Seven Principles

Bigfoot, reporting live from the Girl Scout Jamboree

Flagstaff, Arizona-- Big news on Bigfoot! Our favorite furry spokes-monster turned up at the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Jamboree last month. Here he is, reporting live for Channel 7, on the seven principles of Leave No Trace. 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 communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest...

What are we even doing here? A reflection on the value of Leave No Trace

Lansing, Michigan - Folks frequently raise various issues when we introduce them to what we do with Leave No Trace: “Shouldn’t you be trying to eliminate plastic?” “Residents of Flint don’t have access to clean drinking water.” “What are you doing about the opening of our public lands to extraction?” As an environmental ethics organization, the wide variety of environmental ethics issues are laid at our feet, many of which are serious and urgent issues. We respond by acknowledging the importance of dealing with single-use plastics, addressing social injustice, preserving public land for...

How to Leave No Trace in City Parks

Washington, DC.: Visiting your local city park is a great way to get outdoors and connect with nature. While these parks are a little different than visiting the backcountry, humans can still have a big impact on the landscape. There are some things you will want to take into consideration when visiting to help minimize those impacts. Consider the paths you take while walking around the park. When you can, stick to trails or boardwalks to avoid damaging non-durable vegetation. Try not to cut corners or take shortcuts, as these areas can be hot spots for impacts. When you do veer off the main...

Fees vs. Taxes: Feed the Iron Ranger

Loma Mar, California: Ever hiked right past that “Iron Ranger,” one of those tamper-resistant fee boxes found at a day-use area, trailhead, or campground, and thought, “I pay my taxes, don’t I?” It’s true that tax revenues help fund our public lands, but as a percentage of the federal budget, we’re not talking about a lot of your tax money. Let’s say your family paid $7,000 in federal taxes last year. According to our modest calculations, [1] you’ll have contributed $5.38 toward the National Parks’ budget and $8.49 toward the U.S. Forest Service budget. And, with wildfire suppression costs up...

Successes, Great and Small

Page, AZ : So it's February. You've had a month to settle in to your New Year's Resolutions - and while they could be going great, some of us have inevitably done a bit of backsliding over the last month. Life has a way of getting in the way, and when you don't have the time you hoped you'd have, it's easiest to let the new things slide. It can be hard to feel unable to do as well as you'd like to at a new habit, whatever you're trying to do. But we're going to let you in on a little secret that's helped us out a lot: You don't have to be perfect. It's so...

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!...

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...

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