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The Green Life: Green Your Hike -- Navigation

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August 13, 2008

Green Your Hike -- Navigation

Minimize the environmental impact of midsummer hikes with this week's tips.

Tip #3: Walk lightly and carry a big sense of direction

In fiction, wandering heroes leave behind markers to find their way home: an unrolled ball of thread, a track of bread crumbs. But keeping your bearings while you hike doesn’t require changing the environment with paint, broken branches, or cairns. The best ways to keep from getting lost are the simplest. First, focus on honing your map-and-compass skills. Second, stick to clear, existing trails (check out trails.com or localhikes.com for routes) to minimize plant damage and erosion. To learn more ways to “leave nothing but footprints” as you navigate, visit The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. --Leigh Barkley

Share your tips: How do you navigate tricky trails? If you've ever gotten lost on an outdoor adventure, how did you find your way?

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