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Leave No Trace: The Seven Principles

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Leave No Trace: The Seven Principles

The outdoors are there to be enjoyed by everyone and it's important for us to allow others to have the same great experience that we had. The best way to do this is by following these 7 principles.

1. Plan ahead and Prepare

Often circumstances and situations can change at a moments notice, allowing yourself to plan ahead can often ensure the safety yourself and those around you.

-          Check the regulations and concerns of the area you’re visiting

-          Prepare for extreme weather and emergencies

-          Check for any local and seasonal restrictions you could encounter

-          If possible, plan your trip in off seasons

-          Where possible travel by public transport or car share and consider parking issues

-          Visit in smaller groups

-          Plan your route. Bring a map and a compass

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Ground

Having the smallest amount of impact and damage to the land and waterways is key to leaving no trace. Any impact can cause issues such as erosion and contamination of water sources.

-          These surfaces include established paths and campsites, rock, gravel, sand, dry grasses or snow. Walk in single file in the middle of the path and concentrate on any existing paths.

-          Protect riverbanks by camping 75 metres from lakes and rivers

-          Good campsites are found, not made. Keep campsites small and where vegetation is absent and avoid areas where impacts are just beginning.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

This can make everyone’s experience in the mountains more enjoyable and lower your individual impact. Take home all of your waste.

-          Carry it in, carry it out. This includes all biodegradable foods you think are okay.

-          Dig 15 to 20cm catholes for human waste, at least 75 metres from water, camp and paths, making sure it is well covered when finished.

-          Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products in a plastic bag in order to have to least impact.

-          Use small amounts of biodegradable soap for washing yourself or dishes whilst camping.

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4. Leave it as you find it

Souvenirs or momentums can remind of our time in the outdoors, however we must leave any rocks, plants or sticks behind where they belong.

-          Respect farming and forestry property and ensure gates are left as you found them.

-          Preserve the past, such as cultural or historic structures and artifacts.

-          Conserve the present, leave all-natural habitats as you found them.

-          Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.

-          Do not build structures such as furniture or dig trenches. Find our best lightweight furniture to pack in here.

5. Minimise the effects of Fire

Always take into consideration the potential damage to the outdoors. Some areas ay have restrictions that you must abide by.

-          Using a lightweight stove for cooking and using rechargeable lanterns can often be safer for the outdoors. See our range of lightweight stoves here.

-          Establish fire rings, fire pans or mound fires, where they are permitted.

-          Keep fires small, using only sticks from the ground or dead wood. This ensures they won’t get out of control.

-          Is there any existing fire area? Using the same area will have a smaller impact. Never leave a fire unattended.

-          Thoroughly extinguish all fires and burn all wood to ash.

-          Never burn plastic items, aluminium foil or foil-lined items.

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6. Respect farm animals and wildlife

Quick movements, close distances and loud noises can cause an animal to flee or possibly attack in self-defence.

-          Do not follow approach any animal in the outdoors. Remember you are a visitor in their home.

-          Never feed animals. This can damage their health, alter their behaviour and expose them to predators.

-          Protect animals by storing your food and rubbish securely.

-          Control pets at all times.

-          Observe local bylaws and notices regarding seasonal restrictions. There are often signs on popular paths and hikes.

-          Avoid wildlife during, mating, nesting, raising young or during winter.

7. Be considerate of other visitors

Everyone is trying to enjoy their visit to the outdoors, the outdoors is there for everyone and anyone to experience positively!

-          Respect those around you and be courteous towards others.

-          Park with consideration, avoid blocking gateways and narrow lanes that may be access for farm, forestry, local services or emergency services.

-          Take breaks and camp away from paths and other visitors.

-          Avoid loud voices, noises and music. Consider the noise impact of equipment such as drones, this can often ruin the experience for others.

Together we can help minimise our impact in the outdoors and make it a happy experience for everyone to enjoy together!

These ethics have been inspired by https://www.leave-no-trace-training.co.uk/principles.php.html and https://www.reneeroaming.com/leave-no-trace-principles/

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