Please also read: Why Leave No Trace is necessary in Wilderness
The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace
The 2-day Trainer course took a closer look on the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
These 7 principles offer an outdoor ethic on how to enjoy the outdoors without leaving a lasting impact. This outdoor ethic should be applied during single and multi-day trips to the outdoors. Leaving no impact when enyoing nature is particularly important in Wilderness. Leaving garbage or human waste or stepping off the trail can have significant long-lasting impacts. For example it may trample the vegetation or destroy the community of organisms beyond repair, which will lead to soil erosion. The 7 principles of Leave No Trace offer guidance on how to sustainably experience and preserve Wilderness.
The participants of the trainer course came from various backgrounds. Some being Wilderness Rangers for the first time. Others being some steps ahead in their Wilderness career. Every participant had to present a snapshop of a principle with the help of different teaching methods. Lectures, discussions, scenarios, games and role plays as well as the use of teachable moments brought the message across. When choosing the appropriate teaching method for a principle, some other points have to be taken in account too. For example, the demographic structure of the workshop participants. Various discussions about participants’ hands-on leave no trace experiences enriched the content of the course. These discussions also brought up the varying approaches of Leave No Trace in differing environments. Methods that work in a forest might not work in the desert or a beach, for example.
The European Wilderness Society and Leave No Trace
An important next step will be to adapt the content of the 7 principles to the European context. This means taking European and national legislations and customs into account. Awareness Workshops with this customised content will be offered by the European Wilderness Society to their Network and interested parties and people soon.