LNT (Leave No Trace) is a way of experiencing the outdoors without impacting the outdoors. I teach it to my scouts and try to live by its principles wherever I may be. One of the tenets of LNT is "Pack it in, Pack it out." This means that whatever you take into the woods with you, must come back out. This can mean hauling back a lot of trash if you don't plan properly. This instructable will illustrate a few of these principles through the example of an apple.
It's also a "cool uncle" trick in which you'll eat an entire apple, core and all.
Unnecessary Backstory: (skip this and proceed to Step 1): Years ago I was reading a children's book about the presidents to my kids. In it, there was a page on Bill CLinton and it mentioned that he loved food so much that when he would eat an apple he'd eat it core and all. I thought this sounded pretty cool, but never could get myself to attempt it for some reason. It kind of freaked me out.
Fast forward a couple of years and my son is in Cub Scouts. I'm trying to think of ways to introduce and illustrate the Leave No Trace principles to front country hiking and my mind wanders to the Clinton apple trick for some reason. It works great to give a solid example to several of the principles. It can also be used when talking about no or small campfires and being considerate of other visitors, but for this instructable I've only left the principles that are directly reflected in the stunt of eating an apple whole .
For more information on Leave No Trace, please visit their website, LNT.org
Step 1: Step One: Plan Ahead and Prepare
There are seven principles to LNT, but we are going to focus on #1, Plan Ahead and Prepare, #3 Dispose of Waste Properly and #6 Respect Wildlife. Let's start with number one...
#1 Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.Visit in small groups when possible.
- Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
Not much to repackage with an apple. We'll leave behind anything we won't need and have to pack around for no reason. In this example, it'll be the stem. Twist it off. This would be an excellent time to show your kids the ABC apple stem game you played when you were their age. (Go through the alphabet as you twist the stem. When it comes off, the last letter you said is the first initial of the person you'll fall in love with/like/marry, etc. If you have a second apple, count the twists and this will be how many babies they'll have with the previous person.)
If you were taking other, prepackaged foods on your hike, you would leave any bulky boxes or wrapping at home.
Step 2: Step 2: Start at the End.
If you ate the apple normally and then ate the core, that wouldn't be too appetizing. Nor would it be very impressive. So, take your first bite. Only don't start on the side, start at the bottom and work your way up through to the top.
Why are we doing this? Why not just toss it to the side of the trail or out the car window? Some woodland creature might enjoy a tasty treat. Well:
#6 Respect Wildlife
- Observe wildlife from a distance.
- Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
Feeding wildlife, even with a tossed apple core, varies their natural behaviors, brings them into more contact with humans and making them less afraid of us. They are more likely to approach a dangerous highway if they think there may be food there.
Step 3: Step 3: Core Workout.
We've come to the seeds. This is the core-iest part of the apple, but it's also the meatiest. Keep at it. I advise spitting out the seeds, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide. Eating the few that are in your core probably won't hurt anything, but you never can tell. If you choose to not eat them, then toss them in your ziploc trash baggie to dispose of once you're back in civilization. That's the only trash you'll have left from your snack. Again, don't just spit them out on the trail (see Step 2)
#3 Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Step 4: The End!
Congratulations! You've successfully had a totally LNT apple. People will be amazed! Well, kids will be amazed. Your wife will probably just roll her eyes. By eating the core you've decreased what you would have to pack out, reduced a small amount of waste, and increased your fiber intake.
Thanks for reading. For more information on Leave No Trace, visit their website at LNT.ORG
If you've enjoyed this instructable, please vote for it in the Outdoors contest. Like I said, I've got a scout and we could use some of that stuff.