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Leave No Trace

“Leave no trace” was first proposed by the United States Forest Service which hopes to minimize visitor impacts on nature and keep it as it is after visitors leave, ideally as if no one has ever visited it. Nature has in fact provided much to us. Let’s leave it there and bring home only touching memories and the beautiful photos we take.

The seven “leave no trace” principles

(with references from Leave No Trace Seven Principles © 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics)

Plan ahead and prepare

Collect information about the place to visit and learn as much knowledge and skills for outdoor excursions. Pack necessary clothing, food and equipment to minimize risks and ensure a delightful journey.

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

Vegetation can be damaged as we walk on it, and this leads to loss of soil on the earth surface. Explore designated hiking trails and camping sites only, so as not to harm the surrounding fragile plants and fields. Leave as little trace as possible.

Dispose of waste properly

Bring just the right amount of equipment and food (without excessive packaging), bring all the garbage home, and carefully handle anything that must be left on site. If you do need to go to the loo in the wild, dig a hole of 15-20 meters deep, away from water sources, camping sites, hiking trails, and sewage systems. Cover the hole with soil afterwards and do not leave excrements under rocks, since excrements decompose slowly and easily make water dirty. The best way is to bring excrements down the mountains.

Leave what you find

Minimize site alteration, including nature and culture. Do not bring other plants into the mountains. Do not abandon or set free any living creatures into the wild. Never bring anything away from the mountains either. When leaving, keep backpacks, tents and boots clean, since dirt might carry seeds, spores, or any other bits from animals and plants.

Minimize campfire impacts

In order to lessen impacts on nature, unless necessary, use as little fire as possible and cook food and make light with highly effective tools. Do not burn foil, plastics, metal, leftovers, or any other garbage easily.

Respect wildlife

All kinds of living beings live in nature. We must respect them and try not to affect their life and living habits as much as possible. Watch them from hiking trails or scenic platforms. Do not feed them, do not damage their living spaces, and do not infringe their rights to live. Let them thrive in nature safely.

Be considerate of other visitors

Share with others the wilderness and respect their needs to immerse in solitude. Be fully aware of how one’s behaviors might affect others and nature. Avoid using bright night lamps, radios, electronic games, and other devices that might disturb others. Make as few noises as possible.

Last Updated: 2022/11/22