dog doo baggies all over town, including nearly all of Bend’s 80+ public parks.

Need extras? There’s a dispenser right outside my office window at the Bend Visitor Center, so grab one when you swing by for maps and travel tips (bonus: Our office is super dog-friendly, so bring Fido inside for some ear scritches from the staff).

You can also visit Bend Pet Express to buy a big stash of doodie bags for your very own. If you really want to generate some good karma, use those baggies to grab an extra nugget or two left behind by dog owners less responsible than you. I promise it’ll make you feel good.

After you stop gagging, I mean.

 

Trash

Folks in Bend are big proponents of Leave No Trace ethics on hiking trails and around town. You can read about it on our Visit Like a Local page, or see it in action when you watch fellow hikers stop to pick up bits of trash that don’t even belong to them.

Packing a reusable beverage container will help reduce cans and bottles left behind on trails.

Want to pitch in? Stuff a small garbage sack in your backpack or pocket before set out for a walk or hike. As you go, stop every now and then to pick up a stray bottlecap or gum wrapper. It’s a great way to ensure you’ll always leave your favorite Bend trail just a little nicer than you found it.

 

Bottles and cans

This one goes along with the one about picking up trash, but there’s an added bonus for you if you stop to pick up stray cans and bottles left behind in parks and trails.

Thanks to Oregon’s Bottle Bill (which has been around since 1971), you can return cans and bottles for a deposit that ranges from 5-10-cents. That’s not a bad way to pick up a little pocket change (which makes a way better souvenir than the bottles and cans themselves).

Go here to find the redemption center closest to your Bend hotel or vacation rental. You can also go here to learn more about which bottles and cans are eligible for redemption.

Oh, and if you want to go a step further with reducing the number of cans and bottles in circulation, buy a reusable water bottle or growler from Hydro Flask or DrinkTanks. Not only will it keep your drink cool (or hot!), but you’ll be supporting a Bend-based business with your purchase.

Napkins can sometimes get away from you when you’re dining outdoors in Bend. To generate good napkin karma, just pick them up whenever you see one floating around.

 

Stray napkins

One of the few things I don’t love about Bend is the prevalence of windy days. Unexpected wind gusts, combined with the popularity of outdoor dining in Bend, can turn a perfectly responsible human being into an unintentional litterbug in the blink of an eye.

That’s why you should always scoop up stray napkins if you spot one on the ground. If we all make a habit of it, some good Samaritan will pick up your escaped napkin the next time a sudden breeze swipes it from your hand and carries it miles from your dinner table.

 

Giardia

When I was 19, I contracted giardia while hiking in Montana and drinking from a creek along a deer migration path. It’s an experience I don’t recommend.

But if you enjoy symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, giardia might be right up your alley! And since few places on earth are as beautiful as Bend, you may as well pick it up right here in Central Oregon.

Yes, the deer are cute. But they can also spread giardia, so don’t drink untreated water in the wilderness.

The best way to contract giardia is by eating yellow snow or drinking water contaminated by animal feces. Yummy!

Of course, if giardia doesn’t sound like your idea of a great souvenir, you should skip sucking water straight from creeks or rivers when you’re out hiking. Pack the aforementioned Hydro Flask or DrinkTanks with plenty of extra water to make sure you stay hydrated. If you absolutely must drink creek water when camping in the backcountry, make sure you have a good water filter or water treatment system in your pack.

 

Lend a helping hand if you spot a stray glove on the ground.

Single gloves

We’ve all seen one. That single glove lying forlorn and alone on the fresh snow beneath the chairlift. It’s a common sight at any ski resort, including Mt. Bachelor.

It sucks to be that person who dropped a glove, and sucks even more not to be able to locate your lost glove during an epic day of powder skiing.

Do a solid for your fellow snow enthusiast: If you see a stray glove, pick it up and deliver it to the lift operator at the bottom of that run. Not only will it keep the slopes safe and clear, but it’ll save a stranger from chilly fingers.


5 responses to “The 6 worst souvenirs imaginable (and why you should pick them up in Bend, Oregon)”

  1. Siobhan Nash writes:

    Tawna,
    That was an inspired, imaginative, creative post! I admire your ability to deliver fresh and fun posts each week. Thanks!

  2. Tawna Fenske Tawna Fenske writes:

    Thanks! Kinda helps to live in such an inspiring place 🙂

    Tawna

  3. The Broomsmen writes:

    Thank you Visit Bend for the great tips! The community will be safer and cleaner for all!

  4. Barclay writes:

    Les Schwab Amphitheater has the opportunity to make BIG news by eliminating ALL disposable beer and soda cups. Freaking SillyPint and Hydroflask are located in Bend, why can’t they step up and help with obvious problem. Eliminating the cups would make the whole community cleaner and set a great example!

  5. Tawna Fenske Tawna Fenske writes:

    Hey, Barclay! The Les Schwab Amphitheater has actually been making some great strides in that direction. Last year they implemented the Take Note Initiative, which eliminated single-use plastic bottles sold on-site and set up an incentive for guests opting to purchase a reusable silipint that could be used for all concerts.

    You can read more about it here:
    http://www.bendconcerts.com/TNI.html

    Thanks so much for your feedback!

    Tawna




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