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Last Updated: Oct 8, 2008 - 10:17:19 AM 

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Saturation Point

Leave No Trace
By Karey Burek
Oct 9, 2008 - 10:15:04 AM

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Recently I came across two ­really neat workshops that are ­being offered by our State Parks that teach people how to leave a small footprint when they are out enjoying nature. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that these workshops go along with the Greenways and Trails awareness activities and hikes this month. According to the Florida State Parks website, Hillsborough River State Park is partnering with the Leave No Trace Program to help citizens learn how to reduce their impacts when they hike, camp, picnic, snowshoe, run, bike, hunt, paddle, ride horses, fish, ski or climb. “The program strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts,” a workshop that will be well worth the time. “Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program,” allowing people who enjoy being outdoors to have less of an impact so that the nature and habitats we enjoy will be pristine for years to come.
Karey Burek Photo Hiking at Odessa.

Not only can you learn as an individual how to make less of an impact, but you can learn how to be the person teaching others as part of the Leave No Trace team. These workshops are being offered at 9 a.m. on Nov. 15 and 16. For more information and how to sign up for the workshop, you can visit

One way that I like to enjoy the outdoors and keep my impact low is hiking. The best times to hike according to the Florida Trail Asso­ciation are from late October through April because the weather is suitable and comfortable. Also, the Florida Trail Association urges hikers to make sure that they always have the hiking essentials on hand before they hit the trails. Make sure that you have: map, compass, water, warm clothes, rain gear, extra food, first aid kit, whistle, flashlight, sharp knife, fire starter and waterproof matches.

I went on a hike and came frighteningly close to being lost in the woods. We had minimal water, no food or any of the other items on the list above; the situation could have become dangerous. This year, my kit will be packed with the proper items and stored for convenience so whenever the hike bug bites I will be ready; enjoying the beautiful Florida weather and leaving no trace.





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