Taking your digital camera along for a trek in the tundra or through the woods allows you to capture all the wonders and visions that being outdoors can offer.
Yukon has some of the most pristine wilderness areas anywhere on Earth. However, taking advantage of the opportunity to visit it carries some responsibilities.
You are responsible to preserve the unspoiled nature of the boreal forest and watersheds. Be a good steward of the wilderness so it’s not ruined for those who follow you.
The arctic tundra is a sensitive biosphere that took millennia to create and may take decades to recover from even minor damage.
Be attentive – watch where you tread as you make your way over its gentle surface and delicate flora. You will find tiny plants, flowers and succulents beneath you if you look closely.
Do your best to stay on existing trails and paths, as not to cause injury. If you are using a motorized vehicle, such as an ATV, it is imperative that you not leave existing routes.
When traveling through the region in a group, walk single-file rather than spreading out over the area, in order to minimize damage.
A bonus to this is it will allow you to include people in your photos – or not – as you wish.
Do not remove anything. Take photos of those things you like about the space you are in and leave them for the enjoyment of the next voyageur.
Although it is best not to change anything, sometimes it may seem prudent to move or adjust some object in a scene.
If you decide it really is necessary, have someone gently hold the branch, clump of grass or offending object out of the way so it can be carefully replaced exactly where it was without causing damage.
Avoid moving rocks, stumps or downed trees and logs, as they are home to a multitude of organisms and life-forms that require them just the way they are.
Never litter. Carry everything out that you bring in, leaving only your boot prints and nothing that could interfere with the environment.
If you absolutely must have an open fire, situate it so it won’t destroy underground vegetation and keep it as small as possible. When leaving the site, make sure the fire is completely extinguished and spread the ashes so that little or no trace remains.
Try to leave no suggestion of your visit to the tundra or woods.
Always respect any fences or signs you come across.
These could be the boundary of private property or might indicate a particularly sensitive area for either wildlife or wildlife habitat.
If it is private property, ask the owner beforehand for permission to enter.
As a matter of safety, be aware of any signs of wildlife. You are a guest in their home and, as such, ought to respect their need for privacy and safety.
Don’t do things that may frighten wildlife or try to get their attention by causing a disturbance. Yelling, throwing stones or provoking them in some other manner is uncalled for.
Above all, do not feed them or leave food behind.
As you traverse the wilds, make sure you are making enough noise that you will not stumble across wildlife unexpectedly. Surprise may result in attack.
Carry bear spray with you at all times when in the backwoods and practise how to use it.
Bear spray has an expiry date stamped on the can. Once that date has passed, it is possible that the potency of the product may lessen.
Some argue that an expiry date is simply a ploy to sell more product, but you don’t want to find out they are wrong if circumstances require you to use this possible life-saver.
Digital photography is a great way to share your images while causing as little damage to the environment as humanly possible.
Putting photos online is one of the greenest ways to share your experience and vision.
Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable. Your end cost is minimal and they reduce the amount of waste ending up in the landfill.
Thank you for your consideration when creating your digital photography. Your efforts will help maintain the environment and preserve the scene you visited for others who follow..