Soft Paths

When out in the wilderness for a walk or a camping excursion it is always best to follow to the philosophy of “pack it in pack it out,”  treading as lightly as possible on the land so the next person who comes along  can enjoy it as much as you did and so that the wilderness can continue on being  “wild.” That said I recently picked up this book published by NOLS, The National Outdoor Leadership School, entitled Soft Paths. The book lays out the case for minimal impact backcountry use and provides some solid advice and good reminders for those planning on getting into the woods this spring and summer on how to tread lightly out there.

Proper camp fire construction with lowest impact.

Some of the topics include choosing camp sites which will be the least amount of impact on the wilderness surroundings and how to build a fire only big enough to do your cooking while not totally burning down the forest. Also discussed are methods for constructing the best and simplest shitters. Catholes as they are called, small dug out dirt hole, are intended for one time use, the idea is to not concentrate too much waste in one area if possible

Example of a “cathole.”

So if you are planning on spending some time in your National Parks or in some other wild place soon make sure you enjoy yourself while treading as lightly as possible.

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the current issue of Alpinist has a great full spread illustration following the evolution of leave no track climbing (including human waste disposal)

Comment by Bob

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