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[pct-l] LNT 14- Planning planning

Hello All -

This posting lays out a few thoughts on the LNT Principle:

                    Plan Ahead and Prepare

If we do this one at the start of a LNT presentation it can be a REAL
sonofagun <g>.  At the end, once we all know what we are preparing for, it
becomes one of the most intuitively obvious LNT guidelines of all!

By now, we all know what we want to do to help protect our backcountry:

learn how our actions can harm the backcountry;
become committed to doing as little harm as possible;
go do it (or don't do it, as the case may be <g>); and,
don't be a wuss about getting fellow backcountry users to join in!

Obviously, the better prepared we are before we go, the better we can do
all the above!

One way to plan and prepare (p&p) is to do just what we have been doing for
the last thirteen LNT messages...looking at the LNT "big picture."

The next p&p step is for each of us to take a hard look at our intended use
of the backcountry.  There are a LOT of variables that come to play when we
start considering all the various ways that we "users" like to interact
with the many different backcountry ecosystems during the different

As climbers, bikers, hikers, x-country skiers, cavers, hoss folks,
atv'ers...(and on and on), we all have widely differing ways that we like
to use the backcountry.  We each need to become familiar with the good
LNT-type thinking that has already been done by the heavy-hitters in our
particular sport(s).  It is a rare backcountry sport nowadays that hasn't
added LNT to it's bag of tricks...and the few that haven't are likely to be
simply calling it something else (low impact, minimum impact, ethical use,
soft use, Tread Lightly!, etc.).

Once we get pretty sharp on the kinds of LNT questions that we should be
asking, we can start to research the specific backcountry ecosystem(s) that
we plan to visit.  There are a LOT of documents published about most of the
popular backcountry areas...and the managing agencies WILL fall all over
themselves to help us understand the special LNT considerations that might
be peculiar to the areas they care for <g>.

Once we really know the range of conditions that we can expect during our
backcountry visit...and we have decided on our personal LNT approach toward
meeting those conditions...we can start to plan the details of our trip.
Do we take stoves, use tarps, follow trails, visit pristine areas, go in
big groups, stay in one camp for days, make campfires, (yaddata,
yaddata)....are all these choices "optimum" LNT practice?

I dunno - there is NO WAY that I could know...it's the responsibility (and
the privilege!) of each person heading out into the backcountry to

the skills/attitudes of the particular individuals involved;
the particular equipment and camping "style" that will be used;
the particular ecosystems involved;
the particular climate possibilities involved;
the particular use-rates of the areas involved; and,
the particular rules/restrictions/constraints involved.

Tough task for somebody not involved...easy task for those that are <g>.

This p&p stuff really IS pretty doggone simple:

get smart about LNT, get smart about our sport, get smart about where we
plan to visit...and then play smart <g>.  Piece of cake!

The last little bit to add to our p&p "smarts" is our need to be smart
about getting help as we try to stem the tide of destruction to OUR
beautiful backcountry that we are heading out to enjoy.  We can't do it
alone...and the effort IS worth doing...or we wouldn't be heading out!

Meet you at "LNT 15- Wrap up!"

- Charlie II  AT (MEGA'93)
             PCT (Mex@Can'95)

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