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How to Visit National Parks Responsibly

As crowds grow and parks reach capacity, responsible national-park travel is more important than ever. Here’s how to leave a lighter footprint, according to rangers.

Most of us don’t set out to be irresponsible visitors in national parks. We adhere to Leave No Trace (LNT) principles and view roped-off sections as no-go zones—not barriers between us and the perfect photo op.

But then we bend the rules with a quick off-path shortcut between our congested trail and the less trodden one. Or nature calls at the most inopportune moment, on the rare day we forgot bags to pack out used toilet paper. “Just this once,” we tell ourselves, resting assured we follow LNT 99 percent of the time.

But with bigger crowds and first-time visitors modeling other travelers’ behaviors, even small just-this-once choices can add up. “Are more people behaving badly? Probably not. Most of our visitors are behaving well. They’re doing the right thing,” says Kyle Patterson, public affairs officer for Rocky Mountain National Park. “It’s just that we have more people.”

To help you simultaneously enjoy and protect America’s beloved outdoor spaces, we gathered important reminders from rangers and tour outfitters who see these park problems firsthand. Here’s how they suggest visiting national parks responsibly.

Don’t skimp on preparation

With more parks requiring permits and reservations, it’s getting tougher to visit spontaneously—and according to Patterson, that’s not all bad. She says park research and preparation are key; without them, you’re putting yourself at risk (and potentially monopolizing search-and-rescue resources).

“You might be a really fit person, but fitness really doesn’t matter when it comes to feeling the ill effects of higher elevations,” Patterson says, recommending visitors from lower elevations give their bodies time to adjust to RMNP, which ranges in elevation from 7,860 to 14,259 feet. (This kind of adjustment typically requires a day or two, according to the Cleveland Clinic.)

Planning also involves checking the weather forecast. In some parts of the country, spring means sunshine and blooming flowers, but “we get most of our snow in March and April,” says Patterson, noting visitors often show up without gear fit for the elements.

Being prepared for all conditions—from a quick change in weather to the ill effects of altitude—does more than keep you comfortable while exploring. It helps preserve the NPS’s search-and-rescue resources, which are stretched thin. Beyond fitness, altitude, and weather preparation, take additional precautions like carrying a satellite phone and a paper map, and let a responsible friend or family member know your route, especially if you’re hiking the backcountry.

Adjust your expectations—or visit in the off-season

National parks are crowded, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Sure, timed entries may ease the burden, but “if you’re planning on going [to a national park] between Memorial Day and mid-October, in the middle of the day, you should expect there are going to be a fair number of people,” says Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, one of many parks that struggled with overcrowding during the pandemic.

Jenkins suggests visiting in the off-season or off-hours. “You can have a fabulous time by visiting these places in the evening, at night, and in the early morning, when you’ll largely have these places to yourself.”

If you do visit during busy times, be kind to fellow travelers. And remember you, also, are part of the crowd. “National parks belong to all of us,” Patterson says. “Visitors who’ve been coming for years and visitors who are coming for the first time are all important because these are the people that will be stewards of this place.”

Don’t DIY a parking spot 

Unprecedented crowds mean limited parking spots. Patterson says she’s seen a growing number of drivers creating their own spots so they can get out and enjoy the park sooner—a move that damages native flora.

“Don’t create parking spaces where there are none,” she says, acknowledging that this may mean waiting in your car longer to find a spot. “Park in designated spaces, on asphalt and gravel, not on grass, meadows, bushes, or alpine tundra.”

Respect wildlife

It’s not about how close you can get to a wild animal, such as a bobcat, coyote, or bear, says Patterson. You should be asking the reverse: “How far should I stay back?”

And yes, this applies to animals that look cute and cuddly—or those that would make for a great photo. “What people do is they keep approaching and approaching until the wildlife starts to react to their presence,” says Patterson. But in an instant, this wildlife encounter can turn tragic—as in the 2019 bison attack, seen in a viral video, that required the airlifting of a young girl out of Yellowstone National Park.

At Yellowstone, where wildlife encounters happen almost daily, rangers ask visitors to keep a distance of at least 25 yards from bison and elk, and 100 yards from bears and wolves, according to Wyoming Public Radio.

Follow local campfire rules

Given the ever growing wildfire risk, particularly out west, rangers urge visitors to learn and follow all campfire guidelines. “Rocky always has fire restrictions in place,” says Patterson, noting that RMNP restricts campfires except in designated campfire rings in picnic areas and campgrounds in the front country.

Whether it’s a RMNP picnic area or any outdoor area that allows campfires, it’s important to follow Leave No Trace fire guidelines, including using water (not dirt) to put out a fire and packing out all campfire litter.

Learn local Indigenous history

Sweeping vistas and snowcapped mountains may dazzle, but many U.S. national parks have deep Indigenous histories. Understanding a park’s past and learning about local Indigenous experiences are integral to becoming a responsible national-park traveler.

“We like to seek perspectives from the community and learn how history is perceived through different lenses,” says Matt Berna, a general manager for Intrepid Travel, a B Corp certified travel outfitter that’s been running national-park tours for over 20 years. Intrepid coordinates trips to reservations with Indigenous guides to “highlight the original stewards of the land and pay respect to their history by learning their stories.”

You can coordinate cultural trips of your own with a bit of planning and research. “Many reservations have cultural tourism. The Wind River Reservation, one of the closest to Grand Teton, has an extensive series of recommendations and ideas for visitors,” Jenkins says. “That’s true all over the country, from Florida, the Dakotas, and Washington State to California and Texas.”

Be bathroom-wise

One less than pleasant by-product of increased national-park crowds: increased human waste. “Every day, [trail crews] go to move a rock, and there’s human waste,” Patterson says. “Or they go to move something else, and there’s toilet paper spread all over the place.”

When you can, use established restroom facilities, says Patterson. And if you’re out hiking and can’t hold it, know the two important practices Intrepid’s LNT-certified guides teach their guests: “Keep at least 100 yards away from watercourses for toilet stops,” Berna says, “and bury waste at least six inches below the surface.”

Observe pet restrictions

We all love our trail dogs, but parents of even the best-trained pups need to follow the rules. “We continue to see people who come here with dogs walking past signs that say dogs prohibited,” says Patterson.

“That’s extremely unfortunate because dogs are predators, they can transmit diseases to wildlife, and they can become prey to wildlife,” she says. “Other visitors should be able to enjoy native wildlife in their natural environment, without disruption from other visitors’ pets.” At RMNP, leashed dogs are allowed only in front-country campgrounds or roads, not on trails.

Stick to the trail

Sure, some destinations, like Denali National Park, allow off-trail hiking—but you should go off-trail only if the park explicitly allows it. Patterson says sticking to the marked trails is one of the best ways to protect these national parks for the future.

“The increase of social trails [informal trails created by foot traffic] is damaging the park’s resources,” she says. “Don’t [take a] shortcut; don’t widen the trail by stepping off. That’s something that’s obviously happened for decades, but when you have more and more people doing it, you’re going to see more impacts.”

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Top 5 Styles For Wedding Photography

Wedding photos are for a lifetime. There are so many anecdotes about failed wedding photography, because for so many reasons, including miscommunication, unprofessional photographers, or some accident during the reception that ruined the whole experience. Even though it seems like everyone can do that, there is the reason why some people are professional in this field, and you shouldn’t underestimate them by comparing them to someone who is using their phone camera to take shots.

Here, the main thing is to find “your” person, whose idea of photographing will meet your expectations. To avoid unnecessary disappointment, approach this issue as responsibly as possible. Each specialist in this field has his own pattern and style, by which the broad public recognizes him. That’s what you need to pay attention to when deciding on one of them.

Many couples meet with the photographer to talk about the details months before the wedding. This seems like losing time, but it’s one of the most important steps you can take to make sure everything will go just fine.

To make it a bit easier for you to make a choice, we suggest the top 5 styles for wedding photography:

1. Coverage

Such a shooting shows the wedding day exactly as it is, with all its crazy and touching reality. The photographer allows the couple in love to behave as naturally as possible and, if possible, ignore his presence at the celebration. This style for wedding photography is suitable for those couples who don’t like or aren’t very good at posing, as well as don’t want to be distracted from what is happening at the wedding. It’s a really popular approach among the couples, who want to have their perfect shots ready for the reception. It wasn’t that popular in the past, but now it seems like a huge thing, that makes everything easier. The photographer can be focused on their task, and no one will mess with the couple as they pose during the shot.

2. Fine Art

The style is especially popular in America, as it makes it possible to capture a small piece of beauty in each picture. Each of the photos taken can become a real masterpiece and will appear at some exhibition or in an art gallery. By using this shooting method, a photographer is trying to show not a full picture but to assemble it from details. Most often, such photos are filled with a lot of light and air, looking like shots from a romantic movie. Besides, some professionals use equipment with traditional film, which adds a unique atmosphere to everything that is happening.

If you are a fan of this style, you need to share that with the photographer. Not everyone is eligible for this style because it requires more equipment, which can be pretty expensive. So, if you really want that, you must tell the photographer immediately, so they can be honest with you.

3. Fashion

This wedding photography style is suitable for those who are fond of aesthetic beauty. If you enjoy looking through popular fashion magazines, pleased by what you see, then you definitely need to look for a photographer working in this direction. Indeed, such photos are a kind of art. When working in this style, the specialist thinks and treats the event unconventionally, plays with compositions, colors, light, and creates something unique and exciting. When choosing this method of shooting, you should keep in mind that it requires a thorough study of all the details and thinking over the general concept of the event: the use of bright, romantic, sexy, and non-standard elements.

The beauty in these photos is that they will always be modern, no matter how many years have passed. And probably your children will be very proud of you in the future. We highly recommend using this style if you prefer it because it’s never boring for the couple and the team who works on the photography.

4. Only emotions

Perhaps, this is one of the most popular styles among newlyweds. Over a few years, it has been taking the lead, not yielding to new trends. This is explained by its features since the resulting pictures demonstrate the absolute happiness and madness of the wedding day. In such photos, couples can laugh, jump, run, dance, and express their emotions as they want. When looking through such pictures after a while, you will feel warmth and joy. This style is suitable for lovers who plan to have a cool “break-away” and have fun with friends and relatives on their day.

Probably you’ve seen this trend pretty often in recent years. And yes, there is no better pose than the naturally captured emotion, even though it means there will be tears, hugs, and a lot of emotions. In our opinion, it’s still better than a forced smile to every shot.

5. Classic

Photographers who prefer to work in the traditional style pay special attention to solemn moments. For example, the first kiss of the newlyweds, exchanging the rings, signing, group photos with friends and family. Professionals in this wedding photos style focus on the main moments of a new family being born, which are the key during the wedding ceremony. If you like such shots, then you should decide on a traditionalist photographer who will be able to fully meet your expectations.

Some people prefer tradition, and the classic style is just for them. And we can’t blame them, because the traditional wedding photos are so cliché, but still so beautiful and emotional.


When choosing a photographer who will share the most important day in your life, pay attention to the style he prefers to work in. It is important that the result not only meets your expectations but significantly exceeds them. As we said, you need to tell them your wishes and plans, so they can tell you if they are able to accomplish them. We understand that the couple is the most important, but you shouldn’t try to make them cover a style they don’t prefer or don’t know how to do it.

It doesn’t matter what style of photos you want to keep in a family photo album, the main thing is that you will get extreme pleasure when watching them even a couple of decades later.

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Five International Fashion Designers Of Color Taking The Fashion Industry By Storm

In the increasingly white-dominated world of fashion, these fashion designers are making their presence known to the fashion world with their sheer talent.

Loza Maléombho- Loza Maléombho is best portrayed for her combination between conventional societies and sub-societies as she tries different things with the Ivorian inborn tasteful and New York City’s urban design. The Brazilian conceived style architect works with artists who have aced their specialty for ages and discovered approaches to convey their exchange
with stylish finds.

Mai Atafo- Ohimai Atafo is a bespoke design tailor, business person and inventive chief of style name Mai Atafo. The brand makes men’s suits and conventional outfits, nearby its sister image Mai Atafo Bridal Atelier, which has practical experience in wedding and night dresses. Atafo has worked with a few brands, for example, Samsung, Intel, Heineken, Baileys and Ebonylife as a representative and representative judge.

Neahlis- Neahlis was made and established by Jamaican style architect, Lisa McIntosh. Even though she is known for lighting up runways with flies of shading, she is likewise a superstar beautician. Her customers extend from Vivica Fox, Tyra Banks, Nicole Murphy, and Yendi.

Selam Fessahaye- Swedish-Eritrean architect Selam Fessahaye formally appeared her accumulation during Stockholm Fashion Week in 2018. The youthful visionary examinations with utilitarian shapes overstated outlines and material play. Fessahaye claims that design has consistently been the most regular route for her to convey what needs to be.

Loxion Kulca- Since its entrance into the market, Loxion Kulca has been the exemplification of popular culture. The Johannesburg conceived brand makes striking sportswear and draws its motivation from African standards of ‘ubuntu,’ which administer the idea of its corporate associations.

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5 Travel Tips To Keep You Safe In The New Year

With the new year comes so many new opportunities to travel! We are super hopeful that 2023 will be a year full of traveling for all of us, with little to no interruptions with regard to pandemic restrictions. We have it all in today’s article, from looking online for luggage storage in Lisbon to carrying copies of all your important documents and everything in between. To experience the most stress-free and enjoyable adventure of your life this year, keep on reading.

1. Keep Your Bags at Luggage Storage Locations

We’ll start this list with one of the most important travel tips we have, and that is to keep your bags at luggage storage locations while you travel. If you’re staying at a hotel or Airbnb in which you plan to keep your bags, this might not be as applicable to you. However, you might arrive at your destination before you can check in to your accommodation, and when this scenario happens, luggage storage can be a lifesaver.

For example, if you’re traveling to Lisbon and want to explore the city without the burden of carrying your luggage around with you, all you need to do is hop on your phone, search for “luggage storage in Lisbon”, and you’ll find numerous locations that will keep your bags safe for you. The best way to find luggage storage is to use apps that are dedicated to luggage storage; this way, you’ll get the safest and most affordable location options. Either way, we can’t recommend using luggage storage services enough.

2. If You Need WiFi, Go to Starbucks

If there is one franchise that we can always rely on for free WiFi, it’s Starbucks, and knowing this will come in handy during your travel adventures. If you are ever in desperate need of free WiFi, don’t be afraid to walk into a Starbucks and take advantage of that. However, when it comes to food and beverage, we recommend you eat locally as much as you can when you travel; you can get Starbucks anywhere, but you can only eat the local food of the area you’re visiting while you’re there, so cherish every moment while immersed in a different culture.

3. Learn Some Phrases in the Local Language

There are not many experiences more stressful than going to a new place and not understanding a word. If you are traveling to a place in which you don’t speak the language, you must prioritize learning at least a few necessary phrases in the local language. Not only will it help you find your way around your destination, but it also shows respect to the local people, since you’re not demanding that they bend to meet your language needs. Knowing phrases such as “hello”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” will go a long way in making you feel more comfortable in a place that doesn’t speak your native language. (Pro tip: also learn the word for “bathroom”!)

4. Always Tell Someone About Your Plans

Whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, it is necessary to tell at least one person back home about your plans. This is especially true when traveling solo and is also a wise decision if you’re traveling with just one other person. In the absolute worst-case scenario in which something bad happens to you, you’ll want someone outside your traveling situation to be aware if you don’t come home or call when you said you would. They can alert the necessary authorities and help make sure you’re safe.

5. Carry Copies of Your Documents

When traveling internationally, everyone’s biggest fear is that they’ll lose their passport. Because of this, you should always carry one or two copies of your important documents with you at all times. This way, you can keep your original passport locked away in your hotel safe, and you’ll also have extra proof of identification in case you can’t find the originals at any given moment. Carry color photocopies of documents like your passport, driver’s license, and any other form of national ID with you at all times, even if it’s simply in the front pocket of your pants.

In summary, by implementing the tips outlined here, be sure to equip yourself with the best tools and advice before you set out on your journey, for a safer and more enjoyable experience. We’re determined to make 2023 the best year for traveling ever, so book your ticket, pack your bags, and get going!

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