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What does it mean to leave no trace?

Leave No Trace means exactly what you might think – to enjoy your outdoor camping adventure to the fullest, and afterwards leave no sign that you were ever there.

No-trace or “minimum impact” camping, is Scouting’s outdoor philosophy. Scouters and youth in all sections must learn and teach each other minimum impact outdoor skills, so that the natural world will be there for us to enjoy for many years to come.

“Leave nothing but your thanks.” —Robert Baden-Powell, on camping

Here are some more ideas to practise Leave No Trace ethics:

  • Pack out all garbage, and pick up garbage left behind by other campers
  • Take only pictures
  • Hike along existing trails whenever possible
  • Don’t wash dishes (or bathe) directly in lakes, rivers, streams or ponds
  • Use biodegradable soaps and shampoos
  • Don’t feed or harass wildlife
  • Use stoves, where possible, instead of an open fire
  • Respect the rights of fellow campers – keep voices low and leave radios at home
  • Don’t cut down living plants or trees
  • Buy or repackage food into burnable or reusable containers
  • If you have a large group, divide into several smaller parties and camp on different sites at least 100 metres apart to lessen environmental impact
  • Don’t dig trenches around tents, and don’t dig holes for grease pits

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