One of the primary reasons we created Origin is help spread people out and reduce the overall user impact on busy trails. Anyone can hop into Google and find the most popular, aka busiest, trail when they land in a new location. Not everyone has the opportunity to pair up with a guide whose area knowledge will lead you away from the crowds and into less trafficked but equally fulfilling adventures.
Whether you ride the superhighway to the summit with the masses or a guide shows you the path less traveled, there are several things you can do to lessen your environmental impact and adventure responsibly. Here are 5 few ways you can be more environmentally correct and adventure responsibly:
The equation here is pretty simple: Less cars on the road = Less emissions and better air. The list of benefits extends from there to reducing traffic, freeing up parking spaces at trailheads and saving you and your friends money. You also get to spend more quality time with your friends on the way to and from your adventure, double-check your adventure plan and make sure you have everything you need to make it back to the car safely.
2. Park Responsibly
With limited parking at most trailheads, some days you may not beat the crowds and be unable to find a spot. If you’re at major trail heads, there’s usually overflow parking so you’ll just have to walk a little bit further to get on trail. If your trailhead is in a neighborhood, make sure to check the street signs so as not to irritate the community and risk creating additional parking restrictions. If you’re heading deeper into the wild be conscious of driving on existing roads and parking in established parking areas. Once one person drives off the road, more people inherently follow and do irreparable damage to the land. Finally, don’t block access to the trailhead. Accidents happen and there needs to be space for emergency vehicles to get as close as possible if needed.
3. Stay on Trail
When someone cuts a switchback, hops on a deer trail or walks across a meadow, micro-trails develop. Trail stewards do their best to put logs, sticks or rocks across the entrance to these pirate trails but people still seem to ignore them and cause further deterioration. Off-trail travel causes erosion, visibly damages the terrain and destroys the natural habitat of wildlife. By staying on trail, you help preserve the area for generations to come.
4. Pack Out Your trash
“Pack it in pack it out” is a well known mantra for most responsible adventurers. While it feels very obvious that you’re responsible for removing your own trash while adventuring, not everyone got the memo. We encourage you to not only dispose of your own trash properly but also pick up any trash you find on your adventures (especially micro-trash and plastic bottles/cans). Trash isn’t exclusive to plastic and cans however, this includes your apple core, banana and orange peels. This ‘natural’ trash can take up to two years to decompose and is an eye-sore to look at.
5. Be Prepared
The goal of every adventure is to get everyone home safe. Regardless of if you’re heading out with your best friend, a Local, or by yourself, do your research. Make sure you understand where you’re headed and since many areas put you out of cell range let friends/family know how long you’ll be gone. Weather changes rapidly in alpine environments and does not always match the forecast so make sure you’re carrying what you need for clothing, food, and water.
It’s your turn, go see what’s really out there.