These 7 videos offer a fun learning glimpse into the Leave No Trace 7 principle framework. Learn some useful tips and tricks, and the “reasons why” behind the principles with these 7 short videos. These were made possible by our long standing partner Mountain Equipment Company (MEC), and produced by Vanlife Sagas.

Principle 1: Plan Ahead and Prepare with Leave No Trace Canada


Thorough planning really is the key to a successful outdoor adventure. Through this video, you’ll learn a few tips and tricks on how to plan and prepare before you walk out the door. For example:

  • Researching the area you’re visiting may lead to an enriched trip. Native Land map is a wonderful resource for this.
  • Become the weather expert and be ready for those showers or hot days. Environment Canada, and Avalanche Canada are great tools for weather info.
  • Know the regulations and rules of the area you are going to. You can usually find out about fire bans or wildlife protection areas on the land manager’s website.
  • Do you have the right gear? …enough water and food?  …not overloaded? …ready to play safe? Adventure Smart has some user friendly tool to help you P&P.

Our video is just an overview of how to plan and prepare. Check out our Principle 1 page for more details!

Principle 2: Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


We all appreciate a mountain biking trail in good condition or a comfortable campsite to spend the night in. Understanding how travelling can impact the land helps us all to keep the places we love in good shape.  A few useful tips:

  • Shortcuts are overrated, stick to the trails! They allow concentrated impact from everyone passing by without damaging the surrounding area.
  • No trail? Split your group to avoid creating “social trails” that others may follow after you.
  • Choose your shoes. What’s worse than muddy feet? Widened trails from folks avoiding mud holes that becomes entire mud pits!

Check out our video to learn to recognize durable surfaces like rock, sand, gravel, dry grasses and more. For more info, go to our Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces page.

Principle 3: Dispose of Waste Properly

Nature is calling… what do I do?

It’s natural, then why can’t I leave it there? Human waste isn’t adapted to decompose in nature, due to the food we eat that is sourced elsewhere. It can contaminate the water we swim in, fish from and drink from. Catholes are a great way minimize impact, and stay discrete with our business. Make sure to be at least 200 feet away from water, dig a hole  6-8 inches deep and 4-6 inches in diameter. Then cover it up!

It’s fine, it’s biodegradable! 

Did you know that biodegradable saop needs soil to help it break down and decompose? If put directly into water it can actually cause  all sorts of issues from increased nitrogen to actually causing significant harm to aquatic inhabitants. A little goes a long way, so take a good distance from water sources (70 big steps) and disperse your grey water into the soil.

Check out our video to learn more about disposing of waste in the outdoors, and for more information go to our Dispose of Waste Properly page.

How long does it take to decay?

  • Banana peel - up to 2 years
  • Apple Core - up to 2 months
  • Toilet Paper - up to 3 years
  • Orange peel - up to six months
  • Cigarette Butts - 1 to 5 years

Did you know?

Did you know?

Removing fossils, rocks or any historically important pieces from an area can impact our knowledge of history and prevent specialists from being able to uncover the full story of past societies.

Principle 4: Leave What You Find

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures!

What comes to mind when thinking of Leave No Trace Canada Principle 4? Most of us think of not picking flowers, collecting seashells, graffiti, cutting trees limbs, stacking cairns. Indeed, those behaviors have significant and harmful impacts.

We often forget about one of the most harmful impacts in our natural areas: invasive species. Principle 4 of Leave No Trace also refers to leaving invasive plants and animals where they are, and protecting the lands from their costly impacts. Check out our short video to know more!

To learn more about invasive species in Canada, check out
➡️ https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/wildlife-plants-species/invasive-species.html

And for more interesting information on how to enjoy the outdoor responsibly, go to our website:
➡️ https://leavenotrace.ca/video-training-page/

But... why should you care about the 7 principles?

We know our stuff!

Decades of continuous research informing this adaptable & easy to use framework to reduce our impact! Leave No Trace continually examines, evaluates and reshapes the Principles. That way, we ensure that the knowledge is up to date with latest insights from biologists, land managers and other leaders in outdoor education