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Monday, April 30, 2018

The Trace of an Explorer

Being an explorer means being responsible. It's not just me saying this, it's National Geographic. Responsibility is one of the attitudes of an explorer, an essential attribute of the explorer's habit of mind and approach to life.

In case you are fuzzy about what being responsible means allow me to clarify. When I spoke to the middle and high school girls Women in Science conference I told them that responsibility meant being respectful of everyone, having integrity, and—this is the big one—to do no harm to and help where you can, both people and the Earth.

Leave No Trace or LNT is an excellent organization that equips you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do no harm to the Earth and be responsible in both the back and front country.  I think their training should be required for everyone who considers themselves an explorer because being LNT competent and compliant helps protect and conserve wild places.

And even if you don't think of yourself as explorer, even if you are "just" someone who likes to get outside to a local park, get aware about how to do this responsibly. As Jane Goodall says, we all have an impact. It's up to us to decide what kind of impact we will have. Becoming Leave No Trace aware (or even better trained) means our impact will be positive because it will be minimal on the outdoors.

Full disclosure, I have yet to go through an in person training. I've done the online awareness class and repeated it to brush up on my LNT knowledge. As I head out for another season of hiking, camping, and even just walking through a park I want to make sure I am on my A game for responsibility.