If you are new to the outdoors and backpacking, the concept of “leave no trace” is fairly simple. When you leave, there should be no indication that you were ever there. I’m not suggesting you drag a tree branch behind you to erase foot prints (although some may do that). The concept is one of ethical outdoors behaviors. You can read more about it here. There are seven (7) basic concepts:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impact.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors!
I could elaborate for years on these seven points but I won’t. You can take an online course to better comprehend the concept. There are several behaviors you can adapt right now to Leave No Trace. For example, camping on established campsites instead of trampling undisturbed ground would fulfill #2. Not having unnecessary campfires, cooking with small fuel stoves, and not cutting down wood for fires would fulfill #5. Not snoring like a chainsaw in a trail shelter nor drunk whooping-it-up all night would help out with #7 (you know who you are)!
If you’re hiking and see someone’s trash, curse their carelessness and pack their trash out with you. Yes, it’s not your trash but it is your land. Grit your teeth and pick that stuff up.
In essence, enjoy the the wilderness, soak up it’s beauty, and then move on in a way that the next person thinks they’ve discovered a place untouched my man (or woman…we’re not sexist here).
Now, get off your dang computer and go outside…and carry your trash out with you!