Idaho Is Too Pretty To Litter

Leave No Trace in the Sawtooths


Here in the Sawtooth Range, there are endless opportunities to get into the mountains. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, or running through the trees, you will have the opportunity to experience all of the beauty that these outstanding mountains have to offer. However, over the last couple of years, there has been a large influx in the number of people that are using this area to recreate. Ultimately, this means that more people are using the trails along with the infrastructure that supports them. In turn, this results in the need to educate people about Leave No Trace in order to maintain the vibrant land that surrounds us. 

Why Leave No Trace 

Some may ask, why is the concept of leaving no trace so important? The answer to this is that outdoor enthusiasts aim to leave the land in the same, or better, condition than they found it in so that current generations and future generations will be able to experience the outstanding beauty that exists in the outdoors. 

How to Leave No Trace: 7 Principles 

The Leave No Trace Center For Outdoor Ethics has developed seven key concepts which help recreators preserve the land while still having fun. These principles include: Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. All of these can be found on the Leave No Trace website, which also goes into more detail about how to perform these principles in an effective way.

Simple Ways to Help 

One simple way to leave no trace in the outdoors is to pack out what you pack in. Even for small hikes and day trips, this is a concept that sometimes gets neglected. Not only do you want to pack out any trash that may come from granola bar wrappers, but you also must pack out any food waste, personal waste, and gear that you bring with you. 

For example, a common misconception is that you are able to leave any “biodegradable” food scraps. This is not the case due to the fact that the apple core you just threw out onto the side of the trail is not native to the area, and therefore leaves something behind that was not previously there. This is just one of many examples that can be used, but ultimately the key takeaway is to A) make sure to follow the seven Leave No Trace Principles and B) Make sure to educate those around you in order to preserve the land and its beauty for the next generation.

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