Camping and Smoking


 


Ever since Teddy Roosevelt was the President of the United States, parks and wildlife have been an important part of the American culture. Just pull out a map of your state and take note of all of the green spots. Those are state and nationally funded parks that are maintained for the enjoyment of everyone.


But maybe you already know this. Maybe you're an outdoorsy person who likes to go hiking and camping (and a Nature Bag is an awesome overnight bag). You feel right at home beside a campfire roasting marshmallows for S'mores and sleeping in a tent at night. If it is something you enjoy, then probably most of your vacations are built around camping. You pack your spouse and your kids and even the dog into the car and head out into the great outdoors. You don't care about pesky mosquitoes or other animals that may plague your campsite. For you it's sheer pleasure to get outside for a change. It's times like these that you finally feel free. You feel relaxed as the rest of the world continues by at its typical break neck pace and you're enjoying the slow ease of nature.
 

Well going camping can produce a lot of hazards. You have to worry about bears and snakes. You have to worry about getting lost. You have to worry about poison ivy. And there's a whole new set of worries if you're a smoker. If you're a smoker, then you have to worry about fires. Most people don't realize that most forest and home fires are caused by careless smokers that discard a still lit cigarette butt into a flammable area. During the summer and in dry spells, a cigarette can be a definite fire hazard. The leaves and the grass may be dead from lack of water and the blistering heat. Dead plants will catch fire a lot easier than live ones, so you have to be especially careful. Some national and state parks ban setting campfires because of the potential dangers that it can cause. This is why most parks have designated pits for building fires. But when you're smoking, there's no designated area for your little fire. Most likely it goes wherever you happen to be when you have finished smoking it. You drop it onto the ground and do not realize when it rolls over into a dry patch of leaves. The leaves begin to burn slowly. If there's any brush around, then the fire could have the potential to spread very quickly.
  

If you are a nature lover, then you are probably dedicated to doing everything in your power to make sure that our beautiful natural resources are preserved. Don't endanger them by bringing your nasty cigarette habit into the wild. Protect nature and yourself by leaving your cigarettes at home - or better yet in the garbage can.

 




Vivian H Ramirez
Volunteer

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