Education

Campfire Tips

For some campers, a campfire is essential for a campout. A campfire provides light, heat, smores, and can also be an inspiring sight on a campout. Leave No Trace is not against fires in the backcountry or frontcountry. Leave No Trace recommends the responsible use of campfires, so people can enjoy them and to minimize campfire impacts. Thanks to warm fabrics, headlamps, and camp stoves, fires are not as necessary as they once were. There are a lot of ways to enjoy a campfire without leaving an impact on the land. Some options for a minimum impact fire are: to not have one if you do not need...

Free Leave No Trace Lesson Plans and Information!

Outdoor educators are always looking for new and interactive ways to teach Leave No Trace. On the Leave No Trace website, educators can use the Concepts and Plans for Teaching Leave No Trace link. These links provide information on how to setup the lesson, facilitate the lesson, and the follow up discussion. These quick and easy lesson plans help educators to teach a different Leave No Trace concept. Our Natural World Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Pack it in, Pack it Out Leave What You Find Minimize Use and Impact of Fire Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of Other...

A Conversation on Ethics

What does the word 'ethic' mean to you?! The Leave No Trace program teaches skills to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. More importantly though, Leave No Trace aims to impart an ethic - a compelling outdoor ethic that will hopefully guide those who enjoy the out of doors in making positive decisions. An ethic is defined in many ways. The dictionary lends us this definition: a theory or system of moral values. As Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, we have heard several definitions of the word 'ethic'. Some are more suitable than others and some are completely right on. Here are...

Do You Suffer from FOPO?

Joshua Tree, CA : Do you or someone you know suffer from FOPO? Fear of packing out your toilet paper can be serious condition, but there are easy and effective ways of overcoming this challenge. Even if you don’t suffer from FOPO, check out this video for the best ways to deal with toilet paper in the outdoors. Why such a fuss about toilet paper left outdoors? Toilet paper can take several months (yes, months) to decompose when left outside. Who loves used toilet paper? Flies! Know what else flies love? Landing on your granola bar right before you take a BIG bite…yuck!...

Three Things You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t Forget on Your Next Winter Outing

Saranac Lake, NY: It’s the middle of a cold winter in much of the country. Here in New York, we have experienced mind-numbing cold, almost too cold to get outdoors while witnessing extreme temperatures down to -25ºF. With temperatures like these, planning ahead for winter outings is no joke, and a failure in the planning process has the potential to result in serious safety issues. To aid in your wintertime outings, here are three essential cold weather tips for your next pre-trip planning session. A Thermos of Hot Tea – Beyond warm clothing and planning for...

What Is a Durable Surface, Anyway?

Amicalola, Georgia: As avid hikers, we’re extremely grateful for the trails that lead us to amazing views, idyllic campsites and cool swimming holes. And while we might not get out to do trail work every weekend, we can help keep these trails in great shape by sticking to durable surfaces when we hike and play outside. But what exactly is a durable surface, anyway? Check out our video and blog below to learn more about making good decisions when you travel in our shared outdoor spaces. Sticking to designated trails is one of the most important and easiest things you can do...

Protecting the Most Photographed Spot on the Appalachian Trail

Eugene, OR: When we think of the Appalachian Trail, we think of high adventure, green mountain vistas - and, of course, McAfee Knob. A Leave No Trace Hot Spot in 2015, McAfee Knob is beloved by thru-hikers and day hikers alike, all of them making the four-mile trek from Virginia Highway 311 - and some heading the four miles back to the trailhead parking lot - just to snap that picture of them and that iconic view. As a part of our Hot Spot Revisit program, a pair of Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers went back to McAfee Knob this year, and brought back some tips on how...

Generation Green Jr. - South Lake Tahoe, CA

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are partnering with the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit's Generation Green Junior program to educate local middle school students about Leave No Trace principles and practices through interactive, hands-on activities. 

Assume the Best: An outdoor enthusiast’s guide to talking with people who drop trash on the ground, blast music on the trail, and leave their dog’s poop behind.

Phoenix, Arizona A writer for Sunset magazine recently asked me how I “really” felt about people who throw their trash in the bushes. The subtext was something like, “I know what you’re supposed to say, but surely there are just jerks and idiots out there in the world, amirite?” Well, yes, maybe there are jerks and idiots out there in the world, but I couldn’t do what I do if I believed that people were all incorrigible. The question she raised is a common one. While most people are sympathetic to a newbie who doesn’t know what to do with his or...

Vamping, Zombie Hiking and Creepy Doll Heads: A Leave No Trace Halloween

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: The Traveling Trainers get lots of interesting questions as we travel and teach all over the country, but things can get bizarre around Halloween. Been dying to know what zombies should do with body parts that fall off in the backcountry? Check out the video below to get the inside scoop on monster outdoor ethics. 1. Vlad the Vampire sleeps in the daytime, but we can follow his lead by setting up our coffins, um, we mean, tents on durable surfaces like bare dirt, sand, rock, or snow. The best camp/coffin sites are found, NOT made. Vlad’s case is also a good...

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