Laws in the Wilderness

Laws in the Wilderness

Laws in the Wilderness

It’s the beginning of summer, and a large number of people are getting ready for adventures in the Great Outdoors. People may feel totally free to do what they want in the wilderness, but can they? Unfortunately, there are important principles people should understand and follow when visiting the natural world.

The “law of the wilderness” overrides any rules Also known as the “law of the jungle,” because it’s more simple and quite distinct from the laws of civilization. No government or people can force someone to behave in a certain way in the Wild. Wild animals are ruled by this brutal law. It says that only the strong survive, and that life is about survival and fighting. It’s about the continuation of life. The survival of the specie and self-preservation is still ruling our most basic instincts. Every rule can be negotiated, but the law of the wilderness remains the essential reality of nature.

Respect group rules A group is more than two people. There is safety in numbers, especially in the natural world, but as soon as you part of the group, you are bound by underlying rules and behaviors. Manners, decency, and civility are part of normal human behavior, regardless of location. “Don't do unto others what you don't want to be done unto you,” is the core truth you should live by.

Respect society’s rules Unless your survival depends on bending those rules, respect them. Those are the laws of your country, of your region, of the national park you are visiting. They exist for a reason. Many of those rules are to protect the wilderness. They could impose a fire ban, a no-fishing regulation, or restrictions on hiking trails.

Respect your surroundings Respect all life, don’t litter the place where you stay, pick up your trash, “leave no trace” and don’t say bad things about animals. Karma is a real thing. Believe that good deeds and respect for al things will lead to a safe passage for you and others.

Be humble Remember that you may not understand everything about what’s happening around you, and that’s OK. There is fear, wonder, and magic in the wilderness for the human spirit. Be patient, be cautious. Nature is in control. The weather may decide for you if you will reach the mountain top during your trip.

Be self-sufficient If you choose to enter the wilderness, by definition a place devoid of humans, you should be prepared. No excuses. Have the minimal amount of gear: matches, knife, titanium cup, first aid kit, as well as food, water, the right clothes, and a shelter of some kind. Plan your trip carefully and tell someone else about your plan and your date of return.

Adopt a fighter’s mindset Wilderness is indifferent to human life. It’s indifferent to you, your family, and your hopes. Nature is not hostile to your existence, but it’s not friendly either. A prepared mind knows the worst can happen, and that’s why it’s crucial to be physically and mentally ready to face adversity. Adversity is a given in the wilderness. Be ready to fight for your life at any time, because it’s the essence of the law of the wilderness!

To Top