Education

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...

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. 

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...

Take Me to the Beach

Oregon Inlet, NC: Hurricane season is here with a force this year. Unprecedented energies have pummeled coastal environments in the southern United States and secluded islands of the Atlantic. These storms, so devastating to locals and the environment, significantly alter the lay of the land. With each storm surge and the flooding which follows, coastal ecosystems are proving their vital role in aiding to protect people, homes, and shoreline habitats. Sand dunes are most effective barriers from winds and flooding when left intact. Footprints, although small individually,...

National Parks Overcrowding in the News

Zion National Park: A story in The New York Times examined the issue of overcrowding in U.S. national parks. The online article featured dramatic, full-screen images from Zion National Park, which is considering adopting a reservation system in order to get a handle on the swarms of people that overwhelm Zion during the peak tourism season. If instituted (a decision is expected next year), Zion would be the first national park to require reservations for most visitors. Read the full article: National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors . Image by...

20,000 Calories a Day: How to Help Wildlife in Autumn

Yosemite National Park, CA: Ever feel really hungry after a long hike? Playing outside does burn a lot of calories, but did you know that black bears need to consume 20,000 calories a day in late summer and early fall to put on enough weight to survive the winter? That would be a lot of camp stove dinners for us! Fall is prime hiking and camping season for us, but, for the wildlife who live where we play, it’s crunch time, both literally (many animals chow down in autumn to prepare for winter) and figuratively (many animals don’t have a lot of time before the first snow). Heading outside this...

Help Heal Hungarian Falls!

Baraboo, WI: Michigan's Keweenaw peninsula is an outdoorsperson's paradise. With year-round opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, paddling, and rapelling within two hours' drive, everyone's bound to find something to do. But certain spots are more well-known - and overly well-loved - than others. Hungarian Falls, just east of Hancock, is one such place, where a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot was held in support of the Upper Falls. The community came together in support of the land when they helped the Keweenaw Land Trust acquire the Upper Falls in 2013; they came together...

Guffey Gorge is Instagram Famous

Guffey, CO: Guffey Gorge (a.k.a. Paradise Cove), a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot, is Instagram famous. Once a local secret, this 80-acre gorge, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, boasts a gorgeous waterfall that tumbles from steep granite canyon walls. Tucked 1/2 mile down an unassuming trailhead, social media attention has turned this sleepy spot into a hotbed of activity. On sunny July weekends, up to 1,000 visitors a day make the steep hike into the Gorge to enjoy a swimming hole at the base of the falls that’s not much bigger or deeper than your average backyard...

A Local Gem in Danger

New Paltz, NY: The Peekamoose Blue Hole has become an Internet celebrity. Now selected, as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot , the Blue Hole needs a new type of fame, one that recognizes its fragile ecology. This geologic formation is wild in nature and unfortunately; its fame has exponentially increased the number of visitors and the impacts, which follow them. With anywhere from 600-2000 visitors in a weekend the ¾ acre footprint of the Blue Hole has seen its fair share of impacts. Soil erosion, trampled vegetation (including small plants, flowers, and primarily mosses),...

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