Low Impact Hiking

Low Impact Hiking (leaving no trace)

There’s a beautiful park near my house and a long time ago when I was a boy my mother used to takes all of us kids there and I still remember the sign at the gate, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”low inpact, leave no trace in the woods, only footprints. Wise words indeed; low impact hiking uses this principle. Have you ever been out way off the beaten path, and lo and behold there’s some ones discarded water bottle or a candy wrapper? It’s nothing short of a disgrace.

Let’s talk about one of the worst things a careless or thoughtless camper can leave behind; human waste. If you thought a spot was an ideal campsite it’s likely someone else will too, and I’m almost certain they do not want to “know you were there.” The best way to do this is by using what is commonly referred to as a “cat hole.” A cat hole is merely a small, shallow dugout that you utilize for your function and then fill it back in with the soil you removed. After that nature will take it’s course and it will become fertilizer.

The best way to do it is to break up the waste and mix the soil with it to speed up the bio degradation. You also want to make sure to be at least 200-300 feet away from water sources and campsites, especially in an area that is frequented by campers. The last thing you want near your campsite is a mine field.

On a more pleasant note, be sure to take a plastic bag and remove your trash, don’t burn plastics in the campfire and aluminum cans and foil will not burn, smash them and take them home! Another thing that bugs me especially is to be walking in the beautiful countryside and see a cigarette butt. Not only is this an unpleasant sight, but it can kill small animals and birds that may pick them up and it is a major fire hazard, especially in dry arid regions. So get out there and hike, but please, respect the land.

 

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