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Outdoor Etiquette: “Lend a Hand. Care for the land.” “Lend a hand. Care for the land.”

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:11pm

JUly_Recap-124 In just a few days,  I will be enjoying the great outdoors! It’s only been 2 1/2 weeks since we’ve been back from our first trip. This trip, were going to Mammoth and staying in a condo. Last trip we camped for the remaining four days. Which was a bit hairy at times with a 2 yr. old and 3 mos. old but we managed. I’m so glad we did it too! A great way for your child to connect with nature. After reading Wild Animal Baby and other wildlife related books Tristan was able to put things into perspective.

During this trip we cloth diapered and had a potty trainer on our hands!  The condo at Bass Lake had a washer and dryer and while camping in Yosemite we used the laundry mat at Curry Village. I only did the washing at Curry Village and let the diapers & undies air dry in the sunshine on a tree branch at our site. We were prepared to use a bucket and gloves if we did not have access to a washer! It worked out nicely though. My 2 yr. old loved being in nature and enjoyed boat rides on the lake. He saw tons of wildlife including a BEAR! While driving back to our campsite, our first day in the park, we watched a bear eating in a meadow through the car window. It was really neat. Tristan also saw a “Big ole Buck” on a bike ride first thing in the morning around the campground.

It was so amazing to see nature through his eyes. He chased the squirrels to the holes and around the campsite and collected specimens to put into his bug kit. Our hike to Vernal Falls was quite a journey and I think he understood it’s significance. We camped quite a few times as a kid and my husband and I consider ourselves experienced campers. We’ve done a lot of camping. Every time I walk away from a campsite, I have a new perspective on life. Unplugging for the few days and recharging your soul with Mother Nature is a must! Getting away from all the stimulus and “roughing -it” for a few days makes you appreciate the things we have in life.

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With all the wonderment nature has to offer we can’t forget about being kind to the areas we visit. Especially, preserved lands. While we were in Yosemite we saw two groups, at different times, posing out in a meadow that had signs out in front clearly stating to keep out! Littering along trails and walking off the designated path and crossing a rope to take pictures are absolute NO, NO’s.  Basically, you want to tread lightly and think green. Which means, minimize waste, protect nature, and reduce your carbon footprint. Your children’s, children will thank us!

I don’t know about you but I think of Woodsy Owl when I’m frolicking in the forest.  “Give a Hoot. Don’t Pollute!” or his more modernized phrase,

“Lend a hand. Care for the land.”

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Here are a few tips on treading lightly during your next outdoor adventure:

Pack in pack out:  Take home all recyclables. Yes, that means the cardboard beer case!  If you have the availability to recycle at a designated center or location then do so!  If not, plan to take recyclables home with you.

Keep a light load: Pack lightly! Remember everything you pack- you have to unpack. Simple.

Ditch the water bottles: Purchase a Klean Kanteen or other stainless steel water bottle or BPA free one and fill up with tap. If you can’t do that, then buy gallon jugs of water rather than packages of individual bottles and refill  away!

Home away from home: Bring baked goods on the trip! Saves money and the planet. No unnecessary packaging and it’s feels like home!

Channel Charlie Brown’s, Pig- Pen: Soak in the hot springs, take a dip in a river or lake, or use a pail of water. Grab a wash cloth- add a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s soap and you’re good to go! Always use biodegradable products when using nature as a bathtub. Or skip it all together if you’re so inclined!

Do Not Cross Rope: Need I say more.

Ride Together: Cut back on pollution, car pool together! Especially, if you plan to take day trips away from the area you’re staying at.

Leave the city at home: Think of it as being in a movie theater… If you’re staying at a campground be kind to other campers and turn off your cell phone. Sheesh!

Who needs batteries, kerosene or propane! Use solar lamps or soy candles for lighting! Keep candles out of the tent of course!!

Bugs! Get a good all natural bug spray that is DEET free. Or eat raw garlic a few days before the trip and a couple times during. Works like a charm!

Campfire: If you must.  Don’t burn colored ads/cardboard or plastic (toxic fumes). Don’t decapitate a tree for wood. Lint from the dryer is a great fire starter, works like a charm. My husband and I inherited the washer ring we used as a fire pit growing up. It’s a great way to re purpose and old washer.

Be eco conscience & mindful at all times.

Have fun!  :)

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