Education

Campfire Tips

For some campers, a campfire is essential for a campout. A campfire provides light, heat, smores, and can also be an inspiring sight on a campout. Leave No Trace is not against fires in the backcountry or frontcountry. Leave No Trace recommends the responsible use of campfires, so people can enjoy them and to minimize campfire impacts. Thanks to warm fabrics, headlamps, and camp stoves, fires are not as necessary as they once were. There are a lot of ways to enjoy a campfire without leaving an impact on the land. Some options for a minimum impact fire are: to not have one if you do not need...

Free Leave No Trace Lesson Plans and Information!

Outdoor educators are always looking for new and interactive ways to teach Leave No Trace. On the Leave No Trace website, educators can use the Concepts and Plans for Teaching Leave No Trace link. These links provide information on how to setup the lesson, facilitate the lesson, and the follow up discussion. These quick and easy lesson plans help educators to teach a different Leave No Trace concept. Our Natural World Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Pack it in, Pack it Out Leave What You Find Minimize Use and Impact of Fire Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of Other...

A Conversation on Ethics

What does the word 'ethic' mean to you?! The Leave No Trace program teaches skills to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. More importantly though, Leave No Trace aims to impart an ethic - a compelling outdoor ethic that will hopefully guide those who enjoy the out of doors in making positive decisions. An ethic is defined in many ways. The dictionary lends us this definition: a theory or system of moral values. As Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, we have heard several definitions of the word 'ethic'. Some are more suitable than others and some are completely right on. Here are...

Beyond Packing It Out

Shenandoah National Park, VA: “I already know Leave No Trace. Pack it in, pack it out…it’s common sense, right?” As Traveling Trainers, we hear this a lot when we’re out talking to people about Leave No Trace. One woman even told us, a bit disdainfully, “I don’t understand why we need a group for that.” We can sympathize. As kids, a lot of us heard, “Take only photographs and leave only footprints” almost as often as, “Wash your hands” or “Look both ways!” But there’s more to Leave No Trace than wise adages and throwing away granola bar wrappers. Think about those...

Leaving No Trace in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Duluth, MN: Like many outdoor enthusiasts, we have been itching to get to the Boundary Waters for years. Lucky for us, our path as Traveling Trainers allowed us to spend four days paddling through this unique wilderness area. With around 250,000 visitors annually, the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area is one of the most visited wildernesses in the country. Visitors to the Boundary Waters portage and paddle their way through 1.1 million acres and over 1,000 lakes. The Boundary Waters is a place that preserves the wilderness spirit and experience for all to enjoy, and it...

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...

Cache In, Trash Out

Seattle, WA: Calling all geocachers! It’s time to Cache In, Trash Out (CITO). Twice a year, Geocaching highlights worldwide CITO cleanup events, where geocachers can give back to the trails and protected lands they love to explore. You can join this effort on Sept. 15-23, 2018, when geocachers and community groups work together to improve parks and other outdoor environments. Find a few geocaches in your neck of the woods, then head out into the literal woods for a day cleaning up litter, removing invasive species, building trails, and more. If you’re new to this, geocaching...

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...

What's With All the Dog Poop Bags?

Long Eddy, NY: Does your walk routine with your furry best friend look something like this? Grab poop bag. Walk dog. Pick up poop. Leave bag on ground because you’ll definitely grab it on the way back. Walk back to car and realize that you definitely forgot the fully loaded poop bag on the ground. Doh! Down with picking up dog doo, but need a better way to carry it? Check out this video for easy ways to hold onto used dog poop bags until you can throw them away in the trash. Dog Poop FAQs We’ve discovered that there’s often no malice behind leaving poop bags...

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