Leave No Trace
The eleventh Scout law commands that a Scout is Clean.
So, when camping, Scouts adhere to the Outdoor Code:
"As an American, I will do my best to:
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded."
How do they do this? -- By using Leave No Trace principles.
The Seven "Leave No Trace" Principles
1. Plan Ahead
Know the regulations and special requirements for the area you plan to visit
Prepare for extreme weather and hazards
Schedule your trip to avoid times where there are many Troops
Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups
Repackage food (Ziploc Bags) to minimize waste
Use a map and compass to eliminate the need to mark trees, rocks, and other parts of nature
2. Find a Proper Campsite
Camp on durable surfaces such as: established campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow
Avoid disturbing wildlife by camping at least 200 feet from bodies of water
Good campsites are found, not made
In popular areas:
◦ Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites
◦ Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy
◦ Keep campsites small and focus activity in areas where there is no vegetation
In pristine areas:
◦ Spread out to prevent the creation of campsites and trails
◦ If absolutely necessary to create a campsite, condense to make it as small as possible
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out; pack out all trash, non-biodegradable food, and hygiene products
Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, and at least 200 feet from water, campsites and trails - Cover and disguise the cathole when finished
Urinate only on dead vegetation, such as downed trees or leaves, or rocks
To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap
4. Leave What You Find
Examine, but do take, cultural or historic structures and artifacts
Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them
Do not transport or introduce non-native species
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings
Keep fires as small as possible
Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes
6. Respect Wildlife
View animals from a distance without approaching or following them
Never feed animals. Feeding animals damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers
Protect wildlife and your food by storing food and trash securely
Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, and winter
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience
Camp away from trails and other visitors
Avoid excessively loud voices and noises
Common Questions and Answers
Q: What if there is no preexisting firepit at the campsite?
A: Consult an adult leader and ask permission to build one. Find a durable surface and create a small, tight circle using medium size rocks. Be very careful to keep the fire under control. More forest fires arise from new firepits than established ones.
Q: What is the best way to store my food?
A: If in an area where bears or other large animals have been sighted, hang “smellables” in bags on the highest tree branches you can reach. If there is no dangerous wildlife, you can keep food in your tent, but make sure everything is sealed before going to sleep and be careful not to spill food in your tent. Tents can be difficult to clean!
For any other questions please contact the Troop’s Leave No Trace Trainer, Scoutmaster or other adult leader.
Page prepared by 2014-2015 LNT Trainer Robert DeSena