Preventing the spread of invasives while out on the trails doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is our list of 10 essentials you’ve got to bring with you for responsible outdoor recreation!
Let’s not overlook the list of essentials that all hikers should take with them; our list is about environmental conservation more than about survival, but both are important!
Snacks provide the necessary fuel to keep you going while recreating. Dried fruit, granola bars or trail mix are all great options to bring (just don’t pick the candy out of our trail mix!).
2. ‘Play Clean Go’ boot brush
A boot brush comes in very handy, especially after adventuring on muddy trails. Make sure you clean your shoes and gear for mud, seeds and plant parts after spending time on the trails to reduce the spread of invasive species.
You can keep a boot brush in your bag or even store it in your car. After your adventure, simply give your shoes, gear and pets a brush off and you’ll be good to go! Check out Play Clean Go to learn more.
3. Extra Layers
Packing an extra jacket is always a good idea no matter where you go, and it’s convenient when you’re outdoors, as the weather can be unpredictable.
If you live in a rainy area like the Sea to Sky, throwing in a rain jacket is not a bad idea.
4. iNaturalist app downloaded on your phone
iNaturalist is a free app that allows users to record observations of the natural world around them. You may record observations of all life forms (whether native or invasive). iNaturalist is extremely helpful for scientists, as they use that data to better understand where certain plants, insects and animals are found. What’s more, using iNaturalist can also help you identify certain plants, animals and insects around you!
You can learn more about iNaturalist and how to get started in this blog post.
5. Water bottle
Stay hydrated on the trail. Summer days can get very hot, so bringing water with you is essential! Using electrolyte tablets or powder can also boost your hydration.
6. A container to collect edible berries
One of the best things about summer is all the wild, edible berries! Although both Himalayan, Cutleaf Evergreen and Common Blackberries are invasive, they produce delicious edible berries. Some native edible berries include salmonberries, blueberries, thimbleberries and huckleberries.
Toss a container into your bag to enjoy these berries once you’re back home: maybe in a smoothie, as ingredients for ice cream, or just on their own?
Check out this guide to learn more about edible berries in the Sea to Sky!
Be sure to familiarize yourself with local edible berries and never eat anything unless you’re 100% certain it’s safe.
7. First aid kit
8. Bug Spray
Bug spray is great to avoid getting itchy bug bites.
Additionally, don’t forget to check yourself for ticks after your adventure!
9. A keen eye for staying on the trail
Staying on the trail is extremely important to avoid damaging natural ecosystems. It also reduces the risk of spreading invasive species further into the wilderness.
Staying on the trail is not only better for the environment but also safer for you – when you go off the route and step onto uneven foliage, you’re more likely to fall, roll an ankle, or injure yourself a different way.
A GPS can also be a great tool if the trail you’re on is hard to follow!
10. Bear spray
In the Sea to Sky, bear encounters are not uncommon. While your first defence mechanism against bear encounters should be education, you may also choose to carry bear spray out of an abundance of caution.
Keep your bear spray within reach to protect yourself from any unexpected bear encounters.
Want to learn more about being invasive species conscious? Here are some resources: