Leave No Trace Resolutions

St. Louis, MO: It is almost the beginning of a new year and another chance to make resolutions. The typical new years resolutions are to lose weight, quit a bad habit, or spend more time with your family and friends. We suggest to not only stick with the typical resolutions, but we also want to encourage everybody to add in a Leave No Trace resolution. Here are some examples of how you can resolve to limit your impact on the environment and on other visitors.

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Here are just a few examples for 2016:

·      Walk through mud puddles in the middle of the trail, rather then walking on the sides of the puddle and erode the sides of the trail.

Tip- Buy gaiters, water proof boots, or wear older shoes that you do not mind

getting muddy.

·      Pick up litter every time you go out hiking.

            Tip- Bring along trash bags to collect litter.

·      Rather then burning logs that are too large to burn down in an evening, burn small wood that you have collected far from camp. By burning smaller wood you will not leave a large log that the next campers do not want in their pit.

Tip- Remember the 4 Ds – Dead, Down, Dinky, and Distance (collect wood far from camp)

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·      Pick up and pack out your dogs waste when you are outside hiking.

            Tip- Keep a doggy bag tied to your leash or stash some in your backpack.

·      If the land management agency allows it, consider dismantling unnecessary fire pits, scattering the cool ashes, and restoring the area when you are out back packing.

·      Be considerate of others by stepping off to the side of the trail for uphill hikers and teach others about this practice.

·      Leave what you find when you are outside.

Tip- Bring along a sketchbook or camera so you can remember an item without taking it.

·      Volunteer at your local land management agency. You can look for opportunities to help clean up rivers and lakes, build and maintain trails, or remove invasive species.

·      Teach another person about the Seven Principles and how they can use them when they are outside camping and hiking.

·      Consider joining Leave No Trace as a member to support our mission.

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These are just a few ideas for how you can resolve to limit your impact in the New Year. Enjoy the winter weather and the upcoming New Year. Thanks for reading and remember to be like the Center’s mascot Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.