Leaving No Trace While Camping

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,164
    Camping expert Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection discusses how to apply the Leave No Trace principle when camping, to minimize your impact on the environment.

    Tim MacWelch: Hi, I am Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our video clip series on how to go camping. In this clip, our final clip, we are going to talk about how to leave no trace.

    Leave no trace is a camping ethic and backpacking and outdoor skill ethic that has been around for quite a few decades now. Leave no trace is simply just that. We want leave no evidence of a human presence in the outdoors. One of the mantras of leaving no trace is, take only photographs, leave only footprints. Well, unfortunately we have to leave a little bit more than that. If we've been camping out here, we've had to make some latrines, and we have done it in such a way that it does compost and blend into the landscape.

    We do want to try to be careful in very sensitive areas where we might damage wildlife plant life or anything else like that. In leave no trace; we don't want to leave one speck of trash behind. We don't want to leave a scared place on the ground where our fire was burning. We don't want to use rocks around the fire, they may look nice, they may hold up our pot, while we are cooking, but they are going to be charred and black and that will take decades to wash off in the rain.

    We want to cause as little disturbance to the environment as possible, in a leave no trace ethic. So why do we want to leave no trace? We want to leave no trace, so that landscape looks as good to the next person coming along, as it looked to us on our trip, maybe even better. Sometimes we can actually garden the landscape and make it better for future generations. Sometimes there non native invasive plant species that don't belong in an ecosystem and they can be cut down, mowed down, whatever you can do to knock those out, so that the actual local native wildlife can resume its normal lifecycle. There are lots of different things we can do to leave no trace.

    The most important thing is to bring out everything that you took in and make all your footprints vanish. k_dcampbell_tmcwelch_camping_