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Canoe trip ethics

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A wilderness experience can be many different things. Some love the solitude, others the fishing, still others crave the challenge of travel and exploration. One common thread that runs through everyone’s trip is the love of the outdoors. The opportunity to see wildlife, hear the enchanting cry of the loon and feel the warmth of an evening campfire draw visitors from around the world to visit wilderness areas.

When planning a canoe trip, leave behind the music, electronic gadgets of the 20th century and prepare to enter the world of yesterday. There are no schedules, deadlines or needs here. The lack of noise producing gadgets will allow one to fully appreciate the solitude. Speaking in a regular voice as opposed to yelling or shouting will also provide a pleasant atmosphere. It’s amazing how sound travels across the water!

A skilled woodsman is thoughtful and courteous not only to his neighbor, but to the next traveler to visit a campsite. Leaving campsites cleaner than found with a small stack of firewood near the fire grate are silent ways to show courtesy to future visitors.

When collecting firewood please do not cut live trees. There are plenty of deadfall that can be used. And please do not peel the bark off live trees as this damages them and leave them open for attack from insects and eventual death. When you are finished with your camp fire be sure to completely douse it with water. The wind can come up through the night and reignite the fire and possibly the forest around it. The coals should be cold to touch with your bare hand.

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