Training

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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