We all want to go out and have fun in nature, and we also want to play games with our littles. Hike it Baby encourages participants in our events to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) practices whenever we gather together. Whether it’s nature crafts, hiking, rock painting, etc., we ask that all members respect the community standards and follow LNT guidelines.
Painted Rocks, are they bad?
Placing painted rocks is a hide-and-seek game in which people place painted rocks in local areas for others to find. So, how do painted rocks align with LNT ethics? Are they bad? Because Hike it Baby follows LNT ethics, we prefer you purchase your rocks rather than find them in nature. Rocks that are part of the local habitat could be something’s home. Additionally, please use non-toxic paints (toxic paints can be licked off by animals or leach into the surrounding soil). We also ask everyone not to make any Hike It Baby-themed rocks. They could find their way to places where they shouldn’t go. We aren’t saying that you, the rock creator, won’t follow Leave No Trace guidelines, but others who take your rock may not.
How does one follow Leave No Trace while placing and finding rocks?
If those who participate in placing painted rocks can strive to minimize their impact, whether they seek or place rocks, then everyone can enjoy the outdoors in a responsible way.
Things to consider:
- Properly plan for your rock-placing outing. Have the items or equipment you need to safely enjoy your adventure.
- If you place a rock, make sure it’s legal in your area. National Parks are banning this activity as they view them as not being part of the park environment.
- Be conscious of where rocks are placed (durable surfaces). Be mindful of how traveling to and from a rock can cause trampling, erosion, etc.
- Have the necessary knowledge/equipment to deal with trash, litter and human waste.
- Consider the impact that placing a rock can have on both plants and animals.
- Be mindful of other visitors who may also enjoy the same areas as you.
As always, get out, enjoy the outdoors responsibly and Leave No Trace.
To learn more about how we can LNT, visit www.LNT.org.
For more tips on Leave No Trace when hiking with kids, see: Leave No Trace – What Does it Mean For Kids
For some current events in regards to Painted Rocks:
- Devils Tower has a statement here.
- The Mesa Verde National Park details the issue with painted rocks at their park.
- The George Rogers Clark National Historic Park has a press release.