We all can play a part in protecting Nova Scotia’s beautiful wildlife. Developed by Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics, these seven principles help us ensure our ecosystems can be enjoyed for years to come.
Before you embark, plan and review your route and site, provisions, and gear required. Ensuring you are prepared for your adventure keeps both you and our environment safe. Check any restrictions or warnings in place; group limits, fire bans, or weather alerts. When planning, consider your knowledge of the area, experience, and comfort levels. Preparing before your departure alleviates potential stress on you and the environment.
While out adventuring, travel and camp on durable surfaces. This means using pre-existing trails and campsites, and fire pits. Using trails keeps damage to ecosystems minimal, and keeps you safe. Off the beaten path, stick to solid ground, dry grass, sand or rock. If you’re a part of a large group, use added caution travelling over vegetation, and keep your site as small as possible. Avoid creating campsites, and keep them back from shorelines.
Prior to departure, access what garbage and waste you will be creating, and how best to offset negative impacts. Pack food and necessities in reusable containers, and bring home any used packaging. Burning waste is harmful to the area, and not an option. When washing dishes, use biodegradable soap, and dump any dishwater away from water sources. Human / pet waste should be buried 6 inches below ground, away from trails, water sources, and campsites.
Leave what you find. We are lucky to live surrounded by such natural beauty, leaving it in place allows all to enjoy. Shells, sticks, rocks, and vegetation can provide shelter for numerous species, and disturbing them could endanger them. Take photos as keepsakes, not objects. Never carve or deface sites or landmarks.
When setting up campfires, minimise any damage to vegetation and sites. Use fire pits where available, and heed any fire bans or warnings in place. Be sure your fires are completely extinguished prior to your return, and never leave fires unattended.
While exploring, be conscious of wildlife around you. Don't feed wild animals, and keep food and provisions out of reach and/or sealed. Setting your campsite back from water sources allows animals to continue to use them during and after your adventure. Keep an eye on any pets, and consider keeping them on a leash. For your dog’s safety, don’t allow them to wander. Coyotes and bears may be led back to your site.
Be respectful of others. Leaving no trace ensures others can enjoy the same space. Being conscientious of noise levels, and cleaning after your group are important ways to make sure everyone can enjoy.
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