Leave No Trace

David enjoying the beautiful Palouse Falls on our “Cash Me Ousside” Excursion.

How many times have you been on a breathtaking hike and cannot help but be disgusted by all the trash that gets left behind? Our precious lands are covered with filth by those who don’t appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer us. Leave No Trace is much more than what it sounds. Staying on trails, respecting wild life, and leaving what you find are some ways to reduce our imprints on Earth.

Leave No Trace is the one and most valuable actions YOU can do to help keep Mother Nature beautiful. Some may think that one person cannot make a difference, but that one person who filled a bag of trash from the woods just saved an animal from eating it. Now think of all the thousands of visitors every year that go to National and State Parks. Everyone brings along some amount of trash that they are responsible for. Unfortunately, not everyone cares to pick up after themselves. It is our job as Nature Enthusiasts, to help care for our lands. The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace applies to all backcountry and easily accessible tourist sites.

7 Principles of Leave No Trace

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Learn the regulations
  • Prepare for specific weather
  • Avoid highly visited times of the year
  • Visit in small groups
  • Minimize packaged food
  • Use map instead of paint or flagging areas

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Use existing trails and campsites
  • Camp at least 200 ft. from lakes and rivers
  • Keep campsites small and avoid making permanent sites
  • Stay on trails

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out
  • Dig catholes at least 6-8 inches for human solid waste
  • Dispose of toilet papers and hygiene products in waste bag
  • Scatter strained dishwater and always use biodegradable soap

4. Leave What You Find

  • Do not disturb plants, rocks, and natural areas
  • Leave cultural, historical, and artifacts as is
  • Avoid transporting non-native species to other areas
  • Do not build structures of any kind

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Use established fire rings, do not make new ones
  • Keep fires small and use small twigs
  • Scatter ashes once completely cooled

6. Respect Wildlife 

  • Observe wildlife from afar
  • Do not feed animals
  • Protect wildlife from human food
  • Control pets at all times
  • Respect wildlife during times of mating, nesting, and raising young

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

*To learn more, go to https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Now that you know the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace, let us know what you will be doing to help reduce the impact we have on these oh so giving lands in the comments below. With spring right around the corner, snow melting, exposing the ground, trash will be everywhere. Why not do our part by cleaning up while we hike? It may just inspire someone else to do the same thing.

Thanks for following MtnTalk! Keep a look out for an upcoming event where we will do our part as a community to clean up our local trails! Until next time, Happy Adventuring!


One thought on “Leave No Trace

  1. Praying for you Josh.
    The Trash people leave reminds me of our sin. It dirtys up an otherwise beautifully created person.


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