People today have busy lifestyles and find it challenging to manage a myriad of things. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic did halt the routine of most people all across the world. However, things are finding some semblance again, and people are looking forward to resuming an active lifestyle.
Let’s be honest, life in a city follows a rather mechanical and mundane routine, and most people want to break away from all the hustle and bustle. The first step is to hit the roads and explore the beautiful outback. However, the phrase you are likely to hear when conversing about going outdoor is ‘Leave no Trace’ which is also abbreviated as ‘LNT.’
Even while reading articles or watching videos about the best places to go for outdoor activity, you may have come across ‘Leave No Trace Camping Tips.’ It means making people aware of the best practices and methods that can help to protect the outdoor spaces.
Going for an outdoor adventure helps people reconnect with the earth and natural surroundings and find the serenity missing in their lives. According to Business Wire, more than 160 million went outdoors in 2020. The same report says that there was a significant increase in outdoor gear such as backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, trekking poles, and outdoor clothing.
There are certain things that are bound to happen when millions of people visit the outdoors, such as throwing trash, soil erosion, a threat to natural wildlife, and polluting water sources. People love to explore the outdoors as the surreal landscape and awe-inspiring natural sights inspire them and bring joy to their lives. But people to know about the camping rules if they are unaware about them.
In general, most people do not intend to litter the outdoors, but they may also not know how to preserve nature. The unintentional behavior of people can damage our environment only because they overlook key aspects of leave no trace camping.
The purpose of leaving no trace camping tips is to let people know about the best practices to preserve the outdoors while trekking or while setting up campsites in the outdoor space.
What is the Leave No Trace Principle?
The one common passion of the average American family is to participate in a recreational activity, and more often than not, it’s going to the outdoors. However, the growing climate change impact has raised questions about how people spend their time when vacationing outdoors.
We are already seeing drastic changes in climate with sudden wildfires and the increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes. There is no substitute for nature, and due to the negligence of some people, we are risking the lives of the majority.
The Seven Leave No Trace Camping Tips include
- Planning and preparing for the outdoor trip
- Setting up camp on flat and durable surfaces
- Disposing of the waste properly
- Leaving the outdoor space as it is
- Being careful while lighting the campfire
- Giving space to wild animals
- Respecting other visitors
These leave no trace camping rules to apply to nearly every place, whether it’s in the backcountry, in your backyard, or local wildlife park.
You and everyone else need to know about the camping rules before going on trips in the outdoors and trekking in the day, and camp for the night.
The two words that you may have come across are ‘backcountry’ and ‘front-country.’ The places or areas where usually the night owls or backpackers’ access at night is called ‘backcountry.’ On the other hand, the places such as city and state parks that people walk around by car are called ‘front-country.’ The place that you or other picnickers may visit in the day is called front country.
Let’s explain what each of the Leave No Trace Principle entails
1- Planning and preparing for the outdoor trip
The first principle is fairly easy to understand, and most people may even follow it without knowing about it. You need to find the details or regulations about the outdoor place you plan to go to. The best option is to go online and search or contact the local ranger. Also, after arriving, you have to check out the postings or even talk with the ranger in person to get the latest information.
You have to take some time to research and plan while going on outdoor recreational trips, and it includes
- Knowing about the area regulations
- Preparing your bags according to the weather and considering sudden emergencies
- Scheduling the activities of your outdoor trip
- Trying to be part of a small group and if there are large groups, then split them into small groups
- Repackaging the food to avoid any waste
- Carry a map and compass and avoid using marking paint or flagging. You can even install smart apps that can guide you about the place you are camping in
Not knowing about leave no trace camping tips can make the trip challenging and stressful rather than enjoyable.
Checkout: Meal plans for backcountry camping
2- Setting up camp on flat and durable surfaces
Most of the popular outdoor areas already have visible trails and camping sites. You can use them rather than making new trails. The term ‘durable surface’ means hard and flat ground without any unevenness or vegetation. You have to keep a small campsite. Also leave no trace guidelines camping near water asks for people to place a camp at least 200 feet from any nearest water source.
3- Disposing of the waste properly
One of the most essential leave no trace rule is to dispose of the waste efficiently. You usually pack dozens of things in the backpack, but mostly the wrappers and boxes become part of the trash. It is also common that you may need to wash the plates and food bowls, but it should be 200 feet from the campsite.
Apart from litter, there is a human waste to take care of. The common solution is digging cat holes about 6 to 8 inches and 200 feet away from the campsite and water source. You need to dispose of toilet paper as well.
4- Leaving the outdoor space as it is
The type of ground and other natural elements such as trees and plants vary according to the place you are going camping. It is also better to leave the natural formations as these natural wonders are very old and must be preserved.
5- Being careful while lighting the campfire
One of the most important leaving no trace camping tips talks about safety while lighting a campfire. You need to follow best practices. First, you need to see the regulations for the place you are camping as some places do not allow campfires. If permission is given, you need to use the approved fire pans or fire rings that will minimize the impact on the environment.
You can even use the twigs and wood sticks you found on the ground, but one should never cut wood off the trees, even if you find large logs. The best solution is to buy the firewood locally and then burn the wood on the camping site. After using the fire for warmth or cooking food, you need to put down the fire and then scatter the cool ashes.
6- Giving space to wild animals
Another crucial camping rule is to give space to the wild animals you may come across. The type of wild animals varies depending on the outdoor area. However, you do not have to feed the animals, follow them, or approach them. Most people carry their pets for outdoor activities, but those pets need to be put on a leash to prevent any interaction with wild animals.
You may be tempted to help and feed the wild animals, but it should be avoided as it can alter the behaviors of the animals. If the outdoor space has various wild animals, then it is better to avoid the place during mating and nesting period.
7- Respecting other visitors
It is very much possible that you may find other people camping in the same area you picked for outdoor recreational activity. You need to consider the privacy of other visitors and campers. The trail you may be hiking might be the same, but the outdoor space is quite vast, and you can keep a distance and respect other visitors.
Everyone loves to go camping once in a while, but the important rule to remember is ‘Leave No Trace Camping Tips.’ If you are new, you may find the information overwhelming, but it is easy to go through them and make a plan. It is necessary to start caring for the outdoors and enhance its beauty rather than ruining it. You only need to follow a checklist like you normally do while planning and going for an outdoor trip.