that's a pretty broad generalization, NEWS FLASH! BC gear does not instantly make you smart, and/or safe when doing side country travel... just because someone is hiking that area without gear does not make them idiots... gear is a backup, if the shit hits the fan... perhaps they have been riding up there a lot longer than you, and just because of one giant slide that killed 3 people, they chose to not let it change everything about the way they do things. some choose to wear gear, some don't, why let it piss you off so much? why do you care? with an attitude like yours you'd likely be one of the first to start a thread on this site and say "i told you so you fucking idiots" if someone died back there again, with or without gear... so don't act like you care, and don't be a gear nazi. you sound just like the helmet nazis... gear or not, people die in avalanches, you can't judge someones intelligence by a backpack. just take care of yourself and stop worrying so much about others; you can't save everyone. /rant
I admit, you're right....just because you don't have gear doesn't mean you're completely ignorant of the situation you're putting yourself into. I still think it's poor form and sets a bad example. What IF something goes wrong? Mother Nature is a bitch, you can't predict when she's gonna pull the carpet out from under you. You can give your best guess given the conditions/snowpack, but you're never sure. THAT'S how people die.
The reason I let it bother me is how uneducated backcountry users put others (even outside of their own group) in harms way. Not just riding w/o if something does happen. Like dropping on a suspect slope with others on or below the slope. Or dropping the biggest slide path above Hwy 2 when it's obviously been loaded, like I saw yesterday. Those are signs of uneducated BC users and puts many others at risk. That's where these dumbasses put ME (and many others) at risk and it becomes MY problem.
This is not even comparable to not wearing a helmet. By choosing not to wear a helmet, you're only putting yourself at risk. That's your own decision and doesn't affect me. Not being prepared or knowledgeable in the backcountry certainly affects me and everyone else around you in the BC.