Every Day Is A Trail Day

Leave No Trace is a well-known concept to most, but it is certainly not known to all. Many of the trails we access at recreational areas across Alabama are littered with plastic wrappers, beer cans and cigarette filters, evidence that there are people who don’t know or don’t care that we should minimize our impact on the natural world to the best of our ability. In simplest form Leave No Trace means that we pack out everything we pack in, walk on established trails, allow the plants and animals to just be, bury poop and be incredibly careful with fire. These are some of the fundamentals of a vast topic worth studying.

In the meantime, let’s look at a way to move one step beyond basic in practicing Leave No Trace.

Think of every day as a Trail Day. Trail Days are usually some combination of work and play. The work might mean picking up trash or improving trails. The play is that you are outside getting your hands dirty. Think of every time you are outside as a Trail Day, as an opportunity to leave the place a little better than you found it. Seek opportunities to pick up trash on your hike out. Be bold and walk the seven steps out of your way to pick up that soda can. Pack it out. Every time you bend or kneel to collect something that does not belong, do so with a heart full of gratitude for someone giving you the opportunity to practice yoga on the go. Be kind to anyone you come across who is doing harm to a tree or defacing rock. Show them the way.

Maybe one day we will all know better.

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Ryan Cavender