With the summer season upon us, a lot of Nova Scotians are going to be packing up their tents, kayaks and s’mores kits and go camping in one of our many beautiful, natural parks.
Of course, all but the most insensitive of campers are going to go in knowing not to harm the land in their stead. You know, avoiding littering, not harming wildlife — pretty common rules of nature etiquette, all things considered.
However, there’s a lot more that even the campers with the best intentions can — and often — unknowingly do that has a big impact on nature around us.
That’s where the Leave No Trace organization comes in. LNT is an international education campaign that works to make campers more aware of the ways in which they leave traces of their camping experience behind in nature, and how to minimize those traces.
“Most people are pretty well-meaning, and they don’t want to mess things up in the environment,” says Lyse Boyce, a Leave No Trace educator here in Halifax. “We’re trying to reach those [people].”
You might be asking right about now, what kind of everyday camping practices might be leaving a harmful impact on the natural world? Boyce has a few examples. For complete story click here!
At East Coast Glamping, from our canvas bell tents, to supporting local Nova Scotia businesses, we’re all about slow travel and experiencing Nova Scotia, naturally. We believe the longer visitors stay in a destination, the less impact they have on their surroundings. Connecting locally with a place, we believe, engages visitors in gaining a better understanding and respect for the area.
Leave No Trace camping is easier than it might seem, if you’re mindful of it. It may even enhance the experience.
“It doesn’t take the fun out of camping,” says Boyce. “It’s still lots of fun, camping and paddling and canoeing.”
Take ‘glamping,’ for example.
“The basic definition for ‘glamping’ is ‘glamourous camping,’” says Cyndi Sweeney, owner and operator of East Coast Glamping.
“We’re trying to get families and visitors back into the campground, tenting, but with the luxuries that don’t always go along with camping. We provide a lot more creature comforts for people.”
These luxuries include spacious canvas tents with high end, comfortable beds and bedding, access to solar-powered USB stations for your devices, pantry packs with washable plates and cutlery, and single-serve, Nova Scotia-made products like coffee and spices.
You’d think ‘luxurious camping’ might be even more detrimental to regular camping, but Sweeney and her partners follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace (which you’ll find attached to this story in a sidebar) to the letter, and many of those creature comforts actually help towards that goal.
“We follow that implicitly,” says Sweeney, who cites the rentable canvas tents as being more environmentally friendly than cheaper synthetic tents that might get a few uses before landfill time. “Aside from you might get a slight crop mark once we take our tent away, that lasts for about a day once the tent goes. But other than that, we leave no trace. We make sure to scour every campsite, and we ask our guests to do that as well. We give them a pack-up instruction, so that they can help to follow the Leave No Trace mantra.”
If you’re reading all this and are wondering where you might learn more about how to leave minimal impact while camping this summer, you’re in luck — Leave No Trace, in partnership with Hike Nova Scotia, is offering hands-on Leave No Trace workshops well into August.
“We lucked out and we got two summer students – one in the Montreal area, and one in Halifax. The one in Halifax is going to be offering workshops,” says Boyce, who says workshops can be booked to last for as little as an hour, or as long as a full day. “They’re really customized. We offer workshops to all age ranges.”
“I think there’s a huge value to that,” says Sweeney, who says any camper would benefit from brushing up on their outdoor etiquette through these workshops. “I think we can always learn more about our environment, and especially on a local level.”
You can book a group workshop with Leave No Trace through Hike Nova Scotia’s website, at (a small honorarium may be required for the group as a whole). But even if you’re not able to take the workshops, Leave No Trace website, has a lot of resources that you can read through.
If nothing else, remember, “take only pictures, leave only footprints, carry out what you carry in,” says Boyce.
Visit our website to purchase a canvas bell tent or check out our glamping packages!