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The Littlbug Blog

Origins of Leave No Trace Camping

Posted by Littlbug Enterprises on

What are the origins of the Leave No Trace camping concept?

“Leave no trace.”

It’s a common phrase that has become a battle cry for camping enthusiasts across the globe, and for good reason.

Longtime camping veterans may remember when this idea first started to take hold. Younger and middle-aged wilderness enthusiasts don’t remember the days when “Leave No Trace” wasn’t a prevalent utterance in camping vernacular.

The roots of this phrase go back over half a century to a post-World War II era that triggered a different way of looking at the land. Ideas such as woodcraft or woodlore (living off the land) were starting to be replaced with the notion of enjoying the land, but preserving it at the same time.

In the sixties and seventies, the wilderness was being transformed culturally as space to be enjoyed, and not simply “used” and lived off of. The National Parks system was beginning to take hold. Subsequently, camping and wilderness adventure took on a new level of popularity. Forests and wooded areas were redefined as places where anyone could enjoy peace and solitude, not just the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone types.

Inevitably, there became a large cross-section of campers that left damaged grounds behind them when it was time to pack up and go home. Over time, these patches of scorched, stomped, and cratered chunks of earth took a toll on the natural beauty Mother Nature intended.

This triggered the “Leave No Trace” set of camping ethics, a collection of seven principles that have become widely practiced and publicized, especially since the formation of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, formed in 1994. The overarching idea is to preserve the land and literally leave it undisturbed after each use. The seven principles are as follows:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

An often-challenging element of this list to adhere to can be No. 5: Minimize campfire impacts. After all, one of the more enjoyable, soothing elements of the camping experience is assembling a warm, glowing fire.

This is where the Littlbug camping stove is engineered to make a significant difference in the way you adhere to minimizing campfire impacts.

Whether you use the Littlbug Junior or Senior stove and bowl combo, the ease with which you can keep your fire contained without damaging grounds and grasses around you is undeniable. Additionally, the flexibility the Littlbug provides as an alcohol OR wood burning unit allows you to burn according to your preferences.

Looking to take a multiple-day backpacking trip? The Littlbug Junior weighs only 5.1 ounces, keeping your overall pack weight down in your quest to travel light.

Adhering to the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics has become a standard practice for outdoor enthusiasts for decades. The Littlbug camping stove is just one way to ensure you can continue to Leave No Trace for years to come.


Littlbug Enterprises donates at least 10% of its profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants.