Backroads are secondary paths connecting off main roads, they are usually found in rural areas and can be paved or unpaved. Depending on the location, this type of roads may have different environment factors such as erosion, weather conditions, wildlife and safety […]
Backroads are secondary paths connecting off main roads, they are usually found in rural areas and can be paved or unpaved. Depending on the location, this type of roads may have different environment factors such as erosion, weather conditions, wildlife and safety standards that can put you, the traveler, in danger.
Backroads can be the most beautiful and scenic routes for travel. Historic highways, sideroads and National Byways can provide an exciting and new experience that you just can’t experience anywhere else. It’s important to consider the potential threats during these road trips know the right tools to confident and safe travel.
Travel & Navigation
In this age we have become so reliant on cell phones and GPS systems to navigate us, most cannot imagine driving without these devices. So, what happens if there’s no service? What about technical errors? Or you lose your phone, or it runs out of battery? These can be scary situations, especially in places you don’t know with limited amount of resources.
Always keep a paper map on hand and a compass to know where you are in the case technology fails. There are handy atlas’s available with detailed information and resources to have during travel.
You see a lot of signs while driving along the highway about falling rocks. It’s important to also consider the effects after they fall. Often rocks, dirt and debris will fall from a steep cliff and create obstacles or rough terrain to the road.
You can prepare for these incidents by maintaining a shovel, which is also good for handling large snowfalls. A tow strap can also be handy for moving large objects out of the way.
Long Roads, Little Civilization
There are spans of backroads without towns or people for hundreds of miles. Take this into consideration with things like eating, drinking, needing gas, going to the bathroom or needing a safe place to stay for the night.
When planning prior to the trip take note of nearby towns, gas stations and rest stops. Similar to the navigation key, it is resourceful to have a paper map or atlas on hand to have knowledge of your surroundings.
We’ve all heard a noise coming from the car while driving that scares the absolute daylights out of us. It’s especially frightening if there are nonideal weather conditions, you’re somewhere you don’t know, you low phone service or don’t have the tools to fix it yourself. Maintain care for your vehicle throughout your trip and keep track of your tire pressure and fluid levels.
Depending on your location, your insurance may have a towing service able to help you in an emergency. It is also handy to carry a can of Fix-a-Flat and a repair kit to do any repairs yourself. Check out the owner’s manual in the case you are using a rental or are not familiar with the vehicle’s mechanisms.
Stuck & Stranded
Your vehicle gets stuck deep in the mud or you are in the middle of nowhere and your car won’t start, what do you do in the situation you’re stuck and stranded? You can prepare for these situations by having the right supplies.
An extra set of clothes, blanket, flashlight, spare cash, water and snacks can be a life saver in these situations. It’s also good to have quality winter tires to prevent from any weather-related incidents.
Hikers, Bikers & Bears! Oh My!
It’s important to consider your surroundings while driving along the road full speed. Many other adventurers may be hitting the road on bikes, motorcycles or by foot so make sure you are staying alert. Roads provide warmth for animals during the cold at night, be careful driving in dark and bad weather conditions that could prevent you from seeing animals along the road.
Having good bumpers on your vehicle can increase your visibility so animals and people can spot you earlier.
It’s important to be prepared and carry insights to avoid emergencies or fear during your backroad trip. Stay safe while going on your big adventure. Here’s a list to the best backroads by state in the United States.
Between dedicated location Instagram pages, budget travel accommodations, and accessible navigation applications, the travel bug has sparked an increased level of tourism in destinations worldwide. Last year, over 1.4 billion tourists traveled internationally. Without being managed, popular tourism locations can result […]
Between dedicated location Instagram pages, budget travel accommodations, and accessible navigation applications, the travel bug has sparked an increased level of tourism in destinations worldwide. Last year, over 1.4 billion tourists traveled internationally.
Without being managed, popular tourism locations can result in damaged ecosystems, threatened culture and heritage, poor infrastructure and polluted environments. The city of Venice, Italy has had to fight back against littering tourists, inflated rent and damaged coastlines from cruise ships. The city alone receives 30 million visitors every year. Water levels are rising and many native residents have left, the city predicts there will not be any Venetian residents by 2030.
Seven thousand miles away in Bali, Indonesia, the destination was struck with the Eat, Pray, Love effect. Quant rainforests and fields have been replaced with bustling world-class resorts and dedicated Eat, Pray, Love based tours. In late 2017, the country declared a “garbage emergency” after tides of plastic and waste spread across 3.6 miles of western coastline.
Locations facing overtourism have been forced to take action. This month, Venice major Luigi Brugnaro has urged the ban of cruise ships passing through the Giudecca Canal. Bali is constructing a bylaw to impose a $10 tax on foreign tourists when leaving the country.
Beloved destinations across the world are facing overtourism issues. Mount Everest, The Galapagos Islands, Amsterdam, Boracay and some U.S. National Parks are all forced to manage the effects of overtourism.
Linda Meriglaino, resource manager for the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming urges the awareness toward the increased effects on wildlife. “Increased visitorship may increase revenue, but it also increases costs, such as heightening the demand for visitor services and different facilities, such as demand for new visitor services and different facilities,” said Meriglaino.
Changing how we travel to become sustainable tourists
The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) says that responsible tourism can aid rural poverty, provide peace and understanding amount cultures, educate, and provide economic opportunity to indigenous peoples.
- Reconsider your bucket list. Often travel destinations on our own bucket list are shared by millions of others spanning the world. This results in specific locations being overly visited. The World Travel & Tourism Council conducted an assessment of locations worldwide and ranked their readiness for tourism growth.
- Lessen your eco-footprint and stay small. Utilize the city’s public transportation system and travel in small groups rather to large groups. Don’t litter and choose environmentally friendly accommodations during your stay.
- Spend and shop local. Local guides and shop owners know the city and will best direct you away from the crowds to hidden gems. By supporting these businesses, you directly support locally owned businesses and the community you visit.
- Consider visiting in the off seasons. Weather may not be as ideal, but prices drop, there are lessened crowds and you’re more likely to experience the country like locals do during the less traveled seasons.
In order to protect native residents and resources threatened by growing tourism, destinations must take steps toward improved management of infrastructure and local regulations. It is possible to experience the world without being a heavy contributor of the issues heavily visited locations are facing.
WRITER’S NOTES & RESOURCE LINKS:
When treading to the great outdoors, it’s important to consider that the way we live has changed since a time when humans lived among the wild. The products, technology and tools we use may have an impact when we take them to […]
When treading to the great outdoors, it’s important to consider that the way we live has changed since a time when humans lived among the wild. The products, technology and tools we use may have an impact when we take them to nature. To be as eco-conscious as possible, one should utilize the many eco-friendly camping equipment available.
Tents & Sleeping Equipment
There are many choices when it comes to how you sleep outdoors. Tents come in many varieties, so it is best to choose one made from canvas or natural materials. Investing in a nice tent that is easy to take apart and carry with you over many trips is better to purchasing many low-quality tents often made out of plastic.
Getting your sleep while camping is vital. The two most popular sleeping accessories while camping is either a sleeping bag or an air mattress. An air mattress can be slightly bulkier and require minor setup, while a sleeping bag may not offer all of the support you are looking for. There are excellent eco-friendly options for both, some even made with recycled materials.
Clothing & Hiking Gear
It’s always an excellent choice to invest in quality clothing and gear for your trip. From cruelty-free footwear to recycled polyester sustainable clothing, often these pieces are a stable to staying warm and dry during your trip.
Plastic eating tools can be handy to pack and not have to wash after your meal, however these are harmful to the environment and contribute to plastic waste. There are excellent tools of all materials, bamboo wood, titanium, and even foldable tools.
Cookware should also be considered in terms of weight and transportation. Having a good small, lightweight pot is a necessity to your needs in the woods. There are also all-in-one cooking sets that conveniently condense into minimal packaging with everything you will need.
When you go to start your fire, you should also consider the fire starter you are using. Many fire starters contain toxins which lower the taste and nutritional value of your food. Non-toxic fire starters, like this one, lower the impact of your outdoor campfire.
Reusable water bottles save the 1500 plastic bottles consumed by the U.S. every second. Another excellent option for quenching your thirst while camping are canteens or a thermos. These options can better contain the fluids both preventing leaks and keeping your water cool during a hike. It is very important to stay hydrating during the trip to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Do not forget to bring along high SPF sunscreen and insect repellant for your trip. If you are bringing along children, consider sunscreen options safe for children. Additionally, choose organic bug spray to avoid chemicals or consider making your own bug-repellant out of essential oils.
It sounds nice to leave the electronics at home, but phones and portable lights are very useful during your trip. To charge and power these items, consider solar options that both save energy but are very useful in a power outage emergency.
Remember to always pick up after yourself during your trip, pick up any trash or waste remaining and do not leave any food at the camp site. It is useful to bring along reusable or biodegradable bags to put waste in until you have a proper waste site.
Being eco-conscious is not difficult, it requires investing and utilizing the many tools available to campers today. Consider your impact in the woods and remember to be safe and leave without a trace.