Human caused fires are an extreme example of how careless some hikers can be.

Harmony tips for backcountry travel

Human presence in many of our natural areas has had negative impacts on the landscape.

Human presence in many of our natural areas has had negative impacts on the landscape.

This environmental damage will not only affect vegetation and wildlife, but also human visitors, both present and in the future.

No trace, or low-impact, camping plays a major role in protecting that which we value and basically means when you finish with a campsite, leave it in such a condition that nobody would know you’ve been there.

Individual judgement is important, we can not always rely on rules, regulations and management to protect the environment, you just have to look at what’s happening in B.C. today.

A general guideline is to live as carefully as possible — it’s a matter of lifestyle.

Planning prior to a trip is essential from both a low-impact standpoint as well as having an enjoyable trip.

Part of the fun is in the actual planning, the anticipation of getting away from our everyday mundane tasks, it actually places you in the vacation euphoria even though you’re not on vacation yet.

Even in large land areas, use is usually concentrated in small areas, along trails, scenic views, and designated campsites to name a few.

There is a general tendency to go where others have traveled; trails, access points, etc.

Concentrated use results in trail damage, mainly erosion and loss of vegetation.

Some of the common problems include widening of paths by detouring around muddy sections. (Real men love mud, it’s those girly-boys who don’t want to get muddy that create this problem.)

Then there’s the informal and/or multiple trails created by indiscriminate use, the ‘bull in the china shop’ mentality.

There’s a good reason for keeping to the trail, and I’ve always wondered why hikers buy multi-hundred dollar hiking boots that are waterproof,  water-resistant and yet when they come to a stream or puddle they dance around like a little girly boy.

Areas are even more vulnerable to disturbance during wet periods such as spring thaw,

Living in a coastal rainforest area makes it doubly crucial in selection of footgear, try to avoid lug soles that move a lot of earth and tear up thin vegetation/duff layers.

Second to this issue is the weight of lug boots, they’re usually a lot heavier then earth sensitive soles, and on a long hiking trip this will make a lot of difference in your performance.

For those of us who do a lot of off-trail, cross-country travel, the method of travel will depend upon the area, circumstances and size and skill of your group.

When traveling cross-country with a group, spread out in an attempt to avoid trampling to reduce the impact on vegetation and reduce potential for erosion.

This will be less likely to leave a discernable trail for others to follow.

Your ethics and attitudes play a major role in the preservation of the wilderness, there will always be those that don’t give a hoot, they will go about their business, education is for those who are willing to learn.

Over the years I’ve found the ratio gap is narrowing as more and more folks are attempting to reconnect with their heritage.

The problem is, they have removed themselves from the equation, indulging in video and computer games, far removed from the real world of the wilderness.

Even with their best intentions they are destroying the wilderness.

Lawrence Woodall is a longtime naturalist who lives in Port McNeill.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Island Foods renovates bottle depot and cans old bottle return system

“I don’t want people to spend the whole day here,” said Angela Taylor on Port McNeill’s bottle depot.

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Sointula Resource Centre to hold fundraising play

The play will “grab people’s attention” says Stephanie Rockman.

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

Most Read