Currently in its 12th year, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, 2 teams of professional outdoor educators, have reached over 10 million people in 48 states with Leave No Trace education and training.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The WildeBeat ..... Take a listen.

We were recently featured on a podcast called 'The WildeBeat'. The WildeBeat is an audio journal about getting into the wilderness. Our most recent podcast, "Waste Training", can be found on The WildeBeat homepage. Some other podcasts that have aired in the past include "A Trace of Training" and "Stealth Gear". If you have never heard one of the WildeBeat podcasts we would really encourage you to check it out. Steve Sergeant and the folks there do a great job of getting good information out to their listeners.

Check them out at .

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Partnering on PEAK

Today we worked with fellow Partner REI and a few of their awesome employees in Connecticut for an educational outreach program, teaching PEAK.  We worked with 360 kids that attend a summer camp called, Winding Trail Youth Camp. Campers were from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  One may wonder, how were you able to work with 360 kids? Having 2 traveling trainers, 4 REI employees, a solid game plan nothing is impossible. There were 6 sessions of 60 kids, all broken up by appropriate age levels for activities.  We focused on what Leave No Trace was all about, so campers had an understanding of the principles, and ways they can be stewards for the land. A couple of activities we ran with the campers were, “What Principle Am I?”, “Watch Your Step”, “Step on It”, and “ How Long Does It Last”. These activities explored some of the principles, and planted the seed about how we need to preserve and protect our environment.

The day was definitely jam packed with teaching, and was a huge success in our eyes. Partnering in the field and teaching along side with REI employees was great, and we hope for more programs like this in the future. We would like to Thank Mark & Josh at Winding Trail Camp, and a huge thanks to Jenna, Brad, Tina, & Tracy (Connecticut REI All-stars) for all your work and success on the massive PEAK program.

Happy Trails,

Alexis & Topher 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Future Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers?

This is Frank (left) and Vern and they are Leave No Trace super heros. We just spoke to 800 Arrowmen in Jackson Hole Wyoming for our last Arrow Corps 5 event with the Boy Scouts. These two Leave No Trace aficionados were able help teach some of our non-stop 30 minutes workshops throughout the day! They were a huge hit and used some crowd pleaser material like Bo jackson and Stanley the Leave No Trace Bear to really illustrate some of the principles. These two friends have been traveling to all five Arrow Corp 5 events throughout the summer, teaching Leave No Trace, trail work, and other important outdoor skills to their fellow Boy Scouts. Big thanks Frank and Vern. Maybe you could be the next Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers!?!

Swirly Gig,
Tanya and Cody


The Mt Washington Observatory hosted their 8th annual Seek the Peak event this weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The event helped raise over $97,000 to support the weather observation and reporting efforts of the Observatory. Avid hikers came from around the country and Canada to seek out the peak of Mt. Washington as the crescendo to their fundraising efforts for the non-profit.

The event kicked off at the Flatbread Co. in North Conway, NH as participants registered for the hike on Friday night. Grey skies gave way to blue on Saturday morning as hikers flooded to the Appalachian Mountain Club's Pinkham Notch Visitors Center for their 8+ mile hike up and down the mountain. After tabling at the center for several hours we headed up the mountain to check in on the progress of the participants and to conduct outreach for other visitors "seeking the peak".

The event concluded with a turkey dinner at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Subaru treated participants to a full spread and live music, as well as donated a one year lease of a Subaru Forester, while LL Bean donated a variety of prizes for the raffle proceeding the dinner. We would like to thank all the folks who raised money for the Observatory, the sponsors, and to the Observatory family who were kind enough to put us up for several days while heavy rains, high winds, and tornadoes were pummeling the area.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Washington Water Trails Association

What could be better than sea kayaking for four days in the Puget Sound? How about sea kayaking in the Sound with our new friends, past Traveling Trainers, and current dynamic duo that make up the SEA (Sound Education and Action) Kayaker Team. North Moench and Ella Goodbrod took us under their wing for the weekend as the four of us talked to visitors on and around Blake Island about the Washington Water Trails Association and "how to reduce your paddle print" by practicing Leave No Trace skills and ethics. The weather and water were great, and we had a chance to talk to 125 people during the weekend at three different Cascadia Marine Trail sites. Some quick highlights include; getting to hang out and work with Traveling Trainer legends, learning about tide charts and decision making when traveling on the water, wildlife sitings like bald eagles, osprey, seals, raccoons, and a salmon farm, being introduced to sea kayaker culture and meeting lots of great people who love this sport, an impromptu game of "Okay - No Way" with a large group one evening on Blake Island, and navigating some crossings full of big ferries and fun waves. To learn more about the WWTA, a great partner of ours, click on the link above. Also, please visit the SEA Kayaker page to read more about North and Ella's outreach and adventures on the water this summer. Keep up the great work you two!
Lastly, we would like to thank our new pals Sarah and Robert for their great company and hospitality while we were in Seattle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

REI... Boston & Hingham

We have spent the past two days in the Boston Area doing PEAK training's for the local REI employees. REI is a huge supporter and Partner of Leave No Trace, and also goes out in their the community and conducts PEAK programs in their local youth community. Our first program was at the Hingham store, right outside of Boston. Then the program today was right in the city of Boston. We spent time teaching the Boston area  employees how to raise environmental awareness, as well as how kids can minimize their impacts while enjoying the outdoors thru using the PEAK pack. We would like to thank Dane the outreach specialist of these two stores for hosting the program, and your continued support and passion for education of Leave No Trace. 

Happy Trails, 
Alexis & Topher 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ohhhhhhh, RockyGrass!

On friday we will be heading to Lyons, Colorado to join our friends at Planet Bluegrass for the 3-day music extravaganza that is RockyGrass. If you are planning on getting down in Lyons this weekend we invite you to stop by our booth between sets.

Top ten reasons to stop by the Subaru/Leave No Trace booth this weekend...

10. Shade!!!
9. Snacks
8. "Bear Canister Trivia"
7. Good chance that you will be the subject of next weeks blog!
6. There will (not) be beer at our booth!!!!! And it will (not) be free!!!!!
5. Our neighbors are awesome.
4. Fun for kids and adults
3. Three words...KEEN PRIZE PACKAGES
2. "How Green Is Your Grass" Campsite Challenge (Winner receives a pair of on-site camping passes for 2009!)
1. Learning about Leave No Trace skills and ethics..duh

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cranston Community

After two days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire we had the pleasure of running two awareness workshops in Cranston, Rhode Island.  Our first workshop was filled with folks from the area wanting to brush up on their knowledge of Leave No Trace.  The group consisted of Boy Scouts, Scout Masters, Wildlife Conservationists, and an Ironman Athlete.  The group was eager to learn about the skills and ethics that make up Leave No Trace, and what they could do to minimize their impacts while recreating.  Participants walked away from the workshop armed with the knowledge necessary to apply Leave No Trace on their next outing, or at their work.

The second session we held focused on PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids).  REI employees were interested in how best to convey Leave No Trace to kids ages 6-16.  We discussed how to tailor the presentation to various ages and what activities work best for each group.  After reviewing several activities we touched on several icebreakers that would help introduce the idea of Leave No Trace, as well as setting the tone of their presentation.     

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The last two days have been spent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, doing a Trainers Training for the USFS SACO Rangers District.  This was truly an amazing backcountry program, with knowledgeable passionate rangers from the New England area.  We had a variety of USFS employees from Backcountry Rangers,  Fire Crew, a Mineral Specialist, Visitor Information, and Front Country Rangers.  After our classroom session we headed to the trailhead of Baldface Mountain for teaching sessions, hiking, and backcountry camping.  We hiked about 7 miles roundtrip throughout the program, and had some scenic classrooms in  a beautiful alpine environment.  One of the highlights from the course was the steep hike up the ledges from the shelter to the notch of Baldface Mountain, which provided scenic views of New Hampshire & Maine, and an incredible classroom.

Congratulations SACO Rangers & Thank You for being a Partner of Leave No Trace! You guys are Awesome! We had such a wonderful course, and wish you all the best in your work protecting and educating the visitors of the White Mountains National Forest.

Happy Trails,

Alexis & Topher


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Forest

Oregon. It's hot, it's cold, it's wet, it's dry, it's summer. We've been cruising around west Oregon these past few days. After a nice visit in Eugene to the Oregon Country Fair, we headed to the coast and over to Tillamook. At the Tillamook Forest Center, we talked to visitors in the deep, lush coastal mountains. This area, once the site of massive fires in the 1930's, is now the largest reforestation project in Oregon, and it's beautiful! Next, we drove to Portland to talk with Americorps trail workers for the Forest Park Conservancy. Forest Park is an awesome urban park right near downtown Portland. It provides 5,000 acres of woodsy solitude and miles of trails for hiking, jogging, and biking to all who are fortunate enough to meander into this forest.
Oh yeah, guess what. We got to go to another Arrow Corps 5 event with the Boy Scouts last Satruday. This one was in the smoky Mt. Shasta area in northern California near the towns of Mcloud and Mt. Shasta. About 600 scouts gathered together to do some much appreciated trail work in the Shasta-Trinity national forest. We had a great day presenting and hanging out with all the scouts. Big thanks to Howard, Jim, and our new buddies and guest lecturers, Vern and Frank. We'll see you guys in Jackson.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rocky Mountain Youth Corp

Last weekend we headed down to Taos, New Mexico for a Trainer Course with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp. This course was awesome for several reasons. First, Rocky Mountain Youth Corp is a great organization. They work to preserve and protect the environment by working with youth throughout northern New Mexico. Second, Catherine Smith, our Community and Partnership Coordinator, was able to join us. She was a great asset and we were psyched to have her on the course . Third, Taos has some amazingly tasty New Mexican grub, which we managed to sample before heading back to Boulder.

Next week we will be hanging out at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics as we prepare for some events that are a little closer to home for Leave No Trace. First up will be RockyGrass Bluegrass Festival in Lyons, CO, were we will be working with KEEN for the campsite competition. So, if you are headed out Lyons to listen to some tunes and you're planning on camping, make sure to stop by the Leave No Trace booth and tell us why your campsite is clean, sustainable and creative and you could win some really good prizes. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New England Beauty

After finishing up several programs in the White Mountains we headed to the Adirondack High Peaks area.  The drive through New Hampshire and Vermont was exquisite.  The route we took offered great views of the rugged peaks of the Whites and lush forested canopies covering the Green Mountains.  We stopped about half way in the town of Bolton, Vt to enjoy some climbing.  The rock at Bolton was metamorphic in nature, and provided solid protection while leading.  We are throughly enjoying our time in the northeast and plan on spending several days in the majestic high peaks of the Adirondacks.  

Happy Trails, 

Topher and Alexis

Thursday, July 10, 2008

White Mountain Workshops

The past two days have been spent in the White Mountains National Forest of New Hampshire.  We had a program with the Appalachian Mountain Club at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, and  2 USFS SACO Ranger District awareness workshops.  The AMC is a partner of Leave No Trace and throughout the summer  has nightly ranger led interpretive programs. The Traveling Trainers have  a history with AMC, doing awareness workshops for families vacationing and staying at the lodge within the White Mountains National Forest.  Our Awareness workshops for the USFS SACO district were held at the Historic Russell-Colbath Homestead, in the restored barn. The Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a wooden frame dwelling constructed between 1831 & 1832 by Thomas Russell.  The historic site was definitely a beautiful classroom especially to be teaching about the importance of Leave No Trace.  The first workshop with the USFS was an introduction to Leave No Trace, and the second one was a refresher program for Master Educators in the New England area. All three programs were awesome, and scenic with the White Mountains as the backdrop. 

Next programs are a Trainers Training in New Hampshire. 

Happy Trails,

Alexis & Topher 

Summer Camp in Idaho

We're in the stunning Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, and we just left our new friend, Idaho State Advocate Paul Holle and the wonderful atmosphere at Camp Perkins and Luther Heights Bible Camp.  We spent two days at the two camps talking with 200 kids and playing two games with each session.  We played some old standbys like "Step On It" and "The Itinerary Game," and we were also able to debut "The Leave No Trace Relay" which tested the campers on each of the seven principles as they ran the course.  We had a wonderful time being immersed in camp life for a couple days and would to thank the staff at both camps for making us feel right at home.  
Now we're in Ketchum, ID to pay our respects to the late Ernest Hemingway (he spent his last years in this area), and to start the long drive to Mt. Shasta and the Oregon coast.  Our drive through Idaho was as scenic as it gets. Highways 93 and 75 take you to great small towns like Challis, Salmon, and Stanley as you follow the Salmon River through the mountains with plenty of hot springs along the way.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pacific or Mountain Time?

We've been in the Lochsa River corridor for the past couple of days.  First, we set up a table and talked to visitors at the busy Lolo Pass visitor center right on the MT/ID border.  This area is famous for two important historical trails.  The Nez Perce Trail and the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discover trail both pass right over Lolo pass and into the Bitterroot Mountains.  We traveled down highway 12 along the Lochsa to the Wilderness Gateway Campground for a campfire talk, and then went to a popular trail head that leads to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs to talk to Sunday hot springers.  The photo above is Warm Springs Creek on the way to the hot springs.  Did you know that Idaho has more hot springs than Oregon, Washington, and Montana combined!  Now we're back in Missoula and getting ready to head down to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho to meet Idaho State Advocate Paul Holle and his campers at Camp Perkins and Luther Heights Bible Camp.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Western Colorado Trainer Course

Recently, we spent a couple days with scout leaders from western Colorado on a two-day Leave No Trace Trainer Course. We hiked up to about 10,000 ft on Mount Sopris near Carbondale, CO and spent some time getting to know each other and talked about Leave No Trace. Six scout leaders joined us for some great views of Sopris and numerous fields of wild flowers. The scenery was great, the company was wonderful, and the training was a complete success.

If you are interested in learning more about a Leave No Trace Trainer Course click HERE. If you'd like to find courses in your neck of the woods check out our Community Page.

Acadia Climbing

After facilitating a Trainer's course on Donnell Pond we had the opportunity to explore some of what Acadia National Park has to offer.  The park boasts amazing coastal cliffs and sandy beaches, as well as big dome-shaped mountains, freshwater lakes and crystal clear streams.  On our first day off, the park was shrouded in fog as we made our way to the Precipice climbing area on the eastern side of the park.  As we ascended the central wall's, Story of O, the sun broke through the clouds to expose beautiful views of the ocean in the distance.  Our second day was spent climbing at Otter Cliffs scaling the sea-worn rock along the coast.  Both locations offered very distinct experiences within miles of each other.  Acadia is one of America's most amazing treasures and we hope to return and explore it further.

Happy Trails, 

Topher and Alexis    

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wyoming Safari

Wyoming was wonderful.  We spent five days in Grand Teton National Park and we miss it already.  Day one was spent with the park service trail crew and the Youth Conservation Corps. They spend long, hard days to maintain and create the trails that we all enjoy and we owe them all a big thanks.  Day two and three was a fun and scenic trainer course with six trail crew leaders. They took us up Death Canyon to one of the trail crew's backcountry cabins for the course!  Great discussions, great food, and great hiking sum it all up.  We learned quite a bit from these leaders. Most of whom had been working in the park for at least five years, but one trail dog legend named Burt has been working on the Tetons trail crew for 44 years!  We rounded out our five days with three big awareness workshops for the Grand Tetons Lodge staff.  These folks work with park visitors every day and have great opportunities to pass on important information about their national park and Leave No Trace. Thanks to Gina and Pat for taking care of us while we were there.  
Our drives through the Tetons and Yellowstone were like an American safari with countless sightings of elk, bison, and pronghorn, about a dozen moose, and one young grizzly on an evening prowl.  Now we're way up in Missoula, MT for some fireworks on the 4th and we'll head to Idaho's Lolo Pass and the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Maine - Trained

Thirty-two hours after leaving Arkansas, we found ourselves in Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Our two day trainer course was held at Schoodic Education & Research Center as well as Schoodic Beach, just a few minutes outside the park.  On the course we had a diverse group of participants, park staff, Friends of Acadia staff, a hiking guide, a sea kayaking guide, and a teacher from College of the Atlantic. The entire group was well versed in the outdoors & recreation, which offered great discussions and stories during our 2 days together. We saw a great mix of teaching styles and activities, and enjoyed a beautiful hike up Schoodic Mountain. 

Charlie Jacobi, the course host, is no stranger to Leave No Trace, this is his 10th year hosting a  Trainers Training Course at Acadia.  It was a true pleasure to work with an individual with so much knowledge and passion for Leave No Trace.  Thank you Charlie for your dedication in training other staff members in Leave No Trace, and your continued support towards the Traveling Trainers.  

We wish the 10 new Leave No Trace Trainers the best of luck, for everything  you do to preserve the beauty of Maine! 

Happy Trails! 

Alexis & Topher