Leave No Trace

Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award

Boy Scouts and Scouters interested in learning more about outdoor ethics and Leave No Trace should begin by exploring the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Recite from memory and explain the meaning of the Outdoor Code.
  2. Watch the National Park Service Leave No Trace video.  It’s on the right side of the page.
  3. Complete the Leave No Trace online youth course . Print the certificate.
  4. Earn the Tread Lightly! online course  certificate. Print the certificate when you are done.
  5. Participate in an outdoor ethics course, workshop, or training activity facilitated by a person who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course or is a BSA outdoor ethics trainer or master.

The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace

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Plan Ahead and Prepare

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
Repackage food to minimize waste.
Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
In popular areas:
Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
In pristine areas:
Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

Leave What You Find

Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

Respect Wildlife

Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
– See more at: http://lnt.org/learn/7-principles#sthash.oG58MmLx.dpuf

Backpacking Meal Ideas

Need some backpacking meal ideas? The best backpacking food is lightweight, tasty, calorie-packed and quick cooking. However, each meal type is different — lunch is usually heavier, more bulky, high energy, and no-cook. Cooked dinners are typically dehydrated so they are lighter. Good backpacking food for breakfasts consists of about half no-cook and half quick-cook. Most importantly is snacks these are eaten throughout the day between meals, and should consist of variety of items Energy bars, Fritos, trail-mix, dehydrated fruit etc.

You should repack food from bulky store packages into sizes that will pack easily, and minimize trash.

Keep it simple (little or no clean up) and always carry food that provides at least 100-150 calories per ounce of food carried.

Backpacking Meal Ideas

Here are some additional food tips


Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Breakfast should consist of about half no-cook and half quik-cook.

Some ideas are: individually packaged Oatmeal, and Cream of Wheat.

Dry Cereal can be repackaged into ziploc bags along with dehydrated milk mixed in, once water is added these can be eaten straight from the bag.

Adding almonds, or eating Energy Bars can supplement any breakfast too.


Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Lunch should be high energy, and no-cook.

Here are some ideas: Prepackaged Tuna, individual packages of Peanut butter served on Sandwich Thins, Pita Bread, or Tortillas.

Aged cheese lasts for several days. American cheese, mild cheddar and other soft cheese are not a good choice because they don’t keep. Aged Chedder, blue cheese, Swiss and other hard cheeses work well. As well as String cheese.

Antipasta – hard salami, pepperoni, proscuitto, etc generally do not require refrigeration and make an excellent cold lunch, especially when server with cheese and pita bread or wheat thins


Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Cooked dinners are typically dehydrated so they are lighter.

Mountain House is a good standby – add boiled water to the pouch let stand 8-10 minutes and eat straight from the pouch.

If Mountain House is not for you a number of meals can be made cheaply from:
Instant potaoes, instant rice, instant beans, couscous, and angel hair pasta quick cookly.

Repackage as necessary into ziploc bags.

A favorite meal of mine is Top Ramen (minus the flavor pack), half cup Parmesan cheese & basil, Sun-dried tomatoes, and 1oz of Olive Oil.

Bean and Rice Burritos

Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Another favorite is Bean and Rice burritos. Made from instant rice (add taco seasoning for taste) and Dehydrated Refried Beans (can be found at Winco, and Central Market in the bulk bin sections)

Stuffing and Gravy

Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Another favorite of mine is Stuffing and instant gravy. This can be supplemented with shelf-safe vacuumed sealed chicken.


Troop 120 Backpacking Meal Ideas
Shelf safe meat that is vacuumed sealed can be added to many different ingredients to create a virtually infinite menu.


Backpacking Food Ideas
Bring small containers of olive oil, canola oil, or powdered butter flakes to add calories and taste.

Spices, especially red and black pepper, are nice. Sugar, salt, and pepper packets can be picked up at most fast food restaurants (along with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, tobasco, and many other sauce packets.)

Foods to avoid

* Juice boxes – they puncture and get sticky liquid all over your gear and other food.
* Anything that can spoil if not chilled.
* Canned food – too heavy to carry, and generates trash volume that no one wants to carry.
* Fresh fruit. It’s heavy, doesn’t stay fresh and bruises easily in your pack.