Gallery: 8 Summertime Tips for Leave No Trace Camping

 
Cook simple meals that do not require a long ingredient list, or huge amounts of fuel to boil or heat. Pre-packaged camping meals can help cut down on overall packaging and containers. A little preparation before leaving your home can help to make sure that snacks and meals take as little effort to complete while on the trail. Pack out all leftovers, including biodegradable items such as orange and banana peels. Use bear canisters when necessary, and do not leave food lying out where animals can take advantage of an easy bite. Choose instant coffees and teas so you don't have to deal with disposing of grounds, and bring along canteens instead of single-use plastic bottles.

Backpacker, Shutterstock

Perfect Preparation

Whether you are headed to the tops of a mountain or the edge of the shore, make sure to research all of the rules, regulations, and weather conditions for your trip. Be prepared with adequate outerwear, first aid supplies, and trail maps. Bring gear that has multiple functions, like multi-tools, convertible clothing, and possibly a smartphone loaded with maps and guides. Schedule your visit for times that do not coincide with peak use.

Campers in Tent, Shutterstock

Cozy Company

When possible, visit in small groups or break up large parties. Fewer feet on the trail at one time not only helps relieve congestion, but also diminishes damage to the ecosystem. Manageable numbers of campers also means less trash to deal with, quieter and more intimate experiences with nature, and fewer resources needed to be used and possibly left behind. Yield to those on the trail, and take breaks away from others.

Correct Tent Placement, Shutterstock

Proper Placement

When pitching a tent, try and camp on durable surfaces, including established trails, campsites, rock, gravel, and snow. Keep sites small and pick spots where vegetation is absent. Set up at least 200 feet from streams and rivers to protect riparian areas. When walking on trails, move single file and resist straying from your route. In unmaintained wilderness, disperse in order to prevent creating impacted soil or creating new trails. If you spot an animal, do your best to remain quiet and hidden from view.

Digital Photographer, Shutterstock

Digital Diaries

Taking little souvenirs from your trip may seem tempting, but each rock, twig, and shell is a part of an ecosystem and should be left where it was found. Similarly, engaging with the local wildlife can at first strike you as a good idea, but could either desensitize animals to a human presence or be outright dangerous. Carry along a camera to snap photos of your experiences and use a smartphone to chronicle notable events.

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