Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Footprints

Leave No Trace Ethics

As responsible travelers, it's our duty to respect the environment and tread lightly.

Whether traveling by foot, bicycle, or car, you don't always have access to tap water or plumbing. This means two things:

  1. You're drinking (filtered) surface water
  2. You're pooping outside

From India to Sweden, I've climbed mountains to alpine springs and taken water from snow melt. In both cases, I've seen human and animal feces, feces-soiled toilet paper, and soap dumped right next-to or into these would-be-pristine water sources. That's not cool.

I'd like to think people don't intentionally poison their neighbor's water. I give people the benefit of the doubt and assume it's lack of education. Therefore, as responsible hobos, it's our responsibility to inform.

To that end, I've created this page with some resources.

Protect the Water

Water is life. You, other people, animals, and cities down-stream depend on clean water.

cat holes should be dug and soap should be used at least 60 meters from water sources.

According to Leave No Trace: cat holes should be dug and soap should be used at least 60 meters from water sources.

According to the National Park Service (USA), it's 30 meters. Here's a video by the NPS showing how to dig a cat hole "when nature calls"

Frontcountry Posters

I've created some graphics designed to be printed, laminated, and stapled to posts at trailheads informing others how to responsibly travel in the backcountry. These posters are heavily influenced by the Leave No Trace 7 Principles, and I've an added emphasis on water protection.


I created these for posting in Sweden. It's in English, Swedish, and German.

Literature titled "Leave No Trace" Ethics
Frontcountry poster explaining "Leave No Trace" ethics for Swedish Trailheads (source)

For more information about traveling the backcountry responsibly in Sweden, see

  1. Håll Sverige Rent (Keep Sweden Clean)
  2. Naturvårdsverket (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency)
  3. Sveriges Nationalparker (Swedish National Parks)
  4. Fjällräven Pooping Video


All of this content is licensed CC-BY-SA. You may freely download, alter, sell, and/or republish these works as long as you provide attribution back to this page https://hobohacker.net/lnt


This content was created by using content from the following organizations and/or projects:

  1. Debian GNU/Linux
  2. Graphics in Inkscape
  3. Leave No Trace 7 Principles
  4. Icons by The Noun Project
  5. Emojis by Twitter
  6. Open Sans font by Google