The population is growing and the wilderness is shrinking. In order to help preserve the wilderness for others to enjoy there are seven principles of Leave no Trace that we as scouts should be following when we venture into the world around us.
1. Plan ahead and prepare: Know where you are going and what facilities are there for you to use. Being prepared allows you to not damage the area you are visiting and also helps keep you safe. Be Prepared! When you are prepared you will enjoy your trip more.
some ways to be prepared include having the proper equipment and clothing, packaging the food to avoid extra weight on the way in and less garbage on the way out...why carry around extra trash?
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Ecosystems can be damaged or destroyed by people walking or setting up their tents. when we damage the vegetation we are also depleting food source for bugs, which effect larger critters' food sources, etc. Observe those neat areas from the trail so it can survive for others to see.
3. Dispose of waste properly (pack it in, pack it out): The last thing I want to see when I am backpacking in a "wilderness" area is someone's trash! Anything you carry in with you must be carried out. This includes the seemingly harmless banana or orange peels! These are not native but wildlife will eat them which may make them sick or even kill them.
4. Leave what you find: That flower is pretty! That rock is neat! Take a photo; leave what you find for others to enjoy also.
5. Minimize campfire impacts: Campfires damage the soils and kill organism that grow in the soil. They also leave ugly scars. many areas have designated campfire sites for you to use. If you must use a fire in the wilderness do everything you can to minimize the impact.
6. Respect wildlife: Don't feed the Bears! In fact you should not feed any wildlife directly or indirectly. When you feed them they will quickly become accustomed to people and will look for food in campsites. Do not chase animals! Animals store energy in the form of fat. When they are scared or chased they burn a great deals of stored energy that they may not be able to replace quickly which could lead to ill health or death of the animal.
7. Be considerate of other visitors: Everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors. For many people that might mean running around screaming like banshees. For others it might mean enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors. Be respectful of others and do not infringe on their ability to enjoy the outdoors.