Seven Principles

On Social Media and the '8th Principle' Discussion

Boulder: CO: There’s been some discussion lately regarding the use, and potential consequences, of social media as a means to share, and in some cases to popularize, natural areas. This is an issue that the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has been hearing more and more about, and it’s something that we’re actively working to address. Photo by Isuru Perera on Unsplash.com As technologies have evolved over the past 15 years, we have explored the potential impact to the outdoors, and in some cases, have addressed such issues with Leave No Trace. For example,...

Beachcombing, Leave No Trace Style

Pensacola Beach, FL : January gave us the opportunity to be on the beach for a while, and we've discovered that the beach in winter is one of our favorite places to be. While we traded in our bathing suits and sandals for puffy coats and trail runners, by making sure to Plan Ahead and Prepare , we were able to go at a time when we had the beaches mostly to ourselves. As our favorite activity is beachcombing - examining everything that's been washed ashore - we thought we'd show off some beachcombing Leave No Trace style, that can be practiced no...

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...

Plan Ahead and Prepare for the 2018 Hiking Season

Jekyll Island, GA : Road life for a Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer gets tougher in the winter. Gone are the plush days of summer; we're dealing with more wet, more cold, and longer dark stretches outside our tent. While being further south helps - come say hi to us at the Choosing to Lead Conference on Jekyll Island on January 13th and 14th - we're fighting the January blues by dreaming about spring, and the return of hiking season. Here's how we're getting tips, tricks, and inspiration for our own outdoor adventures. On the road, we like to use...

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...

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,...

Bigfoot's Morning Routine

Las Vegas, NV: We were lucky enough to catch our mascot, Bigfoot, one morning this fall in Nevada. How does this elusive creature manage to always Leave No Trace? Check out our footage of his morning routine, captured early one morning in the desert where he seemed to be enjoying a brilliant fall sunrise. Want to be like Bigfoot? Us too! Here are three things we do every morning to Leave No Trace like the big guy. Strain dishwater, throw away food scraps and dispose of our dishwater according to local regulations. Sometimes, campgrounds provide drains or special sinks for dishwater. Some...

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...

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...

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