If you love exploring the great outdoors, participate in travel adventures and joined a camping and hiking trip, chances are, you have read or heard about the ‘leave no trace’ principle. This phrase gets thrown around many times, and often this principle has been used and promoted by locals, the stewards of the private resorts and camping grounds and non-government organizations. So what is the meaning of the ‘leave no trace’ principle’, and why is this often used and advertised in the travel industry? If you are planning to go on a fishing, hiking or camping weekend, you’re expected to follow and implement the principle. The principle simply states that every person should follow the best practices during camps, travels and other related activities to enjoy and protect the environment.
Prepare and plan ahead– One of the critical requirements of this principle is the need for careful planning ahead of time. According to its proponents, if you are not prepared, then there’s a big chance that you will encounter problems and challenges along the way. In order to plan ahead, it’s best to learn more about the activity and destination, and make sure that you are aware of the rules and regulations. Knowing the weather conditions can also help promote safety during travel. This information is very important if you are planning to kayak with friends. Aside from preparing your preferred inflatable kayak, you also need to know the weather and current condition. If you are just starting out, look for a kayaking spot that’s a protected area, with minimal current. Also, you can schedule your trip to avoid peak hours or days.
Set up camp and tent on durable surfaces– When it comes to selecting the appropriate camping spot, look for an area with steady and durable surface. Some of the durable surfaces that can be considered when setting up the tent include dry grasses, established trails and rocky areas. Try to avoid pristine and unspoiled areas, and areas where impacts are just starting.
Manage waste responsibly– This applies to all kinds of waste that can be produced during the camping. Clean and inspect the camping grounds before leaving, making sure that all kinds of thrash have been cleaned and collected. Prepare a bag where you can store and pack all thrash and the garbage produced during the camping trip.
Respect animals and wildlife– During hiking and camping, you will encounter different kinds of animals and wildlife. Respect, and don’t approach these animals. Observe animals and wildlife from a distance, and don’t feed them. In short, allow them to live peacefully in their natural habitat. If you will use bait-casting reels and kayak fish finders, make sure to respect the waters. Smaller fishes should be thrown back to the wild. This is one way of protecting the wildlife, and helping promote sustainable fishing.
The list is long when it comes to the best practices aligned with the principle. At the end of the day, this principle calls for the respect of the environment, and all living things that thrives on it.