Frontcountry

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...

10 Ways to Create Less Trash at Camp

Cape Hatteras, NC - Ever seen a ton of trash piled next to trash cans at your campsite? What about litter scattered around the campground? Maybe you pack things out, but are you doing these 10 things to create less trash in the first place? Why Does it Matter? We all produce a lot of trash while camping. From cooking, to cleaning, to hydrating, much of what we do creates waste and adds to our footprint. Camp trash can cause a lot of impacts too. If we do not Dispose of Waste Properly it can attract wildlife and lead to unintentionally feeding them. Our food and trash can...

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...

Skills Series: Grey Water Disposal

Pocahontas State Park, Virginia: When camping, we produce wastewater, or “grey water,” whenever we wash ourselves or our clothing, clean our dishes or brush our teeth. Check out our video to learn more about how you can protect your favorite camping areas by properly disposing your grey water: Improper grey water disposal can pollute streams, harm wildlife and diminish other visitors’ experiences, so it’s important to learn how to deal with it properly. Even biodegradable soap can linger a long time in streams and lakes, and the food scraps from dirty dish water can attract wildlife, who...

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...

Coffee at Camp

Ocala, FL: Each new day brings the joy of a fresh brew of coffee. While camping we use different methods depending on the circumstance of our travel. This week’s video highlights our favorite 3 techniques for brewing up a warm cup o’ joe. Instant: A backpacking classic! Light, little waste, and getting tastier each year. Easily a go to for when our camping adventures require a light-weight solution. Pour Over: A personal favorite. You can get as fancy as you like with the brewing cone. We use a cheap $3.00 version found...

Campfire Alternatives

Amboy, CA: We are about to blow your outdoors-loving world. Ready? You can have fun camping WITHOUT A CAMPFIRE. Yes, we mean it. And, for the record, Leave No Trace is not anti-campfire. We, too, grew up roasting s’mores and hot dogs over campfires; that is, if by roasting, you mean burning into oblivion. We’ve strummed guitars and had deep (okay,“deep”) discussions by flickering flames. So we’re not anti-campfire. What we are is pro-responsible campfire and, sometimes, that means choosing to go fire-free. Maybe there’s not enough fuel to make a fire without destroying vital habitat or food...

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...

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!...

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