I recently read an article that stated 9 out of 10 people who go to National Parks are not familiar with the seven Leave No Trace principles. While the outdoors is increasingly becoming popular it is important we do what we can to make sure they last, to protect the places we play.
At each Get Outside Riverside event we will teach and practice these principles but it is always good to familiarize yourself with them, so next time you go out you can follow them and teach the people you are with.
Without further ado here are the seven Leave No Trace Principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Prepare, prepare, prepare! Know what you are getting yourself into! Know the regulations, know the weather, know your route, and know your backup options!
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Set up camp on established sites to minimize additional impact. Camp 200 yards away from water.
- Dispose of waste properly
- You packed it in, you pack it out. Also, a biggie for this one is human waste. Make sure it is buried six to 8 inches and covered.
- Leave what you find
- Pretty self explanatory. Look but don’t touch. Don’t build things, or rip things down.
- Minimize campfire impacts
- First, make sure you can have a fire, and if you can not make sure you follow that! If you can have fires make sure they are in an established ring.
- Respect wildlife
- Observe wildlife from afar and never ever feed them.
- Be considerate of other visitors
- Be respectful and courteous. Avoid loud noises and voices. Everyone is out there to enjoy the wilderness.
Please visit the Leave No Trace website to educate yourself even more. They have loads of material to teach people of any age and a bunch of resources and classes that you can take. What I listed above is only a small glimpse into the principles. Nobodies perfect, these take practice to get better at. I’m still working on it. The benefit is that these places get to stay protected and cared for so future generations can experience them.
NOLS– “How to Make Your Routine Leave No Trace”
The Walking Mermaid– “Leave No Trace- The Seven Principles”
Adirondack Council– “10 Leave No Trace Tips for Dog Owners in the Adirondacks” (not about Southern California but still has great tips for dog owners)
Outward Bound – “3 LNT Principles You Can Challenge Yourself to Do at Home”
Hike It Baby– “Painted Rocks vs. Leave No Trace”
REI– “Leave No Trace Principles”
Appalachian Trail Conservancy – “Leave No Trace Principles”
Joshua Tree National Park– “Leave No Trace”
Written by Rachel Nelson. Follow her on social media @rayychel_nelson.