Be An Outdoor Ambassador: How To Implement Low Impact Recreation Skills

Be An Outdoor Ambassador: How To Implement Low Impact Recreation Skills


We believe it’s essential to get outside and connect with the natural world. That personal connection inspires people to climb mountains, paddle to remote islands, and form a lifelong love for wild places and protecting them. Lowering our impact while experiencing these places is a critical part of the outdoor experience, and something we should all incorporate in our recreation. At The Mountaineers, we’ve been practicing responsible recreation for 110 years. You probably already implemented low-impact skills without even realizing it. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote: “Leave nothing but footprints, Take nothing but pictures, Kill nothing but time.” This means, for instance, while hiking I identify and choose durable surfaces for travel, whether on a trail or making my own way. I love getting outdoors with others, but I do so in small groups so we have less of a footprint on the land. Outdoor experiences are better when shared, but we want to share with future generations of adventurers too. When camping, we use an existing site or identify a place where we will have minimal impact on the land. Packing light and planning ahead is important, as is packing everything out that was carried in. I minimize trash by repackaging food before leaving. I never burn or leave garbage, and always take a moment to look around in case something slipped out of my pocket. Food scraps need to be collected. My trail mix is not native and leaving food in any natural place can make wildlife dependent on people. Leaving No Trace means properly disposing of human waste too. When available, I use an outhouse or I pack it out if reasonable. Otherwise, I go 200 feet (60 metres) off trail, avoid going on plants, and make sure to trash that toilet paper. These are skills that when implemented with your technical skills, like how to pack a kayak bulkhead, belay your climbing partner, or carry a heavy pack, make for well-rounded low-impact recreation. Venturing into the outdoors is an essential piece of the human experience. We want to keep our wild places as sanctuaries for the human spirit, to let our grandchildren experience the sensation of discovering an untouched place. Be an outdoor ambassador. Do your part to protect the outdoor experience using these low-impact recreation skills.

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