Appalachian Trail Histories


Leave No Trace

If there's one thing that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy takes seriously, it's their Leave No Trace policy. This is the main reason why dogs are a concern for trail clubs, and why they're regulated so harshly. Leave No Trace, or LNT, is a code of outdoor ethics designed for the minimization of one's footprint through various rigorous conservation tactics. There are seven rules: 

  1. Plan ahead and prepare: bring the necessary tools and equipment for leaving no trace, these include such tools as a fire pan and a poop spade
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: campers should find places where vegetation is already absent to minimize damage to the environment
  3. Dispose of waste properly: avoid contaminating natural water sources and bury human waste to prevent the spread of disease to wildlife
  4. Leave what you find: minimize environmental impact when you can
  5. Minimize campfire impacts: keep fires small and contained, using preexisting fire rings when possible
  6. Respect wildlife: observe animals from far off so as to not spook them or disturb their natural patterns
  7. Be considerate of other visitors: the forest is not only shared by animals, but also other hikers

All of these rules are built upon the foundation of "leave the place as you found it."