Pack it in, Pack it out.

As the winter season draws to a close, we find our days grow warmer as nature wakes back into life. However, before we take out our hiking gear, it’s important to remind ourselves how we can safely explore outdoors as we take in the oncoming spring season. Planning ahead is the first and foremost step in this recommended guide. It not only helps to ensure the safety of yourself and loved ones, but it also makes traveling much easier. Food, clothing and other necessities are packed accordingly which lightens the load and minimizes waste. This also delegates time to gain knowledge of the area while avoiding unwanted weather conditions on your trip. Your plan should match your goals, resources and skills. One of the key aspects to maintaining the safety of nature is traveling on designated locations fit for driving, hiking and camping. By avoiding the trampling of vegetation, we prevent the erosion of soil and land scarring.

Travel on trails and durable surfaces!

“Pack it in, pack it out” is a common phrase used by outdoor enthusiasts. Any time we venture out, it is our responsibility to properly clean and dispose of what we bring on our travels. Consider how what we leave behind effects wildlife and those that come after us. Carrying plastic bags can hold garbage when trash cans are not available. Another important rule in ethics is the avoidance of tampering. Leave locations as you’ve found them and do not alter your surroundings. Carving into trees, picking flowers and taking natural objects contributes to the degradation of the environment and is illegal in protected areas. While activities such as rock stacking may seem harmless, it can be detrimental to the riparian ecosystems. The final guiding principle is to be considerate of the wildlife. Large groups and loud noises causes stress to surrounding animals. For the safety of wildlife and yourself, it is vital to only observe animals from a distance and avoid feeding them.

Keep your space and travel quietly.

By keeping this guide in mind, we can make sure that our impact is minimized and help better preserve the environment for ourselves and future generations.