Code of Conduct for Outdoor Enthusiasts

My favorite outdoor related quote comes from John Muir, the father of our national park system and founder of the Sierra Club. He said, "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." This quote means more to me today than it did twenty years ago and will undoubtedly mean more to me still as I spend an increasing amount of time out of doors. Muir is telling us something of great importance - we are attached to nature too. Therefore, how we think and act while visiting wild places today will ultimately determine the amount of enjoyment by outdoor enthusiasts for ever more. So how should we think and act?

A code of conduct exists for outdoor enthusiasts. It is called the Principles of Leave No Trace. This set of best practices was designed specifically to ensure our outdoor recreational activities are sustainable over long periods of time. Leave No Trace is an organization dedicated to educating people on how to minimize their impacts while enjoying the outdoors. Here are their seven principles.

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

4. Leave What You Find

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

6. Respect Wildlife

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

BackCountry Toys is a supporter of Leave No Trace and we encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to do likewise. To learn how to put these principles into action, you may find more information on their website at www.lnt.org or on our website as well.

Over the years, I have tugged on countless things in nature. I have found out they are indeed attached to everything else - including me. As outdoor enthusiasts we understand the importance of our relationship with the backcountry and we are keenly aware of how our attitudes and our actions determine the long term viability of these wild places. Here is another of my favorite quotes. This one is by Michel Montaigne. "Let us permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we." Use this information and you'll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!

Chuck Fitzgerald is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online specialty store with the "Best Gear Out There" and dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts to "Get It Right The First Time" with timely educational information. Please visit http://www.BackCountryToys.com to find great gear and to receive the Fact & Tips e-newsletter, "FreshAir." (800) 316-9055.

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