A Footloose Trail Tale
Horseshoe Lake Trail in Denali in Summertime

Oh hi there! I’m just getting ready for a quick day hike up around the lake. The weather is great (sorry, Lower 48) and these extra-long legs are jonesing for a squirrelly trail to conquer. Fresh air and hours of solitude are all I need. Know what I mean?

I used to think hiking was just about getting from here to there. But I quickly learned that it’s the journey, not the destination, that keeps backpackers coming back for more. Each time out, you discover and experience something new. A pretty awesome feeling, if you ask me. 

I’m more of a “backpack full of snacks” kind of hiker, by the way. Meaning, I set out for a few hours and then I head back home. No overnight camping or whatnot. But one time, not long ago, my footloose pace carried me farther than I expected to travel. If I hadn’t run into some other hikers, who knows where I would’ve ended up. 

As wonderful as backpacking can be, it’s important to stay mindful out there. Know where you’re going, how to get back, and what to do in case of an emergency. Luckily for me, everything was okie dokie. 

The same is true with invasive species. It’s super helpful when you’re backpacking to know what to look for and how to reduce the spread of invasive seeds and plants. Give your equipment, boots, pets and gear a good cleaning between trips before leaving an infested area. I recommend getting yourself a PlayCleanGo handheld boot brush. Also, remove all seeds and/or other plant parts from your clothing. Finally, report any invasive sightings to the local land manager.

Happy hiking!

PlayCleanGo’s Official Spokescreature

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