This is something I’m very passionate about. What we do effects those who come behind us. Our behaviors might not directly effect us if we are lucky, but they will most certainly effect those that follow our same path. It is our obligation to educate ourselves on how to enjoy and preserve our beautiful wilderness.
It does not belong to us to do with it what we want. The smallest thing can change the balance, and we are most times unaware of this. Most of us don’t intentionally do things; we want to do the right thing. For example, I went on a group trip, and one of my friends threw her trash into the fire, not realizing that what she threw in would not burn all the way. Sometimes it’s about educating when we see things that are wrong and understanding that the person just didn’t know. She will never do that again, and if she sees someone else do it, she will educate them. I usually carry an extra bag for trash and food that I find left behind on the trail. We all have to do our part to keep the wilderness what it is.
By following the Leave No Trace principles you can keep all of us safer, healthier, and you can protect the animals that live in the wilderness we visit. It is their home, and we must respect it and each other. If we plan ahead and prepare we are taking the first step. Traveling and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly, minimizing the impact of fires, leaving things as you find them, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of others will make you a great guest.
So know the rules and go out and enjoy the amazing wilderness!