Rules of the Outdoors

  1. If you don’t know its name, don’t pet it

  2. If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it

  3. Just because it’s cute, doesn’t mean it won't hurt you

  4. If you brought it with you, take it home with you

  5. If you didn’t bring it with you, ask before taking it home

  6. If you can read, you are probably a guest, act like it


    I wrote these down to try and help people find a love for the outdoors and to make sure the outdoors stays the way it is or gets even better. I’m a copywriter by trade so I made the list to be cute and easy to remember, but it is a very serious list. Not only will it protect the outdoors from us, but you from it.

    The outdoors can be a truly amazing place that you will fall in love with the way so many of us already have, but it must be respected. The things out there don’t live by our modern civilized rules. They are wild.

    That’s also where some of the beauty is. It’s a world untouched by humans. A world the way God intended it to be. It will be the most amazing place you have ever visited, if you follow the rules.

If you don’t know its name, don’t pet it

    A lot of people in the world have pets. Cute little cuddly things, fish things in aquariums to watch and relax, things with scales that they just think are cool. Big ones, little ones, in between ones. We like the creatures of the world, great and small. For the most part this IS a good thing.

   Once upon a time we lived closer to nature than people do now. We got used to having those creatures around us. We learned to work with them and help each other. Most of these creatures are domesticated or at least semi domesticated. We are used to them and they are used to us.

   In the outdoors and wild places of the world things are different. Those creatures are not used to us. Some of them don’t have good experiences when it comes to people. They have a natural fear of us. It’s what keeps them safe from us. They do not want to be petted.

  Being touched by a human is not comforting to them. Most likely it will be seen as an aggressive move and will react as they are supposed to. It usually doesn’t end well for us.

    So keep a safe distance. Watch but don’t try and touch. Wait till you get home to pet creatures. The ones out there have a different set of rules and they are not as understanding as your dog at home. 

If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it

    As you go trekking through the wilds you are going to come across all manner of plants and animals. Some of them you might have seen in your grocery store. It might look almost just like something you ate before. You might be tempted to try it.




    There are a ton of plants in the world that will kill you. Some of them might just make you sick. Some will make you itch. Some will make you see things. So please be safe.


     Not “I think it’s this.” Thinking is bad. Let an expert show you what you can and can’t eat. Not a book. A real-life person who is an expert at all the edible things in the place you are going. Find one and schedule a trip. Most are more than happy to share their knowledge with anyone who really wants to know. 

     I say not a book because there are some plants that look “ALMOST” exactly like something else that is edible. The expert can show you the difference and what to look for. Not just edibles but medicinal too.

  Oh yes, there are tons of medicinal plants in the wilds too. Most of our medicines came from plants, till pharmaceutical companies try to replicate what was made naturally. Usually, the artificial things in the lab have horrible side effects that the herbal doesn’t have. Just make sure to learn from a person, not google.

If you brought it with you, take it home with you


    There is a saying about the outdoors, and it should apply to the world in general, “Leave it better than you found it.”

     The outdoors is wild, beautiful, and pristine. It has remained unchanged by humans and should stay that way. 

    Nobody wants to go out for a hike or camping trip to see the trash that people who came before you left. We want to see the world as God intended it to be.


   There is an easy way to accomplish this,

clean up after yourself.

Bag up your trash and take it with you or take it to whatever designated place the area you are in has.

    Ask the park rangers or wildlife officials where to put your trash. If you can’t find that place, simply take it home and dispose of it there. It is not somebody else's job to clean up after you out there. It’s your responsibility. 

    As long as everybody abides by this rule the outdoors will remain the way it is now, or better, for generations to come. We have a responsibility to make the world a better place. How you live in your home is your business, out here it’s everybody’s.

    Plus, there are also huge fines and could land you in jail for littering out there. So, keep it clean and you are welcome to visit whenever you want too. Report anyone who doesn’t. Take pictures. The outdoors will take help from anyone who is willing to help.   

Just because it’s cute doesn’t mean it won't hurt you


    Lots of people have pet dogs. We love them. Nothing is more adorable than a cute little puppy. That wolf or coyote might resemble that cuddly doggy you have at home, but it will KILL YOU!

     None of the animals in the wild want to snuggle with you. They are not happy to see you. If they are, you have probably been mistaken for an easy meal. This is not good.

   Before you venture off into the unknown, find out what lives there and how to enjoy your time there without any altercations. Ask the local wildlife management people, or park rangers, or conservation people.

    They will be able to tell you all the precautions you should take and still have a great time outdoors.

     For instance, in some places you are REQUIRED to carry a gun, for the “probably won’t but could happens”. If you are not comfortable with this, don’t go there. The animals have more rights to be there than you do. Learn to coexist with our neighbors in the wild so that no one gets hurt, you or the animals.

If you didn’t bring it with you, ask before you try and take it home


    Oh, that looks so cool, he’s so cute. Can we keep it? These are heard a lot about the things outdoors. We are all tempted to want and take something back with us as a souvenir or memento, but there might be a reason why you can’t do that.

    Some things you can take home, some things you can’t. Check with the local authorities on what you can and can’t take with you. If you are unsure where something fits into the list, LEAVE IT!

    At least until you get a definite answer from an authority. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors and have wonderful experiences. You might have to leave it there so everyone else can appreciate it too. We share the wild places with everybody else and everything that lives there. You might be walking off with something's little home. 

    So, before you pick it up, ask. Nature put it there for a reason, let it be, unless otherwise instructed. Plus, there’s usually a gift shop or store for you to get a memento from. Pictures also work great if you just want to show other people the really cool thing you found out there. This is more than welcome. Please show people how amazing the outdoors can be. 

    So, rake all the pictures you want, don't take anything else unless you ask first.

If you can read, you are probably a guest, act like it 

   Most of the things outdoors can’t read. This is a human thing.  Since it is, it means we are guests in the outdoors. We don’t live out there, we just visit.  We need to act like it.

    Have respect for their home and act the way you would want a guest to act in your home. It’s called RESPECT. 

    Respect for our world, especially the parts of it we don’t call home. That’s the part that needs us to look after it the most. So that we can continue to visit and be welcomed. 

    Disrespect means we can no longer visit the wild places. If it goes on long enough there might not be any wild places left. I can’t imagine a world like that. Hopefully you can’t either.

   So, please follow the rules of the outdoors and visit as much as you can. The more you do, the more you will find a love for places you never dreamed of. You’ll see things you never dreamed of. Experience things you never dreamed of. Have a life you never dreamed of.

    Then share your stories of the things you couldn’t dream of with others and lead them to the outdoors too. The more people who find a love for the outdoors means more people looking out for it. We have to protect the wild places of the world. It depends on us. I will do my part; I hope you do as well.


Enjoy the Outdoors. Life is out here!