November 9, 2020
Outdoor adventuring has increased in popularity in recent months. It is especially important to minimize your impact on the natural world while outdoors. Leave No Trace Canada outlines seven principles to follow on your outdoor adventure.
You may think you are already doing your part in not disturbing the environment and may not be aware that some of your habits are harmful to the natural world.
Even biodegradable soap impacts water sources. It needs micro-organisms in the soil to biodegrade. Use just plain water whenever possible and bathe and wash dishes at least 70 meters from lakes, rivers and streams.
It might seem harmless, yet going off the trail causes erosion and destroys vegetation and organisms. It also creates new trails, which are then used by more people and are difficult to reclaim. Stay on trails or hike above the tree line on rocky areas.
Collecting wood in areas where it is scarce is hard on the ecosystem. There is a risk of a forest fire when making a fire and they may not be allowed where you are. Consider building a fire only in survival situations.
Even if there are many wildflowers, do not pick them (or take anything else) because they provide food and shelter for insects and animals.
Feeding wildlife can put you in danger, make them accustomed to or rely on human food, and in the case of bears, it will put them at risk for being euthanized.
Off-leash dogs can damage sensitive areas, disturb wildlife and other visitors, leave waste you will not see to pick up or bury, and bring angry animals back to you, putting you both at risk.