Peter Murry and Gary Huey share the 7 Leave No Trace Principles to explore the outdoors sustainably and how we can all be a solution to conservation.

We discover what they have going on to keep your natural areas clean and diverse, which auto manufacturer is leading the way in conservation, and what you can do today even if you’re just camping at a local park.

How can we be more responsible outdoors and how do BearVault canisters help us to leave no trace? Listen to this episode to find out.


Click below and listen to the Podcast about Leave No Trace with Gary Huey and Peter Murry:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Leave No Trace Show Notes with Gary Huey and Peter Murry

4:05 – Gary’s first backpacking trip during a study-away program was when he first learned about Leave No Trace

5:00 – Peter grew up fly fishing in the upper Midwest. He went to a school up in the Driftless Region where there are phenomenal areas for fly fishing, mountain biking, and climbing. He studied in South Africa for a year where he joined a mountain club. That’s where he had his first true introduction to the organization.

9:57 – Peter emphasizes that the 7 Leave No Trace Principles are more like a framework than direct guidelines. These principles are meant to be adaptable and flexible depending on the activity. That general guideline of being aware and present is what they strive for when applying that to outdoor spaces.

The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace

  1. Plan ahead and prepare. – Gary says it’s the principle of all principles.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  3. Dispose waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find for the next person to enjoy.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts.
  6. Respect wildlife – Rule of thumb: Put your hand out straight with your thumb up. If the thumb completely covers the animal, you’re at a safe distance.
  7. Be considerate of others. Recognize that everyone has the right to be outdoors in their own unique ways.

16:12 – Gary talks about poop as a big problem, especially in the backcountry areas. Peter recommends packing poop depending on where you’re at because different ecosystems have different abilities to process human waste.

When in doubt, use a WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bag, but recognize that what you do in the Pacific Northwest is not necessarily what you’re gonna do in the Southwest.


18:17 – Gary recommends some brands of WAG bags such as Restop and The WAG Bag (now known as Cleanwaste).

19:15 – Peter shares how got started. Leave No Trace as a concept has been around for quite some time. It was originally a guideline developed by National Park Service and a group of land managers in the ’60s. It was then adapted and adjusted into a full-blown conservation-minded organization in 1994.

20:53 – Gary explains how tossing food even as small as apple cores if you’re in a thick wooded forest can disrupt wildlife. It takes time for these food wastes to break down. He suggests to just pack them out instead of just tossing them on the ground.

21:58 – Peter mentions the slogan “A fed bear is a dead bear”, emphasizing that even a small amount of food left in the wildlife can attract squirrels and other small animals which then can attract large animals. It’s important to not feed animals in the wild. Animal interaction can have detrimental effects on the ecosystem.

A fed bear is a dead bear.
Photo via:

23:23 – Peter talks about the science and research behind Leave No Trace. Before they put out any education and information, it goes through a very rigorous process and has been vetted by a committee with representatives from the five major national land managers as well as university professors who do research on human interaction in the outdoors.

25:10 – Gary recommends using bear canisters, such as the ones from BearVault, as it is becoming a requirement now.

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29:01 – The Leave No Trace principles were originally developed for hiking and backcountry, but they’re now adapting the LNT ethics to the backyard and the everyday users like those having a picnic in the local park and quick day hike in a somewhat urban park.

30:47 – Peter encourages everyone to check them out on their social media accounts and follow their website for updates on their programs. Gary encourages everyone to volunteer and participate even on social media if they cannot go to their events. Scroll below for their social media links. 👇🏻

33:00 – As a minimalist packer who also loves dehydrated food, Peter recommends the BV425-Sprint BearVault canister which is perfect for quick 1-2 day outdoor trips. Gary likes the medium size one which is the BV450-Jaunt.

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36:35 – I gave a shoutout to REYR Gear for their collapsible fly rods that pack out in seconds.

leave no trace

38:13 – Peter doesn’t leave without a good pair of polarized sunglasses. His current favorite is the Ferg sunglasses from Costa. Another one is an inflatable pillow from Big Agnes, one of their great partners in Leave No Trace.

39:42 – Peter recommends diving into local non-profit organizations that are doing important work on conservation on a smaller level.

42:00 – Gary talks about Subaru, one of their biggest partners. The car company has a Zero Landfill Initiative wherein they try to get a few national parks to go zero landfill. Subaru also sponsors their travels to be able to go around the country and educate more people.

leave no trace

43:00 – Peter talks about the Outdoor Retailer (OR) event which is one of the staple gatherings in the industry. It’s got a little bit of everything. A lot of those are general apparel outdoor groups. If you’re a gear junkie, there’s no better place for sure.

45:00 – Peter mentions other brands and organizations that support the conservation work they are doing, such as Fjallraven and Big Agnes. He also encourages everyone to be mindful of where these brands are doing and putting their money.

47:25 – Gary shares their upcoming activities in the summer and next year.

48:26 – Peter encourages everyone to check out their membership plan in their website to access resources and other information about the organization.


You can find Leave No Trace on Instagram at @leavenotraceorg

Facebook at Leave No Trace

Twitter at Leave No Trace

Youtube at Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

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Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 357 – Bear Vault with Sarah Leichnetz and Grant Breidenbach – Hiking, Camping, Food Storage


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

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