Leave No Trace – Plan and Prepare

As the book says, “Proper planning and preparation helps back country travelers accomplish trip planning goals safely while minimizing damage to the land and having fun“.

And that my friends is what it is all about.

As you all know poor planning results in campers having a miserable time and often leads to damage to natural resources. It does not take much research to find stories of numerous campers that have gone into the wilderness ill prepared and without proper planning. They are the news all the time.

So here are some things to consider when planning a trip:

1. Identify and record the goals or expectations of the trip.

2. Identify the skills and ability levels of the participants.

3. Select destinations that match the goals, skills, and abilities of the participants.

4. Seek information about the area that your group plans to visit from land managers, maps, and literature.

5. Check the normal weather patterns for that area. Get projected forecasts for the area and adjust our plans accordingly.

6. Choose equipment and clothing for comfort, safety, and follow Leave No Trace principles.

7. Axes and saws are not needed for collecting and preparing wood for a leave no trace fire. Downed, dead wood is gathered from the ground and broken by hand.

8. Plan trip activities to match the goals, skills, and abilities of the group.

9. Evaluate your trip upon return; note changes to make next time.

That is a sampling of considerations, I am sure you can come up with a few more. Remember, our goal is lessen our footprint and leave the smallest impact possible. When making your list of considerations ask yourself if it passes the impact test. Consider your meal plans, fires, swimming, camp site set up, and garbage. They all have an impact on leave no trace.

Going prepared and properly planned will ensure successful camping experiences as well as leaving no trace.

Happy Scouting!

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