Video Topic Factsheet: Leave No Trace
One of the best parts about hiking, camping, fishing and exploring nature is the feeling of experiencing the beauty of the natural world. However, sometimes that beauty can be compromised by human impacts like litter and pollution that harm land and water. Preserving natural areas is what the Leave No Trace ethic is trying to achieve. So, how can we respect and enjoy our land and water while keeping it safe and beautiful for all to use? Here are some facts and ideas to help you choose a theme for your video.
Visiting a natural area? Be sure to:
- Clean your shoe treads before you go to avoid introducing weed seeds to wild areas.
- Stay on designated trails to limit impacts to wildlife and always control your pet.
- Pack water and food in durable, reusable containers to avoid having trash and leave as much packaging at home as you can.
- Bring a grocery bag to carry any trash you create and to pick up pieces of litter you may find. Bring extra bags to pick up after your dog. Take all your trash with you when you leave.
- Put your fruit peels and snack wrappers back in your pack (bring a small bag to hold them).
Staying overnight? Plan ahead:
- Bring a bag from home for trash and recycling and take it back with you.
- Plan for bathroom needs. Bring a trowel to dig an 8” cathole to bury your poop at least 200 from water bodies. Bring a Ziploc bag labeled for each camper and put your used toilet paper, cotton wipes, and feminine products in it to throw away later. Backcountry hiking in many places now requires GO Anywhere waste kits or WAG bags.
- Bring biodegradable soap. Filter food particles out of your dishwashing water and bury them or use the designated dish wash station at campgrounds.
- Always keep human waste, soap, and wash water out of streams. Rinse your mouth and toothbrush into the fire pit or spread it into soil.
- Bring a quick dry camp towel for dishes or for rinsing off your body.
- Pick up micro trash before you leave! Animals often try to eat small bits of plastic and other packaging.
- Find information on the National Park Service website.