I may not be a boyscout, but when visiting the National Parks I'll agree that you want to "be prepared"!
Fun Fact!: I obviously was not a boy scout, but I was an Indian Princess.
Fun Fact!: It's not 'Route 66', but I have driven I-10 from end to end. It's really hot.
Be sure to include a trip to one of our National natural treasures on your next vacation!
How to Have a Successful Trip
- Do your research.
- ALWAYS go to the visitor's center.
- If you go exploring, try to find someone to go with you.
- Be friendly.
- Pack it in, pack it out.
- Do not approach the wild life.
- Take as many pictures as your camera can handle.
Visit the National Park Service website. Look up lodging information if you plan to stay in the park. You may need permits or reservations for some activities you may want to participate in.
The people who work there are experts! They'll be able to help you plan activities based on your interests and physical skills. They are a wealth of information from weather and maps to the best place to catch a sunset. Even if it's a park you've visited before, I always suggest you stop in, say 'hello' and see what's new at the park.
Ever seen the movie "127 Hours"? Basic moral of the story is "tell your friends and family where you'll be." If you aren't familiar with the area, for safety's sake, take a friend. You'll also have someone to take your picture in front of the fantastic views.
It is hiking culture to say 'hello' to those you pass on the trail. This is for safety (if you get lost they might remember your face and where they saw you) and also makes the experience much more enjoyable. You might just meet your next traveling buddy. And, quite frankly, it's just good manners. Also, let those who hike more quickly than you pass.
Remove anything that you bring into the park back out of the park. Leave anything that you didn't bring into the park in the park. It is NPS policy that you 'Leave No Trace.'
As much fun as it sounds like to be mauled by a bison...it probably isn't. Don't go near the animals. In the same vein, Cliff bars probably taste better than random plants on a trail, so play it safe and pack some granola.
I've never ever wished I had less photos. Your lack of photography skills are no excuse, the parks are so beautiful it is probably impossible to take a bad picture.