Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Leave No Trace

June 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

Leave No Trace is a set of ethical principles designed to help hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts make decisions that reduce their environmental impact. The principles grew out of several US organizations in the 1970s as a result of increased use of the wilderness and national parks, and amplified commercialization of backcountry products and outdoor recreation. This led to the introduction of the international non-profit organization called the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, which provides courses and workshops, and conducts research. National training is provided by Leave No Trace Canada.

The 7 Leave No Trace Principles

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Poor planning can result in making high-impact decisions around camping, meals, and safety. When planning a hike, consider the weather, terrain, and skill level of the participants so that you can select a route or destination that is reasonable. Plan meals around the conditions of the trail and the trail rules and regulations. For example, planning to cook over an open fire and then later discovering that there is a fire ban in effect could set you up for making a poor environmental decision.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

When hiking in high-use areas, it is best to stay on the trail. Wandering off the trail damages the environment and can lead to erosion. When hiking in areas where there are no trails, it is best to have your group spread out in order to reduce the risk of creating trails, and to hike on durable surfaces, such as rock, dry grasses, gravel, and snow.

Dispose of Waste Properly

As a small boy, Dad would remind me that if I packed it in, I had to pack it out. Even when we would leave a campsite, Dad would wander around picking up bits of garbage that had been left behind by others. When hiking, it's best to use the washrooms at the trail head, but when that is impossible, deposit human waste in a cathole that is 15-20 centimeters deep and at least 70 meters from the trail and water. When finished, cover the hole with the soil that had been dug out.

Leave What You Find

It can be quite tempting to gather souvenirs on a hike. Wild flowers, fossils, rocks, and plants can all add beauty to your home. But resist it. If your enjoyment of life requires that you need a permanent record of your hike, take lots of pictures and leave the artifacts and natural objects behind for others to enjoy.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

In this technological era of lightweight stoves and candle lanterns, there is virtually no need to have campfires for cooking and light. But if you must have a campfire, use existing fire pits and keep the fire small enough that you can feed it with twigs that you can break with your hands. When the fire is out and all that is left are cool ashes, scatter them.

Respect Wildlife

When hiking in the Canadian Rockies, I was told by a long-time hiker that if you feed a pika a piece of bread, it will take it to its burrow, where it will eventually rot and destroy the entire food cache, causing the pika to starve to death. I don't know if that's true, but it's a good reminder to avoid feeding the wildlife. One of the greatest joys in hiking is observing wildlife. But do it from a distance.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

This might seem like an obvious ethical principle, but even the best of us can forget our manners, whether it's being too loud on the trail, or forgetting to consider the privacy of others when taking a break, or even keeping our pets under control. Once, while ascending a mountain trail, I was gently reminded that the proper etiquette in scrambling was to give way to people who are descending, since it was more difficult for them to stop quickly. I appreciated the tip.

I don't know anyone who loves hiking that doesn't also care about the environment in which we hike. And no matter how long we've been hiking, there is still more we can learn about reducing our impact on the trails we love to frequent. Enjoy the environment. Enjoy the trails. And leave no trace.

Happy hiking!

Dave is a Canadian boy who is passionate about hiking and scrambling in Canada. Check out his blog at http://www.HikingCanadaRocks.com

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

 
0
 
0
 
Rate this Article
 vote(s)
Feedback
Print
Re-Publish

Article Tags:

Leave No Trace

,

Hiking

,

Hiking Canada

Mauritius is one of the most ideal family vacation spots in the world.Mauritius is one of the most ideal family vacation spots in the world. Travel agencies have experienced a significant rise in the

By: Manya Singh l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l April 03, 2013 lViews: 586

India is a treasure trove of countless holiday destinations each of which is an enigma in itself. One such superb place is called Manali, a hill station in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. No one has

By: Manya Singh l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l April 03, 2013 lViews: 603

Vacation is an event many families look forward to biannually or annually, but some individuals take frequent vacations, depending on their work ethics. The common problem many vacationers face is

By: jhon ford l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l December 30, 2012 lViews: 598

Luxury family holidays are always the anticipated occasion in households. This is especially true when their destination is the one that they have longed been dreaming of visiting. Incidentally,

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Hotels Accommodations l December 28, 2012 lViews: 647

Not all the thoughts belong to same world all the time. They are dominated by different colours, different acts and fascinations. Overworked brain start imagining things that it wanted to do even if

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Travel Planning l December 18, 2012 lViews: 261

Christmas is fast approaching and also it is an excellent excuse to plan a holiday trip with your family to stay away from the frenetic work. If you are scouting for a great vacation destination

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l December 16, 2012 lViews: 261

The Kelty Redwing 50 is a very robust and versatile internal frame pack. It has a volume of 3100 cubic inches and weighs 3 pounds and 9 ounces. The pack is 25 inches in height, 18 inches in width and

By: Alex Burciagal Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 12, 2012 lViews: 206

The Osprey Atmos 65 is an extremely well-designed and crafted backpack. It is an internal frame pack that is 30 inches high, 14 inches wide and 12 inches deep. It is very light in weight and comes

By: Alex Burciagal Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 11, 2012 lViews: 198

Every year, especially in summer, millions of Americans head to the mountains for various recreational activities including hiking, camping and fishing. Here are some tips in case you do run into a

By: Bryan J Bucknerl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 11, 2012 lViews: 195

When going on a backpacking trip, a journal should be a must do. Keeping some record of your backpacking trip will help keep the experience fresh in your mind long after your return. A well-kept

By: Ronald D Mitchelll Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 08, 2012 lViews: 184

Quite a number of people like hiking mountains. Quite a number of mountains have lakes on them. Hence, the lakes are referred to as mountain lakes.

By: G Sonalil Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 06, 2012 lViews: 157

In all of my years of hiking, I have never carried bear spray. Perhaps it's because of the statistics. Today, about 2-3 people are killed annually in the United States and Canada because of bear

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 193

One of the best ways to get your business associates to send you business is to send them business. This can be in the form of a tip, lead, or referral. But which is better in supporting the members

By: Dave Gutscherl Business > Networkingl June 06, 2012 lViews: 183

In all of my years of hiking, I have never carried bear spray. Perhaps it's because of the statistics. Today, about 2-3 people are killed annually in the United States and Canada because of bear

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 193

If you have never had a poison ivy rash, I can tell you that the itch is absolutely maddening. You can douse yourself in pink calamine lotion, which takes the edge off a bit, but it takes every bit

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 185

When I introduce people to scrambling for the first time, I always take them to Yamnuska because I think the mountain provides all of the things that will create an interest in further scrambling.

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 148

Growing up, I thought my trail journal was the coolest thing. It looked like Henry Jones' Grail journal from the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It had multi-coloured trail notes, sketches,

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 165

I received my first mosquito bite of the season. It's been itching the last few hours, so I put a bit of calamine lotion on it. The itch stopped, but one of my friends told me that it's just a myth;

By: Dave Gutscherl Travel & Leisure > Hiking Backpackingl June 03, 2012 lViews: 141

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus