Travel Thoughts

Leave No Trace


Ever since I first hiked, I have been hooked on discovering and exploring new destinations. Witness amazing sights and marvel at awe-inspiring natural wonders. Then I thought to myself, I want my kids to experience all these and so much more. As a traveler, I am committed to protecting and conserving the environment and also help educate fellow travelers. But how can we do that if we even don’t have access to get to know it?

“Leave No Trace”

It is a principle that emphasizes on respecting the environment and committing to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. Simply put, it’s the best practices we should follow to enjoy and protect our natural spaces.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
    • In popular areas:
      • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
      • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
      • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
    • In pristine areas:
      • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
      • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails.
  • Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter (in other countries).

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

For more information on Leave No Trace, visit:



“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time and burn nothing but calories!”




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18 thoughts on “Leave No Trace

  1. I agree so much on all of your points. Some tourists are super responsible in the way they act towards the environment, culture and attractions. This totally needs to have more reads, thank you for raising awareness on important topics such as these!

    So SO SO important. x


  2. It’s super important to be responsible and care for the environment, especially for tourists visiting new places. Thank you so much for sharing!


  3. I love the thought of this post. A lot of us don’t even realize it that we’re already polluting our environment but thankfully, there are still responsible travelers out there, who leave no trace. 🙂


  4. I love the thought of this post. A lot of us don’t even realize it that we’re already polluting our environment but thankfully, there are still responsible travelers out there, who leave no trace. Thank you for sharing this post, it is really an eye-opener. 🙂


  5. It should be common sense to leave no trace, unfortunately people don’t always do it. I have recently seen some photos of people picking up the protected national flower from my country, which is endangered, making big bouquets. Such a horrible behavior!


  6. It annoys me so much how some tourists have complete disregard for how they treat the area they are visiting. You are visiting beautiful, amazing places and treat it like your own personal dumpster. I don’t get how some people can act like that. Thank you for the beautiful post very well written


  7. I’m a bit guilty on getting plant parts like leaves and flowers. I’m into writing diaries so whenever I conquer a mountain or visit a new place I always look for plants. I get a flower or leaf and preserve them in my diary.


  8. Hi Polly! I’ve noticed that your an adventurer, maybe one time we could travel together, if you want. I am waiting for your reply. Thanks!


  9. I love this so much! Sometimes people are not respectful to others who are visiting places when they are and it stinks!


  10. I work at an NGO and totally agree with everything that you just said. Hills have this problem because trash doesn’t decompose. People need to learn and work on better ways to reduce the problem.


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