Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Youth Explorer Button Series

These activities should be completed in the presence of a parent or guardian.

Leave No Trace (LNT) is an outdoor ethics code that informs people of potential impacts. LNT is centered around 7 principles to keep in mind when going outdoors. The principles can be adapted to any outdoor experience– recreation, commuting, walking, and more! Nine out of every 10 people in the outdoors are unaware of how they are impacting the environment, let’s change that!

Discussion: Discuss the 7 LNT Principles, asking what your youth think they mean. If appropriate, add hand signals. 

  1. Plan ahead & prepare
  2. Walk & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Handout: Leave No Trace Principles

Activity: Layering Game

  • Description: After discussing the Leave No Trace principles, practice taking what you need for your next outdoor trip! This relay game will help you test whether or not you know what you need to plan ahead and prepare when you hike in the summer rains or the winter snow. Whoever gets dressed with the correct gear the fastest, wins!
  • Modifications:
    • For younger kids, stick with just clothes. Grab nice, fancy clothes and functional clothes.
    • For older kids, grab gear as well. You can add things like backpacks, water bottles, food, and more!
  • Materials: an assortment of clothes and household objects of things you need and do not need when going outside.


  • Write each principle on a large poster for all to see.

Other Resources: