Your Outdoor Skills: Leave No Trace
Summer is inching closer with each passing day. Summer welcomes warmer temperatures, longer days and for many, outdoor adventures. Whether you’re enjoying a multi-day trip in the wilderness or spending a day outside on the trails, we want to remind you of the 7 Leave No Trace Principles to help improve outdoor experiences for everyone and keep our wilderness areas wild.
1. Be Prepared & Plan Ahead
Before you leave for a trip, look into the area you’re traveling to. Make sure you know of any restrictions or regulations beforehand so you can plan accordingly and aren’t surprised or unprepared upon arrival. A couple tips to have the best experience is to avoid popular travel times and travel in smaller groups. This helps eliminate trail congestion and impact from heavy use along with enhancing your enjoyment of the area.
Repackage food as you pack, which helps reduce excess waste, and pack a map and compass. Brush up on your compass and map reading skills to avoid having to build trail markers, disturbing the natural habitat.
2. Stay On Durable Surfaces
Stay on established trails, and camp at established campsites or on rocks, gravel, dry grass, or snow. If you camp close to water, keep your campsite at least 200 feet away from the water source.
3. Waste Disposal
As the saying goes: Pack It In. Pack It Out. Whatever comes in with you, must go out. Before you leave a campsite or resting spot, observe the area and make sure trash, left over food, and litter have all been collected.
To dispose of human waste, make sure you are at least 200 feet from any water source, camping area, and trails, and dig a hole 6” - 8” deep. Once finished, cover and disguise the hole.
For washing yourself or dishes, make sure you are at least 200 feet from water sources and use a small amount of biodegradable soap. Scatter the leftover water once you’re finished.
4. Leave What You Find
The classic “Look with your eyes, not with your hands” applies when you’re in the wilderness. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects where you find them, and if you happen upon historic sites, respect its fragility and longevity by keeping your hands off of them.
Do not transport or replant, foreign plants to an area, and avoid digging trenches or building structures while you’re out exploring.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
Campfires should only be built in established fire rings, mounds, or pans. Keep fires small by using small sticks that can be broken by hand to build and feed your fire. Once you’re finished with the fire, burn it down to coals and ash, let it cool completely, and scatter the ashes. Always remember to never leave a fire or hot coals unattended.
In the event there isn’t an established fire area, the Littlbug Stoves and Fire Bowls make a great substitute. The Littlbug Stoves also encourage you to use smaller sticks to keep smoke pollution to a minimum. You can also substitute a small alcohol burner to use with your Littlbug stove.
6. Respect Wildlife
Wildlife is just that, wild. And they enjoy being left alone. If you come across wildlife while out on the trail, observe them from a distance, and under no circumstances should you approach or feed them. Secure your food and trash in a safe area where wildlife won’t be able to access it. This keeps animals and your food safe from harm. If you’re traveling with pets, make sure they’re on a leash or they’re under voice command. When in doubt, leave them at home.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
We all want to enjoy our time in the wilderness, so be respectful and courteous of other trail users. Keep noise levels to a minimum, take breaks and camp away from the trail, and yield to other trail users. If you encounter stock animals on the trail, step off to the downhill side of the trail.
Remember: When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break, don't rely on batteries and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!