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Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Impact in the Outdoors

Leave No Trace - February 18, 2015
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San Diego, CA: Read the Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Impact in the Outdoors!

1.     Prepare for your trip.

a.     Bring the ten essentials.

b.     Research the weather.

c.      Know the rules and regulations of the area you are traveling in.

d.     Obtain any permits or reservations needed for the area your traveling to.

2.     Stay in the middle of the trail. Even if the trail is muddy, just hike through the mud. By hiking through the mud you won’t erode the sides of the trail or crush vegetation on the side of the trail. Wear boots and if you need them bring along gaiters. If you are not hiking on a trail, hike on durable surfaces.

3.     Pack out your trash.

a.     Carry a trash bag on every hike.

b.     Consider packing out other trash that you find. 

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4.     Control your dog.

a.     Pick up after your dog

b.     Don’t let your dog chase wildlife

c.      Don’t let your dog impact other visitors.

5.     Bury or pack out your solid human waste.

a.     Bring along trowel, toilet paper, and a zip lock bag (for packing out the used toilet paper).

b.     Know the rules and regulations of the area you are camping.

c.      Carry along human waste disposal bag if it’s required.

d.     For solid human waste go 200 feet and for liquid human waste go 100 feet from trail, waters, and other campsites.

6.     Leaving your mark is overrated. Take pictures instead of taking items or marking on trees, rocks, or other surfaces.

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7.     Enjoy your campfire responsibly.

a.     Research if fires are allowed.

b.     Don’t build fires next to boulders or under rock overhangs.

c.      Consider using an established fire ring, mound fire, or a fire pan.

d.     Use the four D’s for fire wood collection.

       i.     Dead- Only use dead wood.

       ii.     Down- Don’t break branches off of trees.

       iii.     Dinky- Wood no bigger than your forearm.

       iv.     Distant- Go far from your camp to collect wood.

8.     Keep wildlife wild.

a.     Secure your food and trash from wildlife.

b.     Stay a safe distance from wildlife.

c.      Research what types of animals are in the area you are traveling and what requirements are expected (Ex. Are bear hang or bear canisters required).

9.     Use the yield triangle and keep your noise level down so you don’t bother other visitors.

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10. Teach others about Leave No Trace!

Thanks for reading and remember to be like Bigfoot and Leave No Trace!

Pat and TJ

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Coleman, Hi-Cone, and Smartwool.

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