Leave No Trace

What is scouting if not teaching and abiding by Leave No Trace (LNT). In fact, every person that uses the outdoors should be familiar with and use these principles as a matter of consideration for nature (plants and animals) and your fellow outdoor enthusiasts. LNT, simply put is "Protecting the environment so that your kids will have the same experience as you. " This is a big concept for a 13 year old, but teach it now and they will understand it later.

The Boy Scout Outdoor Code

The graphic provided is from a 1954 Boy's Life Magazine article to help better show and explain the basic principles of LNT. The Outdoor Code is four (4) easy to remember phases that simplifies LNT:

Be Clean In My Outdoor Manners

Be Careful with Fire

Be Considerate in the Outdoors

Be Conservation Minded.

Seven Principals of Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead and prepare.

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. Visit in small groups when possible.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.

Ideal durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites. Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams. Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent. Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when it's wet or muddy.
  • Dispose of waste properly.

Pack it in, pack it out., even food waste or food scraps. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. (Some highly impacted areas, like Muir Base Camp on Mount Rainier or riverside campsites in the Grand Canyon, require human waste to be packed out, too. Know the regulations.) Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Leave what you find.

Preserve the past: Examine, but do not touch . Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species: Clean boot soles, kayak hulls and bike tires off between trips.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).

Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Keep fires small. Use only sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
  • Respect wildlife.

Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock, such as horses and mules. Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.

Forest Service Wilderness Areas

The Forest Service, an agency of the United State Agriculture Department, prides itself in taking care of the public forests around America. Because America's forests are so big and so many, they take care of different forests in different ways.

Poster, "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute." PL*303680.03.