Keep on track
The scourge of trail maintainers around the world.
You know who I’m talking about. Hikers who slyly tiptoe along the side of trails in order to keep their tootsies dry and comfy. Armed with the attitude that “oh well, I’m only one person, it can’t do too much harm can it?”
The reality is that, yes, it can. Whilst the impact of a single individual may be minimal, the damage caused by a number of hikers doing exactly the same thing is anything but. Skirting bogs, cutting corners and taking short cuts all contribute to erosion, damaged vegetation and a widening of trails.
Shoes can be cleaned. You can dry your feet at day’s end. Damaged vegetation and erosion are not so easily remedied. The solution? Simple. If you are walking on a trail, irrespective of whether it is muddy or not, suck it up and stick to the path. Channel your inner Buddhist and follow the “middle way.”
Note: If walking over trailless terrain in a group, you can lessen your environmental impact by fanning out, in order to avoid forming paths which future hikers may follow.