Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace

LNT Logo Leave No Trace is a simple idea: we can visit wild places in a manner that records little or no sign of our passing.

Leave No Trace hopes to influence the decisions people make while visiting public lands by educating them about recreational effects on the land and techniques to minimize or prevent impacts. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules or regulations.

Leave-No-Trace Food Storage

Respect Wildlife: Watch wildlife from a distance and don't approach, feed, or follow them. Feeding wildlife is unhealthy and often illegal. Protect wildlife and your food by properly storing your food and trash. Where pets are allowed in the backcountry, be sure they are on leash and don't harass the wildlife.

Leave-No-Trace Food Storage

Food storage is an important issue when hiking, but especially when backpacking. Everyone is familiar with the problems backpackers have with bears, but other animals can become a problem when they learn that improperly stored human food can be easy pickings.

Unfortunately, human food is not good for wild animals. One of the main problems is that young animals can associate food with humans and fail to learn to forage properly. They might then starve to death when humans go away (e.g., during winter). Also, high-fat, high-salt, and high-sugar food products can disrupt their digestive tracts. Another problem is that when animals become a problem, the response of many humans is to kill them to get rid of the problem. I would rather take care of my food and leave the animals wild.

Leave-No-Trace Food Storage

This little criminal, a rock squirrel, works on a bag of peanuts stolen from a plastic trash bag. Unfortunately, rock squirrels and their cousins carry lots of fleas, and fleas can carry bubonic plague. When there are lots of squirrels around humans, people might get sick, and land managers will poison the rodents.

It is easy to take care of your food. Wire-mesh food sacks are good for everything except bears. As seen below, even large squirrels can't get through them. I always carry a bear canister when I backpack. It might be overkill for mice and ravens, but it works well. I can also use it for a camp seat, and I can wash my clothes in it (something everyone appreciates).

Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
This backpacker left food and trash on the ground
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
A rock squirrel found it and got into the trash, but not the food.
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
Rock Squirrel on wire-mesh food sack
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
Rock Squirrel on wire-mesh food sack
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage Leave-No-Trace Food Storage
Leave-No-Trace Food Storage more to come ...

Happy hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 100708

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