While many people are familiar with the concept of the Leave no trace principles, in the interest of perpetuating those beliefs , I would like to establish them here on my website, so that you can take them into consideration whenever you go into the bush.
The Seven Leave no Traces principles are:
Plan ahead and Prepare: – this is so that you don’t have to rely on what is around you to survive. I am not saying that if you need to you shouldn’t; only that if you prepare correctly there is no reason to impact the environment for your own sake.
Leave what you find (this is law in Australia ) – Don’t remove flora, fauna or bone (archeological) specimens. They are there because its where they belong, and by leaving them there; you let other people enjoy a sense of wonder at finding them too.
Respect Wildlife - Scaring animals and destroying their habitats is incredibly cruel let alone destructive to our eco-system and the lives of all the creatures in that area.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Camping and walking on prepared tracks and sites is considerably less damaging to the eco-system, clearing locations to camp is disruptive to it. This is complex, for things like national parks, the sites are there to minimise impact to the surrounding environment by concentrating the “damage” to a single area, when Bush-camping, we should spread out to avoid creating a heavily cleared area.
Minimise Campfire impact: It is encouraged for people to use camp stoves and fuel that they have brought from outside the park. The collection of firewood is banned in Australian National parks, while allowed in some state parks, try to spread out your collection as animals insects and plants all use fallen trees and wood as their homes and shelter
Dispose of Waste properly – I imagine this is pretty clear, we have all heard about cute baby animals dying by eating plastic bags, but there are other side effects as well, animals can become used to picking for rubbish and sometimes even get used to being fed. This can lead to them becoming aggressive and even hostile when they spot food or even just people. Try to go by the idea of what packaging you have on your way in, should also be the same packaging you have on you way out. While you might think its ok to discard some of it in the fire, think about what is safe, and what is completely stupid, ie dont try and burn a plastic & foil museli bar wrapper or a tin can!
Be Considerate of others: This is paramount, you’re not the only person that wants to go camping, and you will share this with others. When you are camping, try not to intrude on other peoples enjoyment, this could be loud blaring music, offensive swearing, the ringing of a cowbell in the morning, or something less obvious like flashing torches into other peoples sites. There are also native land owners to consider, and you should ask for permission to enter these kinds of lands if that is the custom. In all; try to observe that while you are there to enjoy yourself, you should try to do so without damaging other peoples fun or way of life.
More information on this topic can be found at the Australian Leave no traces site: http://www.lnt.org.au/