Low-Impact Recreation Skills

Low-Impact Recreation Skills

Take a look at these short clips to learn - or review - simple ways (based on the principles of Leave No Trace) to lessen your impact on the wild places where we love to recreate. Think you have your skills dialed? Take our quiz and earn your low-impact recreationist badge! 

*Please note that the digital badges can only be awarded to those who have member or guest member accounts on mountaineers.org


While traveling in natural areas following simple low-impact skills keep our trails from growing wider and reduce our impact on vegetation. Trail etiquette is an important part of the shared outdoor experience.


We all need fuel for our active time in nature. Watch and learn techniques to help you stay fed outdoors while not impacting others. 


When camping - whether at an established site or in the backcountry -  implementing these tips helps preserve existing sites and protects pristine areas.

Using the Bathroom

When you spend multiple days in the backcountry, nature will call and you should be prepared to answer. Learn more!


Looking for a quick overview? Check out this video for a summery of the basics. Learn more!

Get a badge

Want to make your low-impact recreation skills official? Take our quiz and earn your low-impact recreationist badge!

*Please note that badges can only be awarded to those who have member or guest member accounts on mountaineers.org

Thank YOu

Thank YOU for watching these videos, and incorporating the low-impact skills into your adventures. And of course thank you to our amazing volunteers who agreed to share their talents to support our mission yet again.

These videos were made possible in part by a KEEN Effect grant. This project was also supporTed by matching grants from the Mountaineers Foundation and Lucky 7 Foundation. 
Like what you see? These videos were created by Mike Short, whose talents have supported many of our outreach efforts over the years. You can learn more about him at mikeshortphoto.com and on his vimeo channel. For a complete list of our volunteer and staff support for these videos, opt to view them on Youtube.

Jean Wright
Jean Wright says:
Jan 13, 2017 07:14 PM

Good reminders of low impact. I enjoy a refresher prior to my outings. Short, informative and so very important! Thank you.

Eva Schoenleitner
Eva Schoenleitner says:
Jan 27, 2017 03:28 PM

Excellent videos!!! Thanks. Every Mountaineer should see them and pass the test.

Peter Hendrickson
Peter Hendrickson says:
Jan 30, 2017 02:18 PM

Wishing there was acknowledgement in the trailers to ID funders, camera, sound, post production... This helps viewers establish the credibility of the source and honor the contributions of staff and volunteers.

The Mountaineers
The Mountaineers says:
Mar 01, 2017 10:27 AM

Hi Peter - thanks for your feedback. We agree that it takes a village to make projects like this happen, which is why we have detailed the folks involved and funders on our blog posts created to promote each video, on the youtube channel where the videos officially ‘live', and at the bottom of this page.

Jacob Lopilato
Jacob Lopilato says:
Mar 22, 2017 12:36 PM

Well done! Thank you for these. I will be sharing the videos with non-Mountaineer outdoor friends as well!

Robbie Carrey
Robbie Carrey says:
Jul 30, 2017 07:32 PM

The videos are simple and to the point. Brought up some points I hadn't considered previously.

Fang Ao
Fang Ao says:
Apr 03, 2018 11:42 AM

I have completed the quiz last week. But I still haven't got my badge. I just want to know the reason.

Darlene Weber
Darlene Weber says:
Apr 06, 2018 03:03 PM

Katherine--Thanks for coming out and sharing conservation and leave no trace with the Everett Scrambling class! Great information and I love your enthusiasm. Thanks for all you do for the mountains and the mountaineers!

Eric Burr
Eric Burr says:
Sep 01, 2019 08:22 AM

As a retired Wilderness ranger I'm glad to finally see articles addressing the sanitation issue. Missing so far however, is the need for better facilities at trail heads. A local example of inadequate trailheads are Washington and Rainy passes. A good example is Mazama's Corral Trailhead which now has a heated restroom with indoor, user friendly, plumbing.

Comments have been disabled.