NATURAL TRIAD OUTDOORS Leaving No Trace in the Triad T

his month in Natural Triad Outdoors, we will explore what Leave No Trace means, how it affects us as hikers,

bikers, paddlers, lovers of the outdoors, and why we should care about “leaving no trace.” Leaving No Trace is a way of experi-

encing the outdoors with minimum human impact. It is a movement, an education and a philosophy of ethics some say is based on the way early Native Americans interacted with the outdoors, in that they would leave little to no evidence that they had even been in an area. This was not only a survival technique against warring tribes, but also out of their respect for nature and understanding that natural re- sources were their lifeline and needed to be protected. The premise of Leave No Trace is that we, as humans, need to interact with na- ture without causing disturbances to the flow of nature. As we all know, we have caused catastrophic disturbances in na- ture, but Leave No Trace (also known as

LNT) is a grassroots effort focused on what we, as individuals and groups, can do to help staunch the bleeding from all the myriad of cuts that our earth and nature are enduring. Do you ever feel over- whelmed with the overall impact of hu- mans on nature? Do you ever feel power- less as to making a difference? Perhaps you are not an environmental lawyer, a river- keeper or a Senator on the battlefront fighting for the outdoors, but there is cer- tainly something YOU CAN do to help the outdoors, starting with the outdoors right here in the Triad and every single place you travel to. All you have to do is open yourself to the vision of LNT and then share it by example and even, perhaps, more. You could share what you’ve learned with family and friends or even become a LNT ambassador or teacher. First let’s explore the seven main prin-

ciples of Leave No Trace directly from their website:

I. Plan Ahead and Prepare: this in-

Kelly Carpenter, NP-C Kelly Carpenter NP-C is a certified

ulge during the holidays? ght during the holidays? o sail through the holidays weight or feeling deprived?

26 Kelly Carpenter, NP-C

Nurse Practitioner. She has 8 years experience in adult medicine. She has an enthusiasm for helping peo- ple live energized long healthy lives. She helps patients to obtain healthy weights and maximize energy levels by enhancing the body’s natural healing process through optimized nutrition, supplements, and balanc- ing hormones.


cludes traveling in the outdoors in small groups, preparing for special consider- ations for specific areas, avoiding high use times, repackaging food to minimize waste, using maps and compass or gps to avoid marking trees, making rock cairns or flagging

II. Travel and Camp on Durable

Surfaces: using established trails and campsites, respecting riparian buffers next to streams and rivers (riparian buf- fers are the vegetation sections next to water sources needed to strain pollutants and help slow erosion). If not in a high traffic area, find a good campsite natu- rally, don’t “make” one by destroying vegetation, and in pristine areas also try to disperse your impact.

III. Dispose of Waste Properly: In

short, pack it in, pack it out and then some. Pack extra trashbags, keep extras in your car, kayak and backpack to pick up what you can. If the area is in great

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