Leave No Trace Ethics

Leave No Trace Ethics Skills Logo

The Leave-No-Trace principle has been adopted by Scouting for activities held in other than established campgrounds. This page outlines the Leave-No-Trace principles. For more information visit the official Leave-No-Trace site, or pick up the excellent book Leave No Trace by Annette McGivney at a bookstore, or your local Boy Scout Shop.

Principles to Live by

When teaching LNT skills and ethics, NOLS stresses that the six basic principles around which the minimum-impact ethic has been built are not hard-and-fast rules, but guidelines aimed at helping backcountry users make ecologically sound decisions in various environments and situations. These guidelines are the foundation of what has become a new wilderness etiquette, an ethic toward recreating in the backcountry that is eons from the days when it was common practice to turn campsites into garbage dumps. Throughout this book, the principles of Leave No Trace are expanded upon, but here is the encapsulated version of six guidelines to live by when visiting the great outdoors:

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

2. Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces

3. Pack It In; Pack It Out

4. Properly Dispose of What You Cannot Pack Out

5. Leave What You Find

6. Minimize Use and Impact of Fires


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