Seven Principles

One of 10,000

Bears were on the loose In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Leave No Trace e-tour set up on just one lake this Monday -- Lake Bemidji. Visiting a beautiful town, the First City on the Mississippi, we got a chance to go to Lake Bemidji State Park to work with a stellar group of high school students. They were joining us from Voyageurs Expeditionary High School in town, a cool school where some of these students will later this year have the opportunity to take the Leave No Trace knowledge and skills they learned on Monday with them on trips to the Badlands of the Dakotas as well as Florida! Each...

Minnesota Summertime

A Minnesota Sunset While the e-tour rolls into Minnesota and the start of summer there, which can mean only one thing -- flat water canoeing. Canoeing is a great way to enjoy the lakes region of the U.S. and Canada, so if you're packing up and heading out to a chain of lakes this summer, here are a few Leave No Trace tips for your paddling: Wear great boots -- Trails between lakes are, because of the fact that they go between lakes, much more likely to be muddy than usual trails. So make sure you have great boots so you can tromp right through that mud and protect the vegetation and...

Open Places are Great Spaces

Little Missouri River in Theodore Roosevelt National Park The e-tour has made it to the Dakotas! Over the past 48 hours, we have traveled from Nebraska to South Dakota to the northern reaches of North Dakota, arriving in Minot today for a couple days of training. It's been a perfect way to experience National Parks Week , as we have been lucky enough to stop in two different National Parks in the Dakotas -- Wind Cave and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks . These treasures of the prairies, Black Hills, and badlands highlight both unique geology and incredible wildlife. One of the coolest...

Skills-Propane/Natural Gas Canister Disposal

Spring is in the air; time to start planning trips, sorting gear, and possibly, replacing old equipment. But what are you supposed to do with those old, empty (and partially full) gas canisters for your stove? It's not always as easy as tossing it into the trash. Here are some things to know when disposing of old gas canisters: Most fuel canisters are steel and can be recycled along with your Dr Pepper cans. Just burn off any residual fuel and puncture empty canisters before recycling. Crushing empty cans with big rocks seems to work well. Note: Make sure canister is completely empty...

Responses for the April Situation

Here’s the Situation: While camped in an area that does not allow collection of wood for fuel, you notice people a few campsites over dragging large logs to their fire ring. It's getting dark and the temperature is dropping, but the campsite host that typically sells firewood isn't around and the wood is locked up. While driving in, you noticed another campsite host a few miles up the road. What do you do? What you said: Head over to their campsite, introduce myself, invite them to hang out with us at our campsite without a fire, but good company. Maybe get into talking about...

And the Crowd Goes Wild!

Have you ever witnessed a user created shortcut along trail switchbacks? While these additional trails may look harmless, unnecessary erosion occurs, thereby damaging the actual trail. In addition, vegetation alongside the trail, which may be home to sensitive wildlife habitats including plants and animals, gets trampled as the trail is widened. Leave No Trace recommends to avoid cutting trail switchbacks as you travel along the established trail. Going up! The trail goes to the right, the shortcut to the left. Leave No Trace is your one stop shop to learn more about why it is important to...

Klamath Falls Bonanza Blitz

Talking Leave No Trace with the US Forest Service & Fish and Wildlife! The Leave No Trace e-tour was invited to Klamath Falls, Oregon, for a community-wide Leave No Trace blitz! The results? Awesome. After driving back into winter snow, the week kicked off with events at a couple of the city's elementary schools. In two days, we got to speak to eight different classrooms, making over 200 brand-new Leave No Trace experts ! These students were dialed in on what to do with trash when they're hiking, fishing, and hanging out around their beautiful city. Trash Your Trash! We...

Feed Us Quackers!

We've been camping in the beautiful County of San Diego, CA at Guajome Regional Park . An urban park with sprawling grounds, an abundance of wildlife and cool shady campsites, we have had excellent accommodations. However while cooking breakfast on our first day in this frontcountry campground, we had some unexpected and uninvited visitors adventure right up to our picnic table. Although both cute and interesting to observe, we know that this wildlife was looking for food handouts and must frequently get them from campers here. In fact, we saw them making their rounds each day. Human food is...

Delighted in Death Valley

As we wipe the desert dust off of all our belongings, fire up the electronics, and regain reception we realize it's been a while since we blogged. Even a Traveling Trainer needs some down time and after a week of restful vacation we were blessed to enjoy a warm and windy week in Death Valley National Park, CA. A land of extremes, Death Valley is known as the hottest, driest, and lowest park. Spanning over 140 miles long with 300 miles of paved roads and around 1000 miles of backcountry roads, the Park Rangers here have a lot of land to cover and around one million visitors each year to...

The Sounds of (Wild) Silence

The New York Times recently wrote an article about the field of "soundscape ecology" and how the sounds of nature can be just as important as the sights. In the piece, titled " Whisper of the Wild ," the author emphasized how the quiet of nature, free from the sounds of humans and their engines, may be going extinct. It followed the trail of a researcher in Denail National Park where they are attempting to capture ecological soundscapes in their purist forms. You don't have to travel all the way to Alaska to appreciate the sounds of nature. Many people come to the outdoors to experience the...

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