Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Applying the Principles of Leave no Trace

   Rating: ***

By: Tim Sprinkle

This article really makes a point about leaving no trace while camping, because in reality, our planet really needs it. With all the greenhouse gasses and the amount of garbage on Earth, we should really start to make an initiative in leaving less of an impact when in the outdoors.

In the article, it explains the basic principles of Leave No Trace, a nonprofit organization geared towards raising awareness on land abuse. The article lists 7 basic rules:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
Basically this means know where your going, understand the fragility of the land, also, it asks that you travel in small groups to lessen your impact on the campground; or wherever you are

  • Travel on camp and durable surfaces
To avoid trampling the wildlife (shrubs, homes of small animals, waterfront plant life etc.), camp at least 200ft from from the water (paddlers especially) to avoid killing fragile riparian areas.

  • Dispose of waste properly 
Pretty straightforward, you "pack it in, pack it out". Anywhere ranging from toilet paper to just trash in general. It states to make sure that you dispose of human waste 200ft. from the campsite and trails.

  • Leave what you find
This means that no, you can't pick that flower. And no, you may not take that small animal home with you. Leaving things as they are is a great way to lessen your impact. The Leave no Trace Center advises,"Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them. Examine, but do not touch historic structures and artifacts."

  •  Minimize campfire imapcts
This is a big one because out of all the things, campfires make the biggest and most destructive impacts. To avoid this, only use established fire pits and circles, and be sure to burn everything down to ash before leaving the site. 

  • Respect wildlife
A pretty general rule, basically says don't impact them, they wont impact you. Don't feed them, because it will disrupt their survival instincts, disrupts the order of nature, and will create many problems down the road.
  • Be considerate of other visitors
Common courtesy.  The principle reads,"Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors. Be courteous, [and] yield to other users on the trail..."

Sprinkle, T. (n.d.). Applying the Principles of Leave no Trace | How To Articles - Paddling.net. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?116

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