Questions tagged [leave-no-trace]

Questions related to outdoor ethics including considerations for outdoor activities and the impact on the environment. This tag can also be used for questions related to the 'Leave No Trace Seven Principles' from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

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38
votes
2answers
12k views

Impact of throwing away fruit waste on a peak > 3200 m above a glacier

Is it okay to throw away the non-edible part of the apple - the apple core / or in general fruit waste? Does it decompose on the rock (maybe with the help of animals) and temperature, or does it ...
5
votes
1answer
311 views

What is this plastic net with a wide middle and bottom that looks like an upside-down flower hanging from a tree?

We recently (July, 2019) went to Bar Harbor, Maine, United States, to visit friends who live on the ocean. My husband took a walk on an established path (he's very serious about Leave No Trace) at the ...
6
votes
1answer
306 views

What's is the Leave No Trace way to dispose of loose tea leaves?

It's possible to buy tea that is loose leaf instead on in the tea bags and use it while in the outdoors such as cold brewing in a Nalgene. Coffee grounds need to be packed out but what about tea ...
18
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the Leave No Trace way to dispose of coffee grounds?

If one makes coffee in the backcountry, there will be used grounds. Coffee grounds are biodegradable, but should one instead pack them out completely? What is the Leave No Trace way to deal with used ...
8
votes
1answer
177 views

What is the leave no trace thing to do when parallel trails start to form?

Sometimes in areas with sandy/muddy ground, multiple parallel trails will start to form. What is the least impactful way to walk a trail like this? Do you stay on whichever trail shows the most ...
49
votes
8answers
11k views

When should I avoid geotagging?

I did not use to think of geotagging photos as a leave-no-trace issue. In fact, one slogan says leave only footprints, take only photos. Yet the Leave No Trace Social Media Guidance states: Tag ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

How do some of the materials in the clothing we wear endanger marine life and the undersea environment?

I was recently told that many of the clothes we wear are made up of materials that are dangerous to marine wildlife, and the undersea environment. I'm curious as to whether or not it's true. I know ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I use a trail camera to identify a roadside litterer?

The roadside in our semi-rural area is relatively litter free. With very few exceptions, it can be easily picked up with one hand, and is not gross. But one litterer is getting to me. He (or she) ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

How does bushcrafting relate to the “leave no trace” principles?

The skills mentioned in "What is bushcrafting?" sound useful but potentially destructive. How does bushcrafting relate to the "leave no trace" principles?
7
votes
2answers
370 views

Why aren't the mule trains outfitters required to clean up after their animals?

When we venture into the wilderness, we bury our solid human waste (or may even have to pack it out in some places). The basic guideline is to not leave faeces anywhere where it can be discovered or ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I close a cathole (toilet-hole) at night?

I have made camp for one or more nights in a pristine wilderness. It may be desert, tundra, or a forested environment. At a suitable distance from camp, I have dug a nice cathole (toilet-hole) and ...
10
votes
1answer
761 views

Tips for using a “wag bag” to pack out human waste

I've been an avid lover of the outdoors for all of my life, camping in quite varied terrain, but so far in all these locations I've been able to use the usual LNT cat-hole methods to take care of ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

What is an effective technique for plogging?

See this article on plogging, from the Washington Post Swedish Fitness Craze Coming to the US (March 06, 2018): Have you recently spotted people toting trash bags while jogging? Or their hands ...
6
votes
3answers
193 views

How to minimize impact on terrain at camp?

I recently went backpacking above treeline in Colorado. It was in a National Wilderness and there were no designated camping areas. Finding a flat enough spot for 3 tents proved to be difficult at ...
8
votes
2answers
424 views

How to deal with diarrhea when using a cathole in the wilderness?

I was sitting and thinking last night... If you have gas and loose stool (diarrhea) and you are squatting over a cathole in the wilderness how do keep your pants and foot wear clean? Related ...
7
votes
2answers
266 views

Is there a Leave No Trace equivalent specifically for boaters?

This question lists the principles of Leave No Trace, taken from the Center for Outdoor Ethics website. While the general principals apply to many types of outdoor activities, this particular set ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

How long does it take for trash to become a historical artifact (in the United States)?

How long does it take for trash like beer cans, old mattress springs, or glass bottles to go from trash and need to be packed out to being a historic artifact with archaeological significance?
7
votes
3answers
732 views

What's the purpose of the huge amount of stone piles on the trails in Gran Canaria

I went for a few hikes in Gran Canaria. The trails were perfectly signposted and everything. My beautiful experience was a little bit disturbed by the sheer amount of stone piles everywhere. You ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

How to discard of ashes when in a wilderness cabin? [duplicate]

I was staying in the spectacular free and open Ragohytte in magnificent Rago Nasjonalpark, and used some of the provided firewood and coal to heat up the stove in order to dry my gear and enjoy a bit ...
6
votes
2answers
299 views

Is it within Leave No Trace to spread someone's ashes in a wilderness area?

While in the Wind River Mountains, I found a bronze plaque that marked the spot where a person's ashes where scattered, and while that was done in the early 1930s, it made me wonder if it would still ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the best methods to clean out a fire pits and dispose of the ash?

Are there any recommended methods for disposing of ash from fire pits while primitive camping? I have run into several fire pits in National and State forest camping areas where the fire pit or fire ...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

What can I do to discourage people from littering in the back country?

There are few feelings worse than hiking deep into an area that should be pristine and finding garbage. What are some steps that I could take to help prevent or lessen this?
8
votes
2answers
228 views

Where does uncommon litter come from?

On my last tour I've found a lot of litter in the woods again. While I do my best to get things out, I was not able to take an old oil barrel and a care tire with me =). However, these two items made ...
1
vote
3answers
195 views

What should an outdoors traveler know about the biodegradability of plastic?

I was wonder how long it takes plastic to biodegrade and if there is anything a person can or should do to facilitate the process for plastics in the outdoors. I know that optimally "Carry in, Carry ...
5
votes
1answer
509 views

Is dryer lint worth using as a fire starter even if it's also a pollutant?

I have been reading about dryer lint as an effective kindling material, but I keep having the feeling that in some way it implies burning "plastic": all the artificial materials, coloring (although it ...
9
votes
1answer
302 views

Is it an acceptable Leave no Trace practice to bury ruined food?

I am only considering those situations where human waste can be buried, since if that has to be carried out in a wag bag, then the food should be as well. If someone burns the oatmeal to a crisp, or ...
30
votes
8answers
4k views

What should I do about large trash left by others on USFS land?

When you find large trash items left by others in less accessible places, what should be done? The exact scenario: We were hiking a ten mile trail on US Forestry Service land with river crossings and ...
12
votes
1answer
417 views

How to get rid of illegal artificial paints on historical monuments?

India is known for its historical monuments and Caves are essential part of them. While among them, almost all major tourist attractions are very well conserved and looked after, unfortunately some of ...
19
votes
3answers
10k views

What's the problem with burying toilet paper?

In the backcountry, we should bury solid human waste (i.e. poop), and we are told to carry out toilet paper. According to this answer on tissues, for some kinds of waste the ecological impact is ...
23
votes
2answers
4k views

Leave-no-trace-exception for tissues?

I'm absolutely harsh when it comes to littering in the woods. After a break I take an extra turn to check if everything was picked up. Someone accidentally left a tissue on the last tour and I put it ...
10
votes
2answers
279 views

From the point of view of wildlife, what is the most dangerous component of roadside litter?

As my other litter question stated, I live on a semi-rural road, and about twice a year pick up litter from the verge. Others pick up litter too, but there are swathes of floodplain land, ...
9
votes
4answers
298 views

How to introduce individuals to the concept of Leave No Trace

How do I prioritize teaching about the concept of Leave No Trace to someone who is unfamiliar with it, without coming across as off-putting because there are so many rules?
26
votes
12answers
9k views

Toothpaste in the back-country and the principle of leave no trace

I am a staunch proponent of leave no trace. I don't carry dish detergent (sand and small rocks work much better on stainless steel anyways,) and I don't use soap or shampoo, not even of the ...
17
votes
3answers
526 views

Where is the optimal place to do dishes in the backcountry?

I just came back from a backpacking trip in an alpine area. I was cleaning some kitchen items (pot, spork, pan, etc) with some remnant food particles that were coming off. I use a very small amount of ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

What's the best way to dispose of a body in the backcountry? [closed]

Suppose you needed to dispose of a large carcass for one reason or another while in the backcountry... what would be the best way to dispose of it in the woods so that it wouldn't be discovered? You ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

How do you build a campfire that leaves no trace? [duplicate]

Say you're camping in the backcountry where there aren't any developed campsites or fire rings. What methods are there for building a camp fire that will leave absolutely no trace afterwards?
15
votes
1answer
576 views

What are the principles of Leave no Trace?

What are the fundamental principles of leaving no trace in the backcountry?
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Leave no Trace: Are campfires unethical?

According to the Centre for Outdoor Ethics: "The use of campfires, once a necessity for cooking and warmth, is steeped in history and tradition [...] the natural appearance of many areas has been ...
20
votes
3answers
10k views

When is it OK to hike off trail?

I visited my local forest preserve recently (in a suburb of Chicago, IL) and found new signs every mile or so that read something to the effect of Please stay on the trail so as to preserve the ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

When is it not OK to leave feces behind?

I saw this article recently. I also know that human solid (not sure about liquid) waste is collected in buckets on river trips down the Grand Canyon. What are some basic guidelines for determining ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Groups: What are proper occasions for a large, shared hole for waste?

So of course the common standard for proper burying of solid human waste is burial in a cat-hole, and generally this means one hole per instance per person. This is what I practice and teach on ...
32
votes
6answers
8k views

Is burying human waste always the lowest-impact solution?

According to leave-no-trace principles, one should bury human waste (poo). But burying damages plants and roots. Is this really always better than not burying it and pooing on the surface? (Of ...
16
votes
5answers
14k views

How to make a fire without burning the ground

I was wondering if there was a way to make a fire pit and start a fire in it, and have a way to protect the ground beneith it as much as possible. I don't really know how I could manage to do that, ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?

I've read one one of the US national forest or wilderness websites that when camping in the wild, one should camp at a certain distance from a water source. Should I understand a water source to mean ...
24
votes
12answers
13k views

What kind of mementos, if any, am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities?

What kind of mementos am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities, if any? I am especially wondering about: pebbles, shells, sea-urchin-skeletons, sand-dollar-skeletons (...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

How to minimise erosion damage to footpaths when walking?

As a fair-weather walker I frequently find myself on routes that have suffered from erosion due to the large numbers of people hiking along them. I wish to cause the least possible amount of further ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you properly dispose of human waste while snow camping?

Assuming the cat-hole is the preferred protocol for waste disposal in the area you are backpacking, what should you do when the soil is buried below A LOT of snow, and/or frozen?
15
votes
2answers
289 views

Is it better to camp in a disturbed area, or pick a new spot and let the first rest?

When practicing Leave No Trace camping (which I am sure we all do), which camp spot should I choose, assuming there is not an obvious well-impacted "sacrifice site" nearby to concentrate my impact in: ...
20
votes
3answers
10k views

Washing clothes on long hikes

I'm looking for a good solution for clothing (or clothes washing) on long hikes with the following considerations Southeastern United States, Appalachians We hike light 10+ day trips I don't want to ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

What are some things to keep in mind when stealth camping?

Stealth Camping definition: Stealth camping is the act of quietly finding a place away from people where you can camp for the night and then quickly slip away in the morning without being detected. ...