LNT – Camp and Travel on Durable surfaces

To continue our discussion on Leave No Trace we will talk about the second principle.
Camping and Traveling on Durable surfaces.

DURABLE SURFACE= refers to the ability of a surface or vegetation to withstand wear or remain in stable condition.

Some ways that we can tell what a durable surface looks like is simply by looking at it.
Durable surfaces when selecting a campsite is often confusing. Where to pitch your tent? Well look at dry grass areas and hard ground. Yes, I know it may not be the most comfortable, but you have a sleeping pad and remember our focus is less impact.
Select camp areas that have been established. Even when in the wilderness look for places that others have used. Try not to make new camp sites.
Spread out. This lessens the impact on the ground also.
Durable surfaces on the trail. Rule number 1. STAY ON THE TRAIL. Do not make new trails.
Do not short cut switch backs. This causes unsightly trails and also starts the process of erosion of the hill. Take the extra 20 steps and make the full turn.
Do not leave trail markings for those to follow. These become unsightly too. When traveling in small groups leave your meet points on the map. Discuss rest stops and link up points and plot them on your map. It is the only marker you need and leaves no trace.

If you are heading cross country, choose durable surfaces such as dry grass, rock, gravel, or snow. You impact will be small in these conditions. If you can’t then spread out. Try not to bunch up and “Herd” across an area. The solitude will help you enjoy the wilderness a lot more.

Finding durable surfaces to camp on and travel through is an important part of leave no trace. Often over looked, it sets the tone once you arrive in the wilderness. Going back to Planning ahead, plan for durable areas and trails. This will help you to help our Wilderness areas, parks, forest land, and yeah… even our urban areas.

Happy Scouting!

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