Many Sherpas believe that the mountains surrounding their villages are inhabited by gods — towering peaks best left in harmony with their natural environment. Out of respect for these gods, Sherpas have created a culture based on the principles of simplicity, using seasonal nomadic herding to take only what was needed from the land and the animals that inhabited it. Over the last few decades, tourism and mountaineering goals have provided a much needed boost to the local economy, but is also pushing the limits of the native environment.
Local Sherpas, like many mountain locals around the world, have taken it upon themselves to help minimize these environmental challenges that come with heavier foot traffic. Some of these efforts include educating explorers on Leave No Trace practices, implementing and respecting seasonal wildlife closures, and organizing maintenance and clean up efforts. Using tourism as a way to raise funding for environmental awareness, Sherpas have given a new purpose and life to the mountaineering industry in Nepal.
With National Trails Day approaching on Saturday, June 2nd, we hope to spread the rich heritage and time-honored beliefs of Nepal to each and every trail our friends and customers set foot on, so we are sharing a few tips for both getting more people onto the trail AND for caring for those trails in the process.
Take the Pledge: Start by taking the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day Pledge. You’ll be joining hundreds of others around the country in committing to get outside on June 2nd and leaving the trail better than you found it. You’ll be emailed tips and ideas for getting outside and also be entered in a few exciting giveaways.
Host or Join an Event: Try searching Hike It Baby, Meetup, Hike365 or American Hiking for an event near you. Don’t forget to check out the resources in your local area as well! Trail associations, nature or science centers, local colleges and universities, and outdoor gear retailers often provide great ways to get connected with other hikers, bikers, and trail runners.
Invite A Few Friends: National Trails Day isn’t only about cleaning up and maintaining the trails, it’s an opportunity to get even more and new people outside, so invite your co-workers, friends, and family to get outside and explore with you. Send a text, email or Facebook message with one of our fun graphics to get all your friends on board!
Leave No Trace: Leave the trail better than you found it by packing out trash, following proper dog etiquette, respecting wildlife closures, and staying on the trail. Also, as you look and explore, please don’t take any rocks, plants, or other artifacts. Be considerate of other visitors by monitoring your noise level and sharing the trail. You can check out all of the Leave No Trace principles at their website, www.lnt.org.
Share With Others: Help us build a bigger outdoor community by sharing your adventures. Tag @sherpaadventuregear or #wearesherpa and let us know of all the fun trails you’re planning on exploring this summer! You can also use the tags #leavenotrace and #nationaltrailsday to reach even more people.