Plan Ahead and Prepare
LEAVE NO TRACE!
For this week’s Green Tip we are going to begin exploring the 7 principles of Leave No Trace practices. These principles are super important to keep at the forefront of your mind while exploring the great outdoors and being stewards of our environment. The first principle of Leave No Trace is “plan ahead and prepare.” This may seem like a no brainer for going out into the wilderness, but there are actually many different factors that go into planning ahead, so don’t slack off!
For planning my trip ahead of time, I like to break it up into two categories; internal and external preparation.
Internally, I like to prepare by researching the area I will be trekking out to, looking at difficulty of the terrain we will be working with and the skill level of the crew at hand. By understanding both of these factors, you can prepare your group with how hard or easy the excursion may be, and what kind of terrain to expect while out and about. By understanding these factors, proper gear and attire can be chosen and safety can be maximized. Internal preparation is a good way to make goals and create expectations for your group, therefore setting the tone and moral of the trip.
Externally, there are many factors that are involved to prepare yourself for any outing. One huge key to success is keeping up to date with weather patterns and climate of the area, knowing what kinds of elements to be prepared and packed for. The weather will also physically effect whatever terrain you are working with as well, know what potential hazards there could be. Depending on the location there may also be restrictions or regulations of what you may or may not be able to do in that natural area, or privately owned land nearby to look out for. Get a good idea of the pace your group will take as well, and understand the limitations they may have in terms of distance they can cover over time.
While those are all important factors, my favorite way to prepare is with food! To me, packing food can be such a hassle and create a ton of bulk and weight in your bag, but if done correctly, is so much fun! One important step in packing food correctly is taking all food out of its original container and putting it in resealable bags. I know it sounds like a lot of plastic use, but it will help reduce weight, bulk, and will allow for proper disposal of more trash.
**Some ways I like to prepare for meals**
-Tortillas for PB&J’s- compact and can’t really get squished too much
-gorp (trail mix)- has a bunch of fun edibles and lots of good energy
-one pot meals - allows you to make a lot of food with minimal kitchen tools (and they’re yummy)
Anyways, it’s super important to prepare and plan ahead in any event of exploring Mah’ Nature, for the good of the earth, yourself, and your crew. Reduce risk, increase fun and learning, and remember, in the words of Jon Abbott` “It’s not surviving in the outdoors, it’s thriving in the outdoors.”
Thanks for tuning in and stay connected for next week’s Green Tip and part two of Leave No Trace.