People visit nature areas for a variety of reasons, including the chance to socialise with other outdoor enthusiasts. But solitude and tranquillity are also top priorities for many of us, and being in close proximity to large numbers of other visitors can disrupt the enjoyment of a quiet walk in the woods. The very first principle of Leave No Trace is to plan ahead and prepare – be sure to research how popular the place might be during your visit. To ensure everyone has a positive and safe experience, especially when faced with crowds, be considerate of other visitors.
The negative impact of crowds is not limited to disrupting the peaceful atmosphere. A large number of people usually means a large number of impacts, and those impacts can build up quickly. This is why learning how to leave footprints for others is an effective way of protecting natural areas. Every visitor who learns how to reduce their own impact makes a difference, and it has an even greater effect when we pass on our knowledge to someone else.