To keep places in Vermont as pristine as the one in this picture, please be sure to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles when out in the woods and mountains. Always take out what you take in and:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare: checking weather reports, maps, and equipment ahead of your trip can help you stay safe and protect natural resources.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: trails, campsites, and the underlying vegetation are fragile and likely to be damaged by users. Durable surfaces can withstand the foot traffic.
- Dispose of Waste Properly: food scraps can attract wild animals, bringing them too close to humans. Plastic waste can also entangle and harm animals as well. No matter what kind of waste, it’s also unsightly for trail users.
- Leave What You Find: it’s tempting to take home the interesting stuff you might find. Leaving cool rocks, sticks, feathers, shells, or wildflowers where you find them not only helps wildlife, but other trail users will also get to enjoy them.
- Minimize Fire Impact: campfires aren’t suitable for all environments; there could be a lot of flammable leaf litter, it might be super windy, or there may not be much dry wood nearby. Consider these factors to determine if a campfire is a good idea.
- Respect Wildlife: quick movements and loud noises can stress wildlife. Do not chase, pick up, get close to, or feed animals. It’s also important not to block or pollute their homes (like rivers). This keeps them (and you) safe from stress and disease.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors: loud noises, uncontrolled pets, and litter and graffiti can hinder someone else’s outdoor experience. Consider how your adventure preferences—such as music or pets—might affect others, and plan solutions like earbuds or a leash for Sparky.
Related: Leave No Trace activity sheet; learn and share the LNT principles with friends and little ones. These activities will inspire you to think outside the box and leave no trace!
For more info on Leave No Trace, please visit www.lnt.org. If you’re interested in learning more about how to apply the LNT principles here in Vermont, please contact the GMC’s Group Outreach Specialist at [email protected] or (802) 241-8327.