Guidelines for Low Impact Wilderness Activities - Part One - Planning Your Trip

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Outdoor activities can be a truly enlightening experience if done properly. It will also help to give you a better understanding and knowledge of your natural environment. One of the main components for any type of outdoor activities is the proper planning of your trip. While it is virtually impossible to have a set of universal rules that cover all the possibilities when engaging in outdoor activities, following some simple guidelines will help to minimize your impact on the natural environment. Here is a simple set of guidelines to help you plan an outdoor trip.

Guidelines for Planning a Wilderness Trip

1. Choose clothing and camping equipment in colors that are appropriate for your surroundings or the time of year (i.e., bright orange in hunting season). In general, choosing earth colors will help you blend in with the natural surroundings.

2. Carry only the equipment and camping gear you will need for your trip in the wilderness. If you pack it in, be prepared to pack it out.

3. Limit the number of people in your group to help minimize your impact on the natural environment. Large groups can cause large amounts of damage that may last for years.

4. Plan your trip to avoid seasons when the natural surroundings may be wet or muddy to avoid impacting areas during a time when they are extremely vulnerable to change (erosion, etc.) from your activities.

5. Plan your trip to avoid times where your presence or activities may disturb animals at critical times where they may be especially vulnerable to any type of disturbance (i.e., birthing season, etc.).

6. Plan your trip to make use of any readily available trails and campsites that already exist in the area. Any unnecessary activities that may cause you to go off trail or force you to camp in a new area will have a greater impact on the natural surroundings.

7. If you plan to take your pet, be prepared to keep them properly controlled or under restraint. Otherwise, it may be better to leave them at home.

8. Make sure to have updated maps of any areas you plan to visit. This will help to lessen the chance of wandering off established trails in the area and help to minimize your impact.

Just as you would expect any visitor to your home to treat it with respect, you should also treat nature with the same respect when visiting the outdoors.

Staying above the water line!



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