Many years ago, I camped in a place that became special to me because of the experiences I had there. It was beautiful, remote, and serene. Years later, I returned to the same place and was sorely disappointed to find that the campsite and surrounding area was trashed by some irresponsible people. I was angry, heartbroken, and disappointed that there were actually individuals who had such disregard for the land. It took great effort to clean it up and to try and restore it to nature. There were scars on the campsite that would only heal with time. I hope that you have not had that same experience.
In actuality, I am thrilled that more and more people are searching for outdoor experiences. It’s good for the body and the soul! My hope is that each would feel a personal responsibility to keep our shared lands pristine. The land is there for our use. Let’s take care of it!
Each individual needs to take personal responsibility for his outdoor conduct in order to preserve quality experiences for others, and for ourselves as we return to camping and hiking areas that hold special memories for us.
Let’s commit to be good stewards of the outdoors so all can enjoy them for generations to come. There are some exceptional courses on preserving the wilderness experience for ourselves and others. They include Leave No Trace, Outdoor Ethics, Tread Lightly.
Here is a very basic list of things to consider as you venture out:
– Be a considerate hiker
– Yield to others on the trail
– Keep noise at a reasonable level so others can experience the sounds of nature
– If you encounter pack animals, step off the trail on the lower side to let them pass
– Pack it in, pack it out
– Each hiker should take his own trash bag and have enough room to carry out their own trash plus additional that they find along the trail
– Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it
-Make it a habit to pick up random trash along the trail
– When in designated campsites, use established tent sites
– When wilderness camping, spread out your tents to create the smallest footprint possible in order to minimize the impact you have on the land
– Camp at least 200’ from water sources such as lakes and streams
Please join us as we pledge to take personal responsibility for preserving the outdoors for our return trips and for future generations to come.
Happy hiking and camping!