Be a Courteous Camper: Try Low Impact Camping and Hiking

Follow these helpful tips to reduce your personal impact on the earth during your next outdoor adventure.

| March 2018

  • hike exisiting trails for low impact
    Stick to the existing trail for low-impact hiking.
    Photo by Pixabay/Pexels
  • low impact hiking camping
    “The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping” by Laura and Guy Waterman, encourages all campers and hikers to follow a few simple steps to reduce their impact on the earth.
    Courtesy of The Countryman Press

  • hike exisiting trails for low impact
  • low impact hiking camping

The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping(The Countryman Press, 2016), by Laura and Guy Waterman is a necessary tool for any outdoorsman or woman. Laura and Guy Waterman teach readers about the value that a few small contributions can have on the land. With their suggestions, they also teach readers how to achieve each task. The following excerpt is located in Chapter 8: Cleaning Up Our Act.

Elements of the New Ethic

What was this new backwoods gospel?

1. Carry a lightweight backpacking stove. No fires. Leave the ax at home. In areas where campfires are still appropriate, there are a lot of sensible practices that fire builders can use to minimize their impact, both physical and visual.

2. Those who do insist on a fire, and are in an area where it is both legally and environmentally feasible to have one, have an obligation to take special pains to keep it safe and small, and to destroy all evidence of its having been there when they leave.

3. Use a lightweight foam pad. No more cutting bough beds for mattresses. (At least one camping manual of the old days had advised taking one entire balsam fir tree per bed!)

4. Wash both dishes and yourself away from streams, using biodegradable soap, and not much of it.

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