7 Principles | Leave No Trace Guide

If you are considering on going a 3-7 day trip, you should always have a guide to follow to have a safe journey and to be a responsible traveller, from the time you step in adventure mode to back in reality mode.

Here are the 7 Principles to Leave No Trace

Being on a trip, or whatever adventure you are planning on is such an awesome thing to do, until something bad happens. It can ruin the whole purpose of having a peaceful, and relaxing trip.

It goes without saying, a trip or travel must be always? What? A time for yourself to enjoy without worrying anything, except if it’s your first time to travel (the feeling of getting anxious and thinking if you’re going on the right way, and worried if you’re lost).

What are the Things you Should Consider before Taking a Trip?
  • Identify and record the goals (expectations) of your trip.
  • Identify the skill and ability of trip participants.
  • Gain knowledge of the area you plan to visit from land managers, maps, and literature.
  • Choose equipment and clothing for comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace qualities.
  • Plan trip activities to match your goals, skills, and abilities.
  • Evaluate your trip upon return note changes you will make next time.
Other Elements to Consider
  • Weather
  • Terrain
  • Regulations/restrictions
  • Private land boundaries
  • Average hiking speed of group and anticipated food consumption (leftovers create waste which leaves a trace!)
  • Group size (does it meet regulations, trip purpose and Leave No Trace criteria?)

The idea of a trip is always outdoors. While on a trip, or camping;there is always one thing to consider, the place you are going. Ask before you go on this trip, is it safe to travel? Is it safe to hike on this area? Is there any chances of the ground collapsing? Chances of an accident happening are most likely very rare, only though if you’re not careful.

What are the Things to Remember in Choosing a Durable Surface?
  • Rock, sand and gravel
  • Ice and snow
  • Vegetation
  • Living soil
  • Desert puddles and mud holes
Other Things to Consider when Traveling Outdoors
  • Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Choosing a Campsite in High-use Areas
  • Camping in Undisturbed Remote Areas
  • Camping in River Corridors

“Pack it in, pack it out”. When going on a camp or a trip, food and other necessities are important. What is camping without marshmallows right? But, leaving your trash on the ground is a bad thing, not only to the nature, but also to the wildlife. Imagine, animals living around the area eating your trash and plastics. It will kill them and there deaths will be on your hands, sucks right?

Always dispose your trash on a a proper waste bin or if you can’t find one, take it home with you. Be a responsible traveller.

One of the most exciting part about going on a trip is the curiosity of knowing what kind place you are going. And, part of the adventure especially on a camp is finding interesting pieces like artifacts, and or human bones.

But, other than the human bones. As saying goes, “leave what you find.” In simple terms, mind your own business.

Seek adventure, but never seek other else that can destroy the nature. If you see something, take only pictures but never take the object, either harmless or dangerous.

It goes without saying, a real camper knows where and what materials to use to set up a fire without causing a damage. Please bear in mind that you’re not in your territory. If you’re going out camping, or taking a trip somewhere, always be extra careful because one missstep can cause serious damage.

The idea is already there, being in outdoors. Anything can happen especially when setting a fire on a camp. So, if you are travelling with a group or alone, there are still few restrictions you should follow.

Now, the question is.

Should You Build a Fire?
  • The most important consideration when deciding to use a fire is the potential damage to the backcountry.
  • What is the fire danger for the time of year and the location you have selected?
  • Are there administrative restrictions from the agency that manages the area?Is there sufficient wood so its removal will not be noticeable?
  • Does the harshness of alpine and desert growing conditions for trees and shrubs mean that the regeneration of wood sources cannot keep pace with the demand for firewood?
  • Do group members possess the skills to build a campfire that will Leave No Trace?

Think first before doing something rash. Like I said, anything can happen. That said, if you’re not careful. Be a responsible camper.

Firewood and Cleanup
  • Standing trees, dead or alive, are home to birds and insects, so leave them intact. Fallen trees also provide bird and animal shelter, increase water holding capacity of the soil, and recycle nutrients back into the environment through decomposition.
  • Stripping branches from standing or fallen trees detracts from an area’s natural appearance.
  • Avoid cutting or breaking branches from standing or downed trees. Dead and down wood burns easily, is easy to collect and leaves less impact.
  • Use small pieces of wood, no larger than the diameter of an adult wrist, that can be broken with your hands.
  • Gather wood over a wide area away from camp. Use dry driftwood on rivers and seashores.
  • Don’t bring firewood from home. Either buy it from a local source or gather it responsibly where allowed.
  • Burn all wood to white ash, grind small coals to ash between your gloved hands, thoroughly soak with water, and scatter the remains over a large area away from camp. Ashes may have to be packed out in river corridors.
  • Replace soil where you found it when cleaning up a mound or pan fire.
  • Scatter unused wood to keep the area as natural looking as possible.
  • Pack out any campfire litter. Plastic items and foil-lined wrappers should never be burned in a camp fire.
  • Provide adequate supervision for young people when using stoves or fires.
  • Follow all product and safety labels for stoves.
  • Use approved containers for fuel.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep wood and other fuel sources away from fire.
  • Thoroughly extinguish all fires.

The most important rule to follow whenever you’re going on an adventure is never ever destroy nor disturb an animals habitat. Never feed nor taunt them, I know some animals are cute but always respect them. They are on that area, forest and nature fo ra reason.

Help them survive rather than causing problems for them. If we humans don’t like to be disturbed by other person or our neighbours, how much more this animals that are only minding their own business. Imagine how would they feel.

You’re not alone, always remember that. Be considerate with other visitors. I am pretty you already know by just reading the statement alone.

How would you feel if a visitor before you destroyed the whole place? You will be disgusted and dissatisfied with what you are saying right? So, now that you know; wherever you are part on this earth right now, always bear in mind you are not alone.

Respect other tourists, campers and anyone from the group. Always follow the rules and regulations set by the authorities on the area and be aware of your surroundings. Like I said, anything can happen.

Be prepared, and never forget to never leave no trace. Take the memories you created with you but never take something out from the nature.

© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: http://www.LNT.org


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