Leave No Trace is a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It consists of seven principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites, and soil erosion.
  3. Dispose of waste properly: Trash and litter in the backcountry ranks high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. This will greatly detract from the naturalness of an area and could potentially cause greater environmental damage. If no trash receptacles are available, visitors should carry out all trash from what they have brought in. [6] Furthermore, backcountry campers create waste water from certain activities and fecal waste which requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace principles. (Urinating in the woods is not a violation of Leave No Trace. However, if defecating one must not leave any toilet paper, and the waste is to be buried a certain distance from both paths and water sources).
  4. Leave what you find: Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations by avoiding actions such as digging tent trenches, cutting branches from live trees, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, or removing other natural items.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts: Because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires, Leave No Trace teaches to seek alternatives to fires or use low-impact fires.
  6. Respect wildlife: minimizing impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.

Boy Scout Outdoor Code

Scout troop Outdoor code is in the Boy Scout Handbook of 1955:

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.

  • ‘Be clean in my outdoor manners.’ I will treat
    the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I
    will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and
  • ‘Be careful with fire.’ I will prevent wildfire.
    I will build my fires only where they are appropriate. When I have finished
    using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring,
    or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • ‘Be considerate in the outdoors.’ I will treat
    public and private property with respect. I will use low-impact methods of
    hiking and camping.
  • ‘Be conservation-minded.’ I will learn how to
    practice good conservation of soil, water, forests, minerals, grasslands,
    wildlife, and energy. I urge others to do the same.”

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