Riverside Picnicking

Lake of the Ozarks, MO: The thought of summer conjures up mental images of hot days, cool drinks, and as much time spent by the water as possible. We've had the pleasure of being around a lot of rivers this summer, and thought we'd share our Leave No Trace tips for riverside picnics!

Things to consider:

Preparation is Key. 
Make sure you plan ahead and prepare by picking a day where the weather looks great. Sunscreen will help save your skin from the water's glare, and insect repellent will keep away the bugs who love the water as much as you do.

Stay on Track.
Use established trails or walk on durable surfaces - like gravel, sand, or dirt - to get you to your destination. Spread out your blanket on gravel, sand, dirt, or dry grass to make sure the area you choose recovers quickly.

Space Out.
If you see other people out enjoying the river, try to give them the space they need to enjoy their activities, and be conscious of your noise level. Everyone has their own way of enjoying the river, and we want everyone to have a good time.

Minimize Animal Munchings.
Keep track of your food and crumbs, and clean up any trash or food waste immediately to keep the local wildlife from crashing your picnic. Be sure to bring a bag to help you pack out all trash, and consider packing out any trash you find along the way.

Wade Responsibly.
If you decide to wade in the shallows, enter and leave the water where the banks are low to prevent erosion. Gravel and sandbars are also durable entry points that let you avoid crushing fragile aquatic plants. Avoid building rock pools or stacking rocks, which can destroy habitat for river dwellers.

Following these tips helps ensure that our rivers can be enjoyed for many summers to come. We hope you enjoy your picnic and Enjoy Your World!

--Amanda and Junaid, Team East Central

Leave No Trace's Amanda Jameson and Junaid Dawud are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, and Smartwool.