Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
What Is Durable?
Get group interested in the Durable Surfaces principle.
Participants will understand what it means to be a durable surface.
10 minutes for presentation and discussion.
Participants will be able to:
- List common natural durable surfaces.
- Identify areas and rate them as durable or non-durable.
Motivator Having a good understanding of which areas are easily damaged and which are more able to recover from traffic will help you choose where to travel and camp when in the outdoors. By choosing wisely, the areas we visit remain intact and more natural and that's the reason we go there.
- Gather the group outside, preferably on a sidewalk, road, or path.
- Ask them:
- What are we standing on? (sidewalk, road)
- Why is it here? (to keep feet clean, to designate the place to walk, to prevent erosion)
- What is it made out of? (cement, asphalt, wood, gravel)
- What would happen if it wasn't here? (it would be muddy, dusty, worn down, uneven, wider path)
- So, this surface is here because it is more durable then the ground under it. It was created to:
- define the path
- protect the surrounding area by focusing traffic
- keep inside and outside cleaner
- This is an artificially created durable surface - something that resists traffic. All the ground cover and surfaces in nature are more or less durable. Let's get familiar with some of them.
- Choose a partner and take a 3 minute walk around this area looking for potential spots to camp. Make a list of about 5 different spots. Rate each spot from 1 as most durable to 5 as least durable. Meet back here in no more than 3 minutes.
- When everyone returns, ask each pair to describe an area they rated as most durable.
- Ask partners to describe the least durable spot they found.
- Ask everyone to volunteer other durable surfaces they might find in the wild (rock, gravel, sand, bare soil, snow, ice, water, dry grasses, established trails and campsites)
- Ask for fragile, non-durable surfaces (ferns, flowers, leafy plants, marshes, muddy areas, riparian (creekside) areas, tundra, cryptobiotic crust)
- How does traveling and camping on durable surfaces minimize impact?
(uses already impacted areas, does not damage fragile areas)
- How does planning ahead and bringing correct gear help follow the durable surfaces principle? (wearing sturdy, waterproof hiking boots lets you walk on trails and over more uneven surfaces. bringing a good sleeping pad makes camping on rock or gravel more comfortable)