Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Style of Canoe Tripping

A canoe tripping is an experience of a lifetime and the first canoe trip is usually not the last. The adventure and lasting memories that are discovered while on canoe trip are just some of the many reasons why there is such a deep love for it. With this comes the inevitable love for everything it encompasses. Including the land, water and kilometers traveled. When tripping and enjoying the beautiful Ontario wilderness, we make sure to leave no trace behind. This means we make sure to leave the land just the way we found it – or cleaner if we can.

With today being national world environment day, we thought we’d dedicate a blog to how we minimize our footprints. The ‘leave no trace’ concepts can be applied anywhere- in remote wilderness, city parks, back-yards and really in any recreational endeavor. The principles that this concept encompasses involve respecting nature and extending the courtesy to keep the wildland enjoyable to others.

‘Leave No Trace’

Below are 7 principles to follow for reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities:

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Being prepared for the trip ahead, and having goals set will allow you to plan accordingly with things needed for your trip – and avoiding bringing more. Having a plan for meals, gear, navigation, campsites and disposal of waste will allow you to enjoy the trip and leave no trace for the future adventurers.

Be aware of the regulations and special concerns for any area you visit! Preparing for the possible hiccups ahead will allow you to have a safe and environmentally friendly journey.

Travel and camp on Durable Surfaces

Ideally, campsites are found not made. However, we know that when on canoe trip in remote areas campsites are not always available. The key to keeping in line with the leave no trace style of tripping is to recognize durable surfaces and understand that each footstep does have an effect. Avoiding trampling or damaging vegetation and try to be aware of the wilderness around you!

Dispose of Waste Properly

“Pack it in, pack it out” is a familiar mantra to seasoned wildland visitors.  The easiest way to avoid leaving things behind is to make sure to inspect the area before leaving. Carrying your trash until you find a specific area for disposal is the key to leaving no trace. Re-using plastic bags or containers that carried food to dispose of garbage afterwards is a great technique.

Leave What You Find

People adventure in the wilderness for many reasons, and among those is exploring nature’s surprises and mysteries. When we leave the land the way we found it, we are passing on the gift of discovery to those who follow.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

The natural appearance of many recreational areas has been compromised by the careless use of fires and demand for firewood. Try to minimize the impact of fire by making it as small as needed and using only the material that is needed. It is important to always be aware of a fire ban.

If you are very remote you may have the inability to be aware of a fire ban, learn about hazardous weather that could result in an out- of-control fire.

Respect Wildlife

“The stark truth is, if we want wild animals, we have to make sacrifices” – Colin Tudge, Wildlife Conservation

Adventures in the wilderness involve wildlife, and make the experience full of stories, memories and wonder. Animals respond to people in different ways. Being aware of how to react to animals you might see while adventuring outdoors is key to a successful trip!


Be Considerate of Other Visitors

As technology becomes more intertwined with our everyday lives, everyone is on the search for a break. Depending on the area of travel, the likelihood of running into other people while on the journey is high.  Being considerate of other people on all recreational persuasions is important! It is important to keep outdoor etiquette always in mind.


I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees – Henry David Thoreau 

We are just 25 days away from a summer filled with laughter, blissful moments, forever friends and endless adventure. See you on the sunny shores of Canoe Lake.

For more information visit the Algonquin Park website regarding camping and leaving no trace.