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Most backpackers are already familiar with leave no trace ethics, and there isn’t room in this article to explain them in any depth. See the link at the bottom of this article if you aren’t familiar with Leave No Trace. There are also other things that we can do.

One is to remember that the national forest and national park rangers can’t possibly scout every trail in their district, so unless you let them know about adverse trail conditions like washouts, snow, or blow-downs, they may not find out about them. This is particularly true if you have been on a lesser traveled trail recently. Let them know, and they can update the trail conditions reports.  Another is to introduce your friends to the wilderness. Show them what they’re missing, and teach them how to care for it.  And finally, join an organization like the Sierra Club or Environment Washington, and help out. These organizations work to keep that wilderness wild, and rather than take their efforts for granted, we should lend them support.  Sharing your pictures from your trips can help, since pictures strengthen their campaigns, but you can also help by signing their electronic petitions and lending your voice to their efforts.

There is a lot of national forest land that isn’t protected yet, and these same organizations are working to get more of them protected so that we and our descendants will be able to continue trekking in the untrammeled wilderness.

Related Links:

Sierra Club, Seattle Chapter

Leave No Trace Ethics

Report Damage to National Forest Service or National Parks Service

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