Seven Principles

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...

Principle Blog Series: Part 7 of 7-Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Be Considerate of Other Visitors is the 7 th of Seven Leave No Trace Principles . It is important to regard fellow visitors and respect the quality of their experience. An easy way to do this is by following the yield triangle on a multi-use trail. The above picture illustrates this concept. Bikers yield to hikers, while both hikers and bikers yield to horses. By practicing use of the yield triangle, user conflicts could be minimized in recreational areas. Nature is a finite resource, not infinite. Be considerate so that everyone can enjoy! Here are some more pointers on ways to Be...

Principle Blog Series: Part 6 of 7-Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife is the 6 th of Seven Leave No Trace Principles . Humans can unknowingly cause distress to animals by exhibiting the following behaviors: cutting trail switch backs, getting too close, leaving behind food and trash, and being too loud (except in bear/mountain lion country). When entering the natural world, we are in essence entering the home of wild animals. Some ideas on ways we can respect wildlife are: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to...

Principle Blog Series: Part 5 of 7-Minimize Campfire Impacts

Minimize Campfire Impacts is the 5 th of 7 Leave No Trace Principles . If you close your eyes and think about some of your earliest camping experiences, there is a good chance that a campfire is included in your reflection. It is important to note that Leave No Trace is not against campfires, but please be aware of responsible practices. Some other points to consider about Minimizing Campfire Impacts are: Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire...

Assume the Best: An outdoor enthusiast’s guide to talking with people who drop trash on the ground, blast music on the trail, and leave their dog’s poop behind.

Phoenix, Arizona A writer for Sunset magazine recently asked me how I “really” felt about people who throw their trash in the bushes. The subtext was something like, “I know what you’re supposed to say, but surely there are just jerks and idiots out there in the world, amirite?” Well, yes, maybe there are jerks and idiots out there in the world, but I couldn’t do what I do if I believed that people were all incorrigible. The question she raised is a common one. While most people are sympathetic to a newbie who doesn’t know what to do with his or...

Vamping, Zombie Hiking and Creepy Doll Heads: A Leave No Trace Halloween

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: The Traveling Trainers get lots of interesting questions as we travel and teach all over the country, but things can get bizarre around Halloween. Been dying to know what zombies should do with body parts that fall off in the backcountry? Check out the video below to get the inside scoop on monster outdoor ethics. 1. Vlad the Vampire sleeps in the daytime, but we can follow his lead by setting up our coffins, um, we mean, tents on durable surfaces like bare dirt, sand, rock, or snow. The best camp/coffin sites are found, NOT made. Vlad’s case is also a good...

Take Me to the Beach

Oregon Inlet, NC: Hurricane season is here with a force this year. Unprecedented energies have pummeled coastal environments in the southern United States and secluded islands of the Atlantic. These storms, so devastating to locals and the environment, significantly alter the lay of the land. With each storm surge and the flooding which follows, coastal ecosystems are proving their vital role in aiding to protect people, homes, and shoreline habitats. Sand dunes are most effective barriers from winds and flooding when left intact. Footprints, although small individually,...

Bigfoot's Morning Routine

Las Vegas, NV: We were lucky enough to catch our mascot, Bigfoot, one morning this fall in Nevada. How does this elusive creature manage to always Leave No Trace? Check out our footage of his morning routine, captured early one morning in the desert where he seemed to be enjoying a brilliant fall sunrise. Want to be like Bigfoot? Us too! Here are three things we do every morning to Leave No Trace like the big guy. Strain dishwater, throw away food scraps and dispose of our dishwater according to local regulations. Sometimes, campgrounds provide drains or special sinks for dishwater. Some...

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