Parades, fireworks, beach trips and hotdogs — July 4th is the perfect day to celebrate America in all her glory by spending time in nature.
But if the crowds aren’t your thing or normal events aren’t happening, you might be looking for new ways to feel that spark of patriotism while also heading into the great outdoors.
Here are a few ideas for a perfect outdoor-minded July 4th.
Visit some national lands
What better way to celebrate America the beautiful than to see its beauty through the lens of public lands? We tend to think about those in terms of National Parks, but of the nation’s 640 million acres of public lands — 28% of the country’s total landmass — only about 13% of them are National Parks. That means there are about 590 million other federally owned public land acres to explore and appreciate, not to mention public lands managed as state parks.
Skip the National Parks crowds, and head out onto some different public lands for the 4th. It’s a great place to find some solitude and appreciate the glory of America.
Tend a mountain flag
There’s plenty of debate over whether or not flags should be installed on mountain tops, but we know one thing for sure: keeping those that are already there in good condition is an important task.
It’s also never-ending. Flags on mountain tops tatter quickly thanks to wind and other weather exposure.
Here in Alaska we have several local peaks with flags on them. We’ve taken the time to learn how to change the flags and make sure we have an extra in our bag, so when we are out hiking these peaks we can swap the flag if needed. It’s a great way to show our appreciation for American, and the freedom to be out there hiking to start with.
Support conservation with action — or money
If you can’t get into the wilderness this July 4th to appreciate America’s beauty, you can take time to support it by making conservation-friendly decisions at home. If you’re looking for action, head out and pick up some trash or plant a tree. And if you want to donate, find a way to give money to an organization you care about.
Gone are the days where “environmentalism” is a dirty word used only by those on the left side of the political spectrum. Any American who likes to spend time outside can put their own personal twist on caring about the environment.
In episode 13 of the Humans Outside Podcast, JJ Hinton, who leads the Mule Deer foundation, which focuses on protecting Mule Deer so that they can be hunted, talked to us about this intersection.
“It really blows my mind that we’re all users that all share the same space. At the end of the day, we have the same general ideas and goals, you know, the wildlife habitat that supports a robust … population of mule deer is also going to result in and benefits for other wildlife,” he said. “I find it extremely interesting that we do have … issues between non-consumptive users and consumptive users of the same shared spaces.”
Whether the Sierra Club or Safari Club International is your thing, we can all find ways to support nature and show our care for the country we love.