Vacationing in a national park is one of the best ways to spend your time. The landscapes in national parks are often stunning, and there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained about the area, whether you’re visiting a volcano, a desert, a forest or a lake. However, respecting nature and taking note of specific rules are important to conducting yourself properly when you’re on park grounds. These rules often keep the national parks in great condition for the next wave of visitors. Here are some simple rules to keep in mind.
Be Careful About Bringing Pets
Although some national parks are pet-friendly, it’s usually not a great idea to bring your furry friend with you. Why? When dogs poop, their fecal matter can carry diseases and parasites. These parasites may harm the local wildlife at the park. In addition, when your dog is unleashed, he’ll probably be tempted to chase after the animals. The animals in national parks are often protected and endangered, and having your dog chase them or possibly kill them upsets this delicate balance.
Put Out Campfires Completely
Putting out your campfire completely seems intuitive, but some people still leave it smoldering. It can still cause a fire. When you’re camping and you’re about to turn in for the night, or you’re leaving for a day of hiking, make sure that your fire is dead. One small spark is enough to rekindle your campfire and create a forest fire.
Stay In a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel
Let’s’ face it. Hotels aren’t particularly eco-friendly. They use a ton of water to launder their towels and sheets, they go through huge quantities of bottled water, and there is a good amount of food that goes to waste. A vacation rental, on the other hand, has just enough towels for you and your family and doesn’t create heaping mounds of waste. When you stay at a vacation rental instead of a hotel, you’re traveling green and doing Earth a huge favor.
Dispose of Your Trash
There are two reasons to dispose of your trash. One reason is that it’s simply polite to leave the park as clean as possible. This is not only considerate for the next group of campers and sightseers, but it’s also respectful to the park, itself. The second reason is that discarded food often attracts bears and raccoons. So if you want to keep the area safe from wild and dangerous animals, dispose of all your trash carefully and properly.
Don’t Steal from Nature
When you’re hiking through the Redwoods, the Sequoias or Yellowstone National Park, it can be very hard not to take a souvenir. But the beauty of national parks is that they are for everyone, and if everyone feels the need to take a little something, then the park will slowly lose its most valuable resource: nature, itself. In consideration of others, let your souvenirs be your photos and videos.
If you keep these tips in mind on your next vacation to a national park, you’ll get to connect with nature, unwind and help Mother Earth out, too.
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