Aloha Kuʻu Kaiaulu!
One of the common ways invasive plants are spread around the islands are on our hiking shoes and gear. KISC has helped install boot brush stations at various trailheads but it's always good to keep your own holoholo kit ready to go in the event you choose a trail without a boot brush station.
A complete Holoholo kit should include:
- A hand scrubber brush
- 70% isopropyl alcohol
- A way to store your used shoes in the car to contain the mud
- A change of clothes/footwear
A scrubber brush can be used to get off a majority of big muddy chunks from pants and shoes. You want to try and get most mud and dirt off before entering and leaving an area as seeds and plant pathogens can easily be carried in it. 70% isopropyl alcohol helps kill Ceratocystis huliohia and Ceratocystis lukuohia. Both fungi species are new to science. Unfortunately, both types have been detected on Kauaʻi in multiple locations. This fungus is known to cause Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD), a disease that is devastating our native ʻŌhiʻa tree. Be sure to spray all the mud on your gear from your adventure. A bucket or washable bag to put your muddy gear in until you get somewhere to better clean them. Lastly, a change of clothes so you don't accidentally track the mud somewhere.
Invasive seeds like Miconia are sometimes as small as a grain of sand, which means that they can easily hitchhike on you and you won't even notice. Plant pathogens like the Fungus that cause ROD are microscopic so taking the extra step to sanitize your gear can really make all the difference when you go hiking in various areas of the island.
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