Last weekend, we were able to check out the Backpacker Magazine Get Out More Tour which was hosted by The Local Hiker in Spartanburg, SC.
When we arrived there was a local bluegrass band, Backline, serenading the local hikers who were waiting to hear from Backpacker Magazine Ambassador, Randy Propster. While we waited for the presentation to start, we explored the local vendor booths and checked out The Local Hiker store.
*If you haven’t checked out The Local Hiker yet, you should definitely head to Spartanburg and see all of the awesome gear they have in the store.
When the presentation started, Randy shared about the leave no trace principles, which every hiker should know and use when exploring nature. He also was able to go through essential gear hikers need. He had a ton of gear available so we were able to see some gear first hand and check it out after the presentation.
The talk was focused on how we as hikers could be stewards of the trails. Here are some of the high points Randy touched on:
Educate Yourself and Others
Learn the Leave No Trace principles and follow them when outside. If all of us understand and follow these easy principles there would be a lot less trash and a lot more undisturbed nature in our local forests. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has created LNT Reference Cards that you can purchase to hang on your pack to remind you of the principles whether in the backcountry or frontcountry.
Most local shops are giving back to local state parks or organizations that are helping to clean up and preserve trails in our area, so be conscious of where you are spending your money to buy your gear. Get out there and support your local shops.
Use our trails
If we don’t use our trails, we are going to lose them. Our state parks rely on us getting outside and exploring. All of the money collected during your visit goes right back to preserving those trails.
Randy challenged everyone to spend one weekend out of the year volunteering to maintain a trail. There were 136 people in attendance. If all 136 of us spent one weekend cleaning up a trail, it would make such a huge positive impact. Check out some local organizations where you can volunteer such as Foothills Trail Conservancy, South Carolina State Park Service, or the Palmetto Conservation*. Even if you don’t take part in a designated volunteer weekend there are some small, easy things you can do. Why not carry a trash bag and pick up any trash that you come across the next time you go on a hike.
*These are just a few of the organizations that work on trail maintenance in our area. But a quick google search will help you find many others who are looking for volunteers to keep our trails looking beautiful.
The Get Out More Tour has just started so there is a chance that it might be coming to a city near you. Be sure to check out where Randy will be headed next!
See you on the trail.