Mindful Travel
Peter O'Hara
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Mindful Travel

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Please Explore Responsibly

Many visitors are looking to explore our vast outdoor playground by hiking, snowshoeing, biking, camping, and more. No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, do your research in advance and be prepared. Learn the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials—and apply them to all your outdoor adventures. AdventureSmart.ca is an important resource when it comes to outdoor safety for all seasons.

When exploring the outdoors, always leave it in a better state than when you arrived. Leave No Trace is a set of seven guidelines for enjoying the outdoors responsibly while minimizing your impact on the landscape.

Visit LeaveNoTrace.ca to learn more about responsible outdoor recreation and visit WildsafeBC.com for more tips on how you can keep wildlife wild and prevent conflict.

We respectfully acknowledge that the Comox Valley Regional District is located on the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, the traditional keepers of this land.

Plan Ahead & Be Prepared

  • Be aware of local regulations and any cultural sensitivities. 
  • Be ready for changes in weather or emergencies.
  • Bring an up-to-date map and compass to orient yourself and follow the right path.
  • Repackaging food in reusable containers to minimize waste.

Stay on Trails and Sleep on Hard Surfaces

  • Travel and camp on existing established trails and campsites.
  • Use harder surfaces absent of vegetation to set up camp. 
  • Avoid altering a site to camp: a good site is found, not made. 
  • Protect shorelines by camping more than 60 metres from lakes and streams.

Leave What You Find Behind

  • Look but don’t touch cultural, historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leaving stones, plants and all other natural objects in their original place and condition.
  • Avoid building structures or digging trenches.
  • Prevent the spread of exotic invasive species by removing mud and debris from shoes, clothing and equipment.

Dispose Of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Thoroughly inspect picnic area and campsite for trash, food scraps, cigarette butts and other micro-waste. Pack it out! 
  • Deposit human feces in a hole dug more than 60 m (or about 70 adult footsteps) from water sources, trails and campsites. Digging the sanitary hole in organic soil 15 to 20 cm deep; dig and camouflage after each use.
  • Bathing and washing dishes more than 60 metres away from waterways. Use a minimum amount of biodegradable soap.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts: opt to cook on a portable stove.
  • Place barbecues, fire boxes and portable stoves on durable surfaces. 
  • Protect soil and roots from burning. Use designated locations like a fire ring.
  • Make sure you are aware of any current fire restrictions. When fires are permitted, keep them small.

Be Considerate of Others

  • On a narrow trail, give way to uphill hikers, and pull over to give priority to people with mobility aids. 
  • Avoid excessive noise.
  • Camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • When posting online about a trip, post photos that demonstrate good behaviour to better protect natural environments.

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach.
  • Never feed animals. Not even the squirrels, seals or whiskey jacks. 
  • Store food rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.