Surely anyone has heard of the phrase “Leave No Trace”. But are we aware of what it really means to leave no trace? The ethics of leaving no trace means a great reduction in human impact on nature. Garbage dumped or wildfires are harmful to the environment – the environment is no longer intact.
Let us be aware and travel.
Let’s keep our environmental impact to a minimum. Hardened routes over heavy rainfall can be seriously damaged and turn into mud shit. When we come to muddy areas, it is better to go straight along the muddy path than to avoid them, as this widens the paths and unnecessarily interferes with nature. (But sometimes the side paths are even more muddy 🙂).
Instead of creating space for a tent, we prefer to find one. Do not cut branches or trees and do not move stones just to get a comfortable place. We prefer to take a step or two forward and find the appropriate location 🙂.
Dispose of waste properly
Don’t burn or bury rubbish as this will still attract animals and put them at risk. Not to mention the fumes a fire will make, and the risk of bushfires it creates. If we were able to bring them with us, we could certainly take them back and recycle them. We bury our “bio” waste at least 15 – 20 centimeters deep. Buried waste should be at least 75 meters away from all water sources.
Leave what you find
When you’re out exploring, don’t take interesting stones. Leave them where nature has dumped them. If you remove it from its environment, then it robs the next person of the experience of discovering it.. We do not build sculptures. structures because they were not created by nature.
Minimise campfire impacts
Campfires are great for camping, but they leave nasty black debris in the field. These remain long after our departure. Only light a fire in a permitted area, and if you do so – use an established fire ring or pit. That way you’re keeping the damage to the areas that are set up for that purpose. When it comes to fuel for your fire, use eco-friendly timber options such as compacted wood briquettes or branches that are already on the ground and are dry and brittle.
If you happen to spot native animals out in the wild, keep a respectful distance so you don’t disturb their natural behaviour, or scare them out of their habitat. Do not feed them or leave food on the floor. This is not good for animals or humans. Often animals attack hikers because they are used to getting food from humans. Our food is also not suitable for wildlife.
So there you have it, Leave No Trace Principles
With the newly acquired knowledge, let’s go for a walk and enjoy. We create memories and photos and leave nature unchanged for others to admire. We all want to continue camping, hiking and exploring what this great country has to offer for many years to come. A little more mindfulness means that we can keep nature in as pristine condition as possible. Happy adventuring everyone!
What else do you do to ensure that you’re minimising your impact on your outdoor adventures? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image: Anže Čokl
Image in post: Katja Jemec