USA Bucket List

The Future

The number of people in North America, specifically in the United States, who live near public lands is shrinking. Access to national parks requires a certain amount of travel from most urban areas, a necessity that can be prohibitive for low-income families or those without transportation. Wilderness expanses like those found in the West and Alaska are so far from the continent’s population centers that a trip to these areas requires commitment of both time and money. In short, access to wild places is already limited for many North Americans, and the vast majority may never get to experience the beauty of nature or the life-changing effects of a long-distance hike. But, the more people travel to wild places, the more incentive there will be to save them. Protecting lands costs money and resources, two things that are already stretched thin in national governments. When people develop a connection to wild places, they have a reason to fight for the protection of those parks and lands. The future of public lands relies on an increased popularity in backpacking and hiking and exploration.

Public Lands Bucket List - Overcrowding in the Wilderness

How to Get Out

If you’ve never worn a backpack or tied on hiking boots, don’t despair – there are countless ways to get started in the backcountry. If you like group activities, look for a local hiking clubs or meet-up groups geared toward exploration, like the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you prefer formal instruction, some outfitting companies and retailers offer classes on outdoor skills, which will provide you with a strong foundation for your first personal trip. If you like to experiment, but are short on time, buy a map of your area and ask a friend to go for a day hike. Or, if you’re feeling bold, invest in a backpack and some boots and hop on a long-distance trail. Ultimately, it’s just a long walk with a heavy bag; there are very few ways to do it incorrectly.

Source: Fix.com Blog

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