Lessons in Leaving No Trace Ranger Julie Aeilts puts a San Diegan spin on these preached and proven principles to minimize our impact on the great outdoors.
BY SARAH PFLEDDERER
Plan ahead and prepare
Minimize campfire impact When camping, think
Take the time to prepare before you hit the trail. This means checking the weather forecast and dressing accordingly, packing more water than you think you’ll need, and even printing out a physical map because, as Ranger Aeilts explains, “Technology fails us. Baeries die. Reception goes out.” Also, invest in proper footwear. “I have seen people hiking in Uggs and flip-flops. Get boots
of any fire like a laptop in a café: Never leave it unaended.
One ember can spark a huge flame. Also, source firewood according to
“Consider yourself lucky if you see wildlife,” says Ranger Aeilts. “Humans are loud and clumsy.” In the event that you do, merely observe with your eyes and don’t interact.
the “buy it where you burn it” rule to avoid introducing invasive pests. Finally, only create fires in existing rings—avoid establishing your own because it might not be permied or, worse, it could damage animal habitats. 5 Leave what you find The time-honored wisdom of the trail is “Take only photographs and leave only footprints.” As visitors, we have to think about the future and preserve the natural beauty for others, including animals who use plants as shelter. Even rocks eventually turn into soil that benefits vegetation.
After all, you’re just a visitor in their home.
with aggressive treads and ankle support. You’ll thank me later.”
Be considerate of
other people, too If you’ve commied one of these faux pas, Ranger Aeilts reckons you’ve been an inconsiderate park visitor: Blasting your music out loud, not yielding to uphill hikers, not leing a large group pass when you’re a lone hiker, and, nowadays, not wearing your face mask when you pass others. “It’s always good to have your wits,” she says. “Be aware of everything around you.”
Travel and camp on durable sur faces
Hiking trails follow the winding routes they do for a reason— they keep hikers in safe areas and out of wildlife habitats. Stay on them even under muddy conditions, and always set up camp at least 200 feet—or 70 adult steps—from a water source.
WHEN NATURE CALLS...
Dig a hole six to eight inches deep and at least 200 feet from any source of water. Do the deed and top it with a rock or something else organic. Seal your used
Dispose of waste properly Just bring an extra bag and put your waste in
TP in a Ziploc and then toss it in your trash bag.
it. Simple as that. This keeps our parks beautiful for other visitors and, crucially, safe for wildlife that can get stuck in something as small as a face-mask loop.
71 SAN DI EGO MAGAZ INE
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