This week I want to discuss LNT (Leave No Trace) Ethics, and ways to minimize your impact on the trail.
Outdoor sports enthusiasts are typically been very environmentally-aware. However, everyone can always learn some new tricks. Minimizing our impact on the trails ensures that the trails will maintain their character and beauty for other users to enjoy, and nature will continue to flourish. A few thoughtful steps will help you keep your trail impact to a minimum.
Keep it Clean
Carry in, carry out. This is an obvious one but it is easy to overlook or make excuses. Don't leave garbage, food, or food containers on the trail or anywhere in the woods. Also, don't leave your pet feces behind. Clean it up and dispose of it properly.
Stay on the Trail
There is no trail obstacle that should cause you to walk off the trail. If the trail is too muddy or wet, perhaps you should turn around. If it's just a small area of mud, walk through it. Walking off trail or creating shortcuts widens the trail and can be harmful to the surrounding plant life.
Don't Take Anything
Don't take anything from the natural environment, unless you're cleaning up what doesn't belong. As pretty as those exotic flowers are, they belong right where they are, flourishing for others to enjoy. Rocks provide shelter for insects and other creatures, and those animal bones decompose and return valuable nutrients to the surrounding environment.
Read and adhere to any trail rules and regulations. Though they may or may not impede your plans, trail rules are there for good reason. If the trail is closed, it may be too muddy or snow-covered to hike or more importantly, it may be closed for rehabilitation of the area. Following the rules will benefit the trail as well as you.
Bury any waste at least 6 inches deep. Be sure that it is 200 feet or more away from any water source, trail or campground. Pack out toilet paper and other hygiene products.
If you're using a vehicle, practice safe, low-impact techniques. Do not skid out on turns and stay in the middle of the trail without veering off. Maintain control at all times. Yield to hikers and equestrians. If a trail is too muddy, avoid riding it until it dries.
Always respect other trail users. Low impact isn't just on the physical trail, but also the overall environment. Don't yell and make a lot of noise. Keep respectful of the peace and tranquility that nature offers. And leave the Bluetooth Speaker home, use headphones while at camp.
For more information on Leave No Trace ethics, visit their web page at LeaveNoTrace.ca.
(Sunday, July 5, 2020)
It's Sunday again, and time for the next edition of Adventure Weekly. For those of you that have been counting, this is the 5th edition. And so far, I have received pretty positive feedback. What do you think so far? Would you like to see more information? What type of information would you like to see? Since the NAC Iceland trip has been cancelled, we will be planning and scheduling more day hikes to fill in that time frame. Watch your email or the NAC Events Page for more information on upcoming hikes and other events. Don't forget about the upcoming backpacking trips! We have 2 backpacking trips with plenty of space left. This years trips will take us along the Bruce Trail in the Collingwood, Bruce Peninsula area. The Walter's Falls Backpacking Trip will last for 3 days, with 2 nights of camping at primitive camp sites. We will get our water from local rivers and camp as it was meant to be. The Dyer's Bay Backpacking Trip will also be 3 days, and 2 nights of camping at paid camp sites. Participants will have access to showers, bathrooms and many other camp ammenities. NAC Backpacking trips are always an adventure not to be missed! NAC has reduced the fee for climbing lessons, cutting the prices by over 35%! Have you ever wanted to try outdoor rock climbing? Now is the time! Outdoor climbing is an incredible sport and with NAC you can learn to do it properly and safely. If you're brand new to climbing, then take the course in two modules. If you have some basic climbing knowledge, and have completed indoor climbing courses, than you can combine the classes and spend a day outdoors learning what you need to know to transfer from the gym to the outdoor climbing world. Bookings are available online. *discounts are valid for the 2020 season at select times and locations only! And don't forget about the Stride & Stretch Temagami Wilderness Retreat! This retreat is scheduled to begin September 28th and will be an epic trip. Act quickly to reserve a spot! Wild Temagami Fall Retreat. Happy Hiking everyone and stay safe, Lenny Burch Niagara Adventure Club