Youth & Outreach

Leave No Treats

Celina Montorfano - October 14, 2021

Black cats crossing the path, pumpkins leering out of shadows and autumn leaves rushing past on a cool breeze.  Halloween is right around the corner and offers a surprisingly great chance to practice Leave No Trace.  A common misconception is that Leave No Trace will only help in the backcountry, but the truth is, anywhere we recreate under an open sky can benefit from a little Leave No Trace.  Join us for a few tips on not getting tricked while we’re out for our treats, like using the thumb trick to avoid bad luck by keeping that black cat at a distance!

Pumpkins are waiting to be carved!

To start off, let’s look at how the first few principles can help us have a safe and enjoyable trip out for candy.  Planning ahead is essential to any trip, and speaking of essential, make sure to have the right gear before heading out.  A goodie basket, costume, and good shoes are fairly obvious choices that will make all the difference while trick-or-treating.  A few other things to consider would be a jacket in case it gets chilly, a flashlight to spot any lurking ghouls, and a water bottle to keep hydrated and to fend off wicked witches of course.

People are proud of their lawns and wouldn’t appreciate tracks through all their hard work.  Unless invited to stray off the path, stick to durable surfaces like the sidewalk and driveways.  As a last note, if we’re tasting the candy as we go, make sure to keep track of wrappers, lollipop sticks, and other smaller pieces of litter.  A stray breeze could easily snatch a piece of trash, so keep a bag or pocket handy to hold litter until it can be properly disposed of.

How can the last few principles help?  Leaving what we find is as true in nature as it is when strolling through a neighborhood.  Haunted houses and spooky decorations might tempt us to take a closer look, but that’s the only thing we should take while admiring decorations around our block or while out on a hike.  Fires can be scary at any time of year.  Making sure Jack-O-Lanterns are supervised while lit will protect our homes just like monitoring a campfire will protect the homes of wildlife.

Lastly, and possibly most important, is to be respectful of other trick-or-treaters.  We’re all out to have a good time, a smile and a wave can go a long way to ensure we’re not disappointed.  Treating others how we’d like to be treated and being mindful of how our fun is impacting others will make a night out for candy a holiday that will be remembered for years to come!

Even if you’re not dressed as a hero this Halloween, practicing Leave No Trace can help save the planet.

By the Subaru/Leave No Trace Teams. For over 20 years these teams have provided tangible solutions to serious issues facing our outside space and reach over 15 million people every year. Learn more about the important work of our mobile education teams.  Proud partners of this program include Subaru of AmericaREIEagles Nest Outfitters, Thule,FjällrävenThe Coleman Company and Klean Kanteen.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.