Education

A Leave No Trace Guide to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Munising, MI: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers a bit of everything the upper peninsula of Michigan is known for. Whether you hike, backpack, paddle, birdwatch, picnic or ice climb, this park has something for you. But with ease of access improvements and the nationwide increase in outdoor recreation, the area is facing significant impact pressure. Visitation to Pictured Rocks has increased by 40% over the last four years! This led to the area being nominated as a 2018 Hot Spot . Traveling Trainers spent a week at Pictured Rocks working with National Park staff to...

Cache In, Trash Out

Seattle, WA: Calling all geocachers! It’s time to Cache In, Trash Out (CITO). Twice a year, Geocaching highlights worldwide CITO cleanup events, where geocachers can give back to the trails and protected lands they love to explore. You can join this effort on Sept. 15-23, 2018, when geocachers and community groups work together to improve parks and other outdoor environments. Find a few geocaches in your neck of the woods, then head out into the literal woods for a day cleaning up litter, removing invasive species, building trails, and more. If you’re new to this, geocaching...

Wilderness Words: Carr

Georgetown, Colorado: Traveling trainers are always talking about their cars. But today, we want to talk about the other type of carr. A carr is a variety of wetland characterized by low woody plants like willows and alders. It's like a swamp, but with shrubs instead of trees. When hiking through a carr, stay on the designated trail, even if your boots get wet. And they will get wet. Learn more in the video below: Leave No Trace's Joe Besl and Joe Creaghead are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free,...

Anatomy of a Successful Hot Spot

Aspen, CO: Imagine a cross between a frat party and a Phish concert. Now drop that scene onto a high alpine basin with a small hot springs pool and you’ve got an idea of the trouble that was facing Conundrum Hot Springs until recently. Trash, discarded clothing, exposed piles of human waste (yup, poop), loud groups and music playing on speakers, vegetation damage from trampling and firewood gathering, human-wildlife conflicts, and safety risks to unprepared hikers marred the wilderness character of this otherwise idyllic spot high in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness...

What's With All the Dog Poop Bags?

Long Eddy, NY: Does your walk routine with your furry best friend look something like this? Grab poop bag. Walk dog. Pick up poop. Leave bag on ground because you’ll definitely grab it on the way back. Walk back to car and realize that you definitely forgot the fully loaded poop bag on the ground. Doh! Down with picking up dog doo, but need a better way to carry it? Check out this video for easy ways to hold onto used dog poop bags until you can throw them away in the trash. Dog Poop FAQs We’ve discovered that there’s often no malice behind leaving poop bags...

What Does Leave No Trace Mean to Scouts?

Bloomington, Indiana: Every three years those members of the Boy Scouts of America who have been inducted into the prestigious Order of the Arrow, which recognizes scouts for their exemplary leadership and service, gather for a week of fun, learning, and community building. The National Order of the Arrow conference is scouting’s second largest conference behind the jamboree, and Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers were there to talk to scouts about minimizing their outdoor impact and what Leave No Trace means to them. Leave No Trace has long counted the Boy Scouts of...

Raft right this summer

Boulder, Colorado: It’s another scorching summer, and that local lazy river is looking pretty nice right now. But before you head to the creek with your floats and your friends, here are a few things to keep in mind… Map the route: Plan a route and locate a few existing, durable trails that lead to the water. By knowing the area, you can find exit routes that avoid stepping on creekside plants and further eroding stream banks. Check to see if you’re passing through residential areas or past busy trails, and keep the volume down along the...

How to Camp in Hot Weather

The dog days of summer are almost upon us, and that means two things. First, IT’S STILL SUMMER CAMPING SEASON! And, second, it’s HOT. Don’t let the heat keep you from taking advantage of summer weekends – read on for Traveling Trainer tips (we are full-time campers, after all) on how to have a cool trip no matter what the mercury says. Always pumped to find block ice on the road! 1. Block ice – If there’s anything that has revolutionized our #roadlife experience, it’s been discovering block ice. Block ice is large, solid rectangles of ice, usually sold in 10-pound...

Wilderness Words: Humus

Littleton, CO: Let's talk about humus. Humus is the dark organic material in fertile soils, full of microbes that can break down human waste. It's the perfect environment if you need to dig a cathole. Hummus, on the other hand, is a Middle Eastern chickpea spread. It's not the right environment for digging a cathole. Learn more about the difference between humus and hummus in the video below. Leave No Trace's Joe Besl and Joe Creaghead are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to...

Our 5 Most Common Litter Sightings

Elkhart, IN: Living on the road and traveling campground to campground, we unfortunately see a great deal of litter. Whether we are in the mountains of New Hampshire or the beaches of North Carolina, there are a few types of trash we always find. Can you guess what the five most common types of trash we see are? 1. Orange Peels Orange peels can take as long as two years to decompose. There is a common misconception that “natural trash” such as orange peels, banana peels, apple cores, and shells from nuts and seeds are okay to leave behind on the trail, in campgrounds, or in...

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