When you head out to the trail this Fall, you are going to check off each item on your preparation list. You’ve made sure to pay attention to Tip #1 on how to Stay Warm, and now you’re ready for Tip #2 How to Enjoy the Wilderness without Interfering.
Tip 2: Enjoy The Wilderness without interfering!
Camping in the Fall provides a beautiful experience for not only Fall Foliage spectators but Wildlife enthusiasts as well. But the number one rule for all nature lovers is “Leave No Trace”. The nationwide Leave No Trace program sponsored by the Center for Outdoor Ethics, was created to teach outdoor lovers, and Outdoor geeks likes us, to enjoy everything Nature has offered us without endangering it!
The Conservation of Our Nation’s Wilderness can’t be left to our government officials. “Ultimately, it is not regulations or land designations that protect the wilderness, but rather the willingness of each of us to make good choices and travel with care.” NPS
So, campers…pay attention. This is the first step to being a responsible outdoor enthusiast. Pay attention to where you pitch your tent, to where you prepare your food, to where you use the bathroom, and most importantly – what you leave behind.
Fall is a natural mating time for many wildlife, so be prepared to stay out of their way. Avoid nearing wildlife and give them their space. This means don’t approach them! This is nature’s most sensitive time of year. You don’t want to be misunderstood by a grumpy and overprotective mountain lion or bear. Camping in Costa Rica comes with its own unique dangers. Sloths may not chase you, but a Puma just might.
Always store your food and coolers and food preparation containers in your trunk out of sight…and out of smell overnight and whenever your campsite will be unattended. Never leave food (even in bear proof coolers) in sight or within “smell”. Remember the National Park Service saying: “A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear”, so be careful. Bears fed by humans usually become a danger to humans and to themselves and must be removed. Always have a bear can and never attempt to retrieve anything “stolen” by a bear.
Abide by the “Leave No Trace” camping practice, and hike out what you hiked in. This means be prepared with plenty of trash bags to remove waste. Only deposit trash into a park approved, bear proof, trash receptacles. Enjoy the wilderness but don’t leave your footprints behind!
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