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Leave No Trace Principles for Kids

Kids love camping, and playing outside also allows them to develop many advanced skills. On average, today’s kids spend about seven hours on electronic gadgets, and they also tend to swap physical outdoor activities such as playing and camping for more passive activities, which is detrimental to their mental and physical health.

Parents should actively encourage kids to enjoy the great outdoors and help them learn to leave no trace. Leaving no trace means not jeopardizing the ecosystem or the natural habitat while we enjoy it.

Our actions should imply the same. While having fun, we should not try to hinder the normal functionality of the ecosystem.

What are the seven Leave No Trace Principles for Kids?

The Leave No Trace principle for kids emphasizes teaching them to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring them to enjoy their outdoor activities responsibly. The very premise of this idea is to sustain the environment for the future generations to come.

Following are the seven Leave No Trace Principles for kids:

Plan and prepare

One should always plan and prepare for the hike. If you want to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, preparing an itinerary for your adventure is important. Planning for the adventure and being ready to face whatever comes your way ensures that you leave no trace!

Not only that, just on the same lines as the surroundings, it also helps keep your family safe. You should be prepared for unprecedented weather conditions and know the terrain, the total length of the trip, and the campsite.

Following are some things you must teach your kids:

  • Discuss the itinerary of the trip with them.
  • Talk to them about the items needed for the trip.
  • Choose the destination.

Respect the path

It is very crucial to emphasize following the trails as well as the paths which have been marked. Try not to stomp on the vegetation while out on a hike. It damages the balance of the ecosystem. If you cannot see the ground easily, it is obvious that you are prone to falling or slipping.

Animals live in the wild, and you should also try not to disturb them by tip-toeing into the forest with as much less noise as possible.

Following are some things you should teach your kids:

  • Teach them to respect nature.
  • Map out the trail by discussing it with them.
  • Teaching them to keep their voice below a certain decibel.

Never pollute

One of the easiest ways of protecting the integrity of Mother Earth is by trying not to pollute the surroundings. You should not dispose of the waste outdoors.

You should teach your kids the importance of keeping the vegetation clean and also enlighten them about the harms of littering. If you pollute the surroundings, it creates a havoc for the nature and the animals.

Following some ways to teach your kids the importance of cleanliness:

  • Involve your kids in the process of cleaning.
  • Teach them to throw away their waste by disposing of it properly.
  • Enlighten them about recycling.

Leave nature in nature

While embarking on the trail, you will admire the beauty of nature. Your kids might get enticed by the long trees, pretty flora and fauna of the forest trail.

However, in no way if they pluck any flower or leaf they like. You should refrain from plucking flowers or leaves! Removing natural objects can have an impact on the environment.

What can you teach them?

  • Explain to your kids the importance of maintaining the integrity of nature.
  • Tell them not to pluck any flower/leaf.

Practice fire safety

Fire has played an important role in human life since the dawn of civilization! There was a time when humans needed fire for cooking. One should know how to make a campfire and put it out properly.

It is recommended to make use of designed fire pits without breaking the branches of the trees. After lighting a campfire, ensure that it is completely burned. There should be no embers left after putting the fire out.

What do you need to teach your kids?

  • Teach your kids to collect firewood.
  • Ask the child to see how you are lighting the fire.
  • Enlighten them about the importance of putting the fire out.

Never feed the wildlife

Always teach their kids to observe the wildlife from a distance. One major way of protecting the wildlife is by keeping their habitat intact. This includes protecting and preserving the forests, wetlands, and rivers. When you travel with your kids, always encourage them not to interfere with nature’s ecosystem.

They might stumble across any animal they like or even get fascinated by it. In this case, you should ask them to look at it from a distance and not try to feed him anything.

Following are some other things you can teach your kids:

  • Ask them to be careful while eating food.
  • Remind them to keep their low so they do not scare the animals away!
  • Teach them the importance of enjoying the wildlife from a safe distance.

Be kind to others

Being empathetic is important. Teach your kids to be empathetic not only towards fellow human beings but also towards animals! You are the ultimate teacher of your kids! Your kids will imitate your actions! Thus, you should be considerate of other’s needs. Your children should lead you as an example.

Apart from this, you should teach your kids the following:

  • Tell them about the etiquette that are to be followed when going on a trek.
  • Ask your children to speak politely while hiking.
  • Ask them to keep their voices down when at the campsite.

Final words

If you want to teach some real-life values in your kids, the outdoors is a great place for the same! This also helps you foster curiosity in them. You should impart certain family values to your kids. Instilling good values in them is a great way of protecting Mother Earth for future generations.

Teach and enforce Leave No Trace to your children! Nature recharges your soul, and it your our collective responsibility as the human race to protect it!

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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