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Ways to Protect the Earth While Exploring
- Research where you are going before you go. Things to pay attention to are:
- What will I need to pack out my garbage?
- How will I keep my food from attracting animals?
- What wildlife will I encounter, and how can I keep from disturbing it?
- What plants and animals must I be aware of that could be poisonous or hurt me?
- Knowing before you go keeps everyone safe and happy! Including the earth!
- Let someone know when and where you are going, and don’t forget your compass!
- Stay on familiar trails and follow direction signage, this ensures that we don’t disturb delicate habitats and ecosystems crucial to the health of the animals and plants in that area.
- Use natural hygiene and cleaning products. Chemicals and perfumes can contaminate water bodies that plants and animals need to live and thrive.
- Never feed wildlife. Animals can become very sick if they are introduced to human food.
- Camp away from the water, you may disturb animals drinking routines by scaring them away.
- Be QUIET! Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals.
- Avoid damaging plants and trees as you pass by them, you never know who could be living there!
- Be careful what you touch, there are many plants and trees that can be harmful or toxic to humans (it’s how they keep themselves safe ! )
- Source out campfire wood locally to avoid transferring invasive species.
- Avoid harvesting food in protected areas. There are many identical plants that can be extremely poisonous. Leave it to the professionals!!!
- Try to find public toilets but if none are available, bury human waste at least 6-8 inches deep at least 200m or 70 significant steps from water bodies and pack out your paper waste. Stoop and clean your POOP !!! Your dog’s waste too!
- Bring adequate containers to pack out all of your food and personal hygiene waste, leaving nothing behind but footsteps.
- Keep your campsite clean and your food safely stored away from your sleeping area. You may attract unwanted guests!
- Bring reusable water and food containers to reduce plastic waste.
- Only have fires in safe, designated areas when permitted. Existing fire rings are the best choice.
- You can look up the fire safety guidelines for that area. Fire can destroy vast areas of forest in minutes! Your campsite could go up in flames too! Exercise caution while having fires.
- Do not damage wildlife habitats by searching for firewood; find wood that has naturally fallen from trees. Dead and down wood burns easily, is easy to collect and leaves less impact.
- Gather wood over a wide area away from camp.
- Keep wood and other fuel sources away from the fire.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
- Thoroughly extinguish your fire.
- Maintain courtesy and kindness while you explore. We all share these spaces.
- Avoid having unleashed pets.
- Keep your voices at a moderate to quiet level, as many people enjoy the solitude that can be found within nature. You will see more wildlife if you don’t scare it away!