NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Respecting Others: Visiting the Most Heavily Used Wilderness Area

Desolation Wilderness – ha! Clearly the origin of this name did not come from a lack of visitors. Last weekend I visited the most heavily used wilderness area per acre in the United States, according to Backpacker Magazine, and they weren’t kidding. With such heavy visitation, the Leave No Trace principle – Be Considerate of Other Visitors – becomes even more essential. Here are a few tips:

DON’T: Take breaks on the trail. At one point I literally had to step over someone’s feet because they were sitting on a rock next to the trail with their feet in the trail.
DO: Take breaks and camp out of sight of the trail. This allows for the feeling of solitude.

DON’T: Come charging up the trail, taking up the entire width with your pack of dogs.
DO: Yield to other users on the trail. Step to the side for others to easily pass.

Respecting Others on the Trail
DON’T: Let your dog run amuck in the wilderness chasing wildlife and harassing other visitors.
DO: Control your dog verbally or with a leash. While you may think your dog is cute, cuddly, and incredibly well-behaved – others may not be dog people, or had a bad experience with dogs, or have their own dog that doesn’t like to be overwhelmed by your pack of dogs. Aspen has learned a new trick of walking behind me on the trail, this way when I see wildlife or people coming I can grab the handle on her pack and make sure she stays right next to me.

DON’T: Dig a cathole right next to the trail and bury your toilet paper with it.
DO: Find a secluded spot with a nice view 200 feet from a water source to dig a cathole. More people = more poop and toilet paper in the ground. Pack out your toilet paper safely in a zip lock bag hiding in another bag – no one will be the wiser and wildlife won’t come dig it up before it can decompose. Oh, and if you think you found a nice spot to answer Mother Nature’s call it is likely that someone had that same thought before – look for signs of recent catholes and dig with caution. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous use a RestStop 2, Wag Bag, or other portable toilet system to pack out your solid human waste.

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