Plan Ahead and Prepare
As long as I'll live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.|
I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.
I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
Before you even set foot on trail or paddle in water, you've already done the most important steps of minimizing your impact on the environment. By taking time to plan and prepare for your excursion, you've maximized the probability of an enjoyable, safe trek and minimized the damage you'll do. The folks that cause the most trouble tend to be those that blast out the door on a whim without thinking through all the things for which they need to be prepared.
Tips on Trip Planning
- Rules Change - maybe the maximum group size was 10 last year, but it's 8 this year. Or maybe you could stay at a campsite 2 nights last year, but it's now 1 night. Get the latest regulations for the park or wilderness area you are visiting and read them. The ethics of leaving no trace are not based on rules and regulations, but on doing what you understand is best for the land you visit. In some places, specific rules need to be put in place and enforced even though education has been shown to be a much better solution than rules. See my article about Rules versus Ethics for details.