Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pack out what you pack in when day hiking with children

Pack out what you pack in.
Set the example as a parent: Don’t litter yourself; whenever stopping, pick up whatever you’ve dropped; and always require kids to pick up after themselves when they litter.

In the spirit of “Leave no trace,” try to leave the trail cleaner than you found it, so if you come across litter that’s safe to pick up, do so and bring it back to a trash bin in civilization. Given this, you may want to bring a plastic bag to carry out garbage.

Picking up litter doesn’t just mean gum and candy wrappers but also some organic materials that take a long time to decompose and aren’t likely to be part of the natural environment you’re hiking. In particular, these include peanuts shells, orange peelings and eggshells.

Burying litter, by the way, isn’t viable. Either animals or erosion soon will dig it up, leaving it scattered around the trail and woods.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.