Following Leave No Trace Policies at Your Elopement

Adventuring in the outdoors is an incredible privilege and an outdoor adventure elopement provides a wonderful alternative to a big traditional wedding for those who are looking for something smaller, adventurous and more low key. But it's important that we are respectful of outdoor spaces and follow Leave No Trace guidelines.

The Leave No Trace (LNT) was designed to create simple and easy guidelines for outdoor enthusiasts to follow while enjoying the outdoors. Following these policies will minimize environmental impacts of outdoor activities (including adventure elopements).

Looking for more elopement resources? Check out: How to Pack for a Hiking Elopement
and How Much Does an Elopement Cost?.

Leave No Trace Policies

Plan Ahead and Prepare for Leave No Trace

Make the most of your elopement by ensuring you are following the appropriate guidelines for the location you chose. First, research and choose locations that are accessible to minimize the impact on the environment. For example, some locations are closed during certain times of year and if overused in poor conditions, trails can be damaged. To ensure these spaces can continue to be enjoyed, check for any specific regulations or permits required for your chosen location.

Stick to Designated Trails/Camp in Designated Areas

Keeping to established trails will avoid stomping on delicate vegetation and disturbing wildlife habitats. If your elopement involves camping, choose designated campsites to reduce your impact. For example, Leave No Trace camping principles include camping at least 200 feet away from lakes and streams.

Proper Waste Disposal

If you are bringing along snacks or other waste be sure to pack out all trash, including biodegradable items like fruit peels. In other words, a good rule of thumb is to leave the area cleaner than you found it. Prepare by bringing along sealable bags for waste disposal, including used tissues and hygiene products.

Minimize Campfire Impact

Campfires are not always permitted in outdoor areas due to environmental impact and safety reasons. Checking if fires are allowed in the area before your elopement is always advised. And if permitted, follow fire safety precautions and use established fire rings to keep the fire small. Consider other options like utilizing a camp stove for cooking if campfires are not permitted.

Respect Wildlife

It can be tempting to feed or touch cute little critters out in nature, but it's not in their best interest. Make sure you observe wildlife from a distance and avoid approaching or feeding them. Keep a safe distance to minimize stress on animals and avoid disrupting their natural behaviors. For instance, feeding and interacting with animals can take away their natural and healthy fear of humans and we want to make sure these animals are protected!

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Remember you are not the only one enjoying these outdoor spaces. Keep noise levels down to maintain the tranquility of the natural environment. Yield to other hikers, and be respectful of their experience in the outdoors.

Leave Natural and Cultural Features Untouched

It can also be tempting to take pieces of nature home with us to commemorate our special day. Unfortunately, this can disturb the environment, so try to avoid picking plants, disturbing rocks, or touching cultural artifacts. Preserve the natural beauty of the landscape by leaving it as you found it.

To sum up, incorporating these Leave No Trace principles into your adventure elopement plans you will allow you to enjoy a beautiful and meaningful experience while minimizing your impact on the environment.

Looking for more information about Leave No Trace? Visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's resource page.

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Adventure Elopements + Intimate Weddings

vermont, new england and the wild west