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Old 02-24-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Leave No Trace

During February, March & April , 2006, my wife and I toured New Zealand & Australia in a rented Motor Home (SOB). KEA by name. Great units. Traveled over 6800 miles in OZ and 2400 miles in NZ.

Anyway, We joined the " CMCA" . Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia,their largest RV club. Many benifits for $70.00 a year. We recieved a 20% discount on the rentals just to mention one.
I am still a member if for no other reason than to read all the great articles in their first class monthly magazine, "The wanderer".

They have a new program going on to get all of their members signed on to
Members complete a form with membership#, license #, Potable water carring capacity, Grey water cap., Black water, cap, garbage hauling space and any additional waste containment provisions.

Each unit so certified is issued a decal to place on their RV to show they care about the areas we use to pursue our camping pleasures. There are some areas of OZ that with out this new program , you can NOT travel into.

I think this would be a good program to start here in the US of A.

I have been hauling away all my "stuff" for years as well as junk left behind by others. My boys, when younger had to clean up the camp spots and they always got mad about having to pick up others throw-aways. They picked it up but made names up for the discarder. Ussualy nice but not always. 'Specialy after stepping in dog doo doo.

Always leave it cleaner than ya found it.
Does anyone else think this is a program that we can get started?
It will maybe help to show the general public that we care and that we, The RV'ing populace are not the litter bugs they think we are a lot of the time.

Just a thought.

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Old 02-24-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Where have you been?


The roots of Leave No Trace can be traced to the 1970s and 1980s.[1] In those decades, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service started to teach their non-motorized visitors how to have a minimal impact on the land. Also in the 70s, groups such as the Sierra Club were advocating minimum impact camping techniques. A pilot program in the 80s between the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the High Uintas Wilderness tried to reach a wide audience. Finally, a national education program was developed in 1990 by the United States Forest Service in conjunction with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
James M. Turner[2] has examined the political history of "Leave No Trace". Turner attributes the creation of the LNT ethic to wilderness advocates, who needed popular support for wilderness, but wanted to minimize human impact on wilderness. Severely limiting wilderness access would lose support for the Wilderness Act. Turner claims that wilderness advocates turned wilderness ethics 180 degrees, from 'woodcraft' (where wilderness travelers exploit wilderness resource in order to rebel against modern technology), to 'Leave No Trace' (where travelers use the latest technology to minimize impact).


Leave No Trace provides a framework for outdoor recreation decision making, which is summarized in the following 7 principles:[4]
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Poor planning can result in improperly located campsites because groups failed to plan enough time to reach their intended destination, or improper campfires or excessive trash because of failure to plan meals or bring proper equipment.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites and soil erosion.
    • In high-use areas, Leave No Trace suggests that people concentrate activity, which makes further damage unlikely.
    • In areas of very little or no use, Leave No Trace encourages people to spread out. Taking different paths when hiking off-trail will avoid creating new trails that cause erosion. Dispersing tents and equipment, and moving camp daily will avoid creating permanent-looking camp sites.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. Trash and litter are primarily social impacts which can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area.[5] Thus, Leave No Trace recommends that trash and litter should be packed out. Further, backcountry users create body waste and waste water which requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace.
    A cathole may be dug with a trowel
    • Waste water: Avoiding soap and dispersing dishwater far away from natural water sources will prevent contamination.
    • Human waste: Proper human waste disposal prevents spread of disease, exposure to others, and speeds decomposition. Catholes, 6 to 8 inches deep and 200 feet from water, are often the easiest and most practical way to dispose of feces.
  4. Leave What You Find: Leaving rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects as found will allow others a sense of discovery. Similarly, Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs.
  5. Minimize Use and Impact of Fire: Leave No Trace encourages people to use lightweight camp stoves, instead of fires, because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires and the increasing demand for firewood. If a campfire is constructed, Leave No Trace suggests using an existing fire ring in a well-placed campsite or to use a fire pan or mound fire. True Leave No Trace fires show no evidence of having ever been constructed.
  6. Respect Wildlife: If enough people approach or interfere with wildlife, it can be disruptive to animal populations.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.
glad after 40 years you got the word.

you might want to change your avetar, killing fish, using fossil fuels that pollute the air and water, fishing line that kills birds, i could go on and on... doesn't seem to fit your post.

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Old 02-24-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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I think some folks need to think about their goals - they might be a bit more kind in their responses as we want folks to join us, not get ticked at us.

Each unit so certified is issued a decal to place on their RV to show they care
Personally I am not too enamoured with these kinds of things but you have to only look at the popularity of the forum decals to see that many others are, I think some need bigger RV's just for the decals they want to show ;-)

One of the critical parts of any such program is its credibility. That means both the credentialling process as described but also an enforcement process.

The CMCA is a solid organization that provides a good example and referent for some other organizations of a similar type often beat to a pulp in these fourms..

The tour New Zealand & Australia in a rented Motor Home must have been an experience to remember. -- things to dream about for some.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Leipper
I think some folks need to think about their goals - they might be a bit more kind in their responses as we want folks to join us, not get ticked at us.
Here Here or is that Hear Hear. Anyway, I agree.

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Old 02-24-2008, 03:10 PM   #5
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I subscribe to the idea of environmental care and minimizing our impacts on the landscape so that it can be enjoyed by others - or myself next time I'm at that location.

The part I probably don't subscribe to is the mandate part. That is a slippery slope that I'm not willing to go down. There seem to be too many agendas in that arena.

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Old 02-24-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by catson4
I have been hauling away all my "stuff" for years as well as junk left behind by others.Claude
Nice to have you as a forum member and good that you clean up not only after yourself but others who are not smart enough to do so. I've camped since I was 14, 57 now, and have always left my camping site cleaner than I found it. I just think it is the right thing to do for the next campers. I guess I picked up this attitude when I was in the Boy Scouts. Two years ago, some "low lifes" parked 2 trailers next to the 7 we bring to the wildlife refuge where we hunt turkey and deer. We didn't notice until they left this year that they had been throwing empty propane canisters over a tall fence behind their campsite. There were even some old beatup frying pans. Last year they left early because one of them got drunk, fell down and hit his head. He had to go to the hospital for stitches. Good riddence. We cleaned up most of the mess last year and will finish up this year during a campout in March. We have already taken several trailers early this year to displace this idiot from the area we camp. He will have to find another spot this year. Now, if we could just get rid of the construction generator on a trailer nearby some other guy runs well into the night then we would be back to our quiet boondocking/hunting atmosphere.

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Old 02-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #7

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tough reply

Originally Posted by Kevbo10
glad after 40 years you got the word.

you might want to change your avetar, killing fish, using fossil fuels that pollute the air and water, fishing line that kills birds, i could go on and on... doesn't seem to fit your post.

SCABROUS reply there Kevin...

I for one am glad it got to the Land Down Under.

Thanks for posting.

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but Iím the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Catson4 -- I heartily agree! Like Kevbo said, the concept has been here for many years, but the problem is getting people to actually do it. It seems like every campsite has to be picked up, before we can unpack. We stopped at a casino, to eat, and someone had dumped their blackwater tank in their parking lot! What are people thinking? (or not!) Tracy
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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I was sure some would not agree. This is, after all, a free country.
As for changing my avitar.. AIN"T GONNA HAPPEN.

I've been camping & fishing for over over 65 years. Probably more but have little recolection of those years. Grew up in a logging family that where conservationist BEFORE the word was popular. Back in the hand cross cut days.

I have planted more trees, hauled fish fry to rehabilitate rivers and beaver ponds - etc. at my own expense, cleaned rivers and all sort of places in Alaska, Oregon & Washington.

SO... this was just a thought I had from a great experience. If it will stir someone to clean up some other mess, then I guess it helped. If not it was not a waist of time as my fingers needed the exercise.

And thanx for the info on various programs that seem to have been mostly forgotten but should be used all the time.

Happy fishing.

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Old 02-24-2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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Our hobby has an inevitable impact. Conserving where you can and 'giving back' makes all the difference in the world. I especially like 'Travel and camp on durable surfaces.'

The following is from materials I have access to as a Sierra Club outings leader. The LNT Principles of Outdoor Ethics are copyrighted by National Outdoor Leadership School and Leave No Trace, Inc.

- - -

The LNT Principles of Outdoor Ethics form the framework of LNT's message:
1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors
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. Split larger parties into groups of 4-6.
  • 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 or furniture; do not 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: it 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.
The LNT Principles of Outdoor Ethics are copyrighted by National Outdoor Leadership School and Leave No Trace, Inc.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:19 PM   #11
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My wife and I did 3 weeks in New Zealand in 04 and were amazied at the almost complete lack of litter. In the 3 weeks we picked up a 6 pack of bottles, all in one spot, and saw 1 plastic bottle in a stream.

We regularly clean the beach or trail as we go.

Continue your quest and do not let the nay sayers hold you back.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:16 PM   #12
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For the most part I believe the thoughts outlined above are good. Howver in my opinion some are a little extreme and frankly I doubt my children would follow because I would be hard pressed to enforce.

Leave rocks where you find them?
My 2 yo loves to throw rocks. And she is for the most part considerat of others and does not throw them at any one or anything.

Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy
If the trail is wide enough and there are not others using the trail why?

I believe in leave it as you found it however there are limits to that practice in my opinion. Humans are part of the planet.

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Old 02-24-2008, 08:51 PM   #13
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I'm all for the spiret of your thread. Agree, it should be our responsibility and very much voluntary. Kevbo10, I am an old boy scout and certainly appreciate your input...but ya know the hunters and fishermen in this country have spent tremendous effort to improve the wildlife and habitat. Kudos to Catson4 for expressing a conservative conservationsist view. Keep fishin brother
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #14
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I think that Kevbo has ruffled some feathers, but opened this thread to some REALLY good always, it seems to take dissident reply to bring about positive response. The Kevbo post is a necessary part of freedom of speech, and I believe that that is one of the points he assumes others recognize. The post is well-documented, and regardless of emotional knee-jerking, is succinct.
As for the topic, I have been picking up other people's trash for most of my life. Yes, I was(and still am) a Boy Scout-PROUD OF IT-Eagle-and that's where I learned several ethics. Some of those were clean it up when you get there, don't trash it while you are there, and clean it up when you brainer, right?...then WHY was I cleaning up when I got there?
I remember when I was on a family trip, we crossed over the border to British Columbia, and the roadsides and campsites were...CLEAN! Face it ...Americans(apparently a large number, judging by the cr** I help pick up-Highway, campground, sidewalk, etc.) are self-centered pigs. I know I have MY faults, but dumping on the public at-large(except for this post) is not one of them.
EXCELLENT discussion going on here...

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We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
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