Training

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...

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...

Parks are Taking Action to Protect Vital Resources

Ocala National Forest, FL: Trash is an eyesore when hitting the trails! While on the road, we have observed (and picked up) our fair share of other peoples throw away items. Our favorite trails, and public spaces don’t always have to look like a rubbish bin however. In fact, in Juniper Springs Recreation Area land managers have prohibited single use, disposable items on the popular Juniper Springs Run; and guess what? It works! This pristine paddle enters protected wilderness and is a very unique ecosystem with a gorgeous subtropical climate. It is because of these...

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...

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),...

Leave No Trace Skills Series: How to Plan a Backcountry Trip

Boulder, CO: Planning an overnight backcountry trip and not sure where to start? Or just want to make sure you’re minimizing your impacts in the backcountry? Either way, check out the video below for pro tips on what to do before you hit the dusty (or sandy, snowy or rocky) trail. Being prepared for your backcountry experience will make your trip more fun, safer and will keep you from damaging your favorite outdoor places. 1. Fancy equipment won’t help you much if you don’t know how to use it. Check for outdoor skills classes at your local outdoor store, college or...

Take These Tips to the Alpine

Franconia Notch, NH: This unique environment is home to hundreds of species of plants, insects, lichens, and wildlife. The organisms living here are only found in this elevation and environment, making them incredibly rare. When hikers visit during the day or on a backpacking trip, each step we take in the alpine creates the potential for big impacts to sensitive vegetation. It is up to each and every one of us to do our part while visiting alpine zones. Below are the essential tips and tricks to know for your next adventure in the mountains. Plan Ahead and Prepare...

Five Great Leave No Trace Educational Resources

Boulder, CO: We believe Leave No Trace should be part of every child’s educational experience. In fact, that’s the motivation behind our Leave No Trace for Every Kid initiative. While the Traveling Trainers reach thousands of kids each year with direct Leave No Trace education, we know that parents, teachers, scout leaders, camp staff, and everyone with kids in his or her life can play a pivotal role in helping them develop an outdoor ethic. While on the road, we are often asked for our favorite Leave No Trace educational materials, so we’ve compiled a list of resources for...

Leave No Trace Skills Series: Repackaging Food

Eagle, CO: Planning what food you're going to bring on a multi-day trip outdoors can be a fraught endeavor, as you attempt to balance dietary restrictions, caloric needs for your exertions, and space considerations for your adventure. Take some of the stress out of your planning by repackaging your food according to these simple tips: Get rid of unnecessary boxes and containers to reduce both the bulk you're carrying and the amount of trash you'll have to carry out. Crackers and chips sometiems come in non-resealable bags - use rubber bands or small clips to keep the crumbs...

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