The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Launches Video Series Aimed at Educating Hikers

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Volunteers and staff at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) have created a series of entertaining and informative videos that will teach visitors how to reduce their imprint on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). The videos, titled “Don’t Be That Guy – Appalachian Trail - Leave No Trace,” were released this past weekend.

Filmed by professional videographer and former thru-hiker Tara Roberts with support from the U.S. Forest Service, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the ATC’s Tennessee License Plate Fund, and the ATC volunteers, the series illustrates the proper practices for hiking and camping that minimize impacts on the A.T.

“‘Leave No Trace’ is a great program that encourages everyone to minimize their impacts on the outdoors. These methods are needed on the Appalachian Trail, especially due to its popularity,” said Tom Banks, video producer and director. “There’s a lot of good information available from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaching the principles, and what these videos add is information that applies specifically to the Appalachian Trail. We illustrate the techniques in a direct, but entertaining, way.”

The series features a clip on each of the seven principles of Leave No Trace, which include plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. Additional videos, to be released later in the month, will also include engaging elements like interviews with recent hikers and actors in the series as well as a lighthearted bloopers and outtakes reel. “We have to be vigilant. Our duty is to take care of the Appalachian Trail,” explained Sarah Jones Decker, a creative consultant, actor in the videos, and former A.T. thru-hiker. “As the Trail becomes more popular, we need to make sure that we are working diligently to spread the ‘leave no trace’ message."

The video series is one way the ATC is preparing for a surge in Trail use following the release of the film A Walk in the Woods, a comedy adventure starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte as old friends who make the improbable decision to hike the 2,190-mile Trail. The film will be released September 2 by Broad Green Pictures. The ATC acted as a consulting organization during production and assisted with the film’s environmental messaging.

“Effort will be necessary to keep the Appalachian Trail in its natural state, especially given the increased attention that the Trail is receiving,” said Javier Folgar, the ATC’s director of Marketing and Communications. “Whether you are new to hiking or are an experienced 2,000-miler on the Appalachian Trail, everyone can benefit from watching these videos as a reminder of how to reduce impact.”

Here's an intro from the video series that explains "the Story Behind the Videos":

And here's a short clip of the "bloopers and outtakes" from the series:

To view the entire “Don’t Be That Guy – Appalachian Trail | Leave No Trace” video series, click here.

For more information about Leave No Trace and the A.T., visit


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