Robert Swan once said that the biggest threat to our earth is the belief that someone else is going to save it. An underlying truth – one all outdoorsmen know, so they in turn tread our grounds lightly. The idea is that we can be part of nature, without having to take from it. In our own way, we assimilate to nature, as we would in someone else’s house; never rude, too comfortable, or overstepping our boundaries.
With that being said, when you’re in someone’s home, that someone being Mother Nature, respect her boundaries.
Look what trails are opened/ closed. Obtain the necessary permits before embarking on your trip. Know the sunrise and sunset times, especially if the park closes at a certain time- this if for your safety. Finally, if a trail is closed, it’s closed for good reason. In this case, don’t stray far from the beaten path.
Camp on Durable Surfaces
This is branching off from the notion of not straying from trails. Meadows are valuable source to wildlife, providing shelter to animals who can’t seek refuge in trees or ground dwelling birds. They are where bees pollinate, and insects find bountiful of foods. They are off limits to humans, especially as a camp ground. Let nature takes it’s course here without humans interfering where nature can take it’s course. Instead, when you go camping settle on a rock / solid foundation to build fire for the night.
Take Only Memories
If you come over someone’s house, you (hopefully) wouldn’t take something from their home, so why would you take from parks and communal spaces that are not yours? If all 4 million annual visitors took a rock from Yosemite, it would be virtually empty.
Have you ever seen that YouTube video which went viral, the one that had an aggressive, or rather curious deer attack a photographer? That deer was eventually put to sleep by rangers because it was no longer afraid of humans. Don’t put rangers into a difficult position of having to euthanize an animal, or have peaceful hikers attacked by an overly confident wild animal. If you have food, package it and make sure bears don’t get near it. By any means, do NOT feed the animals, as they will begin approaching humans with the mindset that they are walking grocery stores. If an animal has to be put down because of you, understand that you have crossed the line an intruded in a home that most definitely does not belong to you.
Be Considerate Of Other Visitors
People go into nature to escape the hustle of concrete. If you’re out in the woods, refrain from playing music, as it agitates humans and animals alike. People escape town to listen to running water, the wind blowing through the trees, and the sound of birds chirping. Again, this is a communal space. Moreover, these are sounds that we don’t often get to experience, so take a step back and embrace what nature has to offer.
Take care of nature, otherwise you'll only ruin your leusire time for yourself and other who enjoy the same communal spaces. When youre packing for your next trip, remember to take polarized sunglasses and pugs gear with you to ensure a smooth outing.