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3 Easy Steps To Becoming A Backcountry Hero

Have you thought about helping to protect wildlife or wild flowers, but you donít know how? Or maybe you want to protect your favorite camping site or that cool little stream nobody else knows about? Making a difference in the backcountry is easy for anyone Ė you donít have to be Ted Turner. Not every one can fly to the Amazon delta to move bird nests or trek off to the Aleutian Islands to remove crude oil from a pristine beach. But everyone can help right where they are. Follow these 3 easy steps, and youíll be on your way to giving back to your backcountry and youíll have a ball doing it.

First step is to take inventory of your backcountry interests. What is your favorite outdoor activity? Is it fishing, rock climbing, bird watching, hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting, skiing, classifying plants, kayaking, horseback riding or something else? Take a few minutes to really understand what excites you about being off the pavement and in the backcountry. Once you have pictured yourself engaging in your favorite outdoor recreation, youíre ready for step two.

The second step towards becoming a backcountry hero is to do a little research. If you love to hike, perhaps spending some time researching the American Hiking Society and some of its projects make sense to you. If bird watching is your thing, BirdLife International may be worth looking into. The easiest way for many to do research is on the internet. But donít forget about book stores, libraries or sport specific organizations like the ones just mentioned. A more comprehensive list can be found on-line in our Education Center at www.backcountrytoys.com.

As you do your research, keep your eyes open for projects in your area. Youíll be amazed at how you will be able to make a difference right where you live. Only one step to go.

Up to this point youíve identified a subject, youíve research it and now itís time to get moving and this is most critical step. I doesnít take much time or effort to take action. In fact, there are organizations all around the world looking for you to volunteer and they all have active lists of projects that could use your talents. If you have a hiking vacation planned, why not incorporate a small project into your trip? Maybe a letter needs to be written to your legislator or perhaps you could pick up trash along a local lake shore. Thereís lots to be done.

Spending time in the backcountry doing the things you love to do is made sweeter when you help to protect, conserve and enhance your activity. We have great trail systems and great river and lake systems and all because of people like us, who take the time to improve those things we love so much. With just a little action, you will be an outdoor hero. Use this information and youíll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!

Submitted by:

Chuck Fitzgerald

Chuck Fitzgerald is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online specialty store with the "Best Gear Out There" and dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts to "Get It Right The First Time" with timely educational information. Please visit http://www.BackCountryToys.com to find great gear and to receive the Fact & Tips e-newsletter, "FreshAir." (800) 316-9055.




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