10:48 AM

What does "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time" mean?

This quote was the motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society and it is part of the "Leave No Trace" philosophy of naturalist all over the world. It basically means that when we are in a natural setting we should leave no trace of human intervention. We should, by all means, take pictures for our memories of our adventures. We should not leave anything behind such as trash, beer cans, paper, tobacco filters, plastic bags etc. We should be careful not to kill any of the wildlife in the area which includes animals, plants, and any living thing. We are stewards of this beautiful planet and we should not leave our imprint on any natural area. The motto itself could have come from the quotation,

"Take only memories, leave only footprints,"

This is perhaps the most important thing to observe while caving, urban exploring, or really anywhere in nature.

It is pretty self-explanatory, don't take anything, don't leave anything. At all. Don't steal. Don't litter.

Even a small rock that might seem insignificant, leave it there. If everyone took a rock, or an arrow head, even a mountain would be reduced to rubble.

Even a small mint wrapper that might seem insignificant, take it with you. If everyone left a mint wrapper, even a massive cave would be filled over-night.

There is however, one exception. Feel free to take as much trash with you when you leave. If everyone took out a backpack full of trash, even a garbage dump could be emptied out easily.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes even footprints can be damaging. Make sure to avoid fragile areas and be concious of where you step. (Thanks momomom)

It's really quite simple. These exotic sites need to last for generations to come. Don't ruin them because you're too lazy to carry your beer bottles out with you.


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