People visit natural areas for all kinds of reasons, including the chance to socialize with other outdoor enthusiasts. But solitude and peacefulness are also top priorities for many of us, and being in close proximity to too many other visitors can disrupt the enjoyment of a quiet walk in the woods. The very first principle of Leave No Trace is to Plan Ahead and Prepare — be sure to research how popular the destination is likely to be during your visit.
The negative effects of crowds go beyond interfering with a peaceful atmosphere. Lots of people usually mean lots of impacts, and those impacts can accrue quickly. That’s why learning how to teach Leave No Trace to others is a powerful way to protect natural areas. Each visitor that learns how to mitigate their own impacts makes a differences, and that produces an even bigger effect when we pass our knowledge on to someone else.